Sunday, 5 January 2014

“Fifty years later ...” (part I)

                                                     My parents Ewa and Wiktor with me ...
(Part I)
Thursday, 14th of March 2013 (Paris, France)


Hooray! it's my birthday ... the big 50!

   Time to “rise and shine” (as they say) and celebrate.

So ... what's on my wish list for today? Let me think.
Hmm ... I want some fancy cheeses, crunchy bread to go with them and a birthday cake.
Yes, I have to have a birthday cake!

I know ... I know what I will do. I will get a cake for my neighbours too!
This sounds like a great idea.

Next ...
Since the snow is almost gone, the Pere-Lachaise cemetery should be open and so I will need to buy some fresh flowers for Edith.

After this I will go to the place where my last trip to Paris began and then ...
I will let the rest of the day unfold by itself.

Here I go ...

After my routine prayer to Madonna I was looking forward to my hot romance with Serge - unfortunately this ended very quickly on a cold note as the hot water ran out after only a minute or so. Believe it or not this was the only time during my entire stay.

Maybe this was a hint that when turning fifty one becomes “cool” and no longer “hot”?

With taste buds high on cheese an espresso was needed urgently.
Running down the stairs like a five year old rather than fifty, I was eager to feel a crema on my lips while getting lost in the aroma of those “irresistible to me” beans.

When paying for my coffee, I noticed astrological theme lottery scratchies for sale and decided to try my luck.
No such luck. Maybe I should have picked a different sun sign rather than my own.


Now off to the “Happy” florist across the road to see if my initial wish to visit Edith's grave with fifty red roses (one for each year since her passing away on the 10th October 1963) can be fulfilled.

While looking at the available selection, I overheard a sales assistant asking another customer if he needed any help.

Just having a look.” ... (was his reply)

Having worked out what flowers to get later on I was about to step out of the store, but before I could get very far the earlier mentioned guy came up to me saying, among other words, how he got attracted to my beautiful eyes. Unfortunately I couldn't fully grasp all he said as his voice was charged with so much excitement and speed just like a champagne (French of course) pouring out of the shaken bottle.

By the time he asked me to go for a cup of coffee (which was only a few seconds later) I was in a kind of shock.

Thank you, but I just had one.” ... (was my reply)

However, this did not stop the champagne from pouring out. After checking my hand for a wedding ring (while I was thinking that he wanted to check the time) he got even more enthusiastic and proposed to meet up later that day. I have to say that it took me a while to work out where he was proposing to go and when I did ... a second wave of shock entered my body. 
A nearby Spa?! ... (I couldn't believe my ears)

Il fait trop froide.” ... (“It is too cold.” ... was my quick reply)

Thank God for the snow!!!

Honestly, I do not recall all the aspects of our conversation, but after receiving two or three birthday kisses on the cheek (with my consent) we parted with an amicable energy.

Walking down to my favourite patisserie I felt my mind floating on a cloud as I pondered on this unexpected event ...

Wow ... did this really happened?!
Here in Paris and right on my birthday! - not bad for the ego to be approached by a guy a few years younger even if his intentions weren't quiet genuine.
A holiday bonus indeed.”

Unfortunately, floating on the cloud could not go on as I had to return to Earth and focus on choosing my cake.

The temptations were many, but the winner was rather obvious when his raspberry smile won my heart at first gaze.

May I have six of these please ... and would it be possible to have each one of them in a small box as I am going to gift them.”

Carrying smart looking paper bags filled with boxed cakes and some bread I entered the neighbouring cheese shop with a very happy “Bonjour”.


I was attended by a young sales assistant in a very courteous and professional way with a touch of an old fashioned seriousness which somehow took me back in time to the era of long dresses, sun umbrellas and top hats.

Entrusting his expertise, I selected three styles of cheese and asked him if he could write their names for me.

As I watched him take care of my purchase, I felt that only Virgos (of which I have a rising) would notice his wrapping skills and appreciate the beautiful, calligraphy like writing.

Having completed my morning mission I was eager to get back to the top (6th floor) to prepare a surprise for my neighbours.

As I reached my door, I overheard a familiar sound of guitar.
Great! One less note to write ... (I thought to myself)

My gentle knock was addressed by a male voice who had to reassure himself about my identity before opening the door.

I think that he felt rather relieved as well as pleasantly surprised when I gifted him with a sweet treasure hidden in a little box from the local patisserie.

He wished me a happy birthday, thanked me for the gift and offered to play the guitar for me.

After happily accepting his offer we stepped back into our apartments letting the doors face each other once again across the narrow passage.

Thinking back, this little encounter felt somewhat surreal - like a clip from a French movie ...

An accidental meeting of two strangers on the 6th floor of ...

Now was the time to see if the “raspberry smile” would excite my taste buds as much as it did my eyes.

I have to say that the promise of a delicious journey was fully delivered in a “far too brief” moment of sweet bliss. I was glad that no one was around to hear my child like sounds of enjoyment.

As the degustation of my birthday cake came to an end, I grabbed a note book to create a message for my neighbours. Dominated by the Pisces' energy, I wouldn't dare spoil this spontaneous moment with the help of a French dictionary lying within my reach.

Let it be au naturel.” ... (I thought to myself)

           One more note to go ...


With the explanatory message slightly tucked into the box I placed my little surprise at the neighbours' doors so that they could enjoy this day with me. Yum! Yum!
                                                               (to be continued in two weeks ...)
Links to ...
Artisan Boulanger Patissier Mason Landemaine, Rue de Martyrs

Les Papilles Gourmandes, Rue des Martyrs
Photography by Olga Kulanowska

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