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“San Simeon” My Folly!

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Let’s start with the Definition of the word “FOLLY”. 

A lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight. A foolish act or idea, and an excessively costly or unprofitable undertaking. Which includes: “Ricky Renee’s”, “Stringer’s Last Stand” Eric Lindsay’s “Folies de Londres”, etc. etc. etc: and last but not least “San Simeon”.

Stupidity and extravagance, that goes into making up part of the definition of Folly, and I regret to say all these things pertain to me. I think I must be the idiot who invented the word Folly

When Ray and I decided on moving to Spain after the run of the Magic Castle Show at the Cambridge Theatre in London.

Ray wanted to buy an apartment on the Costa del Sol in Spain.

I wanted to build a house, because the cost of building on the Costa del Sol was so reasonable at the time. Who was I fooling! Folly!!!

I didn’t know it didn’t include, the excavation, the retaining walls, the paving to the villa, a swimming pool, the land fill, you name it, it didn’t include it.  

The house I designed was a brilliantly extravagant and picturesque structure that was built to my fanciful taste, and I have to say I planned it well. In fact it was my ‘Folly’! It had white marble floors throughout, Cazares stone Paving and Retaining Walls. Solar Panel Heating. You name it the Villa had it.

SAN SIMEON FRONT AND ENTRANCE

A view of the layout of the villa. It was large!

SAN SIMEON FRONT AND ENTRANCE THRU TO ATRIUM

The main entrance to San Simeon, looking through to the center atrium.With the barbeque.

SAN SIMEON FRONT AND ENTRANCE ENLARGED

On closer look the two candelabra in the entrance were an exact copy of those in the film Sunset Boulevard. Ray loved that film, so I had them made.

 SAN SIMEON CENTRE ATRIUM

Inside the villa to the center atrium

 SAN SIMEON CENTRE ATRIUM ADRIENNE

The atrium set for a dinner party. This was a usual occurrence during the summer months. Otherwise we would eat on the terrace or in the dining room.

SAN SIMEON TERRACE AND SCORPIO'S CAGE AREA

The Terrace from Scorpio’s Cage, so he could see me constantly. It also overlooked the Pool. This is me on the front terrace, with my Agent Jamie Phillips who happened to be staying.

SAN SIMEON SCORPIO'S CAGE AREA

Scorpio in his cage with all mod cons and a dormitory for him to sleep. Also he could watch the comings and goings of all ad infinitum.

SCORPIO BEINF FED IN SPAIN

Here I am feeding Scorpio by hand in his cage, which I did every day. That is how tame he was.

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This is a photo of my beautiful tame leopard Scorpio.

SAN SIMEON FRONT OF VILLA FROM STREET VIEW 1

Front view of the villa from the road. The little roof to the right of the terrace was where Scorpio’s cage and dormitory was. The Hollywood Double Staircase led down to the Pool Area.

SAN SIMEON FRONT OF VILLA FROM STREET 2

A secondary view of the Villa from the road.

Paying so much for the land was Folly, because the Builder that was recommended to us, by ‘friends’ (who most probably got a cut) robbed us and the plot of land that we original picked for the house, was in a different position to where our builder intended to build it. Most probably he got his plot a whole lot cheaper. Everything was completely different to where we had originally agreed. It was all a disaster!!! 

 

He refused to return our deposit.  Big fiasco! Money lost!!! (That was a time when I really needed Sadie’s Frank, or someone who could do maybe knee caps!)

So it meant getting another builder and starting all over again.

Ray tried to talk me out of it and normally when he made his case I would always listen and do as he said. After all he always knew best.

But I didn’t know he was ill and he hadn’t the strength to stand up to me to make his point.

So I went ahead and designed my dream house.

Idiot that I was. What a stupid action and idea it was on my part.

SAN SIMEON LOUNGE 1

The lounge, looking through to the dining room. 

SAN SIMEON SPAIN. THE LOUNGE

The other end of the Lounge leading to Ray’s Bedroom.

SAN SIMEON SPAIN. THE LOUNGE

The dining area

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Me with my “Soungeroff Clown”

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The Kitchen

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The full Kitchen

So by now you must fully understand the definition of the word Folly. My Folly!!! A popular name for a very costly structure that I had built. Where ignorance is bliss it is Folly to be wise.

Thesaurus explains it as; a building or project that costs a lot of money. How right they were! What the Hell! 

SAN SIMEON STUDY & I OF THE 4 MASTER BEDROOMS

This was my Study that I built for myself, full of Magic.

