Sunday, 8 December 2013


He disentangled his body from hers. Above the low bed, the rotating blades of the ceiling fan dragged the air in circles. He held her hand to stop her nuzzling, to keep her connected but at an arm’s length. The empty feeling seeped in. Her breathing slowed and he slipped out.
The morning bleated around him in a song of herds and dust and chains of jasmine.  He walked to his bike and took off for Bagan. White cows ambled by mares on the side of the road. Thin women walked in the opposite direction, balancing massive roped-up branches on their heads. The smell of earth inhabited his nostrils, the sun eased over his face, the wind stroked his hair and he forgot about her. Freed from thought he relaxed into sensation. The monsoon had intensified the landscape: trees bloomed everywhere, half-submerged in pools of water where leaves and sky met in  curdled reflections. In the stark sunlight everything looked too vivid to be real. He felt he was riding through a photograph.
Glancing around, he parked in the high grass about a mile away from the temple. He carried his shoes. There was no one. The temple rose before him. Hall waited there.  
Barefoot, he entered the cool shadows, climbed the steep steps and paused beneath an arch, “I need to give you something.” Standing close enough to see the sweat on Hall’s brow, he looked into his eyes, searching for a reason to stop. He reached out and struck the man. Hall lost consciousness. He gripped Hall’s neck, pressing on the stun spot, before rolling the limp body over the edge to fall from the temple into the grass.
Shoes in hand, he walked back to the motorcycle, remembering the times he had let himself be crushed. The prostration was over.   
-a short story by Margo Fortuny, with photographs taken in Burma.

Friday, 22 February 2013


Just in time for Paris fashion week I whipped up a list for my friend Gareth and my other favourite creatures heading there this weekend. Read on, mes amis...


Honour the spirit of Serge Gainsbourg, Robert Desnos, and Sartre at the Cimetière de Montparnasse.

Check out the large format French paintings section in the Louvre (room 77?)

Go to the Centre Pompidou. If you get there before nightfall go to the top of the escalator and check out the view- you can see the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, and the skyline in between. If you get there after 7 pm (it’s open late on the weekend) there will be smaller queues. Right now there’s a great Dali exhibition on.

Buy ‘Pariscope’ at the newsstand to see what’s on. (It’s similar to ‘Time Out.’) There are so many fantastic museums in Paris. There are also lots of queues so make sure you’ve eaten first and you’re bundled up or you won’t be in the mood for culture by the time you get in.

Wander through the morning flea markets in outer Paris.

Walk by the Seine and think about life.

Pick out cheese at markets like Le Marché des Enfants Rouges.

Buy a 60s dress at Mamz'Elle Swing at 35 Rue du Roi de Sicile. Last Saturday I found a beautiful white crochet Jane Birkin number for 50 euros.

Visit Sacre-Coeur and pretend you’re in Amelie.

Watch endless amount of films (look for v.o.  version originale to see stuff in english or original language) Paris is the best city in the world for cinema and revival houses.

Explore St Germaine, Le Marais, Rue des Martyrs, Les Abesses, and Belleville.




Candelaria, 52 Rue de Saintonge, metro: filles de calvaire. Affordable, fantastic proper Mexican food. Try the cactus or verdes tacos. Cool décor- check out the loo. The soundtrack adds to the ambience: Television and Patti Smith were on last time I was there. Also, the neighbourhood is good for a stroll. There are some cool galleries nearby.

Le Loir dans la Théière – Métro Saint Paul , 3, rue des rosiers, in the marais neighbourhood. Low-key fantastic affordable bistro, no laptops or talking on your mobile allowed. Nice vibe. Try the courgette omelette and the camembert epinard tart, and the famous lemon meringue pie. Best pie in France. The queue outside is totally worth it.

L'Eclair de Génie, Métro Saint Paul, 14 Rue Pavée. Actually this is for after lunch. It’s around the corner from Le Loir dans la Théière. Even if you went there for lunch-and you should- and you had the famous tarte au citron, pick up one of these mindblowing eclairs. They are worth the 5 euros and the wait. Seriously.

Dinner (make a reservation first)

For a romantic but slightly expensive and super delicious dinner:
Hotel Amour, 8 rue de nevarin, metro: St George or Pigalle, 75009 (Try the memorable  lemon soup, the roast goat cheese salad, and the ravioli  is amazing!)

Le Derrière, 75003 (Explore the whole place and go inside the secret armoire upstairs and lean back- see what happens. The experience will be more exciting if you don't read anything about this place beforehand.)


Le Silencio- This is David Lynch’s club. It can be hard to get into so wear something original and pretend you're friends with a band David likes. I was hoping it would be like the bordello in Twin Peaks but it's more of a fancy disco with a cinema inside. Random crowd, cool décor,  drinks are 18 euros.  Le Social Club, 75001, right by Silencio. Electro, techno, not pretentious. Le Baron- hit or miss. Actually forget nightclubs- why don’t you just get drunk and shag in an alley?          You’re in Paris.


Merci  Zoe et Thomas, my favourite Parisians.