Day 59–Slowly Recovering

We are both feeling better today, so back at it, Sandy at French class, I had art.

I have been thinking about the culinary temptations here, especially if you have even the slightest sweet tooth. The pastry is arrayed so beautifully in every boulangerie/patisserie that resisting takes will-power. Even thetartine, butter and jam on a baguette essentially, seems to taste better here and it’s something we wouldn’t even think of having at home. I’m convinced it’s the butter and, for sure, the bread they make here. No comparison.

I was also mulling over the ‘List’ issue, looking at my “To Do” list of which there are a number, even here. I was trying to imagine a life where one didn’t have that kind of daily agenda, something I’ve been trying to achieve here with some, but not entire, success. Being Type B+, it’s probably impossible anyway, here or at home, but it’s an agreeable fantasy, at least for the moment.

Work on the painting continues apace. Added leaves today, learning about values, the same light so as to make the painting an integral whole. Graham also introduced me to the work of Antonio Lopez, a Spanish artist with whose work I was unfamiliar. Brilliant urban landscapes, one easily could have been a photograph unless you looked very closely. I still can’t believe it’s a painting.

As Sandy was working, I had lunch in the 11th arr. at a fun, old-style bistro called Chez Paul, 13, rue de Charonne (at rue de Lappe) and walked around the area again afterwards. Bought the complete oevure of Rimbaud at a lovely bookstore on rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, L’Arbe à Lettres, and the owner or manager threw in a Georges Pérec for some reason. C’etais trés aimable de lui.

It’s May Day on Friday, a national day of rest. Meanwhile, Sarkozy has announced plans to expand the 35-hour workweek to 39 hours, causing great uproar among the labour groups so there’s a mass protest expected. Odd, because the shortened week hasn’t done what it was supposed to do, namely, create new jobs, share benefits, etc.