Eat. Drink. Eat. Drink. Sit. Relax. Enjoy. Walk. Eat. Drink. Drink. Drink. Drink.
Get on a train.
Drink some more.
Get on a plane.
I dreamt of eating my fill in the months leading up to our few days in Paris.
I awoke at 3am on our second day with strange gut cramps and spend the next 4 hours on the toilette shitting and puking until the sun was up.
I could barely eat a thing all day. Which upset me more than the sickness itself.
The Louvre was a hothouse. Swarming with people taking selfies with phones mounted on sticks. A Magnificent palace full of centuries of art. That barely got a second glance from my self pitying arse.
And in the afternoon we climbed the steps to the Sac re Cur. We went inside and a placid looking 50 foot tall Jesus greeted us with open arms and a kind smile. Nuns started singing and it was kinda magic.
We bought a coolish Heineken on the steps of the church and looked out over the rows of alleyways hills leading to the guts of the city as the sun dipped.
I ate a piece of stale baguette for dinner and slept well knowing I’d make up for it tomorrow.
Shit. We Walked a lot on that first day. Just cruising about, taking it in.
Coming from Aus, its a pleasure just to walk the streets of a city with such insane architecture and history.
We could have stayed for weeks and just walked and ate and walked and drank and walked and ate then drank then walked some more and so on…
Paris has a lot going for it. We got to spend three days there. Three full days taking in the great city of light.
Mostly spent walking around eating and drinking. Which isn’t a bad way to spend your time anywhere.
We spent the first night with my Cousin who had he comfiest sofa bed in Europe. Then we went off to our flat we had rented. A small dusty studio flat with unvarnished wooden floors and french windows opened up over the rooftops. If you pressed your face to the wall you could just get a view of the Sacre-Coeur.
We cracked a cheap bottle of wine, tore a crust off a baguette and got excited for the things to come.
Luton is Luton.
You can scrub the dirt off a potato, but its still a dirt apple.
A Pomme de Terre for you Francophiles.
But a big fat chunk of my extended family lives there because of many reasons. All the family living there is probably number 1 on the list of reasons. Being born there, another reason. A slight shrug could be the third reason…
Maybe there aren’t so many reasons at all.
So, anyway, Dad lives there, thats his toolshed at the top. Dad loves hammers.
We had a party because he had been around the sun many, many times. It was quite a big deal. All the various generations of family assembled in a hall and had a big party, with a few impromptu parties thrown in. It was nice.
Between all that I showed my partner the center of town and a couple of Pubs. I felt terrible because this city was her introduction to Europe. She was polite and was overly positive about the town and my Family who can be a bit full on.
On our last day a fat homeless man passed out in the bushes outside a pub we were drinking in and Paramedics had to revive him and take him away. He was so overweight that they had to use a special stretcher apparently.
It was a really lovely day.
Welcome to London I said to her as we got off the train and stepped into Kings Cross Station. She needed to use the bathroom. There was a que of 30 people waiting.
‘Welcome to London’ I said to her as I stepped away to look up at the arched glass ceilings. A man was tinkering a lullaby on a piano.
Thousands of people poured past. Going to other trains and underground tunnels.
We went underground too.
It was no a great day to be in London. Windy. Stormy. Bitterly cold. Our summer bodies were in shock being exposed to such miserable conditions.
We hid in a great art museum called the Tate and stayed until the worst had passed. Drinking hot drinks in the cafe and watching peoples umbrellas turn inside-out as they turned towards the Thames.
We saw some nice art too.
The rest of the day was spent strolling and tubing around the tourist loop.
St Peters, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus…
When we got to Camden it was time for a beer at The Worlds End, and a few other places. The most horrible bottled beer ever drunk was at a little gay bar next to the tube stop.
Then it was back to Luton…