Marseilles, Days of Winter Sun, Days of Lonely Freedom

When I was a young man, in my 20s, I arrived at Marseilles Airport with a rucksack and a very sweaty back. This was the start of a six month stay in Provence. I was alone in a new city, confused, and in search of lodgings for the night. I found a room in a dreary hotel in Aix and the following day checked into my room at the university residence. Aix was nice enough, boring perhaps after a week. Marseilles beckoned. A short train drive to a city of louche, edgy streets, a melting pot, a mire of vice. I was nervous as I emerged from the station, passing a huge colonial monument and headed into the heart of the port city. It was hot, even in winter, and I explored with the frenzied, driven energy of a lonely young man. I could write pages about this city. But one painting today will suffice. The original work, priced at £60, is available from


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