Zee had this wonderful contract to Star in a new Revue at the Scala Cabaret in Barcelona and also Madrid, which was Spain’s equivalent to the Lido Cabaret in Paris. So for the whole time I would be working in either Barcelona or Madrid the Villa was being built. Or so I thought and by the time my contract was over, the villa would be finished.

Ha! Ha! Who was I kidding. The only thing that would be over was that everybody would be dead!

SAN SIMEON STUDY & I OF THE 4 MASTER BEDROOMS

Ray’s Master Bedroom with Bathroom en suite 

If I say so myself, the Villa was beautiful, and finally when it was finished. Finally! Finally! Finally!

My parents had died, Ray had died, his Mother had died, and I was left alone in this fucking big Villa with Scorpio my Leopard and Suki who was on her last legs, and the Villa still wasn’t completely finished. The swimming pool had yet to go in.

SAN SIMEON TERRACE AND POOL AREA 1

When the swimming pool, at long last, which was the last thing to be finished, and if I say so, finished it was a work of art.

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Everyone now was dead,  including Scorpio who was put down as he had accidentally ripped my throat open (my fault completely), and also Suki from old age.

By that time I had lost it completely and I was drinking quite heavily.

Uncannily, the pool was finished exactly to the day one year later that Ray had died.

Was that an omen or what?

A fitting epitaph!

SAN SIMEON TERRACE AND POOL AREA

The mosaic was King Neptune on a Chariot drawn be three Sea Horses. It was quite beautiful.

Ray couldn’t swim so I designed the pool with two shallow ends, with the centre that was just 6ft. So that if Ray had had problems in the deep end that once he had started struggling he would have been in shallow waters. Little did I know that he would never see or use the pool?

 

Please note: All these photos were taken post Ray’s death.

San Simeon

(Ray loved the name)

William Randolph Hurst built San Simeon and everyone said it was a Beautiful Folly. It was a Castle on the Grand Scale.

Whilst the Castle was never completely finished, it stands as the remarkable achievement of one man’s dream.

So in my very small way I was doing the same thing and had the gall to name it the same as his fabulous Castle!

I designed a Villa built around a center courtyard, very Spanish. There were four Master Bedrooms with Bathrooms En Suite one in each corner of the house.

There was one for Ray, one for his Mother, one for my parents, and one for myself. There was also a covered 3 metre Terrace running around the House, perfect for keeping the Villa cool,and shaded from the sun.

 As time and the years passed and I had lost all my loved ones, I grew to hate the villa and Spain. I knew that I had to break away from a dream that had become a Folly. So I packed everything up and returned to England with Ray’s Urn. The removal firm lived up to their name, and in transit, removed half my possessions’ including most of my silver and valuables. Except those that I had managed to pack into my car.               But that’s another story…………….  

 

 

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5 Comments

Posted by on January 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Homage to Ricky Renee

RICKY RENEE PORTRAIT

It is with great sadness that I have just heard of the death of Ricky Renee.

Although there was no love lost between us, because too many bad memories occurred during the time that Ray and I spent with him in the late 60’s. when we opened the club for him called “Ricky Renee’s” in Covent Garden.

Ray and I never saw, spoke or had any contact with him whatsoever, from the day that we closed  “Ricky Renee’s” Club. As they say time heals all wounds, so what is the point of bearing malice and animosity when the same is going to come to all of us.

RICKY RENEE WHAT A TALENT!

He had it to his fingertips, the man and his persona was perfection itself and I have to hand it to him, he had such style.

Whereas Danny La Rue had meagre talent, but a brilliant business brain in the shape of Jack Hanson, Ricky Renee was all talent and unfortunately no business brain.

We gave him the best of everything, Douglas Darnell designed his costumes, the club setting was sumptuous, and he had a cast of the best West End performers supporting him. But it wasn’t to be! The Gods were not with us!

RICKY RENEE DRESS.

This is the way I best remember Ricky, glamorous!

The dress was solid bugle beads on chiffon. The coat was silk, trimmed with a white feater boa that went on for yards. The whole ensemble cost a fortune and was made by hand by Douglas Darnell. In fact, Shirley Bassey, who was then married to Kenny Hume, saw the show and immediately ordered a copy of the dress and coat from Douglas! When the show closed, Ricky being theatrical, as we all are, walked off with the dress and coat. That was last we saw of him, the dress and the coat, much to my chagrin! He must have worn it till it fell to pieces; judging from all the photos that I saw of him in it in later years.

