Search This Blog


Monday, May 31, 2010

The Survivors

We are the survivors
who say what they know
to the living people.

Like ants we went
staked into boxes of can,
ploughed the seas
on big floating houses,
and inside steel birds
dominated the solid
cement’s cages
into which found protection
our goods and our fears.

But more and more often it happened that
lot of boxes began banging each others,
and tracks with guns of fire,
started shooting and killing,
while bombs and pilots of death,
falling from the sky,
buried anxieties and hopes of innocent people
in the name of a god exploited for thirst of power.

We are the survivors
Who say what they know
to the living people.

Cagliari, September 2002

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not only for joke

Miss Julia Gnuse, "The Illustrated Lady" didn't start tattooing her body for joke but for need of covering the scars a troubling skin's disease left on her body.
And tattoo after tattoo she has won the Guiness World Record as most tattoed woman in the World having the 95% of her body pictured and colured by tattoos.
Best wishes and compliments to Miss Gnuse for her new record.
To know more on the DM on line:

The world's most tattooed woman flaunts her body artBy Mail Foreign Service

What began as a bid to cover up a nasty skin condition has resulted into a Guiness World Record for an American who has been named the most tattooed woman in the world.
Julia Gnuse - nicknamed the 'illustrated lady' - has 95 per cent of her body covered in ink, ranging from jungle scenes and cartoons to her favourite actors.
Miss Gnuse, from California, started getting tattoos on her legs after developing a skin condition called porphyria, which causes the skin to blister when exposed to sunlight.

Read more:

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Essence of Life - Chapter Three- Third Part

–“This man must be crazy ! Let's put him off as soon as is back and let's escape from here, until we are in time”–he added while I was taking a seat in front of him.

-“Just a moment, George, may be it will seem strange to you, but I don't feel afraid of this man! He inspires a sort of trust on me, despite his strangeness.”

-“But do you realize what are you talking about? Have you gone out of sense too? This man must have some extraordinary powers: has n't he hypnotized us just slithly before? Have you also felt him rave of super-races and of experiments on the brain or have I dreamed of it?” –George attacked me nervously.

-“Be quiet, please, George” - I did him in a calm voice. –“First of all, I don't believe he has hypnotized us, there above. After all, if he is really so powerful as you say, what could be his reaction, when we trie to immobilize him? Make a point on it: : when we arrived here, we were both dormant. Therefore if he had wanted to use us as guinea-pigs, two punctures and …KAPUT! It was enough for him! On the other hand I have not still seen nor cats that resemble to mice, neither men with a square brain ! Who could guess that the old man is not inventing everything? It would not surprise me if this story derived from the imagination of some fantastical writer. I want to go to the end of all these circumstances. Do you want know, yourself, what kind of job's proposal Mr Winningoes is going to make us, don't you?”

George gazed for a long time in to my eyes, thoughtfully. Then, without answering, he relaxed on the back of the chair, releasing the muscles and breathing deeply.
He stood with half open the eyes crossing contemporarily the feet and the hands, which put softly on the womb, of with the right hand covering the palm of the left one. He seemed to me almost slept, while only the breath animated his body.
Won by all those unexpected and subsequent emotions, I also imitated him doing my best on sitting on the wood ancient chair.
This was the way Mr Winningoes found us, time afterwards. His discreet touch to the door dissuaded me from my drowsy and confused thoughts.
Reopening the eyes the last to manage as a perfect butler, while he was reentering with a tray in a hand on which there were a stumpy teapot in porcelain and three cups without handle, decorated with Chinese ideograms.

- “I apologize for leaving you alone for such a long time “–he said happily–“but to make tea is a very serious thing, that requires time and skill. Help yourself please.”

I filled with a lot of attention the three cups. George, taking one on his hand, gazed the outside and the inside for a long time. He seemed particularly interested at the small yellowish petals that floated on the surface.

“They are of jasmine's flowers “–Mr Winningoes prevented him–“I get this tea directly from China. Is it delicious ', is n't it?” –he added turned to me, that had begun to sip it plainly not to burn me.
“Yes, certain. It is very savory '. Does the Chinese cuisine also like you? “–I returned him on my time.
“Oh, yes, indeed so much!” –he answered with lihting face–“I remember when my child Adam was still alive…….”
But suddenly that flash of light that had illuminated him a little before became almost a dark and sad hit.

“My child Adam…”– he echoed to himself bitterly, with a smile of self-pity on the pale lips.

We observed a respectful silence for the pain of that man who appeared at times a proud lion, full of projects for his future, to become afterward instead to be a man defeated by the life's disgraces and by the time itself.
I would have liked to master a better English to show him my solidarity and to tell him that I didn't even know he had had some children, not even he had gotten married, forming a proper family; apart, of course his father and mother, of which he had spoken us longly throghout his story.

But I didn't have the time to collect my thoughts. Without moving from the position he had assumed, with the elbows on the knees and the hands on the temples, he took back with sad voice to his story.

- “After so much experiments and meditation, I definitely decided to make the big footstep. I would have injected the “nouchefalon” of a man in the brain of another being of the same kind. The basic job was entirely developped.
The premises seemed to bring me straight to the success: all the similar experiments on the other animals had succeeded.
So the dogs, since the first injections of canine “nouchefalon”, improved their smell, their strength and the whole psicho-physical complex sensitively descending from the brain. The same could be said for the cats; made object of analogous experiment, they became more agile, stronger and more cunning. And the same had still happened with the mice.
It was clear, at that point, that the cells of the “nouchefalon” were reversing: they were able, that is, to be reduced from the normal organic state to a synthesis through termic trial, and from this being still brought to the aboriginal state continuing on developping their natural function.

Of course to subtract some dogs to the amusement of selfish and insensitive masters or the cats to their miserable existence of sterilized animals and foolished by the stupidity of their masters, repulsed a great deal less than to deprive a family, a man or a woman from the affection of a beloved face.
But finally, this was what the fate wanted from me, and the ideal night had finally come, for me and for the world, resolving me to the action!
I set out toward the poor districts of the city, immediately encouraged by the full smile of the moon. There, where people mostly suffered, I would have found easier to get what I needed and consume the necessary holocaust to the ransom of the humanity.
I didn't have any idea how to manage the hole thing, but I had a great trust inside of me. I advanced in the miserable roads and wandered for a long time, without destination. After so much to wander, when I already thought about abdicating, some cries attracted my attention: two men quarreled, at the very bottom of an alley, between cans fullof garbage.
I decided immediately to follow unmolested the scene. Words gave soon paces to the knives as in facts they appeared in their hands.
The fastest and most fortunate succeeded on splitting the stomach of the adversary.
It was the much: I run toward the two men. The hurter was just more than a boy, and now was standing, in despair, with the knife, still tightened in his fist. I could see it reddish at the light of the moon.
- “Quick”–I howled him . I am a physician, just help me! I have nearby here the car: we will bring him home and try to save him.” be continued............

Thursday, May 27, 2010

And then your soul will fly the skies for ever

Who knows why human beings, since long time past
Have been dreaming to be able to fly?
The reason might be they had always trust
In God Almighty be living in the sky!
And like a deer feeling so thirsty and dry
Longs for the spring to extinguish its fire
For men to be where is supposed to lie
The Lord Creator is a great desire!
Thus go man and fly, higher and higher
your country’s flag will wind the universe
Let some stuff to feel you might be a flier
Reminding was a dream under a curse!
But only when your body’s time is over
Your soul will fly the skies for ever!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

40 a day and he's just two

It seems unbelievable but the boy shown while smoking in the picture is only two and has a tremendous habit: he smokes 40 cigarettes a day.
His name is Ardi Rizal, comes from Indonesia and is only two year old.
His mother has tried to convince him to stop but eventually he screams desperately and starts banging his head on the wall until he gets what he wants: 40 cigarettes of a special blend of tobacco which costs his family more than £ 3 a day.
Smoke's consummers, between teenagers are strongly increasing in Indonesia, the third tobacco consummer in the world.
Read more on DM on line:

Too unfit to run: Two-year-old who smokes 40 cigarettes a day puffs away on a toy truck

By Mail Foreign Service

Taking a deep drag on his cigarette while resting on the steering wheel of his truck, he looks like a parody of a middle-aged lorry driver.

But the image covers up a much more disturbing truth: At just the tender age of two, Ardi Rizal's health has been so ruined by his 40-a-day habit that he now struggles to move by himself.

The four-stone Indonesia toddler is certainly far too unfit to run around with other children - and his condition is set to rapidly deteriorate.

