Paris Dreams

une flâneuse

 Ever since I can remember (about 65 years), I have been a voracious reader. As a girl, I was considered a bit nerdy, but the heroines in my books lived such romantic and exciting lives that I grew up craving different places, different foods and different languages. For a Canadian girl, the study of French was mandatory but while others were unwilling students, I felt that by learning a second language, I was giving myself an opportunity for a second more exciting life. 

apartment building in Vancouver (could be Paris??)


Of course, I was an adolescent girl in a family of 4 children. My parents weren't going to send me to France. But I became expert at taking the bus from my rural suburb to downtown where I could find Paris
closer to home. I would buy a French fashion magazine on Robson street, a pastry from a patisserie, and I looked for buildings with French names. I also wanted to smoke Gitanes or Gauloises but I never did.

eating solo in a restaurant (with wine, bien sûr)

Many years have passed. International travel seems a distant memory (2 years).  My 70th birthday is next week and I fear that opportunities for travel (as for every experience) are diminishing. I'm that same girl lookingfor romance and adventure. Unfortunately, with Covid-19, I am required to summon my adolescent talent for finding l'exotisme in the community. 

I enjoy eating alone or with friends in restaurants.  I prefer neighbourhood spots where they call me by name and know that I will want a second glass of pinot gris. Funny, sometimes a stranger  sends me a glass of wine. They never move to join me but perhaps they are kindred spirits who just want to send a lady a glass of wine. Older men can be romantics too!

cooking in my Staub cocotte 


Home cooking can transport me but my husband is an A&W burger kind of guy. When I cook anything with more than 3 ingredients, his nose wrinkles quizzically. I've been trying to cook with fresh ingredients so I actually purchase them daily. Walking with my French market basket or my Rolser cart seems a more urbane activity. 
scarves can definitely transport me


I am a "get dressed" kind of woman. I always wear scarves and accessories. One of my favourite activities
is folding and pressing my scarves. In Paris, I used to pass the Diwali stores and I have collected many bright pieces of "neck art". One of my favourites is my Chagall opera scarf. I wore it yesterday for a walk on the dyke. 

The last 2 years have been difficult for people of all ages. My mother has slipped into the "frail elderly"
phase of life. She lives alone with a fear of the virus. It seems like a short time ago that she was an active and attractive woman. My daughter is middle aged. How the years pass!

Dreamers are always dreamers whatever their age. I still have a stack of books to read. Many of them are set in different places and different times. I know that our time to travel will come again. In the meantime, I'll just have to use my imagination.












Comments

  1. A lovely post, filled with nostalgia and hopes for better days ahead. French was not an option until Grade 8 in our school and I could hardly wait to take it. I loved it from the start and it was always my dream to visit Paris. I'm so glad I've been there several times. The French lifestyle has always captured my imagination. As a college student I wore Rive Gauche, in part, I think, because of the name.
    You are indulging your love of French so beautifully, with scarves and elegant lunches (how fun to have someone buy you a glass of wine).

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    Replies
    1. That’s funny, Lorrie. I wore Rive Gauche and L’air du Temps for the name. It just seemed like a French thing to do.

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  2. A beautiful post Madame! Paris and France hold a very special place in my heart and I am so grateful that I was able to travel to Paris and the south of France...such happy memories.
    I embrace many French habits...
    Loved the scent Rive Gauche and wore it in the mid 1970's, as well as L'air du temps.

    Hope to see more of your posts as they are a great way of connecting with you.
    XO

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    1. Thank you! We will just have to live our best life at home and to cherish our memories until things change.

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