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The tiger was a rug that we had at home.

RICKY RENEE'S CLUB LONDON. NEW 2

The finale of the show, Ricky as a man on my very expensive glass floor.

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The photo shoot to get this shot took hours.

ARTHUR HELLIWELL AND RICKY RENEE

One of the top reporters of the day, Arthur Helliwell of The People newspaper happened to be a friend of ours. Arthur was one of the toughest reporters going. He interviewed Ricky and gave him a glowing report, but all too late! It wasn’t to be!

Ricky Renee in 2002 old

Ricky in later years. I have no idea of the date, maybe 2002. He still looked good.

R.I.P. RICKY

So another great one has bit the dust.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Hurricane Ophelia

 

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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!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

How it all Began. “ericlindsay.wordpress.com.”

 This is how I met Andi Brooks and how my Blog began.

 

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MR. ANDI BROOKS

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Andi and me having coffee in Tokyo

Around the time of 1996 my Agent Jamie Phillips of Trends Management told me that an advertisement kept appearing in the Stage Newspaper looking for me, or asking maybe if I was alive or dead? No such luck, I was still alive and kicking!

As I had time to spare and no one to talk to, I telephoned to the gentleman who placed the advertisement. His name was Andi Brooks who lived in Bath. That is how we met. He came to London and interviewed me in August 1997 for his future book that he was co-author with Frank Dello Stritto called “Vampire Over London” the whole interview is somewhere on my Blog. Through that interview Andi and I became friends and kept in touch with one another even after the book was published in 2000, and what a beautiful book it is too.

All this time I would talk to him about various things that had happened to me and he was forever telling me that I should write about it. But I kept explaining to Andi that Ray when he was alive was the writer. I never wrote anything. Ray would write to my parents, write all our business letters, and sign important papers. He got it down to a fine art, he could even do my signature on cheques,(which I had no problem with) until one day the bank manager called me into his office to say that my signature on our joint bank account seemed to have changed. So I explained that I had sprained my wrist and found it difficult to write properly. I told Ray that when he wrote my name he had to take his time with it and that a scrawl just didn’t work. I couldn’t keep on going back to the bank manager with excuses. That was the trust we had in one another. I trusted him completely. So when Andi suggested that I should start a Blog it took a great deal of persuading  and convincing on his part over many, many  years for me to even contemplate it.

In the year of the millennium 2000 by chance I was appearing in “Aladdin” at the Theatre Royal, Brighton and had the pleasure of meeting Frank Dello Stritto and his wife, who came to a matinée of the Show, before they left for America for good and also arrange the publication of their book “Vampire Over London”. So strange because it was at the Theatre Royal, Brighton that “Dracula” opened in 1951 and the whole story started. This intrigued Frank completely, to believe that he was actually in the same Theatre.

“Vampire Over London” was an enormous success and has now gone into it’s 2nd. printing. The publication is such  excellent quality.

Well over the years Andi and I kept in touch, he told me that he had married a Japanese student named Kyoko and later they went off to live in Tokyo, Japan. All this time we kept in touch, and he was forever urging me to write a Blog about what I had done over the years. He explained that he would set it up for me with WordPress.com and do all my editing in fact the whole caboodle. In fact he has been faithful to his word and encouraged me 100% to write. I didn’t think I could do it, and I wasn’t sure that what I had to say would interest anybody. But the proof is in the pudding and “ericlindsay.wordpress.com” came into being in 2012 and by some miracle it seems to be a success. I don’t understand why because really I can’t write, at least that’s what I tell myself, so it’s all thanks to Andi Brooks. Bless him!

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Meeting up with Andi and Kyoko in the Coffee Shop in Tokyo.

On the 7th of October 2016 I flew into Tokyo and met up with Andi, who I hadn’t seen since our first meeting in London in August 1997.  Twenty years is a long time and we had plenty to talk about and we did non-stop. Later, Kyoko joined us and I had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time, and what a charming lady she is. Andi had done himself proud. To think of the young man who had interviewed me so many years back and now here he was with a full family.

 

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What an amazing place Tokyo is, and I had two whole days to be with Andi and his family and talk. They also showed me part of Korean Town which was in the area of my hotel.

 

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Yui Brooks.

During the time that Andi has been living in Tokyo he has been blessed with a handsome son called Yui who is now 14yrs.old. Yui is a budding artist, and drew a quickie for me on my visit. I look a little beaten up, but it’s a great souvenir. He travels everywhere with his pencil and pad.

