Tuesday, 30 September 2014


I’ve totally lost track of which week we’re in.  I think I’ve missed a few somewhere along the way.
It’s getting cold here – this morning it was almost snowing outside our window, the sky a beautiful yellowy-grey.  It’s icy cold and when you head outside your nose and fingers tingle with the chill.
One day we had a lovely long walk, the sky an ominous angry grey bruise above the beige canyons of Paris.  It gets so dark so early.  A warming pitcher of red at a little bar, the yellow lights over the counter a spell against the cold.  The small space full of laughing, red nosed folk.
The Christmas decorations are up, the streets all tied up with twinkling fairy lights.  As soon as the sky turns the pale violet of dusk the lights come on – and so the sleet is replaced by a rain of little stars.  It’s beautiful.
More walking around, more red wine, more cozy little bars.  You’re never far from a bar in Paris.  We found a large English language bookshop one day, and so waddled home under a weighty sack of winter reading, ohh such fun!

It’s amazing how much the city can change in the space of only a single block – one moment you’re walking through the half-demolished lanes of our neighbourhood, the shop windows resplendent in their gaudy African fabrics, then without any warning, you’re strolling through tree-lined thorough-fares of graceful Haussman apartments.  Then, just as quickly, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the vinyl curtains and pulsing music of a street of peep shows with all their special offers.  And then on to little India, the streets bursting with saris and the delicious smells of countless curries.  The saris are exquisite, each an intricately beaded work of art, glimmering in the winter sunlight, the mannequins staring with dark painted Nefertiti eyes at nothing.
The crowds are amazing – so incredibly dense it’s like wading through a human sea.  They change with the streets, one minute all robed for mosque, the next in the latest designer beige.
And everywhere, the boulangeries with their baguettes and croissants so warm.
And now I've caught another flu.

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