One of my favourite Tv programmes of the moment is “Call my Agent!”, set in a Parisian talent agency, it’s our French fix now that we’ve finished Spiral . I’ve written about these programmes before, twice in the case of Spiral. But watching Call my Agent! has provoked my itchy feet. I’ve missed travelling. When restrictions were eased we had days out, made the most of our local area, and that was lovely. But I miss going further afield. When I daydreamed during our first lockdown I thought about hot, sunny places, maybe Spain or Portugal, the Canary Islands (yes I know they are Spanish too) perhaps the south of France, but not Paris. Watching Spiral didn’t re-ignite my interest. Well it wouldn’t really it’s set far from the tourist hot spots, although I always enjoyed trying to work out if I knew the locations.

it’s not all Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame

Once upon a time I visited Paris almost every year, so I go too know it pretty well. It featured on my old blog, where a malevolent force appears to have eaten some of my photographs. And when I came to choose pictures for this post it seems not all were saved from my old iPad. I had a beautiful graffiti cat jumping after a pigeon. Now lost and gone for ever.

one of the lost ones was a bit like this

What’s not lost are my memories. The Eiffel Tower, well it had to appear sometime, just visible from our hotel bathroom. The unaccountable waterproof mattress cover on the bed in the same hotel. Which was incidentally the most expensive of our Paris homes and while beautiful also entertained us with a mouse, a relative of Remy perhaps, scampering around the bar.

The lipstick kisses on Oscar Wilde’s headstone at Pere Lachaise. A cemetery walk was one of our Sunday afternoon traditions

That’s neither Oscar nor Pere Lachaise, I think it’s the more bourgeois Cimetière du Passy.

There’s also the food, whether drooling over forbidden patisserie, lots of our visits seem to have been during Lent, or the seemingly never ending dinner. That was one time my schoolgirl French definitely let me down*, I thought I was booking one of the more simple menus on offer. I hadn’t, and our hearts sank when we realised there was a set of cutlery still unused.

It’s very noticeable that I have very few photos of the actual food. Was it still slightly unacceptable to snap your plate? I honestly can’t remember. The beautiful ceiling is the restaurant in the Musee d’Orsay. And I can share a tip for the times when we can visit busy exhibitions again. If in France, book your timed ticket during lunch, the exhibition won’t be empty but you have a better chance of seeing the paintings.

Which brings me to, the museums. Paris is full of them, and I’m hoping Museé de l’Eventail** (museum of fans, the fluttery, feathery kind not enthusiasts) will be open when I can visit next. I love those small museums, and have still never been to the Louvre. I once queued for entry but it was closed due to industrial action that day, so I went shopping instead .

Paris is easy to explore, there’s the Metro, RER, and I’ve had fun with a bus pass, hopping on and seeing where it took me. But the very best way to see Paris is to wander.

And until we can wander again I’ll just have to remember the words from the film. “We’ll always have Paris”

Until next time, stay safe

Marina xx

*See the footnote in my previous post – New Year New Challenge

**My keyboard wouldn’t let me put the accent on a capital

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