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Vermeer at the Louvre

The most perfect day in Paris ever. Ever ever. Well, I do exaggerate sometimes, but it was a pretty fabulous day. Started this morning after my friend went to work and I went out to poke around in the junk fair just outside the door, eventually, finally, buying things – a Waterman fountain pen and a sparkly decoration for a friend, for 12 euros. Lynn came home only a few hours later, and we set off to walk and walk and look for a place for a special lunch. Rejected this one, that one, almost stopped several times, and then we found the perfect place – L’Ebauchoir – on a side street, unpretentious but lovely, and – we got the last table. The place was packed; later we read that it’s a well known and much-loved bistro – just our luck. Oh it was divine. We intended to have a glass of wine, but somehow, it was a bottle. Here’s our main course, and my friend with our adorable waiter. She has eaten in France for 47 years, and pronounced this meal “perfect.”

And then walking and shopping and walking and shopping and looking and talking and laughing. We shopped. My friend bought me an inexpensive little sweater, we both bought some summer pants on sale, I bought ink for my new 5 euro Waterman pen. We went to Merci nearby on the Blvd. Beaumarchais, the epicentre of trend but also a really interesting store – housewares, clothes, tools, paper stuff – we had a good time not buying anything. This is me with a nice big basket I liked.

Staggered home to rest for half an hour and dump our parcels before setting out again, to get the bus to the Louvre. Lynn had got us timed tickets for the huge Vermeer exhibition at the Louvre. 
We were dreading the long lines, but at 6.45 p.m. on Friday night, there was almost no wait time and we were in almost right away. Oh, what joy – Vermeer, my favourite artist – twelve, TWELVE, of his rare paintings, surrounded by other Dutch painters of the same time and the same subjects – women at harpsichords, writing letters, with lutes. Despite the crowds and our aching feet, it was overwhelming. There was another exhibition to see at the same time – Valentin de Boulogne, school of Caravaggio.

Glorious. Out into the mild evening, the metro home, and as soon as we got in, the heavens exploded and there was a rainstorm. We had supper in our flat – avocado vinaigrette, potato chips, ham, leftovers, and rosé. In our pyjamas. We walked over 15 kilometres today, Lynn knows because of her fitbit. I am wearing my new sweater and pants and full of food and wine and laughter, grateful for the magnificence of this world, this city in particular, and my beloved, joyful friend most of all.



2 Responses to “Vermeer at the Louvre”

  1. A total pleasure to read, Beth. I feel your joy. Everything is so perfect, I have no choice but to hate your guts for making me so jealous. And you co-conspirator, Lynn's.


  2. beth says:

    We love you too, CTL. In fact, the sparkly thing for a friend that I bought at the brocante – it's for you. So I'm thinking of you.

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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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