First Friday Fun of the Year 2016

It may seem insensitive to show pictures of lovely houses when all about us so many have lost theirs to wars, storms and flooding. But this has always been a completely unrealistic flibberty-gibbet of an escapist whimsy, and goodness knows do we need it after all the bad news of 2015. Besides, as the folk song goes:

I am the little New Year, ho, ho!
Here I come tripping it over the snow

Presents I bring for each and all –
Big folks, little folks, short and tall…

Some shall have silver and some shall have gold,
Some shall have new clothes and some shall have old;
Some shall have brass and some shall have tin –
So open your doors and let me in!

2016 is going to be a good year for you, for me, for the world more generally – 6 is my lucky number and I am willing it to be so. (Besides, the world and I are due a good one after the last few grim ones.) This year is also going to be all about literature and writing. So what better way to start than with some villas in the Lake Geneva area with literary or musical or even film associations?

I've shown you before David Bowie's old home near the Signal Tower of Sauvabelin in Lausanne. Here it is from another angle, from bilan.ch
I’ve shown you before David Bowie’s old home near the Signal Tower of Sauvabelin in Lausanne. Here it is from another angle, from bilan.ch
Charlie Chaplin's Manoir de Ban, in Corsier, just outside Vevey. From Wikipedia.
Charlie Chaplin’s Manoir de Ban, in Corsier, just outside Vevey. From Wikipedia.
Audrey Hepburn's modest house in Tolochenaz, from maisonbythelake.com
Audrey Hepburn’s modest house in Tolochenaz, from maisonbythelake.com
Stravinsky's house in Morges. From The Lausanne Guide.
Stravinsky’s house in Morges. From The Lausanne Guide.
Richard Burton died in this house in Celigny and is buried in the local cemetery. From L'Hebdo.
Richard Burton died in this house in Celigny and is buried in the local cemetery. From L’Hebdo.
Villa Diodati, where Byron stayed with his friends Percy and Mary Shelley during a terrible storm over Lake Geneva, which inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein and Dr. Polidori to create the first Gothic vampire.
Villa Diodati, where Byron stayed with his friends Percy and Mary Shelley during a terrible storm over Lake Geneva in 1816 (nearly exactly 200 years ago), which inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein and Dr. Polidori to create the first Gothic ‘vampyre’.
Vladimir Nabokov and his wife Vera outside the Montreux Palace Hotel, where he lived for the last 16 years of his life. From Pinterest.
Vladimir Nabokov and his wife Vera outside the Montreux Palace Hotel, where he lived for the last 16 years of his life. His statue is now planted in the lawn you see behind them. From Pinterest.

Incidentally, the Hotel Montreux Palace also makes a brief (but important) appearance in my WIP, sans Nabokov of course. His wife Vera continued to live in the hotel until her death in 1991. Given today’s eye-watering room prices, this must have been the highest rental property in the world!

For a little extra, here’s an interesting article about the enduring attraction of the Vera-like supportive figure for all writers, regardless of gender.

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17 thoughts on “First Friday Fun of the Year 2016”

  1. I’m going to need someone to go ahead and sign over the deed to David Bowie’s former house. Thanks.

  2. I really enjoyed these photos, MS, great idea! As you say, we should be looking for some escapism and fun, instead of wallowing in the grim realities All my best wishes for the New Year. Xx, Marina

  3. The article was interesting too! I’ve often exclaimed myself ‘I need a wife’ – when I saw male friends go home to a cooked dinner and their socks washed…

  4. Oh, so many fine abodes with fab connections… but I’m choosing the Montreux Palace – lucky enough to stay there with work yonks ago I’d love to revisit with family. Curious of how it figures in your WIP☺

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