I JUST LOVED IT ! ! Such a very special occasion to spend time with one’s offspring and observe how they have grown up, and how they interact with the world, and how they have developed into ‘thinking’ compassionate human beings, and to recognise that soul and spirit and energy, which drives them on to fulfil their dreams, and to sit back and watch and think “YES, they have landed; they are happy and contented with who they are, with where they are and with what they are doing”
I didn’t have to go to Paris with Ruth to realise that; could have just sat at home and had a laugh! To quote a Vulcan ‘mind-meld’ “My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts, my thoughts are yours”
HOWEVER what a treat to do ALL the things that I really enjoy doing in a place that I LOVE with a wonderful companion!
I have been to Paris about fifteen years ago for a ROMANTIC birthday treat (I am a valentine’s day baby so it is always freezing on my birthday treats) My husband is an architect and we visited the UNESCO building, L’ Institut de l’Arabe, La Defense, Parc de la Villette, Le Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame and we gazed at The Eiffel Tower and went up and down in the lift in the Louvre, but no queuing for us to see the Mona Lisa! The one hour flight home took over two hours, as we couldn’t land, due to very high winds, and we kept watching the same google aerial map, as we circled and circled ; I vowed then I would never go back to Paris! !
But I did; I then accompanied over a hundred twelve and thirteen year olds by coach via the Channel Tunnel. Very different! A brilliant opportunity for the children to look down from the Eiffel Tower, to visit a chateau, a french village and the ubiquitous Intermarche and practise their french? Mmmm….I spent a lot of the time not really seeing anything at all but counting children, even in my sleep, but all great fun, apart from the long drive to Dover from the Midlands to catch the Tunnel.
I was so pleasantly surprised by the joys of Eurostar and how easy and efficient the whole experience was! That will be my mode of travel from now on, St Pancras is a wonderful re-furbishment and I can’t remember now which architect was responsible, but well done and very useful ( thought the sculptures were really distasteful and trite, were they meant to be Beckhams? awful, perhaps they could melt them down and start again, although, maybe, we would get a ‘Kapoor Olympics special’, the silly ‘Helter-skelter’ construction, bring back Rodin!) I do apologise but I have a lifetime of Art and Architecture seeped into my mind and it emerges now and again!
I think that is why Ruth steered me away from visiting the art galleries in case ‘I went off on one” She is VERY clever at ‘managing’ my passions and interests; that’s why we ended up in Le Marais in the BHV Department store, looking at lampshades and clothes.
We had macaroons in an outside cafe, Carretere, near Le Parc des Vosges, being pulled along, so I wouldn’t begin to voice my critique of the ‘art’ in the galleries we passed, or queue up to see Victor Hugo’s house!
I did all the things I wanted to do before on my visits, but were too ‘girlie’ to do with a husband; cocktails before dinner, lots and lots of eating at cafes ( my husband is like a cross between a stick insect and a camel and he NEVER gets hungry!)
We also took TAXIS which my hubby doesn’t do ( I had miles to walk every day in our last visit to Amsterdam, lugging a suitcase through the blizzards, and ending up with a very poorly bunion and blisters!) A little tip I learnt from daughter is, watch what their tariff says when you first get into the taxi and object if it is too much; We ordered a taxi to Gard du Nord from Hotel Duo, in Le Marais, and he came early and, as we were settling our bill, he was cleaning out the taxi with a dustpan and brush, leaving all the rubbish on the road, and clocked up 10.35 euros before we had got in! The trip to station is only 6 euros anyway!
Ruth’s performance could have won an OSCAR, brilliant and extremely effective, as she refused to get in and argued her point IN FRENCH, and english and sent him packing, having retrieved our suitcases. It all reminded me of a similar incident when Ruth was nine, when I felt I would argue my case with a traffic warden’s unjust parking ticket! I was parked on a cul de sac that I had used every week for years, and I hadn’t noticed a VERY INCONSPICUOUS plastic- covered, type-written text on a lamp-post ! So I drove to the local police station to await the arrival of the traffic warden to point out the inadequate signage! As I was arguing my case calmly and logically, Ruth was also interjecting with her carefully constructed arguments! (I can see now why Ruth originally started her career reading LAW for two years!)
I had a wonderful opportunity to see Ruth as my ‘grown-up’ daughter and all the organisation, which I usually do for my hubby and I, Ruth did absolutely everything and I just let go of the responsibility, first time EVER! I just LOVED it!
I am going to split my posts up, as there are too many photos for one post!
Ruth has taken really good photos, although I was very amused by her body poses as she took them! Hubby always manages to make me look HUGE on the top with tiny feet, rather like a penguin, even though I advise him to bend at the knees to come to my level, he is, or was, quite tall!