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17 December 2009 @ 08:51 pm
The travels of Brammers, part 10  
Which was very nearly The Travails of Brammers, parts one through infinity, but all is well! The strike is called off! Mrs Justice Laura Cox is the very model of a modern major saviour and I will not be having Christmas sans Mr Brammers and the cats. It is verily a Christmas miracle!

Though on hearing the news of probable strike action on the day I am due to fly home, one very dear friend invited me to Christmas with her family and another offered me her flat and cat, which moved me very deeply in both cases. I genuinely love you two.

And I will be able to go back to London and meet tommybarbarella and vashtan and still see cats, hurrah! People are mostly wonderful.

Also, you should be aware that it is SNOWING and I have been complaining about the cold. When I return home and complain about the heat, you are all free to mock me.

The journey from London to Paris was managed with little fuss. The Eurostar is a brilliant invention, as the little man near me said, 'It's certainly better than the ferry, isn't it?'

After a good night's sleep and a hot shower, I took myself to the Cluny and pottered about the Moyen Ages for a long morning. They have a small textile exhibition on at the moment with some very beautiful lampas and embroidered fragments, which was very worth the seeing. I had to do two laps of the second floor, though, as the Lady with the Unicorn room was filled with screaming children on my first try. This was no great hardship, the museum is easily navigable and it was great fun looking at the items again as I rushed past the 'wrong' way.

I have been regularly accosted by beggars, though, whether because I look kind or simply ambulatory, I am not sure. The first one was gently sent away with what I intended to be a French apology for my pitiful language and lack of ready cash. It came out in Italian instead. I was barely past 'Mi dispiace' when the young man demurred and made a gesture that he was sorry to have bothered me.

Suddenly it occurred to me: French people are unusually unlikely to speak Italian in my experience (perhaps it is only in my peer group, but Italians who speak French are fairly common, but the reverse, not at all), since then I have been apologising in Italian rather than English as it seems a far more certain way to escape with minimal social embarrassment. I am aware that by perpetuating this fraud I am making Italians seem less organised than they generally are, but feel I make up for this with my book-centred contributions to their economy.

In joyful news, I have met up with pingrid and raitala and we are even now all resting in our hotel room before second dinner (apparently, Hobbit meals are the order of the day). We trekked to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs today to see the Vionnet exhibition and muddle through their Middle Ages and Renaissance galleries.

The Vionnet was very very good indeed, though I wish the models had been padded to fit the dresses as some of them hung rather oddly. The other galleries were splendid and there will be pix when I can make my computer work (Glares at computer!)

On the way down the Left Bank, we found a little snowman on the balustrade near Pont Neuf. For some reason it was decided this was Harry. pingrid declared we must make him a Draco. Alas, as raitala pointed out, 'You've carefully sculpted a snow cock.' People walking past smiled indulgently at us, no doubt concluding that we were part of a strange giggling cult that worshipped Priapus. I have just read the above sentence out to pingrid and asked her which moment of the day I could possibly have meant.

'Any of them,' was her honest reply. raitala wants it noted that we have also discussed art and politics, with only a little cock. But we are off for a drink, so the amount of cock is certain to grow. Also, first dinner was served by Blaise Zabini: if you can find the quite nice bar on the corner of Rue des Saint Péres and Rue Jacob, you may be lucky enough to see him. Beautiful to look at and ever so pleasant to order from. Not like that, you terrible perverts ;-)
auntpurl: but enough about you let's talk about meauntpurl on December 17th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
Hurrah! I'll be here! :) (Until the 27th, when I'm going to France for a week - unless BA's strike is back on by then - BOO!)

I went to the V&A the Friday after the M&R wing opened and was blown away - completely agree with you. Went there again yesterday to a lecture by the curator of the wings - highly worth it - she was brill. Also worth it because I picked up a "What's On" and now have tickets to see lectures by David Dimbleby, Ken Follett, and Terry Jones in the coming months. Culture is fucking cool!
auntpurl: Dayum!auntpurl on December 17th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
Also, (from your previous travel posts) I love the Hampton Court Tudor kitchens and the Four Element paintings from the round room at the National Gallery! We are the same person.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
I bet you are taller!
Catscatsintheattic on December 17th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
That's great! *happy dance*
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on December 17th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
about perverts....
I went to the gym tonight to do something for my back, to a special class. THe instructor (cute but nervy girly) wore a Santa hat and repeatedly referred to the long stick we're working with as the "Rute", the rod or birch that the german version of Santa has often with him.

yeah, my mind didn't want to go there.

playing with Santa's rod, pulling it and pushing it....*shakes head*
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on December 18th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
That all, snow and not-strike, sounds truly lovely. I still can't believe you are meeting without me, grmbl. I love to read your travel reports, Brammers!! And it's snowing in Berlin, as well. ♥
It's a Deensedeensey on December 18th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC)
Seriously? The museum envy right now is EPIC.

YAY HOME! I am glad you can get home. If only so you can feed my cats
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
Remember that I do not have your new keys.
It's a Deensedeensey on December 18th, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
I was going to pop by with them on the 24th if that's cool. Along witg baked treats.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Make it in the early evening, I need to do all my christmas shopping in one day
It's a Deensedeensey on December 18th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
We were planning on leaving in the afternoon. I can always just drop them off with J beforehand?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Prob for the best. write out instructions!
It's a Deensedeensey on December 18th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
I shall! And leave baked treats out for you to take home!
Geoviki: miyavi rockgeoviki on December 18th, 2009 01:16 am (UTC)
Ah, I have Paris envy! I learned that if someone tries to offer you a gold ring, just walk away - it's a scam! And if someone tries to weave a bracelet on your arm, take off quick - ditto. Avoid women with babies who ask if you speak English. You may not see any of these becasue of the snow.

(the Rodin Museum is also quite nice, BTW)

If you can arrange to see Versailles, it's totes worth it! And I agree 100% about Eurostar! Especially cool. And the Japanese rock star we'd gone to see the night before (see icon) was also on the train, but in First Class, unlike us.
AutumnHearti_autumnheart on December 18th, 2009 11:49 am (UTC)
Sounds like you're having a fabulous time in between minor issues :).
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on December 19th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
brammers, I just read in the news that many people were trapped in in the Eurostar trains, I hope you're ok :-)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 19th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
Still in Paris! But I also have 300 books to read now if worst happens. Thank you, dear!
Jae: Crazy cat ladyenchanted_jae on December 20th, 2009 05:38 am (UTC)
A post that mentions cats and cocks is always a good read. *nod nod*