Wednesday, August 5, 2009

on the road again

If it's Wednesday, this must be Montpellier. Off in a few minutes to the train station, to get a train to Toulouse where I'll switch to a train to Bayonne. I have a large lunch packed - you guessed it, ham sandwich, much fruit and much dark Lindt chocolate. Lindt has been one of the great discoveries of this trip - when you have no dessert for your guests, open some Lindt. I also have a P.D. James, a Kate Atkinson and a Nick Hornby. Fun reading guaranteed. Otherwise, you'll be happy to hear, I am bringing only a very small bag.

As predicted, solitude was much relished yesterday - I walked a lot around the town, including, I confess, popping into Galeries Lafayette and other stores to see what they're starting to serve for fall. (FYI: So far, the colours are grey and purple, lots of different layers, tuxedo or very short jackets and vests, cardigans, and as always, utterly absurd shoes.) Downtown Montpellier is a maze of tiny, rambling pedestrian streets, and around every corner, there's another tiny square with its own café or two under the plane trees - utterly charming.

Then I went to see the new Woody Allen, "Whatever Works," as much a fantasy as the Harry Potter I saw yesterday. I'm so impatient with Woody's faithful belief that gorgeous young women will fall in love with nasty, misanthropic, elderly depressives because they're smart and funny, I almost walked out of the movie theatre. Honestly, give me a break. However - I stayed and the film got better and better. Again, his fantasy that if the red states only moved to New York they'd discover their inner freedom ... if only. But in the end, the film is highly enjoyable, if only, like Harry Potter, for the parade of great actors having the time of their lives.

And then I sat in my outdoor café again, had a beer, watched the crowds and read the London Review of Books. There is absolutely no discomfort here for a single woman to have a drink alone and sit for as long as she wants. I must find a place in Toronto to do this - it satisfied my need for company, and then I went happily back to the flat and sat in the glorious silence.

Bruce sent me some great articles about productivity and creativity which I will summarise for you when I return from my travels. Very inspiring. There was a beautiful obituary for Sarah Torchinsky in the Globe yesterday.

This is the last jaunt into the unknown on this trip. Wish you were here.

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