Wednesday, November 09, 2005


The thing about Paris is that it is Paris. This means that things are different and one either accepts or goes nuts. Par exemple: in the toilettes, it seems to be common practice to provide The Ladies with either a toilet seat or toilet tissue but not both. I have stopped counting the new things I have learned but carrying tissue in my pocket is now automatic. And dinner with the Paris VOC guys doesn't start until 2100 so don't go showing up at 1900 worrying about being late.

I have been to and seen a lot of Art. I do not ever need to go to The Louvre again (both of us, The Louvre and I, are thankful). I will go to L'Orsay and Ste-Chapelle over and over. Chartres is damcold in the November damp and the tour guide lacked grace but the Museum of Stained Glass was informative (even though all in French) and had huge pictures of the windows they had restored for the cathedral at eye level instead of where they are placed. Obviously those medieval types had waaaay better long sight than we 21st century types. Weather here is like weather in Vancouver: wait half a day if you want a change. The light is clear and the buildings are not tall so one can see the sky without craning (unless one is in my hotel room which has a lovely view of the neighbouring building and the rest of the ventilation shaft).

Sound clips: Nuns singing Matins in Sacre Coeur. Group of young people singing a 6 part Kyrie in Chartres. Bass player in the Metro. Sax player in the Metro. Wierd oriental instrument player in the Metro making EVERYONE hurry up!! French being spoken to me and me understanding!! The pianist at the piano bar off the square on Montmartre finishing her evening with Mozart and half a dozen of us standing around outside listening. Police sirens. Clip, clop of horses. Bicycle bells. A concert of Baroque music including a harpsichord (or clavier - sorry Shannon and Victoria, I don't know which) and recorder and a mezzo and soprano who sang "Sound the Trumpets..." And the unsound of Europeans having their cell phone conversations - even this inveterate eavesdropper can't hear them. This will change as soon as I cross the Channel, I'm afraid!

Tomorrow, I'm off to Arras on a pilgrimage of sorts. The Vimy monument is near by and I am going there on the 11th with a new young friend from Calgary (how lovely to have a new friend). And then it is Britain. If I haven't used up all my i/n time here, I will finish up with some more posting otherwise, it's au revoir for now.


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