It’s the City’s oldest and a brilliant piece of watchmaking at the corner of the Conciergerie in the heart of Paris. I read on that page that it was 47-metre long but it’s hard for me to figure out. This must be a typo. Anyway, I agree with them, one can pass by it without noticing it. And so I did for many years, whizzing past it on my Brompton.

Paris’ oldest clock
Paris’ oldest clock, right in the heart of Paris, where the Kings’ palace was situated

This clock was “[…] commissioned by King Charles V in 1370 and was completed in 1372, nearly 650 years ago, by a watchmaker named Henri de Vic from Lorraine. During these six centuries, the rulers of France added their touch… So much so that the clock we see today keeps the traces of each one of them.” [source]

Paris’ oldest clock

It is the oldest clock in Paris. I was wondering how old clocks were, and I found out that that the base-60 time system used on our clocks and watches dates from Sumerian times, i.e. 2,000 BC! If water clocks were invented around 250 BC by the Greeks, it isn’t until the early 1300s that the first mechanical clocks were designed.

This clock is therefore one of the oldest in the world, even though it has been overhauled many times.

We spent our winter vacation lockdown in Normandy. The weather was so cold, wet and windy that it was barely bearable. Despite the sub-zero temperature, I was able to press the shutter button through my mitts… Well, it wasn’t that bad, but it really was bitterly cold. The weather was changing and unpredictable, yet conducive to beautiful mottled skies like this one.

anti museum logo
Here’s a new logo for the anti museum

The anti museum needed a new logo and this is why.

As I am thinking about my new project I have begun to redesign this blog. This is only step one, but soon I will install a new template for antimuseum.com. It will cease to be a blog and will be promoted to a website. The blog will still be visible on the website and I will continue to update it regularly.

I will even post more and more content to it. The site is now bilingual and its former French version is now part of the main site. Before installing the new template, I will start working on how I want to present my work and what kind of artistic projects I have in mind.

This will take a while. I’m not in a hurry. It will probably take me a full year to tart everything up, and get ready for exciting new projects. In the meantime, I needed to give Antimuseum a logo. As a matter of fact, it’s not even a new logo as it never had one before.

The anti museum was created in the 1990s (1997 if I remember well) and its earlier version is still visible online at https://antimuseum.online.fr/en. At the time it was the only anti museum online. Since then, there have been a few clones. But I was lucky enough to be able to buy the domain name a few years ago and it stuck.

It was my watercolour website originally and gradually, from 2011 onwards, it transitioned into a photography website. Now I want to take the whole thing one step further and I designed this little logo to put a stake in the ground. I might even get back to watercolours, in fact, I really wish I had more time to do so. In the next few years, I will get myself organised so that time is made available daily for these activities. My business schedule will tend to be less cluttered to give way to these new projects.

The current period is a bit harrowing and we are all going through these periods of despair. Still, the more chaos there is around us, the more conducive it is to creativity and inventiveness. There is solace to be found in moving ahead rather than waiting for things to get better.

Not only is it a way to take one’s mind off the dreary news, but it is also a means to transcend that and move beyond and even, if possible, try and make the world a better place. Art is often a good way of doing this.

Goodbye 2020

2020 has been a hell of a ride.

Let us say we were in December 2019 and you would stand in front of me and tell me that a bugger has bought fish or armadillo (or pangolin for that matter) from a market in Wuhan, China (the existence of which I was completely unaware at the time), then that the whole world will go on vacation one country at a time, that people will drop like flies in Italy and then that the rest of Europe and the World will be infected as in a bad remake of a Soderbergh film, but Africa, against all odds, will be spared etc. etc.

I think I would have told you to get lost and I would have gone back to my business.

Instead, we did get back to our business but there was precious little business to be found and we spent a whole year battling and grappling with the events.

One year later, here we are. Some of us waiting for jabs, others freaking out, most of us plodding through this battlefield of a year, but here we are, it’s nearly over and we hope we’ll be able to turn the page.

Wrapping up 2020


When we entered the Cathedral in Versailles earlier this month, we found the organ had been wrapped up Christo style. Christo is one of the many artists who died in 2020, it’s a bit ironic. I’m sure he would have approved of what the builders did there. Now it’s time to wrap up 2020 too and wait for the Arc de Triomphe to be wrapped up (Christo’s last unfinished project) in 2021.

And now 2020, it’s time to say goodbye and part ways.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2021. Stay well and safe and see you there then!

Goodbye Christo, goodbye 2020

Milestones or Guard Stones in Versailles

Versailles Milestones
Versailles Milestones, or Piss stones or guard stones – December 2020

At first, I thought these milestones might have been installed for dogs to relieve themselves. Which they undoubtedly seem to be doing, with their masters’ blessing, I’m sure.

On second thought I realised they might not be milestones at all but protective stones to avoid the pillars (there is a flat upstairs) to be damaged by horse-drawn or man-drawn carts.

Many of such stones can be seen in mediaeval cities like Provins, a formerly prominent town in the East of the Paris region, theoretically in the Champagne region. Check the June festival, who knows, once the umpteenth lockdown has been lifted, maybe we’ll be allowed to go places again.

One can see another one in the courtyard of a house in Versailles.

It’s a shame I can’t put some alongside my Brompton‘s wheels to protect myself from all these nasty, noisy and smelly vehicles.

After some research I found that they are called guard stones.

Here is an interesting list of guard stones in various places in France. They can be found in Britain too.

There is something weird happening with my Flickr account and pictures. Sometimes I post pictures I deem rather successful and yet they attract few eyeballs and get no kudos.

At other times, I post OK pictures like the one above after much hesitation — should I post it or should I not? — and there we go, likes keep flowing in.

Why so? OK, this little townhouse in Versailles may mean something to me and it’s even somewhat interesting but its composition isn’t particularly good and I can see quite a few items I’d like to change.

Ever wondered why people like your pictures and why those you prefer are seldom favoured by the public? Interested in your views if you have any.

Versailles – December 2020