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last day in Paris

I decided in the night that what I have is a little case of walking pneumonia. Maybe, maybe not. In any case, whatever it is is still there, although the melatonin product I bought yesterday worked wonders – a little film that melts on your tongue and leads to slumber, amazing.

Months ago I’d booked tickets for us to visit the Musée d’Orsay, a special exhibition about the early days of Impressionism in 1874. Lynn was willing to go alone if I didn’t feel up to it, but finally I couldn’t not go. We got the metro to the Tuileries, walked across the gardens to the river and across to the museum, that magnificent building with its giant railway clocks. The exhibition was of course a zoo, jam-packed, difficult to see the pictures, tour groups clogging the route, but still, they were pretty great, those painters. Monet – is there anyone like Monet?

Below, a gorgeous Renoir, friends with Monet who painted the same pot of sunflowers and dahlias, and a beautiful Degas, whom I do not associate with skilful, sensitive close-up portraits.

Then out into a lovely Paris day. The weather has been wonderful, I’ve felt not a drop of rain after all that fuss. We wandered along the rue du Bac and found a great restaurant for lunch: confit de canard, delicious, with a small pichet of wine. We toasted our fifty-seven years of friendship.

And then to Monoprix, where Madame bought me a pair of crimson linen pants as a Christmas present. So I have a souvenir of the trip, because otherwise have bought nothing except medicine. And then walked with the thousands hovering around Notre Dame, over to Chatelet metro and home, back to my happy place — on the sofa under a blanket.

Tomorrow, off to the Gare du Nord to get the Eurostar to London. Once I get to my London hotel, I can just stay in bed for a day if I want. I do have a theatre ticket for Saturday night, but if I’m not well, I’ll take it easy. The good news is, I have a doctor’s appointment for shortly after I get home. Enough already. My lungs hurt, but I’m alive, full of art, food, and friendship, and moving on.

Below: crossing the Tuileries with the Louvre in the background – the redbud trees are glorious. Les Deux Magots, where Sartre and de Beauvoir wrote. The Fontaine Saint-Michel, the famous meeting place at the start of the boulevard.

So beautiful, this city. So full of life and creativity and style. Crazy making sometimes, but superb. I’ll be back. With lungs.

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4 Responses to “last day in Paris”

  1. Kathy O'Brien says:

    that Degas portrait is haunting

  2. Beth Kaplan says:

    Yes, isn’t she beautiful, Kathy? She’s focussed, with a set mouth, hard to tell what she’s thinking. I want to invite her for tea.

  3. Kathy O'Brien says:

    there’s something about her that seems very modern and free-thinking

  4. Beth Kaplan says:

    That’s what I love about going to art galleries in Europe – you look at old portraits, faces from hundreds of years ago, and then walk out into the street and there are the same faces.

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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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