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Category Archives: Rose Lindsay

Hurricane Ophelia

 

CCF04082012_00000ROSE

When I heard that Hurricane Ophelia was due to hit the U.K. today, exactly 30 years from the great storm of October 16th, 1987, it brought back in a flash, the memory of that night. That was the start of when the shit began to hit the fan!

I had finished my contract of appearing in the Scala Show at the Melia Castilla Hotel in Madrid at the end of September that year, and even though they wanted me to sign a contract for another year, I turned it down because my mother, Rose, was very, very ill and alone.

My Father had died on June 20th, 1987 and the Scala management had refused to release me to attend his funeral. As they so rightly explained, they had built the whole show around me and I was irreplaceable. So I had to find an alternative and I asked Ray’s mother to stay with her, but she was completely indifferent, unhelpful and drunk. So I simply had to return to England to take care of her.

Apparently Rose had had a mini stroke in the flat whilst my father was alive, and he had just left her lying there in the hall for an hour before he bothered to telephone for an ambulance. That was just the way he was. Rose pampered him like a baby; he never lifted a finger to help her, he would just sit in his armchair watching T.V. and she would wait on him hand and foot.

I returned to England alone. Ray stayed in Spain to take care of some business, Scorpio  and Suki, and the house that we had built on the Costa del Sol.

I must explain that Rose was a fighter and she wasn’t going to let a mini stroke get her down. I found her pottering around and cooking a meal for me. She was so pleased to see me. She was so very frail. For a few days she was okay, then she had another stroke and was taken to the Hommerton Hospital in Hackney. I went every day and got to know a few of the families that had relatives in the ward. One, a Greek Family, explained to me that they would stay all night, as apparently 4 o’clock in the morning was around the time that most sick people die, so it was good to have someone guarding them. I have no idea where this superstition came from, but I was ready to try anything. So I changed my routine. I would go to the hospital at around 6p.m. and stay with Rose all night and leave at 8 o’clock in the morning and go and sleep. I would nod off occasionally in the hospital, but sleep! Really it just wasn’t possible and watching her either sitting in a chair or lying in the bed upset me so much. It made me very emotional. I had asked the nurse in charge whether she could be in a private room instead of the general ward, as I thought she would like it better. Really, I suppose it was more for me as well, as I would get very embarrassed if anyone saw me crying. What was I to do? A few days earlier I had spoken with her doctor about taking Rose to Spain as I thought that the weather would be good for her. I thought that once they had got her better that would be it. But she gently explained to me that she would never get better and that every time she had a stroke they would just get worse and very soon it would be fatal.

I was distraught and telephoned Ray and asked him to come to England. He phoned me back and told me that he had booked a flight to Heathrow for the 16th.

I had not read a newspaper or watched T.V. for so long that I had no idea that a storm was coming.

That night was strange. The wind was howling and it seemed to whistle through the hospital. The nurses seemed strange, maybe I was hallucinating and they never mentioned anything to me about the storm warning. Around about 3:30a.m. the matron came in the room and told me they wanted to tidy up her room and would I go into the family waiting room.

The storm was reaching its peak and what with the wind howling and windows rattling, I began to fanaticize. Somehow, I imagined that they were holding a ‘Witches Sabbath’ in Rose’s room and using  her like a rag doll, throwing her about. It seemed to go on for hours. Maybe it was because I was so tired that I imagined all these crazy things and there I was sitting in the waiting room doing nothing to help Rose. My mind was going berserk and I was so tired!

I must have fallen asleep because around 7-00a.m. a Nurse was gently shaking me to wake up and gave me a cup of tea and told me, “Go home and watch out for the damage”. I looked in on Rose she was asleep, so I left.

The streets were like a war zone: trees uprooted, windows smashed, cars damaged and the silence. Everything was so still. I waited at the bus stop and went home.

