And so to Paris. Funny that I’ve been living in France since 2010 and this is my first time here since my two months with Bondi in Feb-April 2006. However it is Gustav’s very first time and a delightful way to close this French chapter.
I’ve booked two nights at a little hotel off Rue Montmartre, close to the Folies Bergere and thus just around the corner from where I studied French every morning at l’ Atelier 9. I pre-booked parking at a garage a few blocks away – that was a bit more confusing, but I think that’s a local art-form (the confusion, not the parking itself).
Once we’ve dropped everything off, the natural thing to do is to wander south down Rue Montmartre, past my old flat and around Les Halles. Once past the familiar street market and in front of L’ Eglise St-Eustache where Bondi played with other dogs of an evening, the Les Halles underground mall is now a big pit in the ground, being redeveloped from the brutal ugliness that was my ‘hood to this vision of green:
There’s also something going on at Notre Dame: a large temporary display building and viewing area sits immediately in front of the cathedral.
|We try a Starbucks on the left bank for coffee – a manager comes down and tells me off for having Munson in the entrance, and that dogs are prohibited from all cafes in France. I tell him that’s quite hilarious – you’d think he’d never stepped foot in another cafe or restaurant – I mean there are dogs everywhere.|
|We rested a bit at the hotel in the afternoon – it had been a very tiring few days. In the evening we found a fun pop-art exhibition opening. |
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Another last day. So many last days in one’s life, but then so many exciting next days, next adventures. I’ve been lucky to have had so many of those, so lucky with my companions.
Bondi and I spent 30 months travelling around Europe. Surely an adventure of a lifetime. Who would have imagined that I’d repeat that with Munson in another 30 months of this idyll on a French farm? I certainly haven’t planned such time-frames on these excursions; the compass points itself hither and then one day, there’s a change of direction. Fortune has its own compass.
Back in the moment: tears, hugs, last acknowledgments of furry friends, last nose rubs between furry friends.
The car had spent the night in the barn so it wouldn’t be frozen to immobility. Just after 9am we move so slowly down the white driveway, through white fog. It’s like some shroud of time opening for us to move away from our time-locked island.
Indulge me for these frames from the wheel as we approach the main road.
Bookending Gustav’s stay in France, is a night in Saint-Aignan with Walt and Ken, where exactly eighteen months ago we’d camped in their back yard as I brought Gustav to live with me. This time we had a more cosy night indoors.