|Jim Haynes in his usual position, perched on a stool near the stove, donning an apron – connecting people
Dinner at Jim’s is obviously so good, people come back for more, myself included.
Jim Haynes, an American living in Paris, has opened his apartment, every Sunday, since the 70’s, to anyone who would like to come along, eat, drink and meet people. Although I sense, many come along to meet the fascinating man himself.
His apartment was jammed packed, with people from around the world, varying age groups and professions. A German guest told me he had visited 20 years ago and wanted to revisit the experience. An English woman said she was once a neighbour and hadn’t attended for years and was curious to see if his dinners were still a success.
English is the language of the night, however, I heard a woman speak to another in French, when she didn’t reply, the other questioned, do you speak, English, Spanish, Italian, German, French? Anything goes really.
When I booked months ago for tonight’s dinner, Jim didn’t forget, he has a list and has archives of everyone who has visited over the years, some famous, some not so.
2012 will mark fifty years since John Calder, Sonia Orwell and Jim Haynes created the Writers’ Conference in Edinburgh and he has attended 55 Edinburgh Festivals.
Yes, he knew Sonia Orwell, George Orwell’s widow, in fact he boarded with her long ago, she was his landlady.
I said my goodbyes – but it won’t be goodbye – just a bientot … I will be back.