It was a wonderful and terrible experience. Terrible as in terror and wonderful as in the most significant job of my life with the most significant Frenchmen I know.
Dominique started as he meant to go on with meetings after hours that went until midnight. My head was turning with jet lag and my French language machine was creaking and weezing into action. I have had no experience with this sort of collaboration and I am fairly sure that my colleagues were at times mystified by my behaviour. I felt as my friend Jim Mckee puts it... a strange mix of anger and dread, and I felt Anglo Saxon to the max.
I think Smith is totally anglo saxon himself. His ancestors are not frogs after all, they are cool cats who eat sardines and sing to the sound of small guitars.
Even now he is singing the song of the sand shoe every night of the full moon because he is haunted by the beauty and melancholia which is his France.