Meanwhile, Ray’s plane had been diverted either to Stanstead or Gatwick, I can’t remember. All I know that when the plane landed on the airfield all the passengers had to hold onto one another to stop being blown away as they made their way across the field through to Immigration. So when he arrived at the flat, he too was shattered.

Winds battered the South of England in what was the worst storm to hit the country since 1703. Severe weather had been predicted before the Great Storm, as it later became known, hit the South of England in the early hours of October 16th, 1987.

That is what I remember of the Great Storm of 1987. Not a very happy memory!

 

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Paris, A Gourmet’s Delight

EIFFEL TOWER

PARIS, A GOURMET’S DELIGHT.

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE HOTEL SCRIBE SKYLINE

PARIS, THE HEART 

EIFFEL TOWER PARIS 2016-01-17_10-42-28

PARIS THE BEAUTIFUL

EIFFEL TOWER BY DAVID SCHIFFMAN 1

OH! HOW  I WISH I WAS THERE NOW!  (Photo by David Schiffman)

ARC DE TRIOMPHE AT NIGHT

PARIS,  ARC DE TRIOMPHE AT NIGHT

Skipping through ‘Google’ recently, this site is so amazing! It’s like having your own personal reference library.
I came across a photo of Hugh Heffner, the Playboy magnate, dining at “Au Mouton de Panurge” in Paris in 1970. It reminded me of the many times that Ray and I dined there and set me thinking about those times

 

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE HOTEL SCRIBE BIG ONE

The Hotel Scribe in Paris.

During the 60’s and the 70’s, Ray and I always stayed at the Hotel Scribe whenever we were in Paris. It was so central and we could walk practically everywhere. It was just around the corner from the “Olympia Theatre” where I saw the wonderful Josephine Baker four times in “Paris Mes Amours.” We would also eat at least once on each visit at the Restaurant,“AU MOUTON DE PANURGE,” which was only a short walk from the Hotel Scribe.

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE HOTEL SCRIBE.NIGHT

The Hotel Scribe at Night

The history that surrounded this hotel is quite amazing, but in those days I had no idea, and until recently I wasn’t really interested.
The Hotel Scribe isn’t just an ordinary luxury hotel like its neighbor, the illustrious Opéra Garnier, which happens to be the most famous Opera House in the World.

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE Paris_Opera_full_frontal_architecture,_May_2009

The Opera Garnier, the most famous opera house in the world.

Remember, Opera Garnier was the scene for the Gaston Leroux novel “Phantom of the Opera”, which was also made into a musical, a play and a film four times.

The hotel was built in 1861. Since then, it’s served as the cradle of cinema and housed some of the most famous artistic names of all time. The hotel’s history and ties to the dramatic arts are still strong. On the fourth floor, there is a tribute to former resident Serge Diaghilev, founder of Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo, who appeared regularly at the Opera House. ( If I would have known it, I would have insisted on a room on the fourth floor )    

There’s a story around every corner of the Scribe. The first public presentation of the Lumière brothers’ revolutionary invention, the Cinematograph, took place at the Hotel Scribes in 1895.
The Scribe Hotel was, and still is, an icon of Parisian luxury. Thinking about it now, there is no way that I could possibly afford to stay at the Scribe at today’s prices, much as I would love to do so. But I digress.

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE IN PARIS.
The Temple of Good Eating
17 rue de Choiseul, 2nd arrondissement Paris.

Au Mouton de Panurg

Pour les gourmands, les gourmets, et les goinfres.
Translation:
(For connoiseurs of fine food, for the greedy and also for gluttons).

The Decor and Menu were designed by Albert DuBout (1905-1976), the famous Rabelais Illustrator. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what the word Rabelais means, I didn’t know either until I Googled it!)
The colourful and humorous souvenir menu had bawdy illustrations by DuBout. It had the same bawdy humour as one would find in the old naughty seaside postcards.

PANURGE-2001

PANURGE-2003

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE.

