PARIS Part 5
Wednesday morning, and my last full day in Paris for the moment.
I was going to be so ‘sage’ yesterday. Starting with lunch. While Christophe dove into a two course meal, I lunched simply on a delicious bowl of fish soup with croutons and garlic mayonnaise such as Ian and I used to gourmandise on in our earliest days in the south of France. Accompanied by two large carafes of … water.
After which we adjourned to the flat for Chris to get his deadline-today articles written, and for me to make my way through a tiny proportion of the music and books that the place contains.
At 4pm the phone rang. Alain Marcel had arrived at the Chineur. So Chris picked up the three volumes of my Enycyclopaedia and down we all went. Since he hadn’t finished his articles (and had just had an extra one dumped on him), he then disappeared, leaving Alain and I to talk.
Alain, who is an elegant gent in his fifties, was Chris’s mentor as a director/translator in the theatre. As I said, I know his work above all by his superb French translation of Little Shop of Horrors. Alas, we didn’t have that book to show him, but he does turn up on half a dozen occasions in the Encyclopaedia, so we were able to gallivant through those before moving on to other bits and pieces of mostly not too recent theatrical chatter and gossip.
Our conversation must have seemed very droll to anyone listening in, for we swapped languages (Alain’s English is very good indeed) every second or third sentence!!!
The said conversation also went on non-stop for a couple of hours before Chris reappeared, and then, as Alain headed off to meet his other half, Pierre arrived home from his day at the Institute, bearing a book he had received for consideration entitled A Dictionary of Appearances of the Virgin Mary. There have, it seems, been enough of these to fill what was a distinctly fat volume. I’m afraid that I didn’t dip into it. Appearances of Emily Soldene are rather more my area.
The three of us decided on a light supper at the Pizzeria Nellie (right by my hotel), and so I dined on delicious spinach ravioli and rose wine. Which, added to the beers I’d had with Alain, and the red wine I’d had as aperitif, meant that my ‘sagacity’ at lunchtime with the bottles of water was pretty well wiped out. And so, more or less, was I!
Anyway, I slept (with a 2am aid from my mini-half-pill) extremely well, as I now seem to do. Soon, I am sure I will do it without the pill. Though I’m not sure about without the wine!
And so its Wednesday. Today I shall pack my bag and decide whether I shall take the whole caboodle to Mayenne. Probably don’t need to. (Note: But I have)
I also need to get Chris to do something about my train tickets back to England.
Before which I need to get to Le Chineur and see whether the wifi, which wasn’t working properly yesterday, is back in service so that I can catch up on my emails.
In the evening we were to dine with ce cher Jean-Baptiste, but he’s come down with the flu, so instead it will be a quiet evening in the home regions… which, with the train trip to the Mayenne coming up tomorrow, is probably altogether a better idea..
Goodness, life is speeding along … and I must admit that occasionally I do find it a little difficult to keep up!
Reprise at 6.15pm. Well, maybe it was the red plus rose wine, maybe just that, as I was already beginning to feel, I’m a bit out of breath after the events of the last weeks .. anyway, today I just wasn’t up to scratch. Lunch at the Chineur (with Internet) and including gaspacho and something called an Italian assiette full of parma ham, melon, mozzarella and .. pizza!, which was far too large for me, lasted three hours, after which having discovered that Monoprix doesn’t do Eurostar tickets, I left Chris to his eternally vast pile of work and quite simply came back to number five and spent 3 hours being feet-up inactive. I think I feel brighter for it. But I’m not sure!
Pierre gets to the café at 6.30pm, so I’ve showered, changed and finished packing and am off to join him for my – for the moment – last Parisian night.
Actually, not for a very long moment at all, for I’ve just booked in for another five nights here after my visit to Mayenne!
Tiger for .. well, not exactly punishment, but its just as well those five peaceful weeks afloat are not too far down the track!
A gentle couscous in an open restaurant where a sweet, cool breeze took the edge off the truly oppressive heat we are suffering…
And now it is 9.15 am Thursday, and I’m all ready to go.
At 12 noon!
So I shall go and get a L’Equipe and read it in front of the open windows, with Paris rattling and shrieking around below me…
See you in Mayenne