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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

my woman is gone

She left this morning, but the sun hasn’t left me yet.

Parisians are starting to whisper that it’s the start of summer, but we’re all afraid of declaring it and finding ourselves back in the rain.

It felt like it this weekend, walking around the city with my mother, the sun pouring over us.

Like anyone who’s been hiding under an umbrella and layers for the past two weeks, I was happy to take advantage of it.

And so we trudged to the Sunday market, and left armed with beautiful cheeses, apricots, cherries, fresh cod, baby artichokes, white asparagus, bread and wine. In the day we had a picnic in the park, wandered around the Marais, and went to my friend’s for dinner.

On the other side of Paris we had a leisurely dinner at my friend's bohemian apartment. There were several courses, the artichokes, cod and asparagus from the market, a cheese course, and a heavenly peach crumble made by the lovely host.

We began the meal inside in the warmth of the kitchen, and moved out into the evening air for the remaining courses, finishing our meal on the terrace by candlelight.

When considering every aspect that goes into a perfect meal, this one covered all bases. The music was good, the people were intelligent (and also crazy), the wine was poured freely, the food served slowly, and every bite was savored.

The next day we slept in, then took off into the city to attempt shopping. I use the word attempt, because after a couple of department stores we were tired of trying on shoes and being elbowed by tourists. So we bought nothing, went to the bookstore, bought plenty, and retired to the Tuleries where we sat and read under the trees at a small café in the park.

I wasn’t in the best form. My stomach was in knots from the combination of excitement, anxiousness, heat, and feeding my belly more wine and cheese than is ever appropriate.

Luckily I still had the energy for one more shopping trip, much more my style, to the Bon Marche Epicerie for dinner goods.

I held my mothers warm hands after dinner in my small apartment. I didn’t want her to leave. But we both have lives to live, and only two more months before we’re hand in hand again.

My calendar is booked steady until my trip to the ocean with the kids, then my return to the South of France, then Vancouver, and eventually back to Toronto for school.

Meanwhile, Paris blooms, and the sun has finally come out for all of us.

tell the world i'm here
picnic in the park
dinner at Ari's
a beauty among statues
appropriate reading


Blogger maitresse said...

i threw that book across the room once while I was reading it. it was good overall but some of the prose made me hurl. it.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Mirella said...

Nice post!
For bad stomzch, hang over and so on, nothing better than "Citrate de Betaïne" - effervecent.
Veeery good!

1:06 AM  
Blogger A Novelist said...

Lovely pictures! I hope you enjoyed your time with your mother. :)

9:05 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

What do you think of the book? I remember it really hitting home at the time, the feeling of ineptitude at not being able to make intelligent conversation in the new language, the French boyfriend, the bureaucracy. I can't really remember the prose though. It was such a bestseller here in Australia, there are even Almost French diaries and calendars now.

I love these posts, the love of your mum parallels my love for my mum, and it's so nice to read about.

4:55 PM  
Blogger NWO said...

Your photos are fabulous! I feel like I've taken a minivacation every time I visit your blog. Thanks again.

6:46 PM  
Blogger l'embrouillamini said...

I have just finished reading that very book. I liked her comment:
"The essence of French elegance lies in the balance of romance and restraint".

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Thank God for the sun. It is here with us too.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Gillian Young said...

maitresse- we'll discuss this issue further in's been too long

mirella- where do you get this Citrate de Betaine?

a novelist- oh I did, I did! Thank you!

julia- I'm loving the book, because like you, I can rejoice in relating to her first impressions. No longer alone in this foreign French world.

nwobserver- glad to take you here!

l'embrouillamini- yes, I'm also loving everything she has to say about the French, especially French style!

Kate- let it shine, let it shine, let it shine...

11:40 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

Gill! I'm in India! We got wireless today at our apartment so hopefully I'll be able to be in touch. I updated my blog for the first time in like a month lol...

I miss you and Paris so much! With you there, me in India, and Ari in SF I feel like we've been scattered to the wind... I'm so glad I met you and we got to know each other this semester and we will definitely have to get together in Toronto or New York soon!

pucci (bisous in hindi, i think)

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Ms. Glaze said...

Bonjour Cutie! Long time no see. If your mom's still in town, you guys should come for a ladies lunch at Guy Savoy... I'll be sure to get you a kitchen tour and I would love to see the reaction of the all male staff (hee hee!).

Bisous, Ms. Glaze

PS. it's expensive so check out their prices online first

5:57 AM  
Blogger Josh said...

is that author actually Sarah Turnbull? not the same one i hope

12:07 PM  

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