On entering the restaurant we were confronted by a large bell,

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE PHALLIC BELL3

The clapper of the bell was in the shape of an erect phallus complete with balls, which the ladies were requested by the waiters to stroke and then ring. You can see where I’m going! Some were shocked and some mildly protested, although those who protested too much always seemed to hold onto the clapper longer than the others, but finally they all rang the bell! So once the bell was rung the evening started, and the bell seemed to be ringing continually. The food and wine were excellent and there was plenty to choose from in the gourmet menu. As you can see the bread rolls which were in the same shape as the clapper in the bell, left nothing to the imagination.

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE BREAD ROLL

Do you think she measured it?

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE BREAD ROLL.EATEN

Hugh Heffner and his ladyf riend.who just couldn’t decide whether she should just nibble at it, or eat it whole!

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE BEATLES

The Beatles, Brian Epstein (with a chamber pot on  his head) and George Martin.

A Press Quote

“THE RIOTOUS MOUTON”

Well, here’s the damnedest place you ever got into. It is a prime favorite with many serious gourmets. Both male and female; food’s excellent , wine list is good, mirth runs riot, and prices are fair.

CHARLES H. BAKER JR.  (ESQUIRE)

The Au Mouton de Panurge, was a Parisian restaurant named for the French expression that refers to a person who blindly follows others, like sheep, without regard to the consequences. “The Sheep of Panurge,” was at 17 rue de Choiseul. 2nd. Arrondissment Paris.

RAY, ROSE & ERIC TRY PRINTING

Ray and Rose (my mother) and me spending an enjoyable evening at “Au Mouton de Panurge”

Later in the evening between the first and second courses, when the wine was flowing and everyone was enjoying themselves, the waiter would request the lady to stand on the table, and he would place a garter on her leg, just above the line of decency. The whole evening was hilarious, and great fun was had by all.

2013-01-30 LYDIA AT AU MOUTON DE PANURGE

Our good friend Lydia Lova joining in the fun.

2013-01-30 LYDIA MARK RAY AND ME.

Ray Jackson and Mark Canter (the costume designer) with Lydia Lova and me.

Having a great evening at “Au Mouton de Panurge.

A Press Quote

“PARIS AFTER DARK”

A Paris Restaurant that would never get by the Boston censors. Based on the Rabelais theory that laughter is the right of man,      “AU MOUTON DE PANURGE”  is jammed seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

ART BUCHWALD  (The New York Herald Tribune)    

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE GARTER 1970

Another young lady receiving the garter

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE-TIT TOUCHER

 

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The menu has a variety of famous signatures reproduced on it. The elite celebrity patrons included such famous names as Jean Cocyeau, Jean Marais, Martine Carol, Albert Schweitzer, Clarke Gable, Marcel Pagnol, Ali Khan, Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Errol Flynn, Mistinguette, Edith Piaf, the Beatles and Hugh Heffner. They were just a few among many others who dined at “Au Mouton De Panurge”.

TRATTORIA DELL’ARTE NEW YORK

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE TRATTORIA DELL'ARTE FRONT PAVEMENT

Digital Camera

The closest I have come across to the wonderful “Au Mouton de Panurge” was this year when I was in New York in June and went along on my first night for dinner with Angie and her family at the Trattoria Dell’Arte on 7th.Avenue, opposite Carnegie Hall.

 AU MOUTON DE PANURGE TRATTORIA DELL'ARTE 1

This bustling Tuscan restaurant has boobs, buns, lips and other body parts on it’s wall, even noses, but it was not quite Rabelais

Digital Camera

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE TRATTORIA DELL'ARTE 99

The food was excellent, with a wonderful choice, as was the wine, and the atmosphere was electric.

AU MOUTON DE PANURGE TRATTORIA DELL'ARTE 5

Digital Camera

So what more could one ask for? Well, maybe it would have been nice if some of the ladies were nibbling at a bread roll and a few of them stroking and ringing the bell!!!

 

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