The weather was agreeable but we’re both still suffering a bit in the health area so we took it easy. I went out for a walk through part of Montparnasse during the afternoon, it turned out to be the first time I’ve actually been warm since I’ve been here. There was some sort of demonstration being organized, lots of families carrying white, blue and pink flags with drawings of children on them. Not sure what the cause was but it was attended and strictly controlled by police on the ground and helicopters circling overhead. None of the attendees looked particularly frightening so I imagine the crowd control was simply standard for this size of an event. Our street was blocked off about 2 doors down with all the traffic being shunted onto a narrow side street. Of course the the smart thing to do would have been to block it off at the last major intersection, mais non, we’ll let the traffic back up for no apparent reason.
Sunday has a different feel to it here. The chapel up the block rings bells almost all day long and the people in the street are more leisurely about their activities. Lots of them in the cafes and I even found a nice little grower’s market on Boulevard Raspail that I took the time to wander through. Mostly fruits and vegetables and a few other things including a tent where they were selling pakuls, those cool Afghani wool hats. I took my time enjoying the sunlight on the buildings, the sun really does bring out the romance here. And paired with the shadows, the long narrow streets take on a distinctly artistic feel.
I stopped to by flowers for MLW and had a brief but tortured conversation with a very kind florist. He asked if they were a present and did them up very nicely when I replied in the positive. I’ll say it’s been interesting to have learned a bit of the language before coming over, but as expected it becomes inaccessible every time I try to use it.
A bit after 4 I had a text from my friends of China, Dermott and Hui. They live in Dublin and had agreed to fly down for a couple of days for an impromptu reunion. MLW was still feeling poorly so I took off and met the two of them in front of Notre-Dame. When I arrived, the front of the Cathedral was just starting to pick up the rosy tones of the setting sun. We had a nice chat and made some tentative plans for tomorrow and walked back together for a way before parting company – the minute the sun goes down, it gets quite chilly along the Seine. As we parted, the western sky was a deep salmon-pink, rendering all the windows of the Louvre that same tone. A nice colorful ending for the day.