Well into 2019

A mish mash of observations and notes.  And other things that it pleases me to write.

First.  I went out naked last week.

Well. It felt like it.  I forgot the iPhone at home.  Shrug.  I figured big deal actually.  I knew where I was going.  Straight shot on metro.  And back.  Except after I got to the destination, I decided to go to the other C&A store on Rivoli.  Across town.  And I survived splendidly.  Even found buses.  Smile.

There is a naked restaurant in Paris.  But it is closing.  Apparently, there are not enough naked restaurant goers to make it a success.  It always seemed a strange idea to me – I can understand the naked beaches…  but restaurants?  Crumbs?  Are they allowed to wear lobster bibs?

On my journey I walked along the Seine and remembered when I was here while I was in college and that the bouquinistes were really second hand booksellers, not the hawkers of tourist crap from China.

On my journey I also got yelled at.  I mean, seriously yelled at.  I asked the nice (!) man in the bus office for a map of the metro and bus and Paris.  Simple enough request.  But what did I forget?  If you’ve read this blog for a while, or if you have traveled to France, you should know.  Yup.  I said excusez moi.  Not Bonjour.   He went off.  I tried to apologize and say Bonjour, but no, it was too late for that!  And he went off more.  Almost threw the map at me.  Sigh.  I really did feel badly.  But actually, I was more concerned for him.  What kind of day must he be having that a minor oversight of Bonjour would make him so angry?

On my journey I also walked through Chatelet metro.  Again, you may have read my previous blogs about how confusing this metro station is.  The signs make no sense!  You walk back and forth hunting for your metro ligne.  I avoid it at all costs.  This time, I had no choice.  And guess what?  Someone figured out how to make logical signs.  It was a snap.  Happy for RATP.

This past weekend my Dutch friend visited – mostly for a trip to Costco.  Yup.  Costco France.  They have many Costcos in the UK and I believe Germany or Spain.  With plans to expand.  She found her Krustez pancake mix and we had real Costco hot dogs for lunch!  Decadent!

She was also very helpful – she had driven her car.  And it’s time to get prepared for my move to the new apartment.  With her assistance, we moved several bags over to the new place.  When I come back, I’ll stay there but will have one or two trips for things that I am leaving here and a last clean up before turning in the keys.

Come back?  Did you catch that?   Turns out my business partner and I have a consulting job in California.  So I am flying back for two weeks.  I am really looking forward to this work!  It’s quite energizing.  And it gives me a chance to bring a lot of things home.   Mostly food, I am finding.  I bought far too many Alsace Christmas cookies for my family.  They sell Anise cookies – a staple of my grandmother’s.  And some towels and other souvenir-y things.  Coming back to Paris my suitcase will be empty – except for the two tour books on Norway that I stupidly left there.  Norway is on the calendar for the beginning of May.

Tomorrow I have a movie and dinner date with a French friend to see Edmund, a new French film about Edmund Rostand who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac.  It’s the first week.  That means they have subtitles in French.  Best time for me to see a French movie.  That’s after a tango lesson.

OH  TANGO SHOES!  My Dutch friend and I went to Chartres on Saturday afternoon and after the cathedral, we wandered through the town.  Passed a dance store.  Where they had MERLET shoes- the French brand I have.  And there in the window were dancing shoes in my size with the requisite high heels.  Of course I bought them.  And contrary to anyone’s fear, I am NOT addicted to shoes, even tango shoes.  Why pass up a good deal, that’s all I am saying.

So tango lesson, movie, hair cut, printer and other things to the new apartment and then the real packing when the suitcases actually get locked on Wednesday night.  And a car waiting for me to drive to CDG at six a.m. Thursday morning.

It will be strange to blog about California in the French Paris blog story…

A bientot.

Happy New Year 2019

I don’t usually do NY resolutions.  Haven’t for years.  Seems like a big deal for not much return and is fraught with downfalls as resolutions fall by the wayside with lack of diligence or even prolonged interest.

When employed, December was the time of year to write the year end summaries for the annual performance evaluation.  I actually came to enjoy this process.  It gave me an opportunity to find a theme in the past year and focus on the theme for the coming year.

But that was in relation to work.  Paris has been the theme for my years since 2015.  And 2018,  when it started, had a theme of politics.  Then since July there has the unexpected gifts of a partnership, workshops, and, possibly a book.

So now starting 2019 in the French countryside – not Paris – everything has a different feel.  First, the countryside is so relaxing.  My friend’s house is a charming country stone home.  I am staying in a separate two story guest house across from the 1400 old mill.  This is somewhat a compound, with several building facing a courtyard.  It’s been remodeled – the barn was replaced by a three story building that houses an office and four flats.  As I took a walk through the French village, I noticed any number of similar compounds.  Just add another building to the first one and face a courtyard.  Communal living.  And then newer stand alone country homes.  And a wonderful old stone fence, covered with moss.  Looking so…  picturesque.  And old.  And there must be a chateau on the other side.

Nope.  Golf course.

But I was treated to a chateau yesterday as we drove about on errands.  It had been owned by a distant uncle of my host.  He had no children.  It was eventually sold.  Still.  Romantic.

The errands were to the butcher for the capon, the bird for dinner.  To another butcher for a starter for me for dinner – got a sausage in pastry.  Then the cheese shop where we bought cheese and the most incredible butter I have ever had (and I loved Brittany butter) made by a local farmer.  I bought the last two.  Hope to stop by for more to freeze and bring back to the US.  Yes, it’s legal to bring in butter.  We also went to two boulangeries – for bread and for the buche de noel.  And then to a basic simple modern market.  It was a busy afternoon.  And because the various destinations were in different locations – one in town, two in other villages and one in somewhere smaller than a village – I saw a lot of the countryside.

Friends of my friends joined us for New Years’ Eve and we have a marvelous time, much laughing, a lot of wine and champagne and more laughter.

This morning we all slept in.  The friends took off for Paris – just a quick trip.  And my friend and her husband and I had a leisurely day.  I did have the energy to take that 2.5 mile walk.

Now after an evening in front of their crackling fire, I am sitting at the dining table in the guest house typing this edition.  And suddenly I am hearing noises.  Really.  I texted my friend – does she have mice?  She came over quite quickly.  I was surprised – she said, if you who have hearing problems can hear it, it must be big!

So she sat with me for about 30 minutes and the noises eventually returned.  She thinks it to be a mouse and then explored under the counter cupboards whence the noises emanated.  No smells.  No droppings.  No bodies.

I will be brave and just close my bedroom door, trusting that the critter just wants warmth and is happy to stay in the cupboard.

But this means my meditation and journaling about the theme for 2019 will be cut short.  Instead, I live in the moment with the mice.

Happy 2019