The top one certainly gives me a beaten up look.

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Whilst I was there it was his birthday so I sent him a card in English.

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YUI with his Birthday Card

 

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Yui, me, Andi and Kyoko at Dinner.

Yui travels everywhere with his pencil and pad. He even took it with him when we had dinner together in a typical Japanese Restaurant.

 

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Kyoko and Yui seeing my off at my Hotel.

Whilst I was there it was Yui’s Birthday, so I managed to find a card in English. The few days that I was in Tokyo I did no sight seeing whatsoever. I was just happy to spend all my time with Andi and his family. The happiness he has given me with my little Blog is amazing.

I have so much to thank him for, he has really given me a reason for carrying on.

 

YUI'S BIRTHDAY PHOTOS 2

YUI, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE YEAR LATER (a new photo which I have just received)

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Me and my very good friend ANDI BROOKS.

 

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Time to leave Tokyo, and goodbye to my friends.

A wonderful memory that I will treasure forever.

 

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Annie Leibovitz the Rembrant of Photography.

 

 

ANNIE LEIBOVITCH 111                                       

If Annie Leibovitz had been given a paintbrush instead of a camera, she would have been put into the class of Rembrandt or Degas. Or otherwise if Rembrandt and Degas would have had a camera instead of a paint brush, they would have been an Annie Leibovitz.
Practically every photograph that I have seen is a work of art, in fact they are not photos, they are portraits. For example and there are many:
Firstly this is by Rembrandt.

 

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ  & REMBRANDT PORTRAIT 2 - Copy

 The Stone Bridge by Rembrandt.

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ  THE QUEEN PRINT

Photo by Annie Leibovitz of ‘The Queen of England’ 2007

This photo of the Queen has the touch of a master, the detail in the pose, the background, the lighting, the whole, turns it into a beautiful portrait, that could have been painted by Rembrandt.
These are some of the Queen of England collection by Annie Leibovitz:

 

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ  THE QUEEN 2 LIGHTENED

 

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ANNIE LEIBOVITCH  QUEEN 2007

 

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Annie Leibovitz was commissioned by Harper’s Bazaar Magazine to produce a collection of photos in the style of Degas, with the wonderful American Ballerina Misty Copeland, Here is part of her collection:

 

3ANNIE LEIBOVITCH HARPER'S BAZAAR

 

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ANNIE LEIBOVITZ MISTY COPELAND DEGAS

 

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 Annie Leibovitz

A press release from UBS.

Annie Leibovitz Biography

Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her pictures have appeared on magazine covers ever since. In 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape. For over three decades, at Vanity Fair and later at Vogue, she has been adding to a large and distinguished body of work that includes some of the most well-known portraits of our time.
Several collections of Leibovitz’s work have been published and exhibitions of her photographs have appeared at museums and galleries all over the world, from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C; the National Portrait Gallery in London; to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
She is the recipient of many honors, in 2006 she was made a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government, in 2009, she received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achieverment Award, the first Creative Excellence Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and the Centenary Medal of the Royal Photographic Society in London. In 2012, she was the recipient of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Award to Distinguished Women in the Arts and the Wexner Prize. In2013 she received the Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress.

 

ANNIE LEIBOVITCH  TONY CURTIS & JACK LEMMON

Josephine and Daphne recreated.

This was taken by Annie Leibovitz 36yrs. after the original film           “Some Like it Hot” which was made in 1959.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in 1995, what a great photo.

 

SOME LIKE IT HOT

This is how they looked in the original with Marilyn Monroe.

 

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Liberace 1981

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Liberace’s Hands, just wearing something simple!

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Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain scene from “La Dolce Vita”.

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Annie Leibovitz’s version.

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A backstage look into the working of that beautiful picture.

That is the magic of Annie Leibovitz.

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Another backstage look

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In 2001 she was commissioned by Vanity Fair to produce a series of photographs called “Hollywood Legends” Which she has produced periodically to the present day.

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In 2007 Annie Leibovitz was commissioned to produce a series of “Disney Dream Portraits” by Disney Studios. Here are a few:

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These are just a few of the brilliant portraits that this Master of Photography has produced. Every accolade she has received she deserved. Long may she continue.

 

Paris, A Gourmet’s Delight

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PARIS, A GOURMET’S DELIGHT.

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PARIS, THE HEART 

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PARIS THE BEAUTIFUL

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

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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

 

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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.

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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

 

PANURGE-2008_002

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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Posted by on September 26, 2015 in Hugh Heffner, Uncategorized

 

Napoleon and the Guerlain Bee Bottle.