But, despite local officials' offer to buy the Rizal family a new car if the boy quits, his parents feel unable to stop him because he throws massive tantrums if they don't indulge him.

His mother, Diana, 26, wept: 'He's totally addicted. If he doesn't get cigarettes, he gets angry and screams and batters his head against the wall. He tells me he feels dizzy and sick.'

Ardi will smoke only one brand and his habit costs his parents £3.78 a day in Musi Banyuasin, in Indonesia's South Sumatra province.

But in spite of this, his fishmonger father Mohammed, 30, said: 'He looks pretty healthy to me. I don't see the problem.'

Ardi's youth is the extreme of a disturbing trend. Data from the Central Statistics Agency showed 25 per cent of Indonesian children aged three to 15 have tried cigarettes, with 3.2 per cent of those active smokers.

The percentage of five to nine year olds lighting up increased from 0.4 per cent in 2001 to 2.8 per cent in 2004, the agency reported.

A video of a four-year-old Indonesian boy blowing smoke rings appeared briefly on YouTube in March, prompting outrage before it was removed from the site.

Child advocates are speaking out about the health damage to children from second-hand smoke, and the growing pressure on them to smoke in a country where one-third of the population uses tobacco and single cigarettes can be bought for a few cents.

Seto Mulyadi, chairman of Indonesia's child protection commission, blames the increase on aggressive advertising and parents who are smokers.

'A law to protect children and passive smokers should be introduced immediately in this country,' he said.

A health law passed in 2009 formally recognizes that smoking is addictive, and an anti-smoking coalition is pushing for tighter restrictions on smoking in public places, advertising bans and bigger health warnings on cigarette packages.

But a bill on tobacco control has been stalled because of opposition from the tobacco industry.

The bill would ban cigarette advertising and sponsorship, prohibit smoking in public, and add graphic images to packaging.

Benny Wahyudi, a senior official at the Industry Ministry, said the government had initiated a plan to try to limit the number of smokers, including dropping production to 240 billion cigarettes this year, from 245 billion in 2009.

'The government is aware of the impact of smoking on health and has taken efforts, including lowering cigarette production, increasing its tax and limiting smoking areas,' he said.

Mr Mulyadi said a ban on advertising is key to putting the brakes on child and teen smoking.

'If cigarette advertising is not banned, there will be more kids whose lives are threatened because of smoking,' he said.

Ubiquitous advertising hit a bump last month when a cigarette company was forced to withdraw its sponsorship of pop star Kelly Clarkson's concert following protests from fans and anti-tobacco groups.

However, imposing a non-smoking message will be difficult in Indonesia, the world's third-largest tobacco consumer.

Tubagus Haryo Karbyanto, a member of the National Commission of Tobacco Control, said Indonesia must also address the social conditions that lead to smoking, such as family influence and peer pressure.

'The promotion of health has to be integrated down to the smallest units in our society, from public health centres and local health care centres to the family,' he was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Globe on Friday.

Health Minister Endang Sedyaningsih conceded turning young people off smoking will be difficult in a country where it is perceived as positive because cigarette companies sponsor everything from scholarships to sporting events.

'This is the challenge we face in protecting youth from the dangers of smoking,' she said in a statement on the ministry's website.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That's Art too

"Stop the Violence" is called the original Art Collection made of sixteen creations all made by bones, created by american artist Robert Francois.

"My art"- says the original artist " it's a message against war, which leaves us only skeleton's bones to count up, anyway it might end!"

"I started my collection as an answer to recession"- continues the american artist -"and my collection has been bought for 35,000 $ which makes me proud of rightly spending my art's talents.

To know more on DM on line:

It began when Francois Robert bought a school locker for £30 at an auction and out tumbled a skeleton.

The wired-up figure had been used to teach pupils but the 63-year-old artist saw its potential for his creative talents.

However because it was all wired together he found there was little he could do.

So, he turned to a company that makes bones for medical schools which exchanged the skeleton for a box of 206 bones which Francois, from Arizona in the U.S., then turned into works of art.

The collection of 16 images called Stop The Violence aims to make a statement about the consequences of war

He spends hours painstakingly arranging the bones into striking shapes each 5ft or 6ft wide before photographing them.

His amazing work has now fetched more than £35,000 and won him a prestigious Lucie Award which in the past has honoured photographers like Annie Leibovitz and Elliott Erwin.

The collection of 16 images called Stop The Violence aims to make a statement about the consequences of war.

Francois said: 'Each image is a symbol of war or violence, such as a gun or a tank and I wanted to show that sadly the human skeleton is often all that remains from such acts of violence.

'This is what you are left with after war - a body count.'

Francois said he would never have started the project if it hadn't been for the pressure brought on him by the recession.

But his decision to make art out of bones has really paid off because the response for his collection had been amazing.

He said: 'I think I'm the only person who is glad the recession hit.'

Not only has Francois' collection earnt him an award but he sold the collection of 16 images to a collector in Chicago for £35,000.

'The interest in my work has snowballed, I also sold my images to an American author who is using his images in his book which goes on sale in August.

'And I sold a larger image from the collection at a fine art exhibition for £4,500

Read more:

The Essence of Life - Chapter Three- Second Part

- “I understand your wonder, my friends, but I can explain you everything.

What you see does exist indeed. Physically, however, it exists in another dimension. If you were not so convinced that only exists the reality that is shown and explained to us since our birth; if you, that day, had doubted of what your eyes were perceiving, and with a straight mental attitude you had verified the materiality of it, you would be aware that everything around you was just an illusion and there was not exactly the things that you were seeing; actually they were there, but in a different way from your being here now, or this house or those trees that outlined the landscape over there!”

-“Just a moment!” –George burst out, showing off his best grim–“if that day we had taken some pictures, would have come out those things that we perceived or they would not?.”

-“A camera is only a machine, without any mind, with no soul. I don't know what it would have come out if you had taken any photographs of it. Both of you would have certainly come out . Or may be only one of you would be impressed. But don't be concerned at it . My words didn't want to make any offence to you. I have spent all my life on studies and meditations to understand these things that only appear to be inexplicable. I assure you however that they show such appearance in the vision of our ordinary reality and the description of the world that is provided by former and daily education and that, I do repeat it, because we believe it as absolutely sure. As if our life were all in the banal obviousness of which we feed our mind. But is not this way! Oh certainly is not!

- “And the two men that we met there, on that day? Were also them an illusion?” –George burst out again in a pugnacious tone, not at all satisfied by those explanations.

- “This, my friends, belong already to the following of my story. I hope you will allow me to conclude with it. I won't subtract me to your opinion and to your judgement, but grant me to defend myself simply telling you ‘till the end about the suffering of a scientist, of a father and of a man. You know, if this can reassure you, that I have only killed other men during the war. The war is always absurd , in some way and is wanted by manhood for greed of power, because men are sick of weakness and only in power they succeed in finding an antidote to their innate deficiency. And even if, after having lived the war, the value of human life, to my eyes resulted a great deal reorganized, I have been preserved by the shame of killing another man and I think that it could not be otherwise, for the man predestined to lead the humanity through the path of the peace and the truth!”

These words of the man seemed to reassure George. From my point of view there was not one single reserve on that man. My adhesion to his application was totally unconditional. We agreed so, silently, to listen finally to what the old Winningoes had to tell us. After all we didn't still know, incredibly, what that man really wanted from us. And in a way or in the other he succeeded capturing our attention again.

-“Since you grant me kindly your time in order to conclude my story, we will do it sipping a good cup of tea that I want to prepare myself for you”–took back in jovial tone Mr Winningoes, squirting from his eyes a radiant and comradely satisfaction. He lead us back to the staircase down to the big room where we had our former lunch, with the table still prepared; finally we found, passed another door, in a pleasant small room, furnished in Renaissance style, with some pictures to the walls, that if they were not original, they had to be surely some stupendous reproductions of work’s talent of the best pictorial school of that memorable epoch.

-“I will immediately be back, make yourselves at home, please” - the man said getting further. We looked at each other, George and I. It had only been from the morning that we did n’t have a chance to stay alone, however I swear that it seemed to me as it was an eternity and, I was certain of it, George was feeling the same sensation too.

He spoke the first . -“That’s a real story of madness! “– burst out after making a quick recognition of the pictures on the walls. We took a seat in two of the four wood armchairs that were around a circular table in the centre of the small room.

Monday, May 24, 2010

From bride to scarecrow

It has not been a great increasement for a wedding dress, from dream's set to scarecrow.

