Like a Bird on the Wire

Posted on 30 August 2007

Yesterday I flew from London to Toronto. As we were approaching TO, the captain came over the loudspeaker and said it was a special flight for him – his last. He had lived his dream of flying a large plane for 35 years and he was retiring.

When the wheels touched the runway, the co-pilot’s voice told us not to be alarmed by the fire engines on each side of the plane. They were there to salute the captain bid him farewell. Firemen aimed their hoses at the windows and sprayed water beginning at the front and working their way down to the rear of the plane. As each section was sprayed, the passengers applauded.

I thought it a fine send-off and was happier still that once again I had landed safely. (Will I ever get over my fear of flying?)

I stayed in London one night at an airport hotel so didn’t get a taste of this fancy city but I did have a few days in my beloved Paris with my beloved daughter. This has to be the most extravagant, luscious, beautiful city in all the world. And I oh so love to hear French spoken with a Parisian accent and watch the smart Parisiennes with their stylish scarves and fancy heels kiss cheek to cheek by the Seine or the Sorbonne or Cafe Flore or anywhere that my favourite authors – Beauvoir and Colette and Nin – lived and wrote.

In the evening of my only full day in Paris, Gill and I were to dine at “The Hidden Kitchen” that has had rave revues. It is in a private apartment where two young chefs create and serve a ten course meal. Unfortunately the man of the couple mistook the day or was it the month and we were out of luck. But the woman was very apologetic and directed us to a Moroccan restaurant on a small street that we would never have happened on without direction.

They were full but Gill with a big smile and sweet words got us in. The owner, his staff, and the chef (who kept sending his big smiles my way… yet it’s Gilly who has a thing for chefs) were great but the food was superlative and we were content – so content we danced down side streets on our way home and forgave the hidden kitchen.

Tomorrow, Gill and I leave for a horse ranch in Vermont. My nephew is getting married.

I feel light and happy… and in a week or near enough, I will be home in Vancouver. And the only thing I dread is the plane ride.

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