Tuesday, 25 September 2012


We’ve had rather a bummer of a week this week.  Firstly, we both took cold – it’s doing the rounds – such that our heads are like painfully over-filled balls of mucous and no matter how many miles of toilet paper we use to expunge it, we’re still full o’ snot.

Then the computers on the bike share scheme here got buggy and M. was told she had a bike out that she, being home with a cold, certainly did not.  Riding out in the crisp Autumn night I found the bike at the station it was ‘not’ docked and after lengthy (but at least broken-Frenchly!) calls we finally managed to sort it out.

Then our mezzanine broke, dropping us six feet to the floor.  Unfortunately, we were not having vigorous, destructive sex at the time – it simply decided it had had enough of us.  M’s computer was crushed beneath pine planks and poor Antipodean artists.   At least neither of us was hurt.

Despite the fact that the computer is bent double, for insurance purposes, M needs a qualified repairman to state that the computer is in fact broken, and not just...playing truant or something:  so, walking the drizzly streets, sack of broken glass and aluminium in hand.  So very very few repair shops in this city of funeral-parlour-on-every-street-corner (well, nearly).  But popping into cozy little bars, propping ourselves at the counter and knocking back piping hot coffees made it all worthwhile.

To cap it all off, it seems likely that, for various reasons, we will have to leave our lovely little apartment.
On the upside, we went to see another apartment, right on the top of telegraphe hill on Sunday afternoon.  It was a great old place, doors lower than my head (ah, those vertically challenged ancestors!) that looked out onto a secret garden of grass and chestnut trees.  Well beyond our price-range but big enough to share.
After the visit we strolled slowly back towards home through the bustling Sunday Evening Promenade of Belleville – glorious African women resplendent in their multi-coloured gowns; bearded Arabs in flowing robes; hipsters so hip it’s possible they’d had their smile muscles surgically removed.  Ah, people watching!
A bric-a-brac market in the quiet side streets, truckloads of fun stuff, local children running amok.  M picked up a gorgeous Winter coat with an envy-inducing excess of pleats and buttons, the lining is printed with a plethora of little Asian portraits – ooh, lovely.

A lazy wander through the cemetery, orange leaves starting to cover the asphalt, chestnuts plummeting (like sleepers from a mezzanine), miles and miles of sombre decaying tombs.  A veritable necropolis.  Moss-covered stone, rusty wrought-iron gates, broken stained glass windows, mournful, green-streaked statues and such spider webs!  The peace and quiet of a house for memories.

A delicious feast of cous cous, and the whole day finished off with great big tumblers of ginger rum sipped whilst sitting on the quiet pavement outside a canary-yellow African cafe.  There was a slight mist in the air, or perhaps it was just the cigarette smoke of the bums huddled beneath the ancient tree in the nearby plaza.

On the stumble home we scavenged an ornate, but very much broken, lacquer Persian chair, far too beautiful to leave forgotten in the Autumn rain.

No comments:

Post a Comment