Notes From A Strange Land

We arrived in the UK on Thursday. For me it is the first time I’ve been here since December 2015. It was weird, really disconcerting. I kept thinking “I want to go home to Paris, please. Now!” I am gradually adjusting, but looking forward to getting back to Massy.

What have I noticed? Walking the streets, I immediately felt the lack of pedestrian crossings. In Massy they are everywhere: anytime you might want to cross a road, there’s a crossing very close. And drivers stop for you. Others may disagree, but I find French drivers very considerate towards pedestrians. Here in London I take my life in my hands every time I need to cross the road!

Is it just me, or has food become quite a bit more expensive since Christmas? It seems so, but it could be bad memory and confusion over the difference between pounds and euros.

But it has been wonderful catching up with friends and neighbours. I must also confess to indulging gleefully on missed foodstuffs, like curry and proper meat pies and Eccles cakes and…

Summer Shutdown

It’s August in Paris and we’re surrounded by the Summer Shutdown.

Lots of people have fled South, to where it’s even warmer and sunnier. Many shops have closed. All of our local boulangeries (bakeries) have closed (what a disaster!).The market is drastically reduced. Later this month the town-wide community hot water system will close down for 5 or 6 days for annual maintenance: anyone wanting a shower or bath will have to take it cold!

So we are joining the escapees… but we’re going North, to London, for a couple of weeks.

We’d heard about this virtual closedown in August before we came to live in Paris, but had never really believed it.