Paris was fabulous. We walked an average of four hours a day. Breakfast was good strong coffee, lunch was salad or an omelette, after which we didn't much fancy dinner so just ate an ice-cream on the hoof (or, in Milly's case, chocolate mousse with bananas and milk).
We walked all around the Latin Quarter (Rue de Bac is my favourite street) and visited Le Marais for the first time. One day we did nothing but shop. Particular treasures we brought home included coriander bath salts (they smell divine) and a box of novelty sugar lumps for my mother, in the shape of tiny colourful buttons and figures. My better half bought shoes, and Milly got a whole new spring wardrobe of pretty clothes. Paris brings out the girl in her, which is rather lovely. On our last day, we stayed out late and walked through St. Germain after dark where we saw Greek diners smashing plates and a juggler with a glass jar of goldfish on his head. Milly wanted to know, 'Is this a dream?'
I brought home a three-day migraine that I suspect was prompted by caffeine withdrawal. The answer to which, I always feel, is more coffee. Something along the lines of Baudelaire's advice to never be sober. Anyway, three cups of strong English tea on Monday morning failed to compensate for the hole in my head left by the abscence of one small cup of French coffee. So I limped along yesterday, carrying this demon migraine until it finally lifted overnight.
Holiday reading was Anne Enright's Making Babies, a gutsy account of her experiences in motherhood, oddly footnoted by a passage about her earlier struggle with depression. I have an idea in mind for an article contrasting Enright's book with Rachel Cusk's on the same subject. Two very different books, but I like them both for their honesty. Oh! and we saw Anna Gavalda signing books in Le Bon Marché - very exciting. Now I have to wait for her new book to be translated into English.
I managed to write 500 words towards the novel this morning, and spent the afternoon re-reading my notes and plotting, to orientate myself back into the hard work of the second act.