Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Window onto Paris.

 So how was Paris?

                                                          Cold, grey ,wet and full of sugar.

                                 Does this sound negative? Actually they are all positives.

Yes, it was cold, but cold enough to wear my new hat and  my new long coat. Nothing worse that having new lovely things that cannot be worn. Both are new to me, the hat from the mad-hatters sale and the coat from a girlfriend. Both deserved the outing and I was flattered when I was taken for being French rather than English. This I felt was a reflection on appearance rather than a commentary on my accent or country of origin.

Grey, Paris is grey. Wonderfully grey that contrasts so well with the gilt. Grey can be elegant, grey can be soothing to the eye and blend wonderfully with a leaden sky. Grey combined with wet can be stunning.

Paris is wet. It did rain, but Paris in the rain is still enchanting. You can people watch from cafes , buses and the river. The rain can drive you inside buildings to observe the most wonderful art or food. You can escape into bookshops and shelter and enter another time and place. Watch people write, play the piano, chess or just read. Such as our visit to the  bookshop. 

[No readers were harmed in the taking of these photographs]
My chosen book for this visit The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

The streets were running with water, everyday when we were there. Being washed by hose pipes, because of the dogs I presume? Only saw one cat and that I think was a Banksy on a spring break. But, as I said, grey and wet combined can be stunning and at the  Trocadero I took the photograph of the iconic tower with reflection and cloud, for me this sums up Paris.    


I have never seen so much sugar as I did in Paris. In one shop a whole aisle was devoted to sugar cubes of diverse shape and colour, I wanted to possess them all. Lips, hearts, white,black and brown squares. Jigsaw shapes, flavoured granules in beautiful bottles that looked so stylish surely they could only be for display. Then I decided to try black coffee and sugar. Not revolutionary I know, but a new taste for me. I am smitten. My taste of Paris will now always be small cups of the black and a decadent cube of the sweet stuff.

Did I buy any sugar? Well no, the exchange rate decided that for me. If I am honest, I have already seen a lone box of cubes in Fortnum and Mason but thought that the £6 asking price was too expensive. Travel broadens the mind and in my case the purse strings. The 15 euro price asked in Paris has altered my perspective . So the next time I am in London I will be bringing home a little taste of my Parisian memories.

Paris has left me with a sweet feeling, like sugar, always making you want more. So back to Paris I will go to see the parts that I missed, the parts of Paris seen through the big round window and the Parisian gardens that come alive with the water from the winter , that complement the grey rooftops so perfectly.



  1. I love grey, misty, damp weather and the way it makes everything look so soft and romantic - it makes me feel as though I'm in an impressionist painting!

  2. Reflections and mirrors. Grey is wonderful because it is neither black nor white but elements of both and therefore so meaningful.