Companions and Tutors

9 03 2007

Marcel Proust

Unbelievably, Marcel Proust has agreed to be our companion and tutor on our Grand Tour.  Why unbelievably?  Because, as everyone knows, Marcel is a sickly hypochondriac who rarely leaves his room except to eat at the Ritz or swan his way through a glittering social gathering.  Also, he claims to be writing the greatest novel of his time, but we all know how unlikely that is~ judging by the treacly pastiches he’s written for the local papers.  Be that as it may, he claims that only he, with his wide knowledge of art, architecture and aesthetics, can teach us what we need to know and show us the grandeur of the countries we will be visiting.  Of course this means that our luggage will increase exponentially, as Marcel brings nearly everything he owns on every trip he makes, plus he “cannot possibly” travel without his servant and companion, Celeste Albaret.  As you can see by the picture above, he will be wearing his military uniform; he says this will smooth our way through foreign countries whose inhabitants are in love with uniforms (i.e. Italy).  Personally, I believe what Marcel really means is “in love with men wearing uniforms”.  C’est la vie.  Next stop: Paris.


Meet old traveller and new friend

27 11 2006

I hope to be excused if I am in the wrong place, which would not be new to me at all. I was doing research on Byzantium and discovered this blog. I have made the journey you propose several times. As a youth working on the Orient Express. As part of a Scientific American team on horseback from Wien to the Caspian Sea. And on foot to trace the march of Alexander from Thrace to Persia. Any advice may be dated and of small value, but I have some stories to tell that delight my students, though I am not believed for most part. Nice lady responded with invitation though only computer is at office of what you would call mayor, who is a cousin.

My responses may be slow and I am not used to talking with women not in person.

Most people in the mountain villages call me Duuran which simply means “one who fixes things” but with some spiritual overtones. Friends call me Trigor after the famous mountain under which I live in simple cabin. My family came to Carpathian Mountains after the great famine in 14th century. I have other names given by parents but for which I might be arrested, and others on several passports. Do not be afraid as the Internet protects you from what I know of too many governments and political problems. Today it is better to be a hermit than warrior. Also easier to travel the ancient roads by computer than limping foot. Now I tutor lazy kids and fix old clocks. I look forward to your adventure and new looking at things.


Viscount Armstrong Dumaurier – Fragments

26 11 2006

Porcelain and Marble

When Imogen met with the Viscount, before he said anything, he suggested she take the items he gave her into her luggage as fragments for the tour. Needless to say she was intrigued. A piece of old marble and a shard of oriental china. He said he received them once from a potter named Orlando Non Furioso, in the famed “City of Ladies” in Lemuria, who had unearthed them from underneath his studio there.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2006.)