JabbaPapa // a little more ~

Julian and I finally met in Cannes.

For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about, Julian Lord, aka JabbaPapa, has been a regular on this blog almost since it started.

I was very excited to meet him.

Julian by pic of pilgrim-1

He and I have crossed swords on many occasions. Julian, you see, is a committed Christian, and I am not. I am not a Christian and I have not yet been committed.

But I’m working on it.

Julian lives in Monaco, about 30kms up the coast from Cannes. We arranged to meet during the festival but unfortunately when he arrived I was in a meeting with a UK sales agent and I kept him waiting a while. But he was good natured, and said that as a pilgrim time doesn’t really matter…

What stuck me when I first laid eyes on Julian is that he is an imposing figure. He’s a tall large man, with an intensity about him that some would find daunting. He was wearing all black, with a swirling black cape and a pilgrim’s staff.

This was no affectation for my benefit. This is the way Julian dresses.

I drove him back to Grasse, a small town in the hills behind Cannes which is where Jennifer and I were staying. We had dinner together and I asked him a bunch of questions.

Julian is a highly intelligent, highly educated man – educated at the Sorbonne, which is the most prestigious University in France. He has firm views on most matters, which he will argue passionately and with the scholarship to back up his position.

Julian has an incisive mind that consistently challenges the veracity of statements you might make. I like this. It keeps me on my toes.

Julian and I most recently parried when I wrote a blog –

Religion is a Fatburger

Julian felt that I was belittling religion, which was not my intention. Read the blog, read the comments back and forth, and you will get a sense of Julian.

I have enormous respect for his views, because I know they come from faith and erudition, which is a hard combination to argue against.

But I do my best.

Julian walked his first pilgrimage in the early 90s, before the Camino was as widely known as it is today. He has walked to Santiago many times since, from various starting points way further afield than St. Jean Pied de Port, and he’s walked back home again too.

He had a revelation during his first pilgrimage, and that turned him to Christianity.

Julian is the real deal.

The next day Jennifer and I drove him back to Monaco. When we got there he very kindly helped me with getting a French SIM card recharged for my iPad.

We spent too little time together unfortunately for us to really engage in the kind of discussions that we both hankered for. We just skittered around the edges. But there will be time again somewhere down the track, I’m sure. Julian has come into my life for a reason, I feel that very strongly.

As we parted I told him he was a true pilgrim.

He told me that I’m not, yet, but I’m getting’ there…

That’s a big compliment from Julian Lord!

Julian at Fleur de Lys-1

12 thoughts on “JabbaPapa // a little more ~

  1. Great photo, Bill. Thanks to both you and Julian for enriching our lives, spiritually, religiously or otherwise 🙂

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  2. Hi Bill and Julian –
    A fantastic post – thank you.
    If you read my comment on the first post on Julian, you’ll know that I hadn’t read this post before replying! My apologies and yes, my memory did serve me correctly – Julian – you were one of the early followers of the blog.
    The lively discussions between you both on the blog have been so interesting to read and they have expanded my knowledge – that is a gift not only to me but to all who follow the blog – thank you both.
    May I also say that it is an absolutely beautiful photo of you, Julian, with St James.
    Cheers – Jenny

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear jenny – thank you, and yes I agree, Julian has enriched the discussion on this blog with his knowledge and his often contrarian point of view. It was an absolute delight to finally meet him. Thank you for your kind words too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It was wonderful to finally meet Bill and Jennifer.

    Jennifer I was meeting for the first time, either personally or virtually via the internet, and I was very pleased to see not onbly how lovely a person she is, but a

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  4. … but also how well she “fits” with Bill ; their relationship is so strong !!

    And Bill ? Well it was quite like meeting Bill as I’ve gotten to know him through the years in person, instead of virtually, and what impressed is is simply how similar those two experiences of him actually are — through the blog and through his photography and films, you get a true sense of who and how Bill is in person, so I guess I can say confidently now that Bill, too, is the real deal, as he puts it.

    Bill kindly uses the words “intelligent”, “educated”, “passionate”, “incisive”, “challenging” — all of which I’d happily attribute to Bill himself, and I’d add “deeply inquisitive”, which is all the more interesting between us, as our points of view are so similar in some respect and yet so divergent on others — Bill certainly keeps you on your toes !!

    I’m sure we’ll meet again, and I look forward to it — perhaps even walk together, if this wretched body of mine lets me — and we barely scratched the surface of all we could discuss, the surface as such of course being the virtuality of the internet and the barriers inherent to any online discussions.

    And that sublime breakfast was of course one more Camino experience …

    PS Hope you had/are having a great time in Budapest, Bill, with your old Camino buddies !!

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    • Dear Julian – haha – yes, I actually think we are closer in thought than we both might acknowledge. And hey, you never know, after the next long walk I might convert, like you. Who knows? I live by what Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” It was a true delight to meet you, and I sincerely hope we do meet again, and better yet that we walk together. That would give us a great opportunity to talk at length. But you see you carry as a pilgrim’s staff a martial arts baton – and so I would have to be very careful what I said to you! haha. Thank you Julian for making the effort to meet with Jennifer and myself. I really do appreciate it. As I appreciate your contribution to this blog, which as Jenny Heesh says, has enriched us all. Take care mate, and look after that body of yours. There’s still more walking to be done! Bill

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      • I live by what Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

        The original of that actually finishes with “our philosophy”, not “your” 🙂

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  5. I’m sure we’ll walk on the Camino together — my “problem” is that if I start on the Way, I must finish. I cannot conceive of a situation where setting foot of the path of the Apostle should lead anywhere that is not via Santiago.

    hmmmm — got a large cube of lavender savon de Marseilles in Cannes during my time there, €2, and it’s actually quite lovely ; cripes knows what outrageous luxury prices you’d need to subject yourself to for such a thing outside Provence !!

    There’s a normal Cannes and a normal Provence and a normal South of France beside and together with the strange universe of the poseurs on their luxury yachts who come and go, oblivious of the purer treasures that they miss, instead of simply loving the simplicity of a more perceptive manner of love.

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    • Back in Budapest now. Yes outside of Cannes, and you don’t need to go that far outside, there is a simpler Provencal lifestyle which I can imagine would be very appealing!


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