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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding

 

Ah, Paris

Initially I was mostly keen on Paris because David wanted to go so badly. But slowly my enthusiasm grew, and I now consider myself converted. Paris is fantastic!

Our arrival was somewhat drawn-out: the flight from Dublin was slightly shorter than the coach trip in from the airport (ah, Beauvais, you're not much of an airport, but you did the job), and about the same as the walk from the drop-off point to our hotel. Yes, we could've tried to use the metro or get a cab, but it was an ok area, and quite pleasant to sight-see at night.

Thanks to my cousin Bill, we had a Parisian contact in the form of Jonathan, his college room-mate, who now lives and works there. (Jonathan, the lucky sod, has an expat-style job: he works in English, but gets to practice his French in the rest of his life.) He took us to brunch on Saturday, and gave us a bunch of pointers, including directions to a really, really great creperie.

Other than seeing Jonathan and hearing about how wild Bill was at college, we didn't do a whole lot. We walked, we saw, we ate... Ok, and we shopped a little too. I managed to find the skincare range that I use (that is almost impossible to get in Dublin), get some t-shirts from Le Petit Bateau, and some yarn.

(Ok, the knitting-related stuff starts now. If you don't care, scroll on down.)

We managed to have a good look around the Parisian yarn stores. Perhaps a more thorough investigation that David would've liked, but oh well. At one point he asked me if this meant that I'd want to shop for or look at yarn everywhere we went... I decided not to laugh at him out loud, because it was clear that he'd only just come to the conclusion.

The stores I was most impressed by were La droguerie and the section in Le Bon Marche. Loads of choice, beautiful colours, and beautifully laid out. But I managed to restrain myself, as the photo demonstrates.

On the left is some jade bamboo, for a cabled shrug (my first pattern in French, should be... interesting) - it's a much brighter, more vibrant colour than in the photo. Next to it is more bamboo, for.... something. I got enough for a cardigan, and I do like cardigans, so I have a fairly good idea of what it will end up being.

The pale blue is some cotton I got, which I hope will match some variegated cotton I already have in my stash. The idea was to get enough to make something out of what I'd stashed already. The yellow is cotton I got so that I could make a cardigan out of Rowan 41. Except the book was sold out, so I have to buy the book in order to make the cardi. And the pale pink is a mohair/ silk mix, like Kid Silk Haze, but about half the price.

(End of knitting content, back to things you may be more interested in!)

Apart from the yarn, I really enjoyed just ambling along such a beautiful city, enjoying its architecture, eating its delicious food, and hanging out with David in the warmth and sunshine. It's been awhile since we've visited a non-English-speaking country where I had any grasp of the language, and it was nice to be able to try to speak French.

I say "try", because my last really solid period of French was in 1994 (I dabbled for the next 2 years, but was really more interested in German). Initially, I recalled all sorts of useless information, like how to buy a tartan skirt, but less of the important stuff like how to ask for directions, verb conjugations... As the minutes and hours ticked by, I remembered more, and we managed a number of transactions entirely in French, which was satisfying (and I'm sure, highly amusing for the people who dealt with us).

Our triumph had to be buying un tube for a poster we'd bought. It involved asking at around 6 different stores, plus the post office, before we were successful - and all this before even trying to send it! If it weren't for the love of Emma, I think we would've given up. My recommendation to you: when you're travelling, don't buy posters, unless they come pre-packaged in tubes.

What we didn't manage to do in Paris was visit any of the museums, or do lots of touristy things. We got up close to the Eiffel tower at night, but it was closed, and neither of us felt much like going up the next day anyway. We did climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which was fun, and afforded us a spectacular view of the avenues. We eventually made it to the Tuileries. But the Louvre, or any of the other countless museums? Not quite. We saw a whole lot of museums on our honeymoon, and I think we need a break from them to be able to enjoy them again. But that's what the next trip is for, anyway...

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