Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paris is my second favorite European city

Merlin - the finest cat in Paris.

I am having the worst hay fever of my life. I have never experienced anything like it. My eyes are puffy and almost sightless. I am sneezing – nay – it would be wrong to call them sneezes – more explosive paroxysms or even involuntary detonations. The cats leave the room when I come and go somewhere quieter. I am stuffing down the required tables which are having little effect. Tissues cover the floor like snow. When will it end (When spring ends I should imagine).

I cannot imagine that there is a better city in which to live than Vienna. It has a quality of life that most people can only dream about and – as far as I can tell – only a minimal number of Republicans. The smoking of course is another matter and I am not going to go on about that again.

Although….. (Oh God here he goes again) My best mate John was here last week. He is a long time member in Australia of Rotary and Rotarians go to each others meetings when they are in other cities, or countries. So John went along to a Rotary meeting last week at the Hilton Hotel and met about 60 other local Rotarians. The guest speaker was the Wiener Bürgermeister Michael Häupl.

The Bürgermeister said that his major problem in Wien was making it smoke free and therefore more acceptable to the many tourist who come from all over the world – where they do not blow smoke over you when you are eating a meal in a restaurant. Good luck Michael – you will need it.

Where was I? I know. Wien is the best city in which to live. (Actually the best city to live in is the one in which Cate is but if I say that she will think I am just grovelling because my iMac cost so much).

But my favourite city has always been Paris. It is special. Sure I worked for a French bank so went there often at their cost and stayed in fancy hotels. I usually stayed in the Hotel Meurice – and I have always loved it.

It is of course my second favourite European city now because my daughter Melissa lives there with her cat Merlin. He is a most delicious cat. Plump - but regal and gorgeous. It is a big call but Merlin is the finest cat I have ever known. (Gasp! It’s OK – my cats don’t read the Blog).

You remember Melissa? She is the one with Musophobia.

The point of this is a video on You Tube. It is the background to a Snow patrol song ‘Open Your Eyes’. It is shot in the streets of Paris in the 1970s. There is a very interesting (to me anyway) story about this film and you can read about it on Wikipedia

I love this. It always brings back memories of Paris then and now. It finishes at Sacre Coeur – near where my daughter lives in Montmartre.


  1. I second your Wien sentiments. We are all privileged to be living here. I would add that I don't think it's a coincidence that for quality of living Wien is undoubtedly one of the best cities in the world and it's been run by competent socialists for the last ninety years (with the exception of the war years and a short and shameful burst of fascism before that). Certainly puts all that ridiculous Republican kvetching about 'socialism' into context.

    I like Häupl a lot, with only a few minor reservations. Definitely one of the best postwar mayors. However, he is still a politician, and I think you've caught him out saying one thing behind closed conference doors to a group of Ausländer and doing exactly the opposite. I'm sympathetic to the SPÖ, but their efforts to curb smoking haven't really been sincere not only because the idea of any restriction is politically quite unpopular, but also because the party has a complicated and not entirely savoury relationship with the former state tobacco monopoly. However, I've not much of an anti-smoking person so it doesn't bother me so much. I actually (shock!) quite like the smell of cigarette smoke in the Kaffeehaus and think it's a central part of their unique charm.

  2. You know that if money and circumstance were not issues I'd live out the rest of my life in Wien. So far, that seems to be only a dream, but we'll see how my books do. Even at that, I'll probably have to stay here in the States due to having to care for my autistic son, who is closing in on 40. He'd never make it in a foreign country when I'm gone. Still, spending a season or two each year sounds like a good compromise; I'll be sure to avoid Spring!

    Hope your hay fever goes away soon! Lynette is plagued by it too, so I understand the misery you're experiencing.

  3. Just found your blog and am enjoying it tremendously! My husband and I are visiting Wien for the first time in a couple weeks and are hoping to move to the city within the year. Why? Hard to answer that question, except we're looking for a little adventure in life and, well, warum nicht?! Look forward to more Vienna for Dummies and to actually being there to experience for ourselves soon.

  4. Parsifal: The problem with smoke for me is that it gives me a migraine so I just cannot expose myself to it.

    Steph: This ithe worst I have ever been - not sure why.

    Hello American Girl. You will love it here -it's simply fabulous.

  5. You just THINK your cats don't read your blog.

  6. Yay for Merlin, le chasseur de souris! He reads your blog and he is chuffed.

  7. Ps the wiki link doesn't seem to go to the right place?

  8. Bürgermeister has to be the best sounding title that one could ever own. I want to be one.

  9. and i love the guy in the white suit crossing the road near the moulin rouge. potentially pp on his way back to the hotel meurice

  10. 'Bürgermeister' is indeed a magnificent title! And Häupl really does have an appropriately prodigious Wiener Bauch to merit it!