Here I am in Paris steeped in a plethora of evocative literary, artistic and political imagery and sentiments. This is where Gertrude Stein’s salon hosted Picasso and Matisse, Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. This is where Sartre and Camus fell in and fell out. This is where the Front de Gauche is visible on every street corner, where the spirit of revolution never died. This is where “French Women Don’t Get Fat” and “French Children Don’t Throw Food”. This is where I am desperately trying to look my best Paris chic rather than my usual Yorkshire Moors Paramo. But a cup of tea sent flying over one shoulder by a twirling toddler and projectile vomiting over the other by new baby means I am dichotomised.
Yesterday, I tried to get to a Brassaï photographic exhibition at Hotel de Ville
I successfully deposited toddler at La Crêche without too much bribery and corruption. Set off with daughter and baby in pushchair. Sun is shining and spring is in the air so we decide to walk via Parc de Belleville
But daughter is already VERY hungry, having been up since 6am and breast feeding a rather large baby. So we decide to check out the only child friendly restaurant in the ‘hood.
It is midi and on Wednesday afternoons French children don’t go to school so upstairs is devoted to play activities – useful info for September when toddler progresses to Ecole Maternelle. Salady lunch for me because not really that hungry but 3 courses for daughter and strength regained to move on out. Baby sleeps through peacefully. Walk through the 20th arrondissement, into the 11th heading for Le Marais. Pass by Oxfam France where daughter has a work colleague so spontaneous diversion to show off new off spring. Another emergency stop in Rue Oberkampf for breast feed and nappy change. 7 euros for 2 tisanes and use of facilities. Moving not so swiftly on, stopping to take photos because after all this IS supposed to be a vegetable blog
By now, l’heure de goûter (afternoon tea) is fast approaching and daughter knows just the place …. http://www.timeout.com/paris/en/restaurants/le-loir-dans-la-theiere
Where they have the most amazing Lemon Meringue Pie.
It is heaving in there but they find a place where we can squeeze a pushchair between ancient leather sofa and retro stool. I start to feel a tiny bit nauseous due to massive overload of sugar and wonder if my metabolism will be permanently compromised.
We finally arrive at Hotel de Ville at 6pm ish, rush hour. exhausted and feet killing due to poncy ankle boots definitely not made for walking. Decide to risk the metro home with push chair to Places des Fêtes where I pick up reserve boots from the cobblers – yes – they still have cobblers here!
Not any old cobblers!!!
After an hour or so ‘helping’ toddler colour in Bob the Builder, I head around the corner to Air BnB. Perhaps thankfully there is no room Chez Daughter for grandparents or more specifically mothers-in-law, an unwanted status which has been thrust upon me.
But Chez Guillaume, I share the appartement with an Australienne, otherwise known as The Bread Fairy http://breadfairyblog.com/ who has today visited the esteemed Poilâne bakery, the Salvador Dali Museum (apparently the link here is that Poilâne baked bread for Dali in customised sculpted designs) AND the Sacré Coeur. We share a makeshift supper of joint random items in the fridge served with Poilâne bread. And having been here two days, she shows me what apps I need to download in order to get successfully around Paris.
Lessons learned, I’ll try to make that exhibition today …..