In Paris we fly by the needle; not in the vein, nor in the vinyl, but in..
Once out, Paris with its cordial filth turns me back to life. I am heading to L'Atelier des Lumières. On my way que des merveilles: the Pont de Sully with l'Île Saint-Michel on my left, the boats over the Seine on my right. Puis boulevard Henri IV... The autumn sun, hanging low, shines on the terrace of Le Reveil Bastille where the joys are many: le Petit Chablis, la rémoulade de celerie, le veau a la normande and...the Little Needle Worker. But before I forget I have to say: French portions are not as small as I remember them. Which is strange, having in mind that a) it is scientifically proven that our memory tends to magnify objects and spaces from the past, so when we see them in the present they usually look smaller than we remember them, not the other way round! b) my stomach did certainly not grow any smaller since my last visit au pay des bisoux et CRS. But yes, ordering a starter and a main, no matter how delicious, turned to be hard work in contemporary Paris. And yes, the portions are good for a man. Congratulations! Which makes me think of a subject I have been longing to discus for a long time: starving restaurant staff cannot feed you well; with its subsubject: why les garçons des bistreaux parisians are happy, funny and cheeky with those who chat French; and why their colleagues from the casual eateries across the channel aren't. But with these pertinent questions of the savoir vivre we might as well deal when back to London. Thus, while I am lunching, a marvellous little scene is developing on my right. For there is this little French dame, and by little I mean in age mostly, in a... no, it is not a Parisian chic as le chic parisien ne saute pas aux yeux, but it is rather how a Parisian girl imagines how the outside world would imagine Parisian chic. And it is very pretty, and it has as much to do with Parisian chic as the young Alain Delon had to do with Parisian men. But what is more important is that she is not there just being pretty looking Parisian. No, she is actually doing something. She has this washed up blue Fila jumper on her table and she is embellishing it with finely worked forget-me-nots. A charming spectacle. Lagaucherie on Instagram is where you could find these products of excellent Parisian savoir vivre. Why I say "excellent product of savoir vivre"? Because when you wear your new, second hand Fila jumper you will know that each thread had breathed proper Parisian air under magnificent plane trees and each stitch was accompanied by a sip of espresso, a puff of cigarettes; between two portions of delicious food with wine, under a civilized sun. And touched, turned up and down a million times by gentle Parisian hands.