Thursday, 17 May 2007


Boulogne's hilly old town auditions for the remake of Don't Look Now

In the old town high above the shopping malls of Boulogne I catch the first whiff of Tom Coryat; a smell that eluded me in Calais – as most things did. The winding streets up here remind me, curiously, of the streets of high Buda, close to the Hungarian Palace. It feels familiar.

In an old town café for breakfast I see that Hungarian-related man, Nicholas Sarkozy, on the front of the newspaper. “Installé,” I say.
“Hmm.” says my waiter.

Hills help cities and large towns, give them that necessary depth and difference: that’s what I missed in Calais, though the beach and its backdrop of high-rise apartments has – probably for me only – a quirky modernist charm. I imagine Tom marching along there (on a bloody horse, I suspect). No doubt the high-rises will fall again, be replaced with sea-view low-rises, and retirement homes.

“Formula”, as Jeanette says.

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