ALICE SPRINGS — MRS. NEWTON

Ramatuelle

August 30, 1978

“The forest is on fire. The mistral is blowing up a gale. Within minutes, the entire sky was lit up—trees like torches igniting one another, billowing clouds of red smoke traveling fast. The whole landscape is now on fire—the car is out—we’ve thrown our passports and cameras and a few things into a suitcase in case the wind changes. But how not to sleep, how to keep awake? …

“When Helmut wanted to leave, I said, ‘Not until we’ve had our dinner,’ which was in the oven roasting up. I knew that, as long as it blew, the mistral would sweep the fire away from us, so with one eye on the oven and an ear on the wind, we sat it out and had a peaceful dinner.”

From June Newton, a.k.a. Alice Springs, Mrs. Newton (Cologne: Taschen, 2004), 162.

Helmut Newton with Sylvia, Ramatuelle, 1981. Photograph by Alice Springs.

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