On Friday evening we sat on a fifth-floor balcony under darkening skies with cheese and bread and fig jam and alcohol. I dangled my legs through the railings and admired the railings across the way. We talked and talked and talked some more. I gave him the selected works of Neruda I'd picked up in the branch of Foyles at St Pancras on my way over; I note with sadness that it shuts at the end of the month. (Still in England, barely outside London, the train passed a field of red double-decker buses that had been put out to pasture.)
On Saturday we ate at an intriguing vegetarian restaurant recommended by a friend (welcome to identify yourself in comments, just wasn't sure whether you'd be okay w/ naming <3) who was very kind about texting back & forth enthusiastically over the course of the morning. The afternoon we spent at the Louvre, where I was very fond of dragons and the cuticles/lines on a Nisus&Euryalis; and there was a tiny gallery of watches
about which I was very excited
because there was actually a set-up I'd never seen before -- watches with inbuilt sundials + compasses, presumably
so that when they wound down/went too badly out you could establish the time in order to correct them! (Really, really
excited - I've visited enough horology galleries to be genuinely surprised to come across styles of timepiece I haven't met before.) Said gallery also featured a very nice implementation of the hourglasses-displaying-subdivisions thing -- instead of a rack of 3-4 hourglasses to be turned simultaneously, it was a column of glass blobs that (one infers) emptied sequentially on the quarter hour. AND there was a gallery of scientific instruments and tiny portable armillary spheres, which always make me happy.In addition
there's currently a formal-gardens competition going on -- Notre Dame and a few other associated places seem to have decided on a theme of "The Illusion", by which they mean they've dumped a bunch of 5' tall mirrors in flowerbeds, which is fascinating if slightly creepy.
AND in the EVENING, after a route home via the confusingly-named Luxembourg park that to its credit contained an excellent brass band, we had EIERSCHWAMMERL. I was staggeringly excited to find them at the shop round the corner from P's, because they are very difficult to get hold of in any appropriate form at any appropriate price in the UK, but I got to do all the appropriate things with respect to frying them in butter with garlic and then drowning them in parsley, and lo it was good :-) (At same said stall I was delighted to find that at least in some parts of France the thing I would call Zwetschke is a questche
! Not sure which way the etymology goes but will have a go at hunting it down.)
And then TODAY I slept a lot and then feasted well for breakfast (both mornings P popped to the bakery around the corner and returned with a bag of fresh croissant & pain au chocolat while I murbled around still being asleep in bed; it was great
) and eventually we left the house; we walked past bookshops & coffee shops & through parks & the Musee d'Armee (nice dome!) & paused to eat fresh bread & fig jam & Selles-sur-Cher, which is my favourite goat cheese and much more readily available in France than in the UK; and ended up at the Musee d'Orsay, where I fell in love with the giant clock faces as architectural features on the top floor and also suddenly got
the point of art galleries in front of le jardin de Monet, les iris
-- or at least, I suddenly understood why someone might want to just sit and stare at a painting for hours. Additionally: lots of very
nice stuff in the Art Nouveau exhibits, and once we got chucked out we hung around on the bank of the Seine to see the Tour de France go past -- P sort of felt he ought to, and so did I, as I'd ignored it in both Cambridge and London and it was right there
and due to go by pretty much as the museum was closing...
... and that, having skipped over a fair amount of the intervening raspberry-and-pistachio-ice-cream, was that; I waved at the Centre Pompidou, managed through cunning overscheduling to fail to make it to Etat Libre d'Orange's flagship shop, for which my wallet no doubt thanks me, exclaimed with delight over a very great deal of architecture and a large number of flowerbeds, was delighted to come face-to-face with ponies, swore a lot about how much I hate people, was very glad I'd taken the wheelchair with me, and ate cherries
. I continue impressed by how thoroughly pleasant it is to travel by Eurostar with chair - flat rate gets you business lounge & business premier & actually genuinely tasty food on board, so! I was happy and will do the thing again in the future.
Yes. Good weekend. No work, lots of reading of books, good company. Good.