Tonight I'm supposed to be going to a pub to celebrate Guinness Day, which is totally made up & I don't like Guinness, but whatever. The main problem is, it being the end of the month, I'm as poor as a whole church full of mice (why are churchmice so poor anyway? Body of Christ not filling enough for 'em?). I have a cunning solution for this on Saturday though: Step 1: lure people around to my place with the promise of homemade hummus and carrot sticks (who could resist?), Step 2: ???, Step 3: profit! (by drinking the wine they bring me, muhaha). ((PS Not really, I'll let them have some of my wine too, I'm not evil.)
Anyway, one super fandaddydocious thing that I have done lately is a daytrip to Paris! My Uncle Jack-John-Jackie-John-Jack (so called by me because we have entirely too many Johns in our family and because everybody seems to call him a different variant of "John"), his daughter Jacqueline (my cousin, although I call her Auntie because she's old enough to be my mother - in fact her kids are older than me) and HER daughter Vanessa (first cousin once removed) are doing a bit of a tour of Europe right now & it was their last day in Paris. Ness lives in London, but I hadn't seen the other two since I left NZ three years ago, so it was a great opportunity to catch up.
Typically, since I suck at all things Paris, I got lost on the way from the metro to their hotel, literally just around the corner in Saint-Germain, but I went the total wrong way. Still, at this time it was beautiful and sunny, and I got lost next to a lovely church (Saint Sulpice). In fact, I think I've never even been in the Saint-Germain neighbourhood before (you may recall that I tried to find the St G-d-P church the last time I was in Paris, without success). I must say, Paris is starting to grow on me a little bit, as I realise how many things there still are to see and do, despite the fact that I must have been there a dozen times (short trips).
|Fountain in front of Saint-Sulpice|
I have seen the Arc de Triomphe before, years ago, but it was nice checking it out in the company of Uncle J, because he particularly wanted to see it as he remembered watching footage of German troops on the Champs-Elysées and Hitler visiting the Arc when he was a kid (Uncle J, not Hitler). It's always kind of mindblowing to remember that there are still people around with a connection to these historical events. I asked him what the war had been like for him in Liverpool - I didn't realise that there was a lot of bombing up there, I tend to just think of the Blitz in the south - but he told me that, while he lived a bit out of the city and so wasn't really affected (other than hearing the raids and going into bomb shelters etc.), he had an aunt living in the city, and he'd cycle in after every air raid to make sure she was still alive.
|Awesome photo - you can neither see us properly nor tell we're at the Arc de Triomphe!|
As you can see, the brilliant sunshine gave way to cloud while we were at the Arc, and it started raining as we headed back down the Champs-Elysées, so we decided to head into a brasserie for lunch. I normally wouldn't eat somewhere like the C-E, due to a general suspicion that places on notorious tourist spots like that tend to charge a lot and not try very hard, but in fact the food was quite nice. More importantly, we had a leisurely lunch (and half a bottle of rosé each for me and Ness) and just got to chill out, chat and people-watch for a couple of hours.
|And I had frog's legs! For the third time in my life, so not a great novelty, but they are yummy.|
|Another not-very-good photo, but here we are at the Louvre|
|Me and Ness saying goodbye at Gard du Nord. Standing next to an ex-model, current personal trainer does nothing for a girl, I tells ya!|