Sunday 4 December
I expected Sunday to be very quiet on the streets of Paris. Surely everyone will be at Mass followed by a large family lunch? Obviously my stereotypes are many years out of date. Rue de Bretagne was even busier than Saturday. Many stalls lined the streets selling desirable bric a brac like globes and old anglepoise lamps. Kate’s favourite bookshop, Comme un Roman, was full of browsing readers. Surely they’d love a literature festival? There was a long queue at the bread shop. When I tasted their buttery croissants I knew why. Café Charlot, opposite the market, was filled with young, talkative, black clad, espresso drinkers. Not all my stereotypes are wrong.
My red gloves were out of place – not very Simone de Beauvoir.
Later we walked around Canal St Martin at the 10th arrondisement. At this point Paris became Amsterdam. There were lovely old locks; high wrought iron bridges; people on bikes and leaves in the canal. We found a brocante market. We often visit these in the Dordogne where they are called Vide Greniers, but I expect there aren’t many greniers to empty in Paris. In Perigord we have the car to carry old jam jars and pots. Here we were frustrated by the thought of our Eurostar travel when there were so many old leather chairs we wanted.
Browsing our guides I see that lots of places are closed on Mondays. Maybe that’s when everyone goes to Mass.