I am alive and in Paris at the Hotel Rocroy - which is close to where Molly lives. Cate is in Florence today and gets back tonight. Then she flies to Amsterdam and then to Frankfurt.
I am planning my departure on a United flight on Friday and will pick up Georgia on Saturday. I imagine by now that she has forgotten me and will hide behind Michelle’s legs.
Some time ago in America my friend John gave me a cold and this blossomed when we started cycling in Germany and got cold and wet. Consequently I spent two days in bed on the boat and have so far not recovered. I have slept most of the time since we got to Paris and am only now emerging from the woolly fug which I have inhabited for three weeks.
But the cycling was the best we have ever done and we enjoyed it immensely. We were on the boat with 16 Americans who cycled together with a guide. We did a self guided tour and had lots of coffee and beer stops.
The Americans included a man we called the Sergeant Major. He was ex-army and just loved to try and organize everyone. On the second night he announced that the women would sit on one side of the dining room and the men on the other.
When Cate went to sit down he told her that she was on the other side. She said I don’t think so and sat down. I explained to him that Cate did not take instruction and from then on he sulked and organized everyone else.
He got the Americans to do everything except eat naked with feathers stuck in their bottoms but we just sat together quietly and had enormous fun.
I had forgotten two things about Paris. First that there is such a phantasmagorical array of food and cheese - and that every person and their dog smokes.
I have been coming to Paris for 35 years - sometimes twice a year - but I still forget this.
I will not mention the dog poo.