My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Paree

Home at last! Well, sort of. Paris feels like home after so much wandering. It’s extraordinary to be right back where I started, four and a half months ago. The same old me and yet, not.

The trip was absolutely painless, for once – the TGV train left on time, and though I didn’t have an assigned seat, I just sat down somewhere and was able to stay put for the whole trip. We sailed through the entire length of France and arrived exactly on time. I walked with the giant suitcase (AND yes, both backpack and handbag) to the bus stop, the bus arrived, and I was at the apartment in no time.
The thing with travel is never to say, we’ll be there at 6. Instead, say: the plan is that we’ll be there at 6. The plan is … In those words is the assumption that though you’ve come up with a schedule and a plan, the gods may decide differently. And the unforeseen things, the disasters, the delays, the mistakes – those are the stories you’ll be telling for the rest of your life.
I went out to get groceries and saw that practically every store on the rue Claude Bernard is closed down for the whole month of August. These people take vacations seriously. However, the museums are open, and the streets are always there for walking and looking. But this time, after my arrival, I wasn’t stumbling around with my mouth open, gawking at everything. I went out to get groceries and came right back, because I’m tired. I can really relax here, at last – spread out, sit around, make myself comfortable. This really does feel like home.
One more week, until my real home. I’m very glad of this last week to decompress and deprogram. Back in a city, back with a climate I recognise … and no bugs here either. Bliss.

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2 Responses to “Paree”

  1. Greg says:

    Hi Beth – I've been wondering when we would see you cycling around Cabbagetown and thought today to search out your blog. I've just started reading it and am enjoying every entry. Just an FYI – Julia Child ventured into Shakespeare & Co looking for a French Cookbook in English when she and her husband first lived in Paris (she didn't find one – the rest is history…) XO – Greg

  2. beth says:

    I'm certainly looking forward to leaping on my bicycle.

    Great story about Shakespeare and Co. The bookstore reverberates literary history – James Joyce et al. I'm going to go back and just soak up the atmosphere. Who knows, maybe I'll find that life-changing book … or maybe the running/writing book I bought is it.

    See you soon.

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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.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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