Whenever you start a post, WordPress gives you the option of giving your post a title. Like this:
Have you noticed?
I never think about it. I just put one in - there! – like that.
But this time I wondered – do they mean it is entirely optional whether or not I make an ass of myself by giving my piece in a highly conceited name?
It’s up to you … you can call it THAT if you want but … anyway, it’s entirely up to you.
Is that what they mean?
Because today I started to wonder. “The Paris of New South Wales (Australia.)” Will that sound a little pompous, a little princess? And if so, will anyone from WordPress help me out when I regret it?
Given WordPress’s interest in my blog, I think I know the answer. Even if they did notice me here I suspect the answer is in the parenthesis: (optional)
Which is tempting …
And yet I can’t resist. No-one knows me. And it’s so optional.
The Paris of New South Wales (as opposed to old north Wales in Wales, singularly known as Wales.)
Please forward all correspondence to:
Pete and Gigi
New South Wales
please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return mail as a precaution.
I wonder if it will ever arrive.
Paris, New South Wales is thousands and thousands of miles away from the real thing as well as from many other places. Nowhere near Europe. Or France. But still.
Where exactly we are going, Pete? I wonder, nearly aloud. But I don’t want to scare him so I keep my questions to myself, in a box marked “?.”
Where is this Paris?
I have so many questions.
Our trip to Paris (France) was full of beauty and happiness. So full that I decided I would never be able to convey it.
I will never be able to convey … a thing! I thought. Even though I wanted to.
It’s too much. I will write about something else.
But first it crept into the title (optional) and then, when my eyes were closed, everywhere else. And the result is that Paris is all over the place.
One afternoon we just walked around Saint Germain with my mother and my step-father. A simple walk.
A step here- a beautiful church with a fountain tumbling