Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday David

It is David’s Birthday today and he is rapidly becoming a fossil. When you look at my photo son remember – one day you will look like this. Have a nice day – I am bringing something nice and stony home for your birthday (see below).

I am pleased to report that – now that I am back home – my USB Wireless Connection is working perfectly. Of course I had to reinstall it and tweak it for an hour or so. Apparently being asked to work in Paris was so offensive that it went into a catatonic state and lost all of its functionality.

This was entirely predictable and – had it worked in Paris I would have been amazed. Anyway – it was just too difficult to try to post a Blog on Thursday – so I didn’t.

Well, Melissa was right - there are no cats in la Cimetière de Montparnasse. I can’t blame the weather because it was warm and sunny. I don’t understand it at all.

However, we did see the graves of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre and Serge Gainsborough and had a generally nice time. Melissa and I are happiest amongst the long dead.

People leave gifts on the graves – stones, used Metro tickets – the usual things you give loved ones – it’s quite touching really – it has given me some ideas for our trip back to Australia for catch up birthday presents.

There are also no Bees there – this is really starting to worry me.

Cate arrived home exhausted – but early - about 6:30. The conference had finished and she could finally relax. At the recommendation of the Lutetia Concierge we went to a Bistro called Le Petit Lutetia (no connection except that many moons ago it was the place where the staff of the people who stayed at the Lutetia ate).

It was very nice indeed and quite reasonably priced. I made a really, really stupid mistake and confused the wine with a main course and questioned the bill – confirming the waiters opinion that all tourists are cretins and should be treated accordingly (which of course he did).

‘Pwaah – zat is zee wine’ he sniffed loudly and flounced back to the only real (French) clients in the place.

We crept out into the night suitably chastened.

We intended to start early on Friday but Cate (as she always does) had to send ‘just a couple of emails’ so we got to breakfast just before closing (as we normally do –except when we miss it alltogether) and had the scrag end of everything.

Cate usually wanders around and looks at everything saying ‘There’s not much left is there’ and Moi in my usual helpful fashion respond with ‘well Dear.......we are very late’.

Cate has been just busting to go to the Musée du quai Branly so off we went. It was of course closed because it was a public holiday for May Day (it was shown as an ‘Exceptional Closure’). In Wien the sign would say ‘Closed as Usual’.

So we just walked around and took in the sights.

Paris is more expensive than Ljubljana – by a long, long way. We had two juices, two mineral waters and one coffee for €28.50. We topped this later with two mineral waters, two coffees and two cakes for €42.10. Of course this the Rive Gauche so you expect to pay more – but €6 for a coffee?

I took my obligatory pictures of the La Tour Eiffel and all the other things that we always take pictures of and these will appear on the Blog.

In the evening we went to A la Petite Chaise which is the oldest restaurant in Paris. It was founded in 1680. Some of the original customers were still eating there – including the oldest live couple I have ever seen sitting in a restaurant. The Patron was mashing their peas and feeding them with a spoon and pusher.

Cate had already been there with some of the people at the conference and was happy to return. We liked it so much we made a booking for Saturday night to go with Melissa and Henri.

On Saturday morning I did one of my favourites things and hung around Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche for two and a half hours while Cate shopped. I am not sure why I have to do this but it is one of Cate’s rules.

She shops and I have to wait nearby doing whatever. I normally loiter near the Lingerie section – it kills their sales for the day and makes me feel better that I was able to punish them in some small way – just for being there for Cate to shop at.

I did have a small brush with fame and saw (really close up) Arielle Dombasle who I thought from her appearance must be in her 70s – but in fact is younger than I am. She needs to eat more – and with legs that thin Micro minis don’t work for me – but there is no point in asking me about fashion – I only know about Black T Shirts and Jeans.

Astonishingly enough (amazing coincidence follows) that evening I turned on the TV and there was Arielle being interviewed about her new album – the cover of which looks like it was designed by Jim Morrison on the day he died just after the last hit (see below).

Melissa assured us that there would be cats in Père Lachaise Cemetery – but alas the place was crawling with visitors and the cats had done the sensible thing and vanished for the day.

We did see many interesting graves, tombs and monuments and had a fleeting glimpse at Jim Morrison’s grave. There were many viewers.

It’s funny to think that if Jim hadn’t blown his brains and heart to smithereens with dope in Paris in 1971 he would probably now be just another ancient, drug-addled, pot-bellied, washed up pop singer. As it is he will probably be famous until his generation has all shuffled off the mortal coil. This is the only benefit of dying young.

There are no cats that we could see – but there were a few small and anxious Bees. I tried to get a picture of them but they didn’t stay still long enough.

There are, however, at least a zillion trillion gnats who bothered us all day. I ate quite a few but it made no difference.

I should mention that the Hotel Lutetia was a disappointment. The room was too hot and the bed was too short and the pigeons in the light well (well, actually it was a dark well) never stopped hooting or whatever it is the pigeons do.

I find it difficult to sleep in a bed where my feet hang over the edge unless I wedge my head against the top of the bed.

Muffin welcomed us back with an all night wailing and howling performance which was so bad that Cate had to lock her out of the bedroom. Apparently Janette had this problem with John just before the election. (I know – I'm sorry – but I just can’t let go it's just SO delicious).

Incidentally, the best song ever to be written about George and John is by Lily Allen and is at


  1. I always wear black t-shirts too...I need some more but im not sure what brand and type to get...

    6 euros for a coffee is outrageous...Hungry Jacks tried to charge me $12.50 for one of theirs, turns out extra shots cost a whopping (pun intended) $2.50!

  2. REMO is the place I use for T Shirts.
    I have been buying their T Shirts for 20 years. They are expensive but last a very, very long time. I am just about to order some more by mail order (Cate will be pleased).