But Kevin Cotter had to do it for his own spirit safety, as jilted husband, suffering for his wife's abandon.

His wife left home after 12 years, taking with her all her possessions but the wedding dress.

Asked what he had to do with it, the leaving wife answered he could do what he liked.

So he has founded a blog to show the 101 uses is going to ricycle it in order to releaf his bleeding heart.

To read more in the DM on line:

Boot cleaner, scarecrow, sports banner, dish cloth... just some of the 101 uses a jilted husband has for his ex-wife's wedding dress

By Paul Thompson

A jilted husband has exacted hilarious revenge on the wife who dumped him by becoming an internet sensation with ingenious ways of using her wedding dress.

Kevin Cotter was devastated when his wife walked out after 12 years of marriage taking all her possessions.

The only thing she left behind was her wedding dress. When Mr Cotter tried to get her to take that also, she told him he could do what he liked with it.

And, after leaving the silk dress on a top shelf of their home in Tucson, Arizona, for months, that is exactly what he did.

He started a webpage called 'My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress' on which he charts his attempts to come up with 101 uses for the garment.

So far he has listed 23 uses, from a yoga mat to a pasta strainer.

He has used the white silk dress as an ice pack, skipping rope and even a sports banner.

With a Darth Vader mask he made an effective scarecrow.

Mr Cotter's goal is to reach 101 uses before the dress is completely ruined.

He said: 'This project is a therapy of sorts for me.

'Nothing about divorce is pleasant or easy and I will share some of my experiences and at the same time lighten them up with some creative uses for this dress I was stuck with.'

Mr Cotter admitted he was devastated when his wife, his former high school sweetheart, announced that she was leaving him last July.

She told him they had fallen out of love and that she wanted to be single.

'She had all of her stuff loaded and I couldn't help but notice because this bridal keepsake box was dead centre on the main shelf in the walk-in closet,' he said.

'She said "I'm not taking it," and when I asked what I should do with it her reply was do whatever I wanted.'

With the help of friends he set up a blog - - to detail his various uses for the dress.

He confessed that his wife, who he has not named, was not happy to find out about what he was doing.

But Mr Cotter has refused take the blog down. He has attracted hundreds of thousands of hits and been featured on American television show Inside Edition.

The ex-wife said: 'I wish all the best to Kevin and hope he seeks counselling to deal with his anger and resentment.

'His determination, along with his family's support, to continue with this endeavour after his children and I have asked him to stop is incomprehensible.'

The couple share custody of their two young children,a son aged seven and a daughter aged nine.

Mr Cotter said devising ways of using the wedding dress has helped him cope with the trauma of the break-up.

'It's been good. It really has,' he said. 'It's been a great distraction.

'It's about me and a large piece of fabric basically, that I've been able to get some therapy from and have some fun with - get through some difficult times.'

Read more:

Alone thinking of her

Don’t pass by on my street
‘cause I could think
She’s coming to me

Don’t knock at my door
‘cause I might think
She comes for asking my love

Don’t call for me anytime
don’t look for me anywhere
don’t ask for me to anyone

Just leave me alone
thinking of her.

London 1977

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Like a longtime fairytale

Don't look at these facts with nowdays's eyes; please don't. It wouldn't be fair doing it. These are far aways' stories, that let me think about Allen Ginsberg' and all beat's generation's poetry and culture; they led me to a very far past, made of flowers, made of dreams, made of hope.... May be only a myth or an illusion.....
This is the story of Tommy Weber's son, the great actor Jake, which crosses with the Rock Band's Rolling Stones reputed best disco "Exile on Main Street" made in Cote d'Azur in 1971, when he was just eight; he took ander his shirt more than a pound of cocaine, a wedding present from Richards to bandmate Mick. The same year, that lost summer 1971, his mother Susan "Puss" Coriat died while she was thinking to rejoin her husband Tommy, hes sons Jake and Charley.

"Though drugs and sex were on the way, under everybody's eyes, it can't be denied these are happy memories to me" declares Jake Weber.

And later on in the interview:"Anita (Richards girlfriend) was pregnant of someone fron the Band (probably Keiths
himself or Mick Jagger) but my mother's friend looked after me and Charley, making sure we were well dressed and nurtured. And nobody never was unkind with us, though they were all the time out of their minds".

So I repeat: see the things the way they were, at that time. Today we could not accept such a situation. But yesterday was another story, the world was so different, may be we ignored so many things but closign my eyes I like to dream of those years when everything was a jump on a better future. Don't make now a jumpbanck to hell. You would just make two great mistakes.....

Read more of this on DM on line by Caroline Graham

Keith hid cocaine under my shirt... his wedding gift to Mick: The truth about the Rolling Stones, by an eight-year-old boy

As the eight-year-old boy walked through the vast iron gates of Villa Nellcote on the Cote d’Azur in the South of France, the scene unfolded like a child’s fantasy.

There was a huge pool complete with diving board, a sprawling toy-filled sandpit and even a selection of miniature motorbikes parked alongside a mansion that housed a menagerie of dogs, cats and a rabbit.

Tugging the sleeve of his six-year-old brother, young Jake Weber could barely contain his excitement as he cried: ‘It’s just like a fairytale palace!’
'I knew what was going on': Eight-year-old Jake Weber sits with the Rolling Stones' guitars behind Mick Jagger at Villa Nellcote as he works on a track for Exile On Main Street

'I knew what was going on': Eight-year-old Jake Weber sits with the Rolling Stones' guitars behind Mick Jagger at Villa Nellcote as he works on a track for Exile On Main Street

But the Villa Nellcote, known locally for having been a Nazi headquarters during the war, was certainly no place for children.

No sooner had the heavy wooden doors to the mansion closed than one of the most famous men on the planet lurched forward.

Pausing to give Jake’s golden hair a half-hearted tousle, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards knelt down and pulled the boy’s T-shirt off, revealing a package wrapped in plastic taped firmly to Jake’s bare stomach.

This, the boy learned, was to be Richards’s ‘wedding gift’ to bandmate Mick Jagger. Inside the package was half a kilo of cocaine.

Jake’s brother, Charley, also had half a kilo wrapped round his body. This would be for ­Richards’s own use.

This, the boy learned, was to be Richards’s ‘wedding gift’ to bandmate Mick Jagger. Inside the package was half a kilo of cocaine

Both consignments had been carefully prepared – and concealed on them by the boys’ father. It was, as Jake put it, ‘pretty outrageous even by the debauched standards of the Rolling Stones. To use kids as drug mules takes some doing’.

Tonight the full hedonistic extent of that ­summer at the 54-room Villa Nellcote will be laid bare when a new documentary, Stones In Exile, is broadcast on BBC1.

The film coincides with the re-release of the Stones’ legendary double album Exile On Main Street, which is considered by many to be the greatest rock and roll album.

Almost as legendary as the music – created in a makeshift basement studio that was so damp that the guitars constantly went out of tune – are the antics of the band and their colourful entourage: heroin-addled Richards and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg; Mick Jagger and his new bride, the sultry Bianca; Charlie Watts; Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.

At Nellcote, the Stones embarked on an orgy of partying surrounded by drug-pushers and legions of hangers-on, punctuated by occasional visits from celebrity friends like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. They submerged themselves in a bacchanalian haze of hash, cocaine, heroin and alcohol by day before retreating to their basement lair by night, to create classic tracks such as Tumbling Dice, Happy and Sweet Virginia.

But there was a still more extra­ordinary, and some might say dis­turbing, aspect to the dark fantasy playing out beneath the crystal chandeliers: along with the band members, their girlfriends and the groupies, there was an audience of vulnerable children who watched as the mayhem unfolded.

Today Jake Weber is 46 and a successful Hollywood actor. It is to his credit that he survived this particular journey to the wilder fringes of celebrity life – although, in his own way, he too would later become a victim of the culture of drugs and hedonism that was celebrated so recklessly during that summer with the Stones in 1971.

There had been something of the fairy tale in Jake’s own family background. His parents, who had married in 1964, had been regarded as one of Britain’s most beautiful couples, albeit with a dark, hidden secret.

His mother was Susan ‘Puss’ Coriat, the exquisite but emotionally fragile heiress to a large trust fund. Susan was the daughter of Priscilla Chrystal Frances Blundell Weigall, who inherited a fortune worth the equivalent of £120 million today, and Harold Coriat, a land agent for Priscilla’s first husband, Viscount Edward Curzon.

