I have been so insanely busy since arriving in Paris and with the lost luggage, my big adventure to the Loire Valley, the street art tour and my adventures on Sunday, which I will post out of order later, I have barely had time to think and certainly no time for rest.
However, Sunday night always means dinner at Jim Haynes. Rushing back from Versailles on Sunday afternoon, where I had spent a few hours and then back to the apartment to freshen up and head off to Jim’s with my new English mate who I had met on the street art tour, it was still all go go go. Jim was in good spirits and the crowd was fun and animated. The hearty vegetable soup was the perfect medicine for the cold windy night.
My new camera has been a fantastic inspiration and I have already taken over 560 images in the short time since I arrived.
Robert, my mate from Canada, commented after I had posted the photo below on my Instagram account that Paris agrees with me.
He is absolutely right. Although this photo was taken from the road approaching Château de Chambord, Paris does agree with me.
I guess I don’t need to say how much I love the city of Paris because I say it all the time and how inspiring it can be. Add into the mix my new sexy camera and what has now become my favourite lens of choice, an 18-135mm and the creative juices are bubbling to the surface and spilling out into my photography.
At times I can get lazy and can’t be bothered to pull the camera out but this visit to Paris, so far, with my new camera feels good in the hand and seems so much more intelligent to use. It was a huge investment but I am loving every minute of it and liking what is transpiring.
Sunday night at Jim’s I met an interesting man from New York.
In order that I am not the victim of a legal suit, let’s call him Richard. I call him this because he has those same narrow, squinting eyes and big nose and maybe someone told him to do the blinking thing that Richard Gere does for effect.
It kind of worked, a couple of hard squint squints after I mention something astounding to him, for example that I have never visited New York and Richard is in full swing, although he told me that people tell him that he looks like Brad Pitt.
This is a far cry from the truth and we all know that Richard Gere and Brad Pitt don’t really look anything alike. Right?
Add a few un-welcomed hands on my legs and offers to pull the zipper down on my top and you may be starting to understand the true meaning of ‘interesting’.
Throw into the mix that he offers that I appear to be 10 years younger than I am, notes that a woman sitting nearby is void of wrinkles but she is probably sitting at around 65 and the integrity of the man fails somewhat.
But hey! I am on holidays, I suffered a brutal marriage break up and am starting to see the light at the end of tunnel.
He blink blinks again, in that uncanny Richard Gere kind of way and my precautions start to mellow. Paris Adele has issues with trust but with the squinting Richard Gere, she decided to relax the boundaries a little and ease up on the suspicions. Of course, one should follow their intuitions, especially when they get the sense that they serve them well.
Sunday night he made a broad sweeping statement that Paris goes to sleep by 12 midnight, which is untrue, he asks me to take him to my favourite bar and what resulted was a very late night and a much needed sleep in the next day.
He says he would like to see me again, I needed to find a hot shoe for my tripod, I warned him that I would be camera shop hopping, so it could be boring but he was welcome to join me and I could point out a few places of interest along the way. He agrees.
It was a chilly night and he arrived in a beanie sans coat, which I found a bit odd. After an unsuccessful attempt at buying a hot shoe, we eventually ended up at my tiny favourite bar in the Marais. It was quiet and eventually, until a French couple arrived, we were the only people there.
A few drinks later, he muscles his way into the conversation of the French couple and we are all chatting away. By the time 1.30am arrived, they wanted to close the till and the barriers were down. 2am is closing and we must vacate the premises. When I turn around to grab my bag. It was gone. My mind starts racing, trying to recall what is inside.
The usual stuff, well for me that is, lipstick, Paris Arrondissement street map, French/English Dictionary, credit cards, cash, driving licence, gloves, brand new Canon EOS 700D camera, brand new favourite lens of choice, – you get the picture but one crucial item was the key to my apartment.
When you only know a handful of people in Paris and it is 2.30am in the morning and there is no one to call and nowhere to stay, life starts looking pretty grim whether you are in New York, Oregon or Paris.
I guess now I have a better appreciation for homeless people because that is how I lived for one night.
The very generous barman at my favourite bar gave me 20 euros, which enabled me to stay until 6am, sitting on one drink in a late night bar. After that, I was asked to leave with the couple of other hangers on.
Remembering I hadn’t undertaken my ritual of standing on Point Zero in front of the Notre Dame, I crazily decided to walk in almost gale force winds and horizontal rain without an umbrella, well without anything actually.
Crossing the river with the driving rain and winds that barely kept me on my feet, I arrived in front of the Notre Dame to discover that the wind gusts were so strong, it had sent the giant Christmas Tree that once again graced the square, lying on it’s side.
This may give you an image of the force of the winds the night that my bag was stolen and I was unable to let myself into the welcoming but unobtainable warmth of my apartment.
Working out how I could escape the cold, wind and rain with still another four hours to go, I remembered a place I visited last year with The Stranger on the left bank.
It had barely opened, but it was open and that was all that mattered to me. A huge gust of wind sent the door flying shut and their pretty white fluffy Christmas Tree toppling down, complete with decorations to the ground.
Despite me being the only customer in the establishment, the bar operator asked how I managed to do this as I was trying to prop the tree back up and redecorate it!
Certainty that I was resembling a homeless person and my chivalric attempt of trying to re-erect their Christmas Tree, fell on deaf ears.
Sore feet, tired me and soaked to the bone, I dragged myself around the wet windy dark streets of Paris. I noticed a light on in my favourite bar and asked them if I could wait there for the next 4 hours until it was 10am.
I had an appointment to meet at an apartment my friend was to rent and needed to pick up the key for her. This would enable me to ask for a spare key to my apartment too.
Sitting quiet as a mouse, the occasional tear escaping from my eyes, despite trying so very hard to keep it inside and encourage myself to toughen up sister.
I watched them clean the bar and prepare it for another busy day, a vast amount of deliveries, ranging from clean tea towels and slabs of meat, as the Parisians were going about their usual chores, I waited as the sun rose and Paris came back to life, snuggled up next to their only heater, as I tried to dry out my coat and suck the warmth out of it.