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Monday, 17 September 2007

Just when you thought it was safe to come out …

You have too much crap to read already, right? So when you didn’t see a word from me, you sighed with relief.

But with one bound, I’m back. From Cuba, actually

Two of my partners and I went to do a seminar there – for some people from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. More about that later, because we had a little holiday in Havana first, which explains the picture at the top of this piece.

Frankly, you need a holiday after flying with Air France, especially via Paris. You think Heathrow is a mess? Try Charles De Gaulle. Getting from one terminal to another is a nightmare – not helped by the total indifference of one or two of the staff. I was amazed nobody attacked one of them.

I love France - owned property there for years - but it puzzles me how the French can run such good railways, which deservedly make a profit, but an airline so bad it deserves to lose even more money than it does.

One reason must be that, in a bizarre and absurd rejection of national tradition, they serve some of the worst food I have had on a scheduled flight – at any rate one from a reasonably civilised country.

Maybe their rock-hard rolls were thoughtfully preparing us for the gastronomic challenges of Cuba, which has many delights - especially the people - but a pretty basic cuisine.

Were you struck by the children and the dramatic backdrop in the picture? Well that shot was taken in one of the most interesting streets I have ever seen. It's in a very poor part of Havana, and has been turned into a complete work of art by an artist called Salvador Gonsalves, whom we met.

A lovely man - if you're interested in art, google him.

Right now he is painting a mural in Turin - and I'll tell you more about how we met him soon, and why his visit to Turin prevented us from buying a painting we liked.

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