Tuesday 6 October 2009

Autumn Caught Up With Me

Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the gingerbr- … no, wait, that was a different story. Recently I was alerted to the dangers of moasting (thank you Derek, this is my new favourite word!) and at the risk of offending, I willl tell you that it was a real shock to my system to wake up in a cold and rainy Paris yesterday. (Quelle horreur: I had to leave the house in socks for the first time in over two months.) Paris is distinctly autumnal, but once I finally shrugged off the Monday morning blues and headed out I started to enjoy it.

I headed out in the direction of the Marais. I had lunch there with great people watching. Girls in Paris are wearing lots of bracelets and long chains round their necks. I very much liked two black outfits I saw: the first was a short dress with a long jacket, the second was a black trouser suit with a slouchy jacket worn – wait for it – with a turban.

Then I walked along by the river and scuffed some Autumn leaves.

Crossed over Pont Sully for the Musee de l’Histoire Naturelle – specifically the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution. I flashed my ICOM card (I love it so much!) and yes, it really works, and I didn’t have to pay in.

The GGdl’E is an excellent example of a Victorian-era museum recycling its collections and doing something fresh with them (National Museum of Ireland, please take note). It looks great:

I had seen lots of photos of these parading animals, but wasn’t disappointed by the real live version (so to speak). Content-wise was less impressed. I don’t think the quality of the interpretation matched the shininess of the displays.

I want displays whose style communicates something about their contents.

Across the street from the Museum was the Mosque of Paris, last visited in the company of Mary and Fan about, let me think, holy moly – six years ago. Anyway, I didn’t go to the hammam (though I would recommend it absolutely – it’s a unique experience but very refreshing to see women of all shapes and sizes wandering about completely starkers and completely relaxed – and the massages are excellent) but sat out in the courtyard and had a mint tea. Walked slowly along Boulevard St Germain and then over to the Rue de la Bucherie where I stuck my head into Shakespeare & Company. It was full of early 20-something Anglophones (Americans, Canadians and Australians) all saying ‘like’ a lot. I didn’t buy anything, though was sorely tempted by Miss Ranskill Comes Home, published by Persephone Books. Has anyone read it? Should I have bought it? But it was expensive and I know I could buy it for less in London.

Walked back to Rue Montorgeuil at dusk, wanting to curl up with a glass of wine and a good book. And that’s more or less what we did.

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