'I can remember the smells of Villa Nellcote, the roses in the garden, the sea foam when we went on the boat with Keith, the smoke and booze fumes that would hang in the air every morning when we would go downstairs'

The family’s wealth came from Priscilla’s grandfather John Maple, who transformed a modest furniture store on Tottenham Court Road in London into the world’s largest luxury furniture empire during the Victorian era.

Jake’s father was Tommy Weber, the son of a Danish aristocrat. Tommy’s grandfather was Reginald Evelyn Weber, a good friend of King George VI (they shared a love of stamp collecting) who built his fortune with the coffee, tea and spice importing firm Weber, Smith and Hoare.

Tommy was a socialite and racing-car enthusiast who was also a notorious gambler and drug supplier to the rich and infamous – including the Stones.

Puss became steadily more consumed by drug dependency and a thirst for spiritual fulfilment. She was being treated in a clinic in England when Tommy took Jake and his brother to France for Jagger’s May 1971 wedding – and stayed for five months.

Jake says: ‘I remember it vividly. I was eight years old but I think that is the age when you first start to have vivid recall. I can remember the smells of Villa Nellcote, the roses in the garden, the sea foam when we went on the boat with Keith, the smoke and booze fumes that would hang in the air every morning when we would go downstairs.’

The Stones had fled to the mansion near Cannes, which was being rented by Richards for £1,000 a week, to escape Britain’s top tax rate of 93 per cent.

Jake and his brother were given rooms at the very top of the mansion. They were not the only children there. Anita and Keith had brought their toddler son Marlon to the South of France and, according to Jake, there were other children who came and went.

Presented with such freedom, Jake is happy to admit that he enjoyed his weeks at the mansion, for the most part at least. ‘I can’t complain and say how terrible it was because I don’t remember it like that. We were in a castle with endless toys, sandy beaches, food and sweets.’

Jake and his new summertime playmates enjoyed the treats to the full.

‘The adults were very kind to us,’ he says. ‘I had a rabbit and no one could figure out how to lift it out of its cage properly until Keith came along one day and grabbed it by the ears. I remember going out with Keith on his motorboat and he’d play at being a pirate and pretend to board the yachts in the harbour. My brother and I were pageboys at Mick and Bianca’s wedding. Those are the happy memories.’

He describes Anita Pallenberg as kind and nurturing, even though she admits to being ‘wasted’ on heroin at the time. Anita, who spent the summer in a striking leopard-print bikini, was pregnant with someone’s child, but was not entirely clear about the father. Pallenberg, a friend of Jake’s mother, had slept with both Jagger and Richards that summer.

Jake recalls: ‘Anita always made sure we ate and were dressed well. I knew what was going on with the drugs and sex. You would have to be blind not to see it. There was dope and lots of cocaine and heroin. People would be wasted but no one was ever unkind to me and my brother.

If he survived Villa Nellcote, the wider consequences of the drug ­culture that surrounded him were inescapable. ‘Yes, there was a dark side too,’ he concedes

‘We were allowed to wander freely around. There was no such thing as “bed time” – you just took yourself off when you felt tired. The days were endlessly sunny. We had a series of chefs who would cook you anything you wanted. There would be piles of pastries alongside the bottles of wine for breakfast.

‘My brother and I never drank or did drugs. We were too young. We would dance around the room to Brown Sugar while everyone else got stoned.’

If he survived Villa Nellcote, the wider consequences of the drug ­culture that surrounded him were inescapable. ‘Yes, there was a dark side too,’ he concedes.

His handsome father, for example, preferred louche living to spending time with his boys. ‘My father didn’t know how to be a father,’ says Jake. ‘He would be off doing drugs or having sex. I did my own thing and was happy to sit and watch Mick and Keith create long into the night.’

Tommy had recently ended an affair with the actress Charlotte Rampling and had told his sons that their mother would join them at the villa, once she had completed her rehabilitation. Her experimentation with LSD had led to schizophrenia and a period of hospitalisation, including electroshock therapy.

Pallenberg and Puss had became friends at Bowden House, a rehab clinic in Harrow. They met in March 1971 when both checked in to Bowden, which at the time was dubbed ‘a drying-out paddock for the rich and famous’ by the Press. Both regularly left the clinic to party in London and, according to Tommy, Puss confessed she and Anita enjoyed a ‘brief but satisfying’ lesbian affair.

He later told his children that while he believed Puss was planning to travel to the villa to ­reconcile with him, she may also have been coming to rekindle her romance with Pallenberg. Whatever the motive, the eagerly awaited reunion would never take place.

On June 7, 1971, Richards received an urgent telegram from London and Tommy was left to break the news to his two sons that their mother, newly released from the clinic, had died. At first Jake was told it was an accident, but later he was to learn that she had taken her own life with an overdose of prescription pills. She was just 27.

Jake says: ‘When my brother and I were told of the death I remember us both breaking into pathetic sobs, and then for a couple of weeks I was in a haze of grief.

‘My father was not capable of looking after us on his own. But the group at the villa rallied round. We were surrounded by people who loved us and cared for us, even though they were out of their minds most of the time. That’s how we made it through. I don’t think they were bad people, it was just a dif­ferent time, a different era.’

Neither of the boys attended the funeral, which was thought to be too distressing an occasion. Instead, they remained at the villa for the rest of the summer.

Today, almost 40 years on, Jake lives with his long-time partner, actress Liz Carey, and their four-year-old son Waylon in a sprawling home near the ocean in Malibu.

He has worked steadily as an actor in films such as The Pelican Brief, Meet Joe Black and Dawn Of The Dead and now stars opposite Patricia Arquette in the hit US drama Medium. For this is he grateful to his wealthy godfather, American businessman Peter van Gerbig, who had been best man at Tommy and Puss’s wedding and took Jake under his wing.
Hollywood couple: Actor Jack and wife Liz Carey out together in Los Angeles

Van Gerbig not only paid for his education, he encouraged him to go to Juilliard, America’s top acting school. Jake was nearly 13 when he arrived in the States. The plan had been to bring his younger brother over too but, says Jake, van Gerbig had a new family of his own and bringing Charley over too ‘became too much’. The siblings would not see each other for years.

Charley remained with Tommy in England and did not fare so well. His father squandered every penny on drugs. In a book about the Webers, A Day In The Life, Charley told author Robert Greenfield: ‘I had to give Dad my last five quid so he could get a fix.’ Charley ended up living on friends’ couches and even endured a brief period on the streets before pulling his life together.

Jake says: ‘My brother had some very tough times. He was there one time when Dad overdosed on heroin. He suffered more than I did.’

Tommy Weber was repeatedly arrested and convicted for possession of heroin and cannabis as well as drink-driving. He ended up serving 11 months in prison.

In 1982, Jake saw his father for the first time in years. Tommy gave him a letter which read: ‘Jake, there is a very important secret to life. Work is much more interesting than play and if you are lucky enough to be able to make your work your play and your play pay, well, then you’re in clover.’

Jake says his relationship with his brother, so close at the villa, also suffered. ‘Once I moved to America we were in different worlds.’

In September 2006, after years of ill-health and a series of heart attacks, Tommy was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on his liver.

His veins had collapsed through drug use and nurses were forced to inject pain edication into the soles of his feet. He died on September 21, 2006, aged 66. Charley still lives in England and works as a film editor.

Despite his exposure to the Stones’ rock-and-roll lifestyle, Jake says he has never been tempted by the excesses he witnessed during the Exile On Main Street period.

He says: ‘I think round parents often have square children. I enjoy a cocktail but that’s as far as it goes. I have my own family, my own home, and I treasure what I have built for myself.’

But the summer of 1971 remains with him in the sharpest and most colourful detail. He says: ‘I treasure my memories and of being a very small part of a moment in history.’

By chance, a couple of years ago Jake bumped into Mick Jagger in the garden of Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont hotel. Jake recalls: ‘I went up to him and told him I was Tommy Weber’s son, Jake. He looked at me for a while and said, “Oh right, that was a long time ago, wasn’t it?”

‘He was with some other people so I excused myself and went back to my table. That was that.’

Jagger later left the hotel without pausing to say goodbye.

‘He’s moved on ... and so have I,’ says Jake.

Read more:

The Essence of Life - Chapter Three - First Part

At that question, Mr Winningoes had set with extreme naturalness, George had brought a hand to his mouth, showing in his eyes an horrified message . Then he stood up and still with the hand on his mouth ran out the room. I heard his long footsteps, through up the staircases.

