ipe Daily Bliss: Morning Walk in Paris

Daily Bliss

Today's lovely moments are tomorrow’s beautiful memories

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Morning Walk in Paris

Greetings from Paris!

I'm setting in for a quiet evening indoors, listening to the music of Boris Vian (music that my father would have loved) while I write a few letters and reflect upon the year and decades which were.

It's getting quite cold for this Australian so far from home. While Brisbane has sweltered all this week with temperatures above 34C, it is getting colder each day here in Paris, barely reaching 8C today. It's marvelous weather for long walks rugged up in my thick old coat (though I should also have wron my gloves).

Being Saturday and having no classes to attend, I organised myself early (tidying my room and taking my clothes to the drycleaner) and then set out for a long morning of exploration - my first opportunity to do so since Paul's and my walk along the Champs Elysées that first week.

The first port of call was the local market. In Brisbane, we have the open markets (like the one at I have seen in Europe and in Canada. For the locals, they are a daily event. For me, they are a specialty which always remind me that Christmas is just around the corner no matter the time of year it is. I think that it's because the food on display is the kind of food that we eat for special occasions ( oysters, specialty salamis and hams, cheeses, cuts of meat, game, poultry and rabbit). Er... no. Yes, they have rabbit, but I cannot knowingly eat rabbit because I'm a girl of the mixamatosis rabbit erradication era in Australia (stories about which I could tell that would make your hair fall out and your eyes roll to the back of your head). There was also a man selling pine Christmas trees - oh what childhood memies that brought back!

After that feast for my senses (the sights, the smells and the raised voices of venders happily selling their wares), I set off to walk from Gare de l'Est to the Seine along the boulevard de Strasbourg which at half way changes to the Boulevard de Sébastepol. I walkd a third of this route each day on my way to classes but today was the first time that I poked my nose into any of the coiffeur type shops selling the most beautiful hair pieces and wigs that I have ever seen. Oh how I wish that the princesse cadette was with me, this morning!

I visited Gabriella in Townsville about a month ago and while I was there, she got me to put a bright red rinse in her hair. She has been experimenting with hair colour for a while noz. Each time she comes to Brisbane, she has a different colour mixed in with the black: blue, red, pink, purple...

Anyway, back to my walk. Gabriella would have loved Bld de Strasbourg zith all its trucs et astuces for hair. Par contre, my hair is so fine, I got the urge to shave it off and buy a gorgeous wig but figured I'd end up looking like a character quasi escaped from the set of Prisilla Queen of the Desert.
Crossing Bld St-Dénis, I managed to resist the call of the bookshop next to Monoprix where I've already spent way too much money on books (oh how British Air will love me when my bags are weighed in at the end of my séjour in Paris!), I continued along the same boulevard, now named Bd de Sébastepol past the furniture shops until I got to rue Rambuteau where I turned left, first to see the eglise de St Eustace and then to retrace my steps a bit to go to Les Halles. The Living Doll (let's be honest here Felicity: any female with your DNA flowing through their veins - sisters and daughters) would have loved the shoe shops along the rue Rambuteau (who am I kidding? Anywhere I've been in Paris where I've drooled over shoes the way Harry the labrador drools at the mere mention of breakfast my sisters and daughters could easily have disposed of Ali Baba's fortune). Oh the boots, girls! Long, short, high or low healed, leather, suede, plastic and in any colour you could imagine. Where's my hanky?

I've always loved to faire du lèche-vitrines at Les Halles. I went there today, though, with a mission - to check out FNAC's book and CD floor. Good news is that it's still there. I'll take the MOTH when he arrives.

My last detour on my way to the river was to set eyes on the Pompidou Centre. En grève. Oh well, a treat for another day, next weekend, perhaps! This Paris icon is one of the late 20th Century presidents' bold grands projets or grands travaux. Unveilled in 1977, it prompted a furore (as did François Mitterand's Louvre pyramid in 1989) but, like the pyramid, it's now much admired. The building houses Paris' premier culture centre and is so unusual that you could spend hours looking at it (azs I have done) without ever going inside. It reminds me of a building made from my brother's Meccano set - with plumbing pipes and air vents, painted blue and red, forming part of the external facade.

I managed to control myself and turn back once I got to the river even though I was oh so tempted to go and visit Notre Dame de Paris, my favourite building in Paris. I retraced my steps back to the gare where I enjoyed a late lunch before exploring the shops in my own quartier. I saw the nicest handbag that I have ever seen and nearly had a heart attack at the 999€ price tag. After that, it was home to read the weekend newspapers (oh how I wish I could speak French as well as I can write it!).

Now it's time to get the washing dry.

Au revoir, dear readers. I wish you much happiness & laughter until next time.



Blogger Daughter of the Midwest said...

Thank you so much Bliss for sharing your morning adventure in Paris! And yes, like you, I could spend my weight in money on books and shoes! It may be cheaper to ship the books home, but I don't know. Might be worth checking into if you don't know. Keep having fun! Luv ya!

10:58 pm  
Blogger Gabriella said...

Hi Mum.
Its been a while since I looked on the blog site and what do you know, a new post with references to me! Booya. At the moment my hair is dyed back to black. Diana and I had a good time doing that together. We were going to put more colour in but we failed miserably. I love it black anyway so no problems. Also on a strange coincedental note, I ate rabbit last week with Duncan. I can happily live without eating it for the rest of my life, but all in all it wasnt that bad.

Paris sounds like a lovely adventure and I'm glad you are enjoying it. I loved the markets of Austria, if nothing else, they added such magic to the season.

Love Gabriella

7:39 am  
Blogger Chars said...

Hello Felicity... Wishing you a wonderful festive season :) Have a special Christmas and all the best for 2010. I have just relocated to Laidley in SEQ so maybe we can catch up once you are back next year ???

Hugs xxx

6:54 pm  

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