old salut!

Colin Randall wrote here on France, things Anglo-French and more......but has moved

January 03, 2007

Paris: hits and misses, and a miss to miss

This site has now moved to Salut!

This blog is no longer the preserve of a Parisian, so perhaps it is too early to be too dogmatic about what to look back on with a smile and what to be glad to see the back of.

But here goes anyway:

Picture: JammyCat.

What I'll miss:

* The sheer man-made beauty of both banks of the Seine

* The Métro. Parisians complain, of course, but it almost always worked for me

* Eurostar within easy reach

* Being able to get Indian food delivered to the door (even the Parisian version is better than nothing)

* Rebecca. Who is Rebecca Schofield? Bill Taylor asked the question when I used Rebecca's computer to make an e-mail response to his photo website.
She is, or was, my assistant. As an Englishwoman living in Paris (with a rural bolt hole), and as wife, mother, go-getter and unrivalled collector of friends, she knows just about everything about living in France

* And Rebecca will miss being reminded of Robin, the young work experience visitor who wrote in his subsequent school project of her dynamism and her ability to keep her desk tidy "amidst general disorder". He also lopped 15 years off our ages

* That view. I tried my best to give the impression of being blasé, but you cannot keep a straight face for long while feigning indifference to a panorama that begins with the Louvre, takes in the Tuileries with the Musée d'Orsay, twin spires of Ste Clotilde and the Assemblée Nationale as backdrop before arriving at the Eiffel Tower via Invalides and the Champs Elysées. Breathtaking

* Keeping relatively fit by fast-walking circuits of the Tuileries

* Parisian jazz

* Lifts to Parisian badminton clubs from Ming Lam, my friend from the Auberge des Gourmets Chinese restaurant.

* Being able to walk to functions at the Elysée, Quai d'Orsay or British Embassy. In fact, being able to walk to most places in the city centre

* Easy access to live English football whether or not you secretly have one of those Sky cards at home

And what I won't:

* The price of everything from mushroom omelette and chips to an unremarkable baguette in the 1st arrondissement

* The army of beggars. Paris seems to have more than most cities and a large proportion seems genuine, distinguishing them from the shift working professionals I have seen in action from Lyons to London. If the current wave of protests in support of France's SDFs - sans domicile fixe - inspires effective, humane action, it has my blessing

* Having to count a few extra seconds as drivers whizz by after pedestrian crossing lights turn green, and even then venturing out warily

* The feeling at the height of summer that there is no escape from the clammy heat

* Clanking old lifts that spot heavy bags a kilometre off and render themselves en panne

* And yes, there has to be more. But for once, I have run out of negative thoughts.....for now.

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This site has now moved to Salut!


At January 08, 2007 1:33 PM, Blogger Helen said...

I wonder if you'll miss all the blogs about France as well as the Anglo/English/British folk living here?

Where are you off to?

At January 08, 2007 2:02 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

Crikey. The other 186 comments go missing in the post and the only one to turn up is from someone who clearly has not been paying attention.
Sorry, Helen, just my way of accepting defeat.
After just over a week in the south of France, I already DON'T miss Paris, if you know what I mean. But I do realise that I will never properly be part of Le Lavandou life until I learn how to drive the wrong way through the car park at Intermarché without it even crossing my mind to feel guilty about it. Like at least half the local shoppers....

At January 08, 2007 8:44 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Don't worry too much Colin - it comes from moving away from Paris - the lost 186 comments were probably from Roo and Colinb anyway!

At January 08, 2007 8:50 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Or maybe it was our little twitter box.

At January 08, 2007 8:57 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Is that me you are calling a twitter box, Roo?

At January 08, 2007 9:39 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Louise, decide for yourself, here's the definition:

1. To utter a succession of light chirping or tremulous sounds; chirrup.
a. To speak rapidly and in a tremulous manner: twittering over office gossip.
b. To giggle nervously; titter.
3. To tremble with nervous agitation or excitement.
To utter or say with a twitter: twittered a greeting.

a. The light chirping sound made by certain birds.
b. A similar sound, especially light, tremulous speech or laughter.
2. Agitation or excitement; flutter.

[Middle English twiteren, ultimately of imitative origin.(of Louise?)]

At January 08, 2007 11:47 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Well it doesn't really sound like me - more like a blonde from Essex, of which I am neither one nor t'other.

I was just being 'nice' (as I am actually a 'nice' person) and adding a comment to Colin R's blog as the poor man seemed desperate that no-one was contributing, apart from Helen who got the wrong end of the stick...

And anyway, cuckoos don't twitter - they 'cuckoo' and can make you rich if you have money in your pocket when you hear the first one of the season.

At January 09, 2007 9:35 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Sorry Colin, but you can't have been a true Parisien if you find you don't miss it already. A true blue Parisien can't breathe outside the capital and has to keep rushing back to get a lungful of it's lovely polluted air (and take in a concert).

The rest of us enjoy a visit, but savour the less manic lifestyle of the south, the cheaper price of food, and the ease of everything from shopping to getting out into the country and not being on the road with 8 million others at the same time.


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