On July 28 2013, 9.49 pm and 32 sec. A blue fly of the Calliphorides species, Whose wings can flutter 14670 times per minute lands in Saint-Vincent Street, Montmartre. At the exact same time, near the Eiffel Tower, a girl from Scotland stands amid a crowd of tourists, with the biggest grin, perhaps ever, on her face.
Approximately 9 hours and 49 minutes and 32 seconds earlier... She'd been drinking tea in her London flat, listening to the radio And pondering what to do with today and two days off work... "What about Paris?" This was her other half, making coffee, And peering at his ipad with a slight smile on his lips... Zoë raised an eyebrow, was he being serious? That small smile turned into a big grin... Did she want to go? Mais bien sûr! 30 mins of frantic packing, random clothes chosen, A hotel booked in the 19th arrondissement... A dash to the train station, for once on time... The Underground behaving itself (it must have known) And before you knew it, departure lounge.
Zoë likes: impromptu visits to Paris... Going to the supermarche to buy French crisps... Saying merde just for the fun of it... And pretending to be Amelie for a day or two.
Zoë does not like: windy days when wearing a flippy skirt. (This has now happened in Tokyo and San Francisco too. You think she would learn but no!)
Her other half likes: buying a baguette to munch on throughout the day. And picking up delicious baked goods, with comedy names. "We got a divorce in Paris... and it was damn good".
He does not like: that he slips into Spanish when ordering in French. Je voudrais deux divorce por favor...
Zoë likes finding street art in unexpected places. She especially likes this beautiful ones by Alexis Diaz (He did a very cool Elephant Octopus in London which she loves.)
She also likes Rue Dénoyez – a much graffitied street in Belleville Riots of colours, with layers and layers of art painted over art... And at one end, Aux Folies... the perfect spot for a café au lait.
And spotting space invaders by Invader... High up on walls, perched on street signs, Some tiny, down by your feet...
In 2001, Zoë first saw a film about a French girl called Amelie, Who worked in a cafe called Cafe des deux Moulins...
In 2013, Zoë first steps foot into that very cafe. There are no mad eccentric French characters, but... She does instantly fall in love with the tiled floor.
She also likes: the Metro station that's in the film. (But not so much the tourists crowded round about it.)
And the Sacré-Coeur ... where Amelie leaves a treasure hunt Of sorts for the equally quirky lost boy she's in love with. (But not so much the tourists that are crowded round about it.)
And likes the view... with all of Paris laid out before you. (But not so much the tourists that are crowded round about it.)
To escape the crowds,Zoë likes to visit the Louvre... (Only kidding. She came here to see the crowds.) That Mona Lisa lady sure gets everyone excited!
So many people, more impatient than you'll find waiting On a train at the Metro station... So there's fun to be had in standing still, Just watching them all, hurrying, scowling, Underwhelmed by the art all around them.
Some people are more easily entertained than others though... Especially when they find a Marilyn Monroe vent in a museum.
But even people pretending to be Amelie have their limits. (This smile says I want to go home now. I have been defeated by The Louvre.)
But this smile... is the pure joy of spotting gold dinosaurs On the Champ Elysees. (Who are, ahem, better than the Mona Lisa.)
Zoë likes: returning to their weird but rather wonderful hotel Which has Batman masks (and other characters) over the lamps... Life is full of surprises is it not?
"Luc, je suis ton pere." Bet you didn't guess this post would end up with a Darth Vader mask! *****
Today's October 7th, it's 9 o'clock in the evening At the Trône Fair the marshmallow-mixing machine mixes marshmallow. At the same moment, at the La Villette garden Félix L'Herbier discovers . that the number of possible connections in a human brain is superior to the number of atoms in the universe. Meanwhile, at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur, the Benedictines work on their backhand. At that exact moment, Zoë publishes this blog post and stops referring To herself in the third person, makes a cup of tea, switches on the radio And starts pondering what to do with her next days off work.