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Archive for November 10th, 2010

I had another wobble this morning!

I needed my transport card which I bought at great expense to last me the month.  I looked where I had last had it in my coat pocket on the bus.  Not there.  Looked again.  Looked in my jacket pockets. Looked again.  Then emptied out my handbag and looked through everything. Not there. Thereafter followed a hunt throughout the flat, all papers, surfaces, everywhere.  Not found.  Then I went back to the beginning and began again.  Still no luck on a second trawl through.  At this point I rang my friend to say I would be late meeting her because I had been hunting for my card and I thought I must have been pick-pocketed.  Then I began to wobble and get tearful: so I sat down and had a cup of tea and a little cry.

It was not only the feeling of loss of money and another thing to go wrong: it was feeling that people had been looking at me, sizing me up as an easy mark, and taking advantage.

Once a certain equilibrium had been re-established I picked up all my things and left the flat.  As I put everything back into my bag I found an inner zipped compartment in which I carry my medical papers and never normally enter.  So I just thought I had better look although I expected nothing,  since I had looked everywhere else.  And there it was.

I left the flat feeling a bundle of nerves and very cross with myself for being quite so wobbly at the moment.  Things looked up a little when I went to the local Bistro to make a reservation for tonight and was greeted by the Manager and Maitre d’ with great grins of welcome and Bonjours!

However, it took a good couple of hours to come off the adrenalin high and become properly calm, and this is just not like me.  I am not a nervous traveller, or someone who gets lonely.

Still, onwards and upwards.  An afternoon with my friend at the Museum of Modern Art, then a little shopping expedition on the way home.  Firstly a look in at the lovely Roses shop, where they scatter petals on the pavement as decoration.

Nearby was a specialist cake shop and I pressed my nose against the glass:

Everything was getting ready for a Fete day: since tomorrow being Armistice Day is a national holiday here in France, the cakes seemed even more wonderful than usual.

This gave me an idea: my friends will be busy for most of the day tomorrow cleaning, tidying and packing and although we may meet at their flat for coffee, I will be spending most of the day by myself.  I have been told that places will be shut so I decided to make myself a little day of Fete.  Firstly I went  into the next door speciality cheese shop

and asked the Madame for some advice on goat’s cheese.  I came away with two darling little cheeses, one with fresh thyme pressed into the top and the other a drier taste she said.  We had a little sally into discussing the rainy weather and I said I had grown webbed feet.  Of course I do not remember, if I every knew, the word for ‘webbed’ so I did a little pantomime for her: she laughed a lot, told me the word which I still cannot remember and said she hoped I liked the cheeses.

Two doors down is a sushi shop where you can see them making it: so I bought myself a small selection and he packed it up for me including some chopsticks. Home past the famous tea shop and I went in to smell the little drawers and decide on some for myself.  A French couple showed me their favourite and there was much jolly bantering about who preferred what, and ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ as people smelled one glorious aroma after another.  I drink Rooisbos tea and there were about seven different flavours of that: my choice fell upon ‘Fruits Rouges’.  The young man behind the counter suggested that I wished to buy 2 kilos of the stuff and continued in that vein throughout the whole transaction, trying to suggest that I needed things I did not.  Much laughter from the rest of the shop but I was glad that I could understand even if I could not give as good as I got.  However, as I was about to depart with my elegant little black bag of tea, I did say both to him and the shop at large that I would need a lot of courage to come back again and face him.  He grinned.

The last leg of the arches around the Place des Vosges saw me at THE cake shop: OK I thought, a small dietary indiscretion for tomorrow.  But first the window:

So, into the shop and to buy a little cake just for me.  A pleasant chat about global warming, since I mentioned how cold the evening was becoming, at least, she did most of the chat, I just listened and nodded and made the odd interjection.  After I had told her how hot the north of England was becoming, especially last winter, her look of surprise alerted me to the fact that I was saying the opposite of what I wanted to say.  I apologised and changed the words, and we parted on good terms!  Home past a shop whose wares I like:

and one I don’t, painted rocks anyone?

so to unpack my little shopping and relish the idea of my little treat for tomorrow:

Some homework ready for tomorrow’s tutorial, reading some Madame Bovary, and then out to meet my friends.  A lovely evening full of laughter, but also rather sad.  The patron remembered them from previous visits to Paris and was so welcoming.  He hoped we would be back.  We reminisced about other holidays and trips, places we have gone together, things we had hoped to do but not managed. Where we hope to meet again in the future. They are beginning to make their farewells to Paris for good.

They know they will not be back, at least not both of them: we three will never be here together like this again after they leave on Tuesday and it is a city we love, full of memories for us all.

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