-“I am sorry ! I am very sorry indeed”– said the man in a resigned and sincere tone –“I have tried to gradually introduce you to the difficult matter, in order not to bump your sensibility, but it’s quiet evident that I have not succeeded it.

- "Shall we go to see how your friend is?” – he concluded standing up.

- “ May be it’s better if I first go and talk to him on my own! We need to stay alone for a while” I told Mr Winningoes.

-“ As you like” – he said quietly, sitting again.

I followed George upstairs, thinking at Mr Winningoes’ story. I had also accused an emotional bump to that sorrowful question, although, to say the very truth, I had expected that point of landing in Mr Winningoes’ discourse. I saw George coming in the bath. He stared at me without saying anything. I knew he needed to be on his own, so I went to our room and lay down at the bed. I closed my eyes and trying to dominate all these emotions I recalled to my mind the last accounts that had leaded me to that point, in that house, with that strange man.
George was just come back to the bed room and we heard some knocking at the door.

-“Is everything all right?” –our guest asked. I went nearby George for asking him how he was feeling.

-“I am very well, thank you”– he answered trying to hide from Mr Winningoes’ sight. Then in a low voice, eluding the hearing of Mr Winningoes, who however kept discreetly quiet distant, he added in anxious tone: - “What are we going to do? I can’t stand staying here anymore. Let’s jump on him and……………...”

-“Just excuse me for a while, my friends “- the man said with persuasive voice, still holding politely at the same distance–“before you turn a decision, that is up to you to be taken , I would like to ask you only the courtesy to be able to end my own history. You don't have to be afraid of me: if I wanted to hurt you I would have been able to do it and I will show you that I am not lying. Follow me, please.”

After saying that he started for the long corridor. We followed him turning on the left; then staying in front of a wooden small door, on the top of the ample staircases that leaded underneath. He fumbled in the lock reassuring us with a mild look. A long snail iron scale, introduced us in a square big room. The room was bare and badly illuminated. Mr Winningoes directed toward the opposite wall to the entry and after opening a big window he said:

- “Please, lean out and take a look down there.”

We leaned out. The view gave on an ample downed square, visible over the brushes of tall and mighty trees. I recognized the landing airfield of which Mr Winningoes had informed us early in the morning. I realized that we had to find us on the central tower of the building. Then he opened a small wood window and after fumbling in a small niche boxed in the wall he gently told us winking again with the chin besides the window.

- “Have a look now, would you!?”–

We benched: the open space, just a while before plainly empty,. was now occupied by another vision. I stayed for an endless time watching at it, astonished incredulous, confused, while the heart was galloping fast and blood pressed me to the temples as if it wanted to squirt out of it.
I crossed George’s eyes: he also was astonished and interdict, then I looked again down there. With unchanged emotion I observed that scene once more. The same scene that we had seen, some days before, not far away from home, was there now, under my eyes! Everything was equal perfectly: the high enclosure of tables, the big cars, immovable as they were sleeping, the long pylon in iron with the writing ‘Winpey', in characters block red-dark letters. It was with admiration and curiosity that I turned toward Mr Winningoes. I wanted to know, I had to understand what was going on!

The old man fixed me intensely with a mocking look. Fantastic and madding, diabolic and fascinating Mr Winningoes! What accident of predicament was he plotting to our expenses?
He fumbled in the niche again and he invited us, with the usual accomplice air, to look down.
The scene had changed again: I immediately recognized the alley of the agency ‘Gehenna Geld', with the big front door in wood and the insignia of cardboard moved by the wind as that day. This scene, never the less, didn't have anything unreal. It seemed simply and naturally to be there, after all, where our eyes were seeing it, identical to the past, but still live and present. There must surely be a trick! Of course it had to be that! But which one?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

“The Cosmos’ Conquerors ”

Like hair cut from the head by scissors
That’s the way we were born in the Cosmos.

Wandering atoms,
Discarding molecules,
rottenness of the universe,
ephemeral chemical structures,
extreme outskirts of living beings,
first in the nothingness of the oblivion of perishable,
sick walk-on starlettes,
beard of planets,
transitory living form
which have not yet right understood
their correct value
in the complex alchemy
of the world.

Pain and pleasure
What else are you
But two opposite chemical transformations?
Law and Ethic, brakes of fear?
Power, fallacious safety’s illusion?

I do believe that if tomorrow we disappeared,
Even blowing up with all our craziness
the Cosmos would not however realized
we are not anymore !

Sardinia 1984

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Until I'm called by God at Final Rest

In my life I’ve been wondering, day by day,
As I walk through, not understanding why,
And I think sometimes I would like to stay
Instead to have to pass it by and by
And I ask to myself: where do we go?
As I can see around all people run
And read the Book to find what are we for
and whom will have to face when time is gone!
Don’t really know myself what life is for
Though I might think is right someone who says
It’s only a journey to get something more
Where to the eternal light for ever stays
While travelling I’ll try to do my best
Until I’m called by God at final rest!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Essence of Life- End of Chapter Two

We emerged in the atrium again from the opposite part we had begun the round of the house. Taken our bags back, we followed Mr. Winningoes inside the residence. We immediately were in an ample saloon and in front of the entry it was hacked an only wide ramp of staircases that finished to the feet of a stumpy wood door to whose sides started two long corridors. The inside subdivision faithfully followed evidently the external structure of the house.

- “I’ll make you prepare the room on the right side of the house”–he did taking the corridor in that direction - “because the sun, in the morning, rises from that part, and I think that it’s marvellous to wake with the sun. Don't you agree with me?”

-” Yes, yes! Of course we do” - I answered, thinking that so I would have been closer to “my” dear plants.

-” Think however like being at your own place; and if you don't like this room, I will make you prepare another one –he said opening the door to us and preceding us inside the room.

- “Just one more thing” - he added turning his heels - ”in front of you there is the bathroom; refresh and put yourselves easier. In a hour I will call you for lunch” -. He greeted cordially and, closing the door on his shoulders, left us eventually alone.

The room was ample and sunny. On the right there were two single beds, separated by two bedsides table on whose ledges found place two night lamps and two trays, containing both, a cruet and a glass of water.
We took a seat on the bed, one in front of the other, and we looked into each other’s eyes for a long while. George wanted to say something, but he looked quietly like a fish in a ball, moving silently his mouth.

Finally he said: - “How is this place called? We are not in London certainly; have you seen that sun, out there?.”

-” As far as I know we are in the south of Thames river and the place is called Heavengate.. or something like that…..”

- “No, I didn't mean that! To say the south of Thames river it ‘s like to say the south of the equator” – he interrupted me in a nervous tone of voice-” You can remember the way we have been through, can’t you?” -.

- “Hay, George “- I returned in the same tone - “you were sleeping all the way long and you’re now asking me what way we have been routing though!!!

- “I’m sorry, I’m very sorry “- he replied to me in a peaceful voice, moving up to the curtains of the window.

- “I only remember that we have passed through Kingston. Yes, the last place that I remember is just Kingston “I -said striving myself to remember - “then I felt sleepy myself to.”

-” Good Lord! “he cried coming back to sit on the bed desolately.

- Can you tell me what’s wrong with you George? We slept on the way to Heavengate, and then? What’s the matter? Now, at lunch, we ask directly to Mr Winningoes about everything we need to know and we will see what’s better for us to do! Don’t you think we can?” - .

- “ I don't even know myself what’s going on. It’s all so strange to me, in this story......” - .

-” Just tell me where is the strangeness you see?” - I did reassuring him-. “There is not really nothing strange. On the other hand if we don't like the story, we can always leave off, can’t we? “

- “You do really think that we can leave off anyway? I’m not so sure…“- He replied unsociable, .

- “But do you realize that there is here a plantation of marihuana just down here? Come and have a look outside” -. He said going to the window and removing the window’s curtain again…

- “Ah yes, it ‘s true! “- I exclaimed joyful - With these vain discourses it went out of my mind. And you are not happy? Do you realize it? The man here, lives on the moon. He surely knows the Latin names, but he doesn't know the better use of it. Furthermore he has told us we can make as if were at home. Do you know what I would do, if I were at home? “-

But my enthusiasm didn't seem to bend him on my side. He released the edge of the curtain and after having a cigarette lit up, in a cloud of smoke, he said with much impetus: - “How can you be so happy ? If the police comes over here, what would we say to them? That we know we are on the south of Father Thames? That we fallen asleep in Kingston and similar bull shit? And you think that they will believe us? Do you want to know what happens to you, instead? They bring you straight way to Queen prison at Brixton, close you in a cell and throw its key in the very deep of the sea. That’s what happens to you!” -.

