Musical awakenings

Got woken at six by the incessant round of a snow plough. There was me imagining the workers of the municipality were doing needless overtime to annoy us, till I pulled aside the curtains and looked out… I suppose I should be thankful. I managed to finish another chapter of my book People of the Forest. Now back to sleep and the sound of quiet snoring against the backdrop of snow falling…

You wish! It’s the anniversary of the Neuchatel revolution, March 1st. So we are treated to a brass band celebrating the occasion. Exceptionally, due to the snow, the musicians were bussed in this time.






Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust and more

Philip Pullman on Book of Dust

I have just finished listening to the audiobook of La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman. Having been a fervent reader of the stories about Lyra, I was delighted to hear Pulman was to write a trilogy set in Lyra’s world. I will probably write more about La Belle Sauvage but in the meantime let me say that I was carried away by the story and couldn’t put it down.

To mark the launch of La Belle Sauvage, the first book of Philip Pullman’s new trilogy, The Book of Dust, Pullman answers questions of readers and famous fans for the Observer.

Read also an extract from La Belle Sauvage published by the Guardian. See A foretaste of Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust.

Photo: Suki Dhanda for the Observer





In the hands of writers


Hands are like faces, they tell stories, but are maybe not so easy to mask.

Since I began attending the Geneva Writers’ Group I have taken a number of photos in attempts to visually capture the group work. Those photos reflect the frontal nature of conferences and workshops with anywhere between fifty and ninty people aligned in rows in front of the workshop giver. Today, thanks to the capacities of my new iPhone, I tried a different approach at a workshop jointly run by Susan Tiberghien and Jason Donald.


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Gallery: Inauguration


The inauguration of the Place de la Gare in La Chaux de Fonds took place mid October 2015. It was marked by a display of slides projected onto surrounding buildings accompanied by music. See the gallery for more photos.

Avec une série de photos émouvantes montrant la Chaux de Fonds et son histoire, on a inauguré la nouvelle Place de la Gare ces derniers jours. Cliquer pour voir la galerie de photos

A writing workshop

Here’s one way of looking at a writing workshop. This one was given by EmJay Holmes and organised by Joy Manne. It took place in Pully, Switzerland and the theme was: Crisis and the Dynamics of Desire: Developing conflict in fiction. Each photo represents the work place of one of the participants. If you want to see a larger version of each photo, just click on it.

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Alexander Hahn


The artist Alexander Hahn recently opened at exhibition entitled All the World’s a Stage at the Kunstraum Oktogon in Bern. It was a chance to catch up with artist after twenty five years. I wrote several articles about his work in the early 90s. I have include photos of two of these and a series of photos of the exhibition on the Artworks site.

More re-defintions

I continue preparing my definitions for next week’s exhibition entitled Re-Définitions. A bit late you might say, but in parallel I am writing on average a new chapter of my book every day. ‘Tschatcher’ (not a hundred percent sure of the spelling) is derogative slang for chattering. Here the revised definition reads: The work consisting of weaving together fig leaves to make your self watertight. Where in hell did I drag up that idea, you might be wondering. The word suggested ‘thatching’, which was my starting point.

Freeing words


Here’s my project for a poster for an exhibition I will be doing as part of a week about words and their use held in my village, Saint-Blaise organised by a group called MilleFeuilles. The exhibition is entitled Re-definitions, the subtitle roughly translates states: Free up words so that ideas can flow. The exhibition will be in the windows of a disused shop in one of the two railway stations in Saint-Blaise.

The idea of my exhibition is to suggest new definitions for words inspired by their sounds or parts of the words. It has been done before by people like Douglas Adams and John Lloyd in The Meaning of Liff. If all goes well I will publish a gallery of the illustrated definitions after the event.



A group in Saint-Blaise called Mille-Feuille is preparing an exhibition-animation for September 2015 about words and their definitions. Much of the work will be done with local school children and the results will be on show in shop windows in the village. I offered to take a number of their words and invent new definitions rather like Douglas Adams and John Lloyd in their book, The Meaning of Liff, and then illustrate them. Above is an illustrated definition I am working on. A ‘subrepticement’ is a tiny transparent animal that lives under the belly of larger reptiles thanks to suckers on its paws. Unfortunately its life span is very short and it has a reputation for telling lies.


Flash fiction with EmJay

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This weekend, organised by Joy Manné, there was a masterclass of Flash Fiction with EmJay Holmes. The topic of the  first day was Episodic flash fiction, which, despite the apparent dry nature of the title, turned out to be very stimulating and had me thinking about what drives a novel forward and how do transitions work. But more about that later.