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my God, she’s eating again

All very well to say cut back on the wine, but how? Yesterday evening, my friend Tony and I had an aperitif at his place at 7.30 –  I had a few glasses of wine and he beer – as we got caught up, and then he took me out for dinner. First, he bought us a celebratory glass of champagne and then, of course, a fine bottle of wine. It was all delicious, as was the food – radish mousse as an entree, anyone? Unbelievable. And the best tirimisu I’ve ever had. I was feeling superb, I can tell you. 

This morning, not so much.  He wants to meet for dinner again tonight, as he’s only in town from London for two days, and I want to say no, tonight I would like a nice salad and a cup of tea. But I can’t say no to Tony, so I’ll suggest we eat earlier and perhaps instead of an aperitif, we take a nice bracing walk.

Tony was my boyfriend when I was at theatre school in London in 1971 – I was 21 and he was 31. Now he’s nearly 70 and still one of the most interesting people I know, a dealer in antique musical instruments. His Hampstead flat back then was crowded with crumhorns, oboes, flutes; now his shop must look like that. He flies all over the world, partly for his business – he knows everyone who’s collecting and selling and also does a lot of business with museums – but also for pleasure. There was little money in his childhood; his father was a bus conductor. Now he enjoys every bit of the luxuries he can afford, good food and wine and hotels. And he has the world’s largest private collection of antique metronomes and corkscrews.
Tony shares the rent of the Paris apartment with a good friend of his, who deals only in bows. As in, violin and cello bows. Ah, there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio …
Worked this morning, with my little hangover, and went for a walk this afternoon, back to the Luxembourg Gardens which was jammed in the sun, little kids sailing their boats on the pond, long lines of schoolchildren coming to have a picnic, tourists parked on chairs getting a tan – and the flower beds, here as throughout the city, just spectacularly beautiful arrangements of colour, density, size and shape. Found the nearby Eglise St. Sulpice this time, another vast echoey cathedral, massive and unbeautiful, almost monstrous, perhaps because unlike Notre Dame, which is far set back and apart, Sulpice suddenly looms out in an ordinary neighbourhood square. The organ is famous, though; I’m going to catch a mass one  Sunday just to hear it. 
And then walked home again, admiring the rows of little shops, the grocer every block with his fruit and veg on display, the myriad dusty bookstores with wares in bins outside, people stopped to pore over them. Nearby is a small medieval-looking shop selling and repairing clocks and barometers. Barometers – who uses barometers when we can click on the Internet? But there’s the shop, packed with barometers. 
I’ve been thinking about this eating late business, and truly, I do not get it. Why eat a huge meal with wine at 9 or later, so you can go to bed stuffed and woozy? It makes no sense. Yes, 6 is early, I agree, but why is eating so late more sophisticated than eating at 7.30? When you pass restaurants here and see people eating at 7.30, you know they’re tourists. Well – nuthin’ wrong with that as far as I’m concerned. Maybe the hour has something to do with getting the kids in bed and then enjoying adult company, I don’t know. But in any case, it’s hard on a girl. 
I’m not complaining – am in fact looking forward to starting all over again tonight, and to a dinner invitation tomorrow! More running needed. Badly.



4 Responses to “my God, she’s eating again”

  1. Chuck says:

    An aside … I’m not sure what your tourist plans are while you’re there, but you must, must, MUST go see Sainte-Chapelle whenever you get a chance!

  2. beth says:

    Will do, Chuck. I realise that time is flying by – my stay here is half over and I’ve barely scratched the surface! Talk about a moveable feast. Which, by the way, I’ve just begun to read, and it’s great.

  3. Mary says:

    My GERD acts up just reading about your late-night feasts! And although I’m addicted to my daily dose of red wine, my old body complains if I enjoy more than one small glass. No wonder you’re awake all night wondering about Jacqueline Bisset!

  4. beth says:

    You are absolutely right, Mary. Luckily this spate of invitations is drawing to a close – after tonight, I have one invitation, on Sunday, and that’s it. I’m going back to simple, earlier meals with a glass or two.

    But my, it all tastes good.

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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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