- “Be quiet, please! First of all we are in England, and this is a civilized country and not some kind of a banana’s republic . No one can’t be arrested without criminal evidence. Secondly, why would we have to think about the worse? Perhaps the man, out there, does look like someone concealed or involved in police’s affairs? “-.

- “And why not? May be he is a great dealer and wants to involve us in his illegal traffics! Have not you formerly heard him, speaking of landings by some private airplanes? “ -.

- “A dealer? But what kind of dealer are you talking about?! Do you also start making the moralist, now? It sounds as you were my father speaking! I tell you, instead, that our presence, here at Heavengate, doesn't have anything to do with those plants! And you will see either I am wrong or not. The old one has not even planted them. Either is a screwer the gardener or those plants grow up by natural seedness. For what regards the police, you can even be safer: Mr Winningoes is a very rich landlord and here, in England, landlords and rich people are not supposed to be in trouble with the police” -.

“However it is, you will also have to admit that all the circumstances make evidence of somewhat dark and incomprehensible” -.

“ Would you please show me exactly what do you see dark and incomprehensible on this story?”

“And do you wonder it? We don't even know where we are and what the hell we have come here for, although we have boxed an advance of 100 pounds God only knows to make what job for!!!. And for you everything it is clear?

- “Have you forgotten that we are in London, by chance? And you wonder that there is someone who gives an advance of 100 miserable pounds in a city where a pair of boots for the hunting to the fox do cost, at least, £ 700, I say, seven hundred pounds?! Let's go! Come on! It might also be that the old Winningoes is some weak brainless! And what’s wrong with this? Sooner or later he will have to tell us what does it suit him? We will perform our job, do what we owe to do, he pays us for it , and well enough! Provided that he pays well, because also here in London, if you don't have money, you are a bull shit, worth less than a nothing “. -

- “Still if all this is dealt with a regular and honest job!! Till now I have only heard of everything less that a job. I’m asking myself why has he brought us here? Could not he tell us in the agency what he has drawn for us? All these mysteries, these strangeness, make me suspicious. I cannot feel calm and sure, do you understand me? “-.

- “Hay! I can also admit that not everything has gone as it normally goes . However, can you explain to me which reason for things should always go in a damned, banal and normal way? Do we also want to reduce life to a rigid and predetermined theatrical script where everything has already been written and established?” -.

He fixed me with an intense and deep look. I knew I had touched a key which his mind was sensitive to. I sustained his look, strong of my reasons, until he didn't seem defeated. Then I took back, in persuasive tone, sitting him nearby:

- “Perhaps we have not realized that we are living through an adventure of those that we have always desired to live . Why shall we ruined all on the base of simple conjectures? Or even for fear? Let’s abandon ourselves to the course of the events, without thinking too much of it. I feel that we are crossing a sure path, a correct path, a path that has a heart!” - .

He stood up again and, lighting a cigarette, passed his right hand on his hair. It was his own way of reflecting in the critical moments before an important decision.

- “We will discover, while crossing it, if really has got it” – he said finally. And, taking his bag, he went out to bathroom.

When, later, Mr. Winningoes had knocked discreetly to our door, we had already dipped in a chess’ game on a chessboard, with the stylized pieces, in shiny metal, that we had found, in beautiful show, on a small round table that occupied the centre of the room.
- “You know how to play chess?” - he exclaimed entering in the room. -” A lot of good, a lot of good “- it was his pleased comment to our fleeting assent.

- “You will have the opportunity to play for a long time, if you want it. But now, if it doesn't upset you, the lunch is ready. Follow me, please. “- I was sorry to release the game. But the hunger was growing up seriously.

- “This time you have been saved by the last minute, George; you would not have escaped, by now!” -

- “And why never? “- he did surprised. -, “After we will continue the game, and you see what it comes up for you “-.

- “Yes, it goes well. We go to eat, now. I’m so hungry as it can be! “- and I beat him on the shoulder, as to say that I did not care at all of that chess-game, at least with him. He understood, and smiled me slightly. We set out downstairs, where Mr. Winningoes attended there patiently at the feet of the staircases.

After the lunch, when already satiated, we lazily plucked with some little, ivory handled forks in a cup of savoury and coloured fruit salad, Mr Winningoes, after having attracted our attention clearing by more resumptions his throat, had started accounting his own story. The same story we have partially narrated to the patient reader, the same story we are going to continue on the following Chapter Three.

End of Chapter Two-
.........................To be continued..........................

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Genius or depraved man?

I've just read on DM on Sunday the former actress Charlotte Lewis's interview where she claims, after 23 years, that director Roman Polanski, raped her when was just sixteen.

In the long interview emerges that she was asked by the famous movies director from Holliwood, to have sex with him, in order to get the feminine most important role in the film "Pirates" which launched her in the international star's system.

There might be so many reasons to speak after such a long time but between them, claims Charlotte, supported by her lawyer Gloria Allred, there is no money's search.

First of all I want the people knowing the real truth, much more for the fact that Holliwood is giving the wrong message to paedophiles..

To know more:

'I will never forgive Polanski. I'm telling the truth and Roman knows it': Actress Charlotte Lewis claims she was abused by director when she was 16
Katie Nicholl and Laura Collins

It has been a long time since Charlotte Lewis held a crowd enthralled in Hollywood.
But if she ever dreamed of a return to Los Angeles, where as a young actress she was hailed as a ‘golden child’ – talented, exquisitely beautiful and with a film career unfurling before her – it would never have been like this.
On Friday, Charlotte, now 42, called a Press conference in Los Angeles to claim that director Roman Polanski, the man who gave her her first break, had abused her, ‘in the worst possible way’ when she was just 16 years old.
Polanski is currently under house arrest in Gstaad in Switzerland under threat of extradition to America to face charges of an alleged rape of a 13-year-old in 1977.
His alleged victim, Samantha Geimer, has said she has no desire to see him stand trial as she simply wants to get on with the life she subsequently built.
But 27 years after their first meeting, Charlotte feels very differently. She wants him to ‘get what he deserves’, she says and has given a statement to prosecutors in Los Angeles.
Now, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Charlotte explains why she has chosen to speak up now – against not just Polanski, but against Hollywood itself.
She says: ‘I know I should have gone to the relevant authorities at the time but I was scared and ashamed. I somehow thought it was my fault.
‘I’ve been so angry with some of the people in Hollywood who have spoken out in support of Polanski. Hollywood is giving the wrong message to paedophiles.
'He sexually abused me and manipulated me in the worst way. He has scarred me and the experience has definitely put a strain on my life.
‘I was recently engaged to a lovely man, but I would often clam up physically and I don’t think I’m very good in relationships. I will never forgive Polanski for what he has done to me.’
Charlotte had only just turned 16 when she first encountered Polanski. She had left school at 15 and by her own admission thought she was ‘pretty grown-up and street smart’ at the time. Looking back, she recognises that, though she may have been precocious and ambitious, she was anything but.
She had no acting experience but knew that she wanted her future to lie in film.
She modelled a bit while she searched for her big chance and, in 1983, she got it when a mutual acquaintance, 23-year-old model Eliza Karen, asked her to come with her to Paris to audition for a role in Polanski’s film Pirates.
Polanski had fled to the French capital five years earlier to escape the American courts over the Geimer case.
Charlotte recalls: ‘We had come over to Paris on the boat with not much money so that I could meet Roman. I was with Eliza, a friend of his. She was also a model and a couple of years older than me.

‘She had put me up for a part in Roman’s new film. Apparently he wanted someone exotic-looking and because of my Hispanic look he wanted to see me. I didn’t know at the time, but I later found out that they had already found a French actress to play the role so I don’t know why he still wanted to see me.
‘We had checked into a hotel which was pretty central and very reasonable but when we told Roman where we were staying he said the hotel was not good enough and invited us to stay in his spare penthouse on the Avenue Montaigne, which seemed like a great offer.’
That night the girls went straight to Roman’s house for pre-dinner drinks. The first thing Polanski did on seeing Charlotte was to frame her face with his hands, as if shooting her through a camera. She felt uncomfortable, she now admits, but given the purpose of their meeting this in itself could hardly be described as odd.
She says: ‘The very first thing he asked me was, “How old are you?” I told him I was 16, but only just. This was in September and I had turned 16 that August.’
After dinner Polanski checked the girls out of the hotel room that he had dismissed as substandard and took them back to his apartment. While her friend retired to a neighbouring flat, Charlotte stayed chatting with the director on the sofa in his living room.

