There were pangs last night when I arrived in Paris, and this morning, as I walked the familiar streets Mum and I had explored in 2015.
A different hotel this time, with a musical theme
but one we had passed many times on our way to a favourite place: Jardin du Luxembourg.
On my leisurely visit there this morning I was early enough to see gardeners at work pruning and tidying and driving tractors.
These gardeners were weeding. The instrument for weeding the pebbly, sandy paths caught my attention.
New avenues of what look like rowan trees have been planted, with bamboo poles high up to keep the trees upright.
I sat in a cool spot beside the Medici fountain for a while watching little ducks picking at the moss and diving. Small dark fish were rising to the surface nibbling at insects.
George Sand was also keeping to the shade on this hot day.
I visited Saint Sulpice close by, as Mum and I had done a number of times. No photos this time, just looking. I lit a candle to send thoughts to Mum. I chose St Anne’s side chapel, because of the mother-daughter connection.
I’d read a fascinating and entertaining book called something like The Most Beautiful Walks in Paris which recommended spending time in Place St Sulpice, which I did with lunch (brace yourself)
and quiet time beside the cool fountain
where a film shoot began. The actor, an elegant young woman, walked repeatedly around the fountain filmed on steadicam.
These men were doing the real work – or, at least, they were thinking about it. The seated one is wearing waders.
Mum and I didn’t discover L’eglise St Germain des Pres, which is being restored. It’s interesting to think that church interiors, like Greek temples, used to be brightly painted.
There was a poster to attract teenagers to leadership in Scouts.
I retreated to the cool and quiet of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Children were playing dusty football, the playground was crowded, and Pétanque was getting underway, with some young boys on the sideline.
A very elderly gentleman was watching – perhaps a retired pétanque player. It is a serious sport.
The players have racks to hang their bags and jackets while they play. Each player had a cloth in his back pocket for polishing the dust off the balls, and a nifty device like a bath plug; a thin chain with a magnet on the end so they don’t have to bend down to pick up the balls. I saw only one woman playing – of retirement age like the others – blond, tanned and in a pleated miniskirt. As players arrived, they greeted each other with the kiss to both cheeks.
This was my view as I sat on one of the many metal chairs in the gardens (you can move them into groups or into shade). People were reading, chatting, and working on laptops. I read my very enjoyable book and nodded off from time to time.
A quiet, contemplative beginning to my return to Paris.
And here’s a charming lamp in the window opposite mine: