Thursday, 26 August 2010


An interesting time in Paris despite being under the weather with a chesty cough that is about to get some encouragement with a tour of the catacombs. ok no science museum

Hmm what happened in Paris?

At 5am I realised that Ben's bike was still in the living room with the wheels off. Riense had left it there saying it was easy to put back together, but it wasn't. I managed to get the chain back on and caught a little sleep. We rode to the station. It was a great feeling with the backpack on the back of the bike and Ben peddling away.

We arrived and rode to the meeting point Bon Sargeant finding the girl there waiting. She was nice and lead us to her flat...a dusty stairwell...the fourth or fifth floor. A small place she apologised for but didn't have to. She'd been in Turkey all summer. We hadn't talked over the phone. I told her I never do this without a phone call...and who could I be? But realized quickly that questioning in that direction was silly. She left her laptop for us and departed. And mentioned a boulangerie she was crazy about. Sadly we left that til later in the holiday. It really was good bread.

Everyday we rode around Paris. Down the Canal Saint Martin son and Mum...Ben maybe the youngest cyclist in Paris. Stopping by the local park along the canal early morning pain and glan...a custard filled doughnut for Ben that he would half of then leave for me. Marbles in the park. Chats with mums. One stylist with two a bmx fiend, the other with a skateboard. Both in private in Paris 250 a semester. She said all the state schools were bad with kids spitting in the playground. I know the feeling. Spitting is awful. Some gypsy kids from Bulgaria joined in. They lived in the van parked by the side of the road. He was a spitter and a litterer. uhh. But he shared his sweeties. And another fine. I have her address. She lived on the square-Republic. two girls. And an invitation to lunch. Opening the door to her flat, I was shocked. One room just big enough for a double bed and a round window that any child could easily fall out of, a hot plate, a fridge...student quarters. Why did she live there? Why didn't she live on the outskirts in a larger place? Three of them in that room. I sat on the one chair and had a cup of tea. We'd been at the marche...had a great time finding all sorts of bargains all for one Euro...leather pants for fifty centimes. a few t-shirts for Ben. We met them often in the park before riding around for the day.

One day we rode up past the millinary district to Pere la chaise then back towards Bastille where we met a biker doing wheelies. We chatted and Ben tried his bike. Raphael Chiquet. He was friends with Mattias Dandois and was a pro bmxer himself. Ben swung in the hammock. The Seine...a quartet on a bridge, a lady with a dog who took long walks, a family in Place Des Vosges. The Marchand Gallery still there waiting for my proposal. A sandman sitting at a cafe with kind eyes followed us to Jardin de Luxembourg. Many dinners with him a heart shaped potato we found, and talks of coming to England, up the Eiffel Tower. Didn't do museums.
Ben City of sciences surfing on a board with green pneal behind reflecting Hawaiian waves...would have stayed there for hours. a band set up, a media section he enjoyed the on to a video of how birth works...he was transfixed. I was wondering if it was a good idea. But he had to know and so watched that a few times. Wanted the claw in the gift shop. Still talks about it months later. Impressionable. disneyland ... I cried...Maybe because when I was a girl, it was magical, but now it was a nightmare....waiting in line, losing the child at the treehouse, finding him watching a cars video in the lost child centre happy to stay there the rest of the day...what a chum, parades a spot of rain a long day a long trip home with two other kids equally out of control due to the last phases of the summer holiday taking their toll. Worn out parents. an odd man in the station in a bright pink suit. Our Luxembourg man waves us goodbye, gets a happy meal for Ben It was a good goodbye and thank God we got out of Holborn for once that summer. The only thing I will remember apart from the fiasco with the camping.

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