‘We were drinking Moet and Chandon, I’ll never forget that, and I still can’t drink that champagne to this day. He told me he wanted me to stay the night with him and then he made a pass at me. He tried to kiss me and touch my breasts. I pulled away and told him that I had a boyfriend, which wasn’t true. It was an excuse, but he didn’t care.
‘He just said very coldly, “If you’re not a big enough girl to have sex with me, you’re not big enough to do the screen test. I must sleep with every actress that I work with, that’s how I get to know them, how I mould them.”
‘I was shocked and got very upset and started to cry. I said I didn’t want to sleep with him, he was 50 and I found him disgusting.’
But as she recalls this today, Charlotte admits that she felt conflicted. ‘I saw this opportunity slipping away,’ she says softly.
‘My mother who had been working as a legal secretary had just been made redundant and although I was doing a lot of modelling I didn’t have a lot of money. I saw this film as my chance to make it. All these things were going through my head and I was getting more and more upset. I told him I didn’t want to sleep with him and I left.
‘I went to the other flat to see my friend and tell her what had happened.’
Charlotte says that, in her naivety and confusion, she became concerned that she was letting a professional opportunity of a lifetime pass her by, so returned to the director’s apartment.
‘Roman opened the door and led me to the bedroom,’ she recalls.
She has described exactly what she alleges happened next to the Los Angeles’ prosecutors, who are expected to investigate.
Charlotte says that the following morning, Polanski invited her and Eliza to join him for breakfast in his living room, and she accepted. She says now: ‘All I remember was wanting a bath. I needed to clean myself and I went to get fresh clothes.
‘After breakfast he wanted to show us the Mona Lisa so he took us to the Louvre and some other museums in the centre. We had lunch, then I went back with him to his apartment to collect my things as I was flying back to London that afternoon. I don’t know where Eliza was, I can’t remember.’
She claims that a further incident took place before she left for home.
Some might find it difficult to square her allegations of an ordeal that she claims was terrifying with her decision to return to Paris two weeks later for the Pirates screen test. But she did return and she got the part that would launch her career.
‘I never told my mother what had happened,’ she said. ‘I was just too ashamed. I needed to do this movie, the money was good – I was being paid £1,200 a month. My mother and I were living in housing association accommodation and this was a life-changing amount of money.’

Charlotte’s Irish mother raised her alone and the actress never knew the Iraqi-Chilean father to whom she owes her looks. Speaking in a promotional interview for the film in 1986, Polanski himself said of Charlotte: ‘She had what I needed for the film. Dark hair, dark eyes – and the look of innocence.’
Back then Charlotte spoke of the experience of filming as a ‘nightmare’.
‘Polanski tried to dominate me right from the start,’ she said. ‘He swore at me and shouted at me. There was such pressure on me that I became a nervous wreck.’
Today Charlotte recalls: ‘The mental abuse started as soon as I started filming. I always felt that as soon as I started the movie he wanted to fire me.
‘I developed a serious eating disorder. He would play mind games with me and tell me I was too fat and then too thin. I developed bulimia and lost so much weight I passed out five times during filming.
I had turned 17 and Roman had been told by the producer Tarak Ben Ammar and MGM to stay away from me. I was very alone. They wouldn’t allow me to have an agent. Roman continued to emotionally bully me and would joke to other people onset that I was frigid.

Scared: Charlotte says she is angry at the reaction of some people in Hollywood who support Polanski
‘I remember he made a bet once with a very famous American male actor that there was no way he could get me into bed because I was so cold and frigid. The producer flew my mother out to Tunisia [where Pirates was filmed] and I remember her hating Polanski. She said he had dead eyes.’
But though little has changed in how she remembers the miserable process of filming itself, her version of what happened between her and Polanski on a physical level has altered with the years.
In 1986 Charlotte claimed: ‘I found him very attractive, I’d love to have had a romantic relationship with him – and a physical one. You can’t help falling in love with him. But he didn’t want me that way.’
Though it is worth noting that at the time she was speaking she was still working for Polanski and, it could be argued, in thrall of him.
Today she says: ‘There was nothing about him I could have found physically attractive. He was short and stout and very strong.’
In another interview in 1999 Charlotte went on to claim that she did have a relationship with Polanski. But that it started after she had been cast in the film and when she was 17.
‘I wanted him probably more than he wanted me,’ she said then, claiming that they were lovers for six months in an affair that ended only when they began filming Pirates in Tunisia. She claimed afterwards that she’d been misquoted.
Ultimately this case must come down to one person’s word against another’s. Charlotte did not keep in touch with Eliza, the one person who could corroborate her account and, despite The Mail on Sunday’s strenuous attempts, we have been unable to trace her.
What is clear is that what Charlotte had hoped would be the start of a great Hollywood dream, instead set her on a path that led ultimately to addiction and despair.
Following her appearance in Pirates, Charlotte was hailed the new Nastassja Kinski – a former protege of Polanski who is said to have started an affair with him at the age of 15.Charlotte split her time between the UK – where she had a long-running role in Grange Hill – and Hollywood, where she starred opposite Eddie Murphy in The Golden Child in 1986.
She eventually moved to America and was swiftly linked with a string of eligible A-listers and hell-raisers, including Charlie Sheen and Mickey Rourke.
Professionally her star was on the rise but personally she was in serious trouble. ‘Living in Los Angeles is like being at one long party,’ she later admitted. ‘It’s difficult to get away from it. I got to the stage where I was wondering, “What is the point of living here?” All I have is temptation.’
But she never lived up to her early film promise and in 1997, 14 years after she met Polanski, Charlotte returned to Britain and checked into the Priory to be treated for cocaine addiction. She had tried to give it up twice already, she said, but only ever in a ‘half-hearted’ way.
She tried to resurrect her career but whatever attraction Hollywood had held seemed to have gone.

Rising star: Charlotte starred alongside Eddie Murphy in The Golden Child in 1986
Eight years ago she quit acting for good and today she says her only ambition is to be a good mother to her five-year-old son, Miles, with whom she lives in a flat in Hampstead, North London.
‘We have a normal life,’ Charlotte says, a flicker of pride in her voice. ‘We wake up, watch cartoons, shower and I take him to school.
'I am happy but it’s true to say I have never been able to have a normal relationship with a man. I have spoken to my vicar and my GP about this and I am now having counselling.’
Charlotte has many reasons for speaking out now but money is not one of them and she has not been paid for this interview.
Instead, she insists, her abiding desire is simply to tell the truth that she has concealed for so long.
Last summer she made two trips to Paris and tried to contact Polanski. She says: ‘I wanted to see him. I wanted him to apologise. But he was away making a movie.
‘I’d heard that Polanski’s daughter had turned 16 and if I could ask him one question it would be, “How would you feel if this was your daughter?”
‘I will never forgive Polanski,’ Charlotte says as tears threaten to fall. ‘I’ll never know if my life would have been different had this not happened. There needs to be some justice. I’m telling the truth and Roman knows I’m telling the truth.’
Mr Polanski declined to comment last night.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Essence of Life- Chapter Two-Ninth Part

As I woke up, I felt a diffused numbness all over my limbs. George was still sleeping, stretched to the van-door, with the hands on his bag, still in his womb. I felt, impelling, the need to stretch my legs.

- “Where are we?” – said George confused, opening his eyes, as I called him insistently.

- “ You sleep like a log! Let me go down, please.” -I countersaid, pushing him gently against outside.

I followed him, in his agile leap on the gravelled ground. There was a light perfumed breeze in the air. We were amazed by the surrounding space. The van had halted the march at the feet of a row of cypresses, trough which boughs, on the left, we could see glimpses of a red bricks building, approached by a wind mew, that cut in two sides a wide and green lawn. It was from that direction that we saw Mr. Winningoes arriving.

- “Welcome to Heavengate” - He did coming to meet us.

He wore a celestial, very elegant suiti. Only when I saw his dark sun glasses, I took notice of the long shades of the cypresses to our feet.

- “You will have time to admire the beauties of my park. Now be pleased to come with me. I will show the house and the immediate proximities to you. Then, after lunch, we will talk of business” -. This way saying we all soon moved through the same path he had come from to the opposite direction.

His annotation brought me brusquely to the reality.

