This is the middle.
Things have had time to get complicated,
messy, really. Nothing is simple anymore
This is the thick of things.
So much is crowded into the middle
too much to name, too much to think about.
- Billy Collins
Oh dear lord I’m in the middle of a craft project which I’m wait for it 5 MONTHS INTO nearly. Naturally I’ve not been on the case fulltime there have been diversions for making blankets for dog statues, babies, and 15 blankets worth of squares for orphans and a little light knitting for myself. But I now have a deadline and I’m that oh my god I’ll never get there stage. Which is a kind of sign I should NOT be online but return to my piles of crochet. I wish I could show you what my kitchen looks like at the moment but alas WordPress has deemed that I have used too many images and will not load up new ones so I’m having to rely on old images from my store.
So our first day we first marched forth to find the yarn shop/ teashop which promised vegan food – it was closed despite saying it was open on their facebook page. So we muttered and tried to peer through the window to what we were missing. We gathered ourselves up and marched again, past the Patheon and on towards Shakespeare and Company. Many years ago I made a film about a suffragette Ethel Moorhead who after doing a tour of all the jails in Scotland for her nefarious activities left the UK and settled into Paris between the wars starting a literary magazine called This Quarter with a man called Ernest Walsh. I read a lot about this period and seeing the successor shop to Sylvia Beech’s was a must. Oh the horror we walked up and down the street unable to find it. Eventually sitting in a very touristy cafe (having our second most expensive coffee) while I begged my friend to check her ipad. She kept on saying helpfully ‘maybe its closed’ and I was stoutly insisting that it would have been headline news if it had. We did find it as it turns out the street its on is bifurbricated by a socking parc….
Breakfast on French baguette on the first day.
When I said I was going to Paris with a friend and her dog I was amazed by the amount of negative reaction. Including ‘But he won’t be able to understand the French dogs.’! Despite his strong Fife accent Trouble managed to communicate with French dogs, a lot of bottom sniffing and a few very delectable fluffy white girl dogs caught his roving eye.
We took the ferry from Dover but had to leave him in the car during the crossing. However if you take the chunnel you can take dogs but not on the Eurostar.
We booked accommodation, an appartment in Bercy with Booking.com which has a handy search mechanism for finding pet friendly places. He cost us an extra 8 Euros a night. The only problem really was that we read blogs which said that no dogs were allowed on the Metro and believed them. On the last day my friend took Trouble for his rabies medicine so he would be allowed back into blighty, and had a long conversation with the taxi driver, who was a dog owner, who said that where as officially no dog is allowed on the Metro – collectively everyone in Paris ignores this rule. It just meant that we did a hell of a lot of walking. I’m talking up to four or more hours a day. Great for Mr T who peed on hundreds of French lamp posts. We did however take him on the Batobus. The other problem was that many parks were banned to dogs even on leads (though not part of Bercy Parc near where we were staying). And naturally museums and galleries. The upside of that is that we saw a lot more of Paris than hiding away in buildings. Some times we sat outside when eating and a few times we were allowed to bring Trouble in with us.
I’m spending New Year in Paris. Today was the first day I walked around in the company of my friend and a small dog called Trouble. We have walked and walked and walked. Trouble has sniffed many French dog’s bottoms and ….. peed on many a Parisienne lamp post. It is all … very… French.
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