Mistletoe, Wood Stove, and Moi

Posted on 27 December 2005


Mistletoe, Wood Stove, and Moi
Originally uploaded by Barbara Y.

We might have spent Christmas in the south of France beside this wood-burning stove but instead, we took an overnight train to Paris and found ourselves in a warm, spacious, modern Paris apartment thanks to the generosity of Gill’s employers.

Paris in style
Paris in style

Christmas day was lovely. Small gifts of chocolate, guide books, jewelery (designed by Gill) and a breakfast of pastries and then a walk through Luxembourg Gardens. I show here a picture of me in the gardens, vain creature that I am, because it is the only one in which I have a big smile and don’t like an old bag.
Christmas Day in Luxembourg Gardens

In the evening we went to an old-world French restaurant, founded sometime in the 1600s, where Voltaire, Rosseau, Benjamin Franklin used to dine. The food was amazing. The company the best. It would have been perfect if Mike had been with us.

Boxing Day, we all had had enough of family togetherness and went our separate ways. I caught the metro to Galleries Lafayette hoping there would be an enormous sale. No luck. It was open and mad with shoppers but their winter sale doesn’t start till January (after I leave, damn it.) So I left and wandered down streets until I came to the Tuileries Gardens, changed course and headed toward the Louvre. Too many people. I found a little cafe where I read my novel and ate a salad; and continued to walk along the river until I came across a WH Smith bookstore – I kid you not – and there spent a good hour or more. I bought three books.

The most extravagant is called “A Writer’s Paris: a guided journey for the creative soul” by Eric Maisel. In the introduction he says: “To travel to Paris for two weeks or six months and to actually write during this time is to change your relationship to your writing.” I don’t intend to do anything foolish, like devote myself to writing every minute of the day but I do intend to read a bundle, journal, and walk.

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