The Edge ~ a call from Kyoto

Silver dress Message from Charles to Céline Jeurève, dated February 10, 2048, from Kyoto

C: I am glad we could link up this weekend – and sorry again I had to rush out to Japan at such short notice. I did not expect Azymuth to send me here, rather than one their usual custodian hacks for such events. But the Pan-Pacific conference is a moving event, with the recent invitation to the BRICS Federation! I think they want me to do a touch of forecasting on what will come next between them and the Pacific Alliance around key people interviews. The word on the street is that Japan is keen on a “rapprochement”…

Have you heard from Monica? Her last call before I flew out here was a bit desperate, she said to be just fed up with the pressure on her from her present contract with the South-African Fashion Consortium: big money comes with tall expectations she said. Can you give her a call, or a swift mail, and reassure her? Of course she will be welcome week after next if she wants a break and a change from J’burg! She’s still in Milan for a few days.

Kisses & more ;-P

Transcript of video call between Charles and Céline (February 10, 2048, 10pm Tokyo time)

– Charles you’re a charmer… So you went to the Manga museum!…

– Yep a bit of relaxation before the interviews – by the way did you know that the likely commander of the Mars mission is rumoured to be Sandra N’gebî, of the SA Air Force?

– Saw her pic in today’s news, she’s the youngest Air Force general in the federation apparently. Doctorate from Pretoria Technology Institute, studied space navigation in Shanghai and Mumbai, flies her own reconstructed F 15, for fun!

– Have to rush my love – the conference press room is at the Gosho – got my pack yesterday…

– Take care Don Juan, my special – consider yourself well…

– Aw… now… my turn… nice lil’ number you wearing…

– Steady now!

Email from Monica to Céline Jeurève, dated February 10, 2048, from Milan

Taking five secs to write, week was hectic. I love the SA people but they are tough masters, or I should say Mistresses given that both my bosses are female! The SAFC is on the up and up – have great expansion plans through the BRICS and North America. Am missing you and Charles very much, want to have time again with you two. Am off to SA before back in London week later. I hope you loved the pics. I liked the silver dress, thought of you… ❤

PS is Azymuth the same mag that published Charles’ short story last year?

Message from Céline Jeurève to her husband Charles, dated February 10, 2048, marked “late before bed”

Got word from M. Yes she’s keen. Is she keen on “us”, “you”, or “me” – or all at the same time?! She’s lovely. You saw the movie of the catwalk, they went nuts… Reminded me of that moment in Glamorama when Chloe and Victor go on stage… ‘Xcept there is no Victor as far as I can see: do you know?

Btw she remembered your story in Azymuth! When are you back, feel already itchy…? Forensic sucks. Strange how a science can attain its apogee when its use is near rock bottom!

Saw another portrait of Sandra-F15-N to nite on the newsreel. She’s stunning, currently in Moscow. Another video from the Gosho tomorrow? Please… Surprise for you if we do…

Narrator’s historical note

The reference to the Pacific Alliance in Charles’ message is interesting. Following the World Peace Conferences in the early ’30s, after the disastrous decade that preceded, and in response to the formation of the BRICS Federation, the (other) Pacific nations attempted to develop a similar structure, with Japan, the Philippines and the Australia-New Zealand Confederation at its core. The result is still evolving, slowly, due in part to anxiety on the part of the North-American Union.  The invite to Charles to attend the Pan Pacific conference, from the Azymuth magazine (a spin-off from the European Federation’s Press Academy think-tank) may be due to his early articles and short stories on the “origins of the East Asian consensus”.

#Geometries: Trinken

 It is a threat, and a pleasure, perhaps the most pernicious risk to mankind since the Black Death… Yet, how could we give up those marvels of nature, human skills and poetic evocations? Just think: from the Old World to the New, Pino Grigio, Montbasillac, Saint-Emilion, Burgundy, Champagne, the marvellous Australians, the North-Californians, the Cahors, the sunshine from South-Africa, the smiling Italians, the harsh Spanish, without forgetting the gold and diamonds of South America… the inexhaustible riches of the grapes! And what is cooler than a glass of iced Grappa after a Mediterranean meal?

And how to drink with moderation? Perhaps it is a matter of location, of space, of atmosphere? The geometries of drinking are as varied as the colours of the rainbow.

Think: drinking alone, drinking at two, with many? At home, at the dinner table, in the lounge, in the bar? Champagne at breakfast, Pinot Noir at seduction time? And who seduces whom? The possibilities are infinite…

The Public Library of South Australia has a beautiful and well researched site on the subject: “Wine Literature of the World”… But what about writers and drinking? No shortage of amusing and frightening examples here, from Poe’s “What illness can be compared to alcohol?” to Hemingway’s “Paris was a moving Feast”, and many who sought inspiration, or absolution, in the bottle.

Yet at least one of the great religions of the world, Islam, bans the consumption of alcohol. And for good reasons: the series of disasters caused by alcohol abuse is endless, from horrific drink and drive dramas to domestic violence and costs to society… But is prohibition conceivable today?

Then there is the variety of beverages, the beers of Germany and Czech Land, Belgium, India, Italy, Alsace… and of course the grapes and grain alcohols: from the sumptuous Cognac and Armagnac to the wonders of Scotland, the sharp Schnapps and Vodkas, without forgetting Grappa and the Kentucky treasures.

And so, what of this blogger then? Smiling all the way to the cellar: learning to drink – with reason if not moderation – takes time and… love: a shared pleasure, and, yes, part of the geometry of living.