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later that same day …

I set off this afternoon to go to a concert at the Cluny Museum not far from here – but realised half-way there that the day was too beautiful to miss. And also, that I was very tired. I’m not used to talking, listening and eating for an unbroken span of five hours, and perhaps, too, I have finally surfaced here, come up for air. The heat has broken down in the apartment and the repair people are off for Easter, so I spent the morning under a blanket working out finances. A cold dose of reality, now that I have actually translated Euros to Canadian dollars, at about $1.70 to a Euro. It’s always fun to go out shopping and for dinner with play money. Won’t be quite so much fun now that I know how much I am actually spending.

Though the most important things, wine and flowers, are still a great deal. What a relief.

So I walked back up the Boul. Mich. where I spent many happy hours of my adolescence – it was blessedly empty as many shops are closed, but even so, it’s clearly a place for the under-25’s, not old crocks like me. I wandered in the Jardin du Luxembourg again, went a different way and found a spectacular, enormous fountain with sculpture that I’ve never seen before, in my many visits there.  And then I came home to pass the rest of the day doing very little. 
A few thoughts: I cannot get over the miracle of the Internet, how different things are, now, for travellers. Conversations with friends zipping back and forth on the screen; Skyping – with camera! – to Vancouver or Provence; logging in to the “Globe” and the “Star” in Toronto, reading a review of Wayson’s book at the same time as he was, at home; this blog linking me to everyone, and friends sending me links from all over the world – how incredibly connected we are.  Today, this quiet Easter Monday felt like Sunday, so at 3, as I usually do at home on Sundays at 3, I decided to listen to Eleanor Wachtel’s “Writers and Company.” Logged into the CBC podcast and listened to last week’s superb interview about the poet Shelley, just as if I were at home in my kitchen in Toronto, making dinner. 
I just read about the 5eme Quartier where I’m living in “The Rough Guide to Paris.” “There’s not much point in going further south on rue St.-Jacques,” the authors write. “The area is dull and lifeless …” Hooray! I am living further south on the dull and lifeless Rue Claude Bernard, which means that there are no tourists here, just ordinary people living their lives. Especially after visiting a tourist area like Notre Dame or the Boulevard St. Germain, caught in the frantic crush and assaulted by babble in every language on earth, it’s great to leave it all behind and return to a quiet part of the city.
Right across the street is a video rental store, and in the window is the film “Juno.” Not very long ago, when I was visiting the Halifax Grammar School, the school founded by my father in Halifax, I was told that Ellen Page spent nearly her entire school career there. So I like to think that my father, in a small way, had something to do with the originality and freshness of the talented Ellen Page, who looks at me from the window across this dull and lifeless street.
PS. In my Skype conversation with Lynn a few minutes ago, she corrected something I posted here about one of our meals together – that it was a kind of “rabbit stew.” In fact, Lynn pointed out, it was a “confit de canard.”  So much for the sophisticated Parisienne, who cannot tell the difference between a rabbit and a duck. Oh well. Give me time. 

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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