Hall full of children and books and noise. In workshops the children were steeped in the story already which was wonderful. Exhausted after workshops we traveled home and fell asleep. Woke to walk and our way led to a restaurant chosen by Robin. Bistro de L'oulette, small and intimate, the waiter gave us English menus and told us the special of the day. When it came to helping us choose the wine there were three and each one sounded more like a poem than a bottle of wine as he talked of the origins and the taste and the flavours and the change as the bottle would stand and the flavours fill. The food was wonderful and we walked home in a daze. This is what travel should be like.
Autumn leaves on a wet pavement. Billboards and graffiti. Walking through Parisian streets with Robin and a half moon hangs over tall and elegant buildings. Book festival full of families carrying bags stuffed with hardbacks and amazed watching illustrators paint their signatures in books.
In the metro a man stands where two tunnels meet. A sign says "hungry". He holds out a gloved hand and his thoughts are locked behind tired eyes. An elegant woman walks past and drops a bright coloured box in his out stretched hand. She walks away on swift clicking heels and turns as he calls out his thanks. A smile from a beautiful woman, elegant in high black boots. He looks at the gift in his hands and smiles and I wonder, what is inside the tin, who is she, and why has this random moment of kindness happened? Thoughts and questions spiral around from a random act of kindness witnessed in the Paris Metro.
These are the things I remember.
Autumn leaves on wet pavements and city lights reflected in wet streets. Strolling through Paris arm in arm with Robin. Travel by Metro more relaxed than the London Underground.
Watching the French illustrators signing their books with paintings while children and adults looked on in wonder, like something very magical was happening. Children in every corner with books, reading and looking and turning the pages, and bags so heavy with the weight of books.
Croissant in brasseries, wine that was perfect and mackerel cooked to melt in many flavors of fish.
Food in markets, shining vegetables and fish and meat and great circular pans of bubbling paella.
A waiter who spoke of wine like a rich and full bodied poem in a bottle, a hymn to grapes.
The wind tunneled through high buildings blowing umbrellas inside out.
Notre Dame reflected in golden baubles on a Christmas tree and gargoyles spitting water onto Christians below.
Beautiful cora player with a wonderful instrument in a Senegalese restaurant.
And a homeless boy and his beautiful dog like a daemon, curled sleeping in an afternoon doorway while the busy world moved their still and quiet place, a bundle of blankets.