Coming up I asked him the place we were in, but he seemed not to hear my question.
I looked at George with interrogative air. For all answer he shrugged as to mean: “I told you.”
After a long curve the little street was lightly up straightened. Seen from the front, the building, of which we fore had only an angular vision, now appeared well shaped to be made by three parts. That central, a higher one, raised over three plans taller than the two lateral wings. Its three windows, one for every floor, holds and long, accented its slender figure . On the top there were thin, triangulated laces, which made it look like the bell tower of a middle-aged church.
Two sides, as said, were lower and, departing from the centre, widened in perfect symmetry, such to give the building a solid and stately aspect.
Three steps led to the ample atrium of the path. The two sides corridors were closed by bright glass door.

- “You can put your bags there, for the moment” - told us Mr Winningoes, pointing out two mighty armchairs in wickers that towered the sides of the entry – "we will take first a quick look around the house.”

After a short while, the man led us outside that sort of long veranda which ran around the hole building, as we were going to discover.
A wide, square web of narrow, gravelled driveways, consented a visitor to approach a wide spread garden, delimited, on the opposite side from a tall metallic net, wound densely by climbing greens.

From that green background a sea of flagrant colours inebriated all my senses. It was as if they invited my mind to fly, decomposing each other in those endless tonalities and shattering each other in that surreal and decomposed geometry on shapeless spots of colour. I heard our guide, lowered on some rare flower, explaining to George, who followed him with attention, its origins, by means of scientific, Latin definitions.

And again the desire to fly conquered me and I still immerged in that sea of forgetfulness, forgetful of every rational thought, free and fluid, in that magic world of impalpable stuff.
If only I had succeeded to abandoning myself, definitely on the wings of those feelings, would I have got lost in the space and in the endless time, or I would have been able to find again the way to come back? When I gathered from the ground, through the half-closed eyelids, some seeds, as Mr Winningoes was miming with the arms the landing of an airplane, I thought for an instant that he were, somehow, taking a fool of me.

Instead, through the climbing greens, he was showing to George a wide, flat open space explaining to him that it was dealt with a private or personal airport.
He drove us therefore on the other side of the house. That side of the garden was different from that opposite one. There were some plants of sunflower, that dominated the space with their yellow sheets and several other green plants, with webbed and rough leaves, fixed at the stem in opposite and cross series.

- “Helianthus annuus and Cannabis Indica” - he was pointing out to a very careful George. On the first I didn't pay so much attention to those names. Still I was rather surprised by the knowledge of the scientific definitions that the man had shown to possess on the flowers. Then I heard suddenly a sound of bells, playing somewhere in the meander of my memoirs. But certainly! What a fool! Cannabis indica. Damn to Latin Language! I took one of the so many driveways of the garden and I drew near with interesting look.

Apart the “Helianthus”, which I recognise as common sunflowers, the other plants, as I noticed nearby, had some oblong leaves. At the base of the trunk they were at palms of five, increasing to the top, in groups of seven, nine, eleven and also thirteen. Some of them, those of the tallest plants, had besides, some bosoms that contained, surely, the seeds necessary to the reproduction.

- “Do You like them?” - I heard Mr Winningoes asking while I was absorbed making such considerations.

“- Yes, certainly” - I returned indifferently, extracting some seeds from a sunflower and showing to an amused and surprised Mr Winningoes that they could be eaten just cracking them on the tip and extracting the inner pulp.

-” They grow up spontaneously. every year. My gardener and I take care of polish up the ground, and, only when the plants are dry, water them a little. I believe that such crops have been installed by the precedents owners and I have wanted to maintain them. Don't you find they are beautiful indeed?” -.

- “Oh yes, they certainly are” - George responded with emphasis, while my heart was beating strong for the emotion.

- “Jesus Christ, George! There ‘s a lot of good, green grass here! Do you realize that ....?

-” Shhhhhh” - George hissed, turning slightly to me with his forefinger crossed on the lips, preventing me to show my enthusiasm for that so much pleasant, how much unexpected discovery, while our guest was preceding us toward the main entry.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Movies and books

I come to read the Francis Scott Fitzgerald's shortnovel "The curious case of Benjamin Button"in the wonderful e-book that was presented to me for my birthday.

After the first lines my mind went to the homonymus 2008 Fyncher's movie.

But going further on my reading I disppointedly discovered that in the book the story is quita different.

First of all Benjamin's father does not abandon his son in the stairs of a popular house, but after his first ashtonishing moments, he decides to accept this strange life has come to his home.

I expressed positive opinion on the movie and am not going to change my mind.

But I must say that most of the movies inspired from books make violence to the original sense wanted by the authors.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lonely is passing another day

Lonely is passing another day
While the sun is breaching
A thick, grey space on the sky
Trying to give us its last portion of love
Already on its way to the other side of the earth
I ask  myself. “Why do we have to suffer?”

Loner I’m passing another day
Once again on my way
Back home thoughtful
Over my restless soul
With no certain direction
And I ask  myself:
“What I am looking for?”

Lonely is passing another day
And I fear the unknown
As I fear for the known habits
And I don’t fight for money
As I don’t for power
And I don’t fight for love
Then I ask  myself:

“Why don’t I leave
For the infinity ways
Lay aside on the world ?”

Loner I’m passing another day

Sardinia, in the Seventeenth February 1984

Hardwired for good and evil

When I was younger than today, used to think that all the men were born for goodness and then was the society or the family or other factors to shape their minds and their believings into evil.

But now, may be, I need to change my mind.

Professor Paul Bloom, a psycologist from the Yale University in Connecticut, USA, has made a series of experiments that show how, since they are aged six months, human beings are able to distinguish between good and evil.

To know more go to the DM on line by David Derbyshire:

"At the age of six months babies can barely sit up - let along take their first tottering steps, crawl or talk.
But, according to psychologists, they have already developed a sense of moral code - and can tell the difference between good and evil.
An astonishing series of experiments is challenging the views of many psychologists and social scientists that human beings are born as 'blank slates' - and that our morality is shaped by our parents and experiences.
Good rabbit, bad rabbit: Simple experiments involving babies have shown that we have a strong morality instinct from an early age
Instead, they suggest that the difference between good and bad may be hardwired into the brain at birth.

In one experiment involving puppets, babies aged six months old showed a strong preference to 'good' helpful characters - and rejected unhelpful, 'naughty' ones.
In another, they even acted as judge and jury. When asked to take away treats from a 'naughty' puppet, some babies went further - and dished out their own punishment with a smack on its head.
Leading research: Professor Paul Bloom, of Yale University, said a series of morality tales featuring puppets were shown to babies of varying ages
Professor Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University in Connecticut, whose department has studied morality in babies for years, said: 'A growing body of evidence suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life.
'With the help of well designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life.
'Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bones.'
For one study, the Yale researchers got babies aged between six months and a year to watch a puppet show in which a simple, colourful wooden shape with eyes tries to climb a hill.
Sometimes the shape is helped up the hill by a second toy, while other times a third character pushes it down.
After watching the show several times, the babies were shown the helpful and unhelpful toys. They showed a clear preference for the helpful toys - spending far longer looking at the 'good' shapes than the 'bad' ones.
'In the end, we found that six- and ten-month-old infants overwhelmingly preferred the helpful individual to the hindering individual,' Prof Bloom told the New York Times.
'This wasn't a subtle statistical trend; just about all the babies reached for the good guy.'
Two more tests found the same moral sense.

In one, the researchers devised a 'one-act morality play', in which a toy dog tries to open a box. The dog is joined by a teddy bear who helps him lift the lid, and a teddy who stubbornly sits on the box.

They also made the babies watch a puppet cat play ball with two toy rabbits. When the cat rolled the ball to one rabbit, it rolled the ball straight back. But when the cat rolled it to the second rabbit, it picked up the ball and ran off.
'In both studies, five-month-old babies preferred the good guy - the one who helped to open the box; the one who rolled the ball back - to the bad guy,' said Professor Bloom.
When the same tests were repeated with 21-month-old babies, they were given a chance to dish out treats to the toys - or take treats away.
Most toddlers punished the 'naughty rabbit' by taking away treats. One even gave the miscreant a smack on the head as a punishment.
Although the studies appear to show that mortality is hard-wired into babies brains, some psychologists urged caution.
Dr Nadja Reissland, of Durham University, said babies started to learn the difference between good and bad from birth.
'Everything hinges on who decides what is normal,' she said. 'By saying pushing the ball up the hill is helpful, the researchers are making a moral judgement. The babies might just prefer to see things go up rather than down.
'In the other test, perhaps the bear closes the box to prevent the dog from getting in there because there is something dangerous inside. It is like a mother keeping children out of an area where there is something harmful ".

Read more: