Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cheese, Culture And Damned Pigeons

Paris.  The city of lights.  The crucible of cheese.  The pint-glass of pastries.  The grotto of macaroons.  The bastion of engorged liver.  It goes by many names, not all of them pleasant.

But it was a very nice place indeed to spend a mild European week.  I present, without further ado, select highlights.  As the French would say, "Sacre bleu! Ou est mon poisson?"

So, getting the cultural stuff out of the way first.  This is the bottom of the Venus de Milo.  She has a splendid behind, and it's perplexing that more attention is not paid to it.  Less mysterious is the apparently intriguing question of what position her arms originally held.  It's clear to me that they were something like this:

But people love their mysteries when it comes to great art.  The Mona Lisa, for example: is that smile reflecting happiness, a malaise of her soul, or hinting at a secret that the viewer will never share?  None of the above.   Having now seen it, it's clear she's very politely trying not to burp.  Gassy.

After our visit to the Louvre, I called home to see how the Fella's mum was getting along with the children.  All was fine, but she said she'd been woken up at 2am by a rustling noise.  She turned on the light to find Stuart running around with a Turkish Delight in his mouth.  Where does a cat get a Turkish Delight at 2am?  That, my friends, is a real mystery.

Before we leave the subject of bottoms, this is Rodin's Thinker.  He should be thinking about putting some trousers on.

This is a photo of me trying, without success, to feed some pain au chocolat (translation: "chocolate pain") to the sparrows.  Sometimes life gives you lemons and sometimes you just get covered in pigeons.  Well, pigeonade would be a most unrefreshing drink, but I did have my revenge by eating a pigeon pie (bstilla) for dinner that night.  It was a bit dry, but I gorged on sweet sweet revenge and satisfaction.

After many footsore days walking around museums it can be hard to maintain focus and remain interested in the abundance of treasure.  But there are ways of making it a bit more interesting.  Take, for example, this statue in the Cluny Museum.  It's a fine statue, but not all that engrossing if that's the 200th one you've seen that day.  However, if you position yourself on a slightly different angle, there can be hilarity aplenty, and this will sustain you through the next part of the museum:

ROFL!!!!!!  And if you come across a statue that is not so obliging with the position of its hands, you can fake it with the magic of photography:

There were other interesting things at Versailles besides this statue, but no time for them here.

Pre-dinner snacks.  I'm not saying Nobbys nuts and a schooner of Boags at the club aren't good, but this really was very nice.

This is from the best falafel shop in Paris, in the Jewish Quarter.

Fella:  Hold your falafel down lower.
Me:    Grnnnnph.  Can't talk. Eating.
Fella:  I want to take a photo for your blog.
Me:    Oh.  OK then.  Make it quick.
Fella:  Grrr.  You've eaten all the nice bits already.
Me:    Whoops.

Use your imagination to work out how delicious it looked 20 seconds earlier.

Screen shot of the telly in our apartment, taken by the Fella.  You can take the Fella out of Canberra....

The Eiffel Tower.  So-named because it is a tower.  We arrived close to dusk so we could watch the lights come on.  Then we missed the moment the lights came on because we were both looking at some ducks.

And here is the tower in all its glory from a boat on the Seine.  Isn't it iconic?  A little too iconic, Alanis Morissette might think.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Scent Of A Sausage (Or How To Stop A Labrador Who Is In The Midst Of Executing A Cunning Plan)

Tonight the Fella and I were sitting on the couch eating dinner when there was a knock on the door.

It was our neighbour, dropping by to inform us Ellen had escaped.  Again.  And how had she done this?  Using her new favourite trick of pulling off fence palings and squeezing through the gap.

But she hadn't got very far.  Our neighbour was cooking sausages, and found Ellen on her front step, looking through the door.

Ellen is going to be dog-sat by the Fella's mum while we are in Paris.

Please let her be good.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Monday

There are three things that are making me very happy tonight:
  1. For dinner we had stir-fry with peanutty sauce, which is my absolute favorite.  And it was made with coconut cream, not that insipid stuff that looks like the water a paintbrush has been rinsed in.
  2. We are in the midst of a lovely thunderstorm.  Huge flashes that light up the suburb very eerily, and low grumbles that get right inside my ribs.
  3. On Monday I am going to Paris with the Fella.
The first was planned.  The others are just two of those lovely surprises life sometimes deals out.

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