Wednesday 13 January 2016

News from la Dordogne and The Little Family

As you may see on the picture above, we are back to la Dordogne today, after having travelled in Pakistan during the two last days. We shall meet our guide, Hammad Rais, each Saturday to show us the beauties of his country until he is tired... And I shall wait for you for a cup of coffee or tea, either on Saturdays or on Sundays.

But for now, a rest in The Village with The Little Family.

Christmas is truly over now. Decorations have been taken down in the four or five streets around the church. There are no more Christmas trees besides the shop doors. The Nativity scene has been stowed away in the sacristy, in the church, and in its cupboard at home. Epiphany and Baptism of Christ allowed us to keep  a Christmas atmosphere until last Sunday, but there is no more excuse now. New calendars with pristine illustrations adorn the walls and the desks. One is missing in my sister's room but as they are now on discount, it will be easy to find one in a nearby supermarket. There are new diaries to keep new appointments. As it was said in previous time: "the old year is dead; here comes the new one!". 

It comes with its load of resolutions. Not that The Girls have much. They are happy with their routine and would not like to change. However, I have some issues being sorted out, and with a little luck, I shall be able to take them on holidays at the end of spring or beginning of the summer. Perhaps, we shall go to Paris and explore museums and bookshops. I said so on Monday evening and there was a great movement of approval and joy. And instead of resolutions, projects.

We shall go back to walk and sit in the Jardin du Luxembourg. It may seem stupid to yearn about a town public garden when one has one's own private garden, but there is nothing to be done in the public garden: the town employees care about it. One does not have to have it mowed, planted, tidied, whatever one has to do in a garden. One walks, enjoys, sits dow, enjoys even more, and does nothing. One may read, listen to music, discuss, look around in silence, sleep, do something or nothing, and be absolutely carefree. Bliss, oh, bliss!

Then we shall go to the musée d'Orsay, l'Orangerie, le Louvre, the exhibition en cours and to be seen au Grand Palais ou au Petit Palais. We shall see our friends, and go Isabelle's violin concert or Louisa's piano recital, listen to baroque singing. We shall go the little Chinese and Japanese restaurants of the Quartier Latin that we know, and try new Italian restaurants or French bistrots, then fall back on the old favourites. We shall walk in the streets, avenues and boulevards, and inhale that sweet scent of carbon, car fumes, and dust. We shall be pressed in buses, hustled on the pavement, deafened by the noise. We shall feel grimy and dirty, hot, red, sweaty. Bliss, oh, bliss!

And, most of all, we shall visit all our haunts: small, narrow bookshops, great, tall, wide bookshops, independent bookshops, chain bookshops, bookshops for collectors, bookshops for students, bookshops for foreigners, bookshops for the French, bookshops with books in French, bookshops with books in English, bookshops with books in foreign languages, bookshops that will suit The Girls, bookshops that will suit me, bookshops where I shall leave them or where they shall leave me and we shall meet at the desk where we shall pay. Bookshops... Bliss, oh, bliss!

With a little luck, it will be the time when Jean-Marie will argue his thesis before the jury, and we shall go to la Sorbonne to hear him talk about Perpetual Peace in Kantian perspective and the practical consequences of the Kantian propositions applied to Subsharan African countries. Then, before he goes back to his country, we shall make plans to spend next Christmas in Kigali, in a little restaurant where we shall celebrate his diploma. Bliss, oh, bliss!

This may seem stupid when one has these beautiful landscapes all around one's house and in front of one's windows. But this is the first time in years that I am making projects that perhaps may happen, and will include other landscapes! It is possible to tire from one form of beauty and to wish to swap it with another form.

Meanwhile, with projects in mind - and not resolutions -, we all three have started clearing the house, which will receive a thorough spring cleaning a little later. We watch the rain falling and the wind bursting through windows quickly open and closed for some fresh air. The fields in front of my bedroom window are flooding slowly. It is grey and coolish, cold sometimes. The sky is like a lid over the earth. This is the typical anti-climax after the end of the year festivities. And this is the time when I get blue and wish I were somewhere else.

No blues right now. Projects buzzing in our heads. Issues to be sorted out before these projects materialise. There is no time for blue moods. Only time to think ahead: bliss, oh, bliss!

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