GUERLAIN BEE BOTTLE NEW PHOTO2018-01-03_14-10-17

I never ever thought that a bottle could be historical or really valuable, well the Guerlain Bee Bottle is !  It is covered with raised bees that have been painted in 24- carat gold and is valued by collectors worldwide. Guerlain happens to be one of the oldest Perfume Houses in France, in fact it is the oldest.
I have such a bottle. To say I have, is not quite correct, it belonged originally to Ray Jackson my late partner for 40 years. It was bought for him by his lady friend Norma Berzin, who told him that her late husband, “ Always used the Guerlain Imperiale Eau de Cologne, and used to walk around in a cloud of it”. (Maybe she wanted Ray to smell like the late Mr. Berzin?)
However when Ray died I inherited among many other things the Bee Bottle, (of course it was empty by the time I got it!). Although if one were to uncork the stopper, there still remains a slight musky, pungent smell. Could it be that of the late Mr.Berzin? (One will never know!)
But I digress, having read an article about The House of Guerlain, I became intrigued about their Bee Bottle so I Googled it and found an interesting but small article in Wikipedia which told the whole story, and which I am including in this blog with some photos.

GUERLAIN BEE BOTTLE 1

 Portrait of Napoleon III by Francois Gerard 1853 Bee Bottle of Guerlain Imperiale  presented to Napolean and the Empress  Eugenie.

The Emperor Napoleon III loved to have his portrait painted in a luxurious robe covered with bees, a symbal of monarchy in France. In 1853, Pierre-Francois Pascal Guerlain created the now famous bee bottle for Eau De Cologne Imperiale (composed in 1830) for the Empress Eugenie who wore the perfume to her wedding to Napolean III. Because of the Bee Bottle, M. Guerlain was appointed the official perfumer to her Royal Majesty and the legacy of this design lives on in Guerlain’s perfumery -from bee designs to honeycomb topped flacons.

guerlain-bee

An advertisement which said.

Guerlain revives its “Jar of Bees” perfume in 24-carat gold to celebrate its legendary history.

If you ever wondered what it was like to live like a queen, here’s your chance to find out. Guerlain’s legendary “Jar of Bees” is back to make you feel like an Empress, Eugenie to be specific. Originally created for her, the wife of Napoleon III, the emblematic bottle has been revived in all its golden glory to celebrate its 160th anniversary.

A limited range of the Guerlain exclusive fragrances have been bottled in the 24-carat ‘Golden Bee’. In addition, Guerlain in collaboration with the Institut National des Métiers d’ Art has commissioned nine Masters artisans to recreate perfume history. Nine works of art inspired by the signature bottle have been designed to denote the supreme symbol of French luxury.

GUERLAIN BEE BOTTLE 2

This bottle that was originally made for Napoleon III
Eau de Cologne Impériale, 1853

They evoke an era when Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain, founder of Guerlain, fell captive to Eugénie de Montijo’s beauty and crafted what came to be known as a true technical feat. In recognition for it, he received the highest imperial title, “His Imperial Majesty’s Official Perfume Maker”, which catapulted him to the top of perfume-making peak.
An exceptional exhibition will display the celebratory artworks from December 10 to February 14 at La Maison Guerlain 68 Champs Elysées in Paris. (That was in 2013) Their inimitable designs will pay haute homage to Guerlain’s sensory story.

GUERLAIN BEE BOTTLE 3

The Bees are each painted in 24-carat gold

Guerlain (French pronunciation: [ɡɛʁlɛ̃]) is a French perfume house, among the oldest in the world. It has a large customer following, and has traditionally been held in high esteem in the perfume industry. Perfumes by Guerlain are often said to be characterized by a common olfactory accord known as the “Guerlinade”. A perfume by the same name was launched by Guerlain in 1921.

GUERLAIN BEE BOTTLE 4

The Guerlain Bee Bottle is described as “a symbol of Guerlain DNA and savoir-faire”
Guerlain
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Guerlain S.A.Founded 1828
Founder Pierre-François-Pascal Guerlain
Headquarters Levallois-Perret, France

Products Perfumes and cosmetics

So whenever I reminisce, and think about Ray and maybe the Bee Bottle. I go to the bottle, uncork the stopper and have a sniff of, could it be…………. the late Mr.Berzin?

GUERLAIN BEE2018-01-03_8-11-10

 

GUERLAIN HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018-01-03_13-23-52

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Uncategorized