Bonjour mes amis
Sorry it’s been a few days since my last blog … it’s taken me all weekend to find an adapter for the computer … and … get the computer linked to broadband.
I did get a chance to write some stuff offline so I’ll paste it in here.
The trip from Dublin to Paris redefines nightmare.
The Dublin Airport Authority deserves a good thrashing.
There so called ‘welcome helpers’ sent me to the wrong line where I waited for an hour only to be then told to go to another line.
It’s like the 9th pit of hell combined with what I think Limbo must have been like.
Folks – it is a rare thing to see me in a rage … and it’s a cold and scarey thing.
Anyway – read what I wrote on the plane as I was living it.
June 27 In Dublin the day before going to Paris.
Lolling in Brown Thomas restaurant waiting for my sauv blanc and duck roll.
So – here I am sipping on the sauv blanc and eating the yum duck roll – and – I’m watching the well dressed women around me leaning forward to each other and chatting about who knows what.
Its hot as hell in here and in Dublin.
I left Ballinamore wrapped up and cold. Thanks Cathy for the lift and great chatting to Mrs Smith & Siobhan – they’re off to party in Cork.
Look at the new banner again.
Does anyone remember the tv series – Bewitched?
I thought the type face and design had a resonance of that show. I loved the show and I wonder if Marc thinks I’m a witch.
Did I mention I’m off to Paris?
I’m pretty sure that Maggie and the rest of the neighbourhood is sick of hearing about this Paris trip.
Somehow I’ve been able to bring it into every conversation
‘ Ah – your dog died. Did I tell you I’m off to Paris.’
‘Great to hear about your bypass surgery … love affair …new book (congrats Derek) … Spain being in the final … Did I tell you I’m off to Paris?’
28th June – Saturday – 7am.
And here I sit in the Aer Lingus plane.
After a long, long, long wait in the wrong line (thank you customer care at Dublin Airport – not – you big stupid people) and then another wait in another line – and then a run to get on the plane …. we wait.
We wait for an hour in the plane to get a berth to take off.
The plane is full … of big and small people … goddess bless them for their patience.
I did the quick check in online. And then we all had to line up to get our baggage checked in – yup – that’s efficient – not.
To say I’m a little irritated would be to understate my feelings … I’m an easy going woman but stupidity and bad service do my head in …. breathe … breathe … breathe… breathe
Oh – and did I tell you I have a middle seat?
And I’m deeply claustrophobic.
Yup – that’s me screaming at the back of the plane …. breathe ….
And did I have an early night last night?
Not at all.
I was at Eden restaurant with Mary & Jo eating and drinking more white wine.
The cab woke me at 5am. I had about 3 minutes to get ready.
Looking forward to getting into my studio apartment in Paris and just lying down.
Folks – this is hell.
I may never fly again …
I think I’ll go by ferry or swim or grow wings.
Staying strangely calm …
They are playing classical music … a brave attempt to sublimely calm us all.
Please get me out of here.
Your soon to be Paris blogger …. HELP …. help ….whimper …sigh
Later that day – in Paris
I’m in love- with Paris.
Got ripped off by a dodgy cab – 90 euro.
Arrived early at Rue Maitre Albert where my studio apartment is … and climbed the 6 flights of stairs with my huge case.
and then life just went blissful from there on
The studio was ready and it’s a dote … on a quiet street literally across from Notre Dame. It’s kitted out with everything and a chaise lounge.
Liz is in heaven.
I went wandering around the neighbourhood and bought some lovely greek food and some french rose (6 euro a bottle).
After my late night, early morning and fraught flight …I lay my head down for a siesta.
Was woken to the sound of pounding music and remembered that it’s the Gay Pride parade .
It ran all the way down the Boulevard Saint Germain – which is 10 steps away from the apartment.
Thousands and thousands of people … all celebrating (photos to follow when I can work out the new photo software on this laptop).
Great fun and I danced away and celebrated along with everyone else. It went on for hours.
In Paris they have these huge open trucks and organisations all dance on them. Between each truck was a few hundred people walking.
When the noise got too much I wandered off and explored the streets around my neighbourhood.
So far I have found:
- a creperie on the corner – think I’ll have breakfast there in the morning. Also had a citron gelato – nice and cold
- a few lovely shops – bought a great necklace
- A comic shop that sells manga and tin tin. Which ones do you want Marc?
- an asian grocery across the street where I bought a mango
And here’s a spooky/serendipity/synchronicity thing…
Literally 20 steps from my apartment is a shop that sells computer books and magazines!! And the guy knew about the Sakai conference!
I kid you not.
Sipping a glass of rose and eating olives stuffed with orange – yum.
It was 30 C today but is lovely and cool now.
I have my balcony window open and I can hear the sounds of people talking and walking … really lovely.
And on the hour I hear the bells …. the bells … of Notre Dame.
I love Paris.
Bon nuit from your Ballinamore Paris correspondent.
p.s. James – if you’re reading this let me know if the sunny funny garden kids were able to garden yesterday after the rain. Just leave a comment here.
Sunday June 29
Wandered up the Rue Mouffetard which has lots of cheese, wine, chocolate, pastry shops – and an open vege and fruit market.
The feast to the senses is quite amazing and I will post photos soon.
For 14 euro I bought bags of cherries, peaches, strawberries, lemons, tomatoes … huge handfuls of basil, mint and lambs lettuce.
Came back to the apartment and ate an amazing salad.
It’s in the high 20’s here and hot. So – I had a siesta.
Wandered out again and strolled along the Seine watching people in outdoor cafes sipping wine and others browsing through the booksellers wares.
I’d bought a citron sorbet at the creperie at the bottom of my street and happily ate it as I wandered along.
My destination was the university where the conference is being held. About 15 minutes walk along the Seine.
Found the Uni and wandered in to see if there were any Sakai signs up.
As I was making my way out I was approached by 2 security guards who asked me something in French.
I replied that I didn’t speak French .. smiled.
They replied that they didn’t speak English … smiled.
I wandered out.
June 30 Monday
Some of the preconference sessions started at 8am this morning.
I will be attending the afternoon session and then a reception for newbies like me this evening.
Sunny and warm here today as I walked along the Boulevard Saint Michel looking for an electrical store.
I really am enjoying just wandering Paris. There’s so much to look at.
The buildings in this arrondisement are really beautiful and my apartment feels like it’s all part of the neighbourhood.
It’s central to the Seine and the Marais (great shopping) and all the Left Bank bookshops and tea shops.
And – it was only 550 euro for the week.
I’d say that it’s just right for 1 person or 2 people who are very very very close.
I think I’ll come here for a month next year and write and wander.
Will post photos tonight dear reader.
p.s – Lynda & Derek. I’m assuming that Spain won the final as I kept hearing crowds of people in the streets here singing ‘Ole Ole Ole’. You guys must be delighted.