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This report is taken from PN Review 61, Volume 14 Number 5, May - June 1988.

My Life with Picasso David Arkell
Seeing Paloma on television the other day reminded me of the time she walked over a fat Frenchman on the beach at Collioure. 'Little brat!' he had cried, or its equivalent in demotic French. But when told it was Picasso's child he weakly waited for her to do it again.

The year was 1954, the month September. I had taken a late summer holiday and, after spending some time in Perpignan listening to sardanes in the Palmarium, I had pushed on to Collioure in the hope of a few last summer bathes in the Mediterranean.

I had never been to Collioure before, so I turned in at the Café des Sports, a typical enough place with the zinc bar just inside the doorway to the left. Sitting there on a stool and sipping a drink of the day called Suze, I let my eyes wander. Behind the rows of apéritif bottles there was a mirror and, reflected in it, a red banquette, occupied at the moment by a noisy group of Spaniards. Amused by their antics, I turned to look at them and did a double-take, having recognized in one of them the well-known features of Picasso. It was my first inkling that he was in these parts, his usual habitat being the Côte d'Azur, some two hundred miles to the east.

So I got talking to the owner of the place, one René Pous, who told me that the great man had only recently ...


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