A Few of My Favourite Parisian Things

Do You Like My Mug?

I’ve made a sad discovery about myself. I’ve known it for a while I’ve just never really admitted it. The truth is, I don’t really like to share.

I think it all started when I was a kid. On very rare occassions my mother would allow my middle sister to walk to the corner store with her friends and she in turn allowed me to tag along. Although, I’m sure that my mom would not have allowed her to go if I couldn’t go too. Now my big sister controlled the money which probably was very minimal to begin with. We were always told to get something to “share”.

My sister would make the purchase and we would share like this; “I get the bubble gum first and then I’ll give it to you to chew Frozen.” I would smile gratefully with the knowledge that my sister would never forget to give me my treat. It didn’t matter to me that the gum had no flavour once she was done with it I was just happy that it still held the warmth of my beloved sister’s mouth. I was not as thrilled with the already chewed wax lips. The wax would fall apart too quickly.

The fact is that now, as an adult, I do not love to share. If you have something really yummy and then four children try a bite of it you no longer have something really yummy.

This extends to my things as well. Don’t touch my Kindle. You may look at my new cell phone for a limited time. Did I mention that when my kids were little they seemed to have broken everything that we owned? But, even more off limits than any of the previously mentioned items is my beloved coffee cup.

I drink one cup of coffee in the morning and I just know that it tastes better in my favourite mug. Usually they’re good about it. Really, why would a boy want to drink from a mug that comments on PMS and the cupholder’s personality? But on occassion it will happen. I don’t want to sound overly suspicious but somehow I think that it is a provocative move directly related to the cup owner’s possible less than rational moods. Whatever the reason it’s gutsy. Yet, I have to appear mature as though I am not bothered by my cup with someone else’s lips on it. I manage to pull it off except for the twitch in my eye. When the gum sharing sister visited with me I caught her using my mug. I chewed enough flavourless gum in my day to not feel any sort of obligation to share. I explained that that was my special mug, a mug used only by me. I believe that she smiled at me and shrugged her shoulders. Perhaps I should issue a general warning that when in my house you chew my gum.

I tried to solve my mug issue. I bought myself a new favourite coffee mug. Actually it’s an oversized cup with sepia toned pictures of Parisian landmarks on it. In addition to the 20 or so coffee mugs in my cupboard and the 16 cups I now have 2 wonderful mugs that are just mine.

So you are all welcome to come over for a cup of coffee or tea, just let me get it for you.

This Little Piggy Cried Oui Oui Oui All The Way Home

A small part of le LouvreWell we’re back.

It’s over. Come and gone and I’m in love. With a city.

Have you ever gone somewhere and the hype was so great that you were disappointed? That was not Paris.  Have you ever gone somewhere and even though the hype was great it didn’t compare with the experience? THAT was Paris.

Granted my exposure to Europe is fairly minimal. When we were in Barcelona a couple of years ago I was struck by just how young Canada is. This was even more apparent to me in Paris. 

A million years ago I did a minor in French in university. I got to read Sartre, Victor Hugo, Chateaubriand, Balzac, more Balzac,Rousseau, Maupassant, Gide, Cocteau, Zola and on and on – though never Proust.

Then there’s the art. You know the names. We all know the names. We know the paintings too. Without even realizing it we know the paintings.

History; The Revolution, Marie Antoinette, Robespierre, Napoleon and Josephine.

The philosophers.

And for my husband, the boulangeries, especially the baguettes.

All of this swirls through the air. A palpable vibrancy that is Paris.

We walked through the Luxembourg Gardens. Even though spring had not really arrived the beauty there was apparent. I stopped to read the information on the palace. Interesting. Hmmm. It was used as the headquarters for the Luftwaffe. Ah yes, that side of France. That’s always there too, isn’t it? As much as I would like to forget about it I just can’t.

The Jewish museum had a little photography exhibit. Photos and blurbs on Parisian Jews. You know what was interesting? A few of the people said they were French first and Jews second (if that).

Funny how easy it is to forget history even in a city where history seems to flow over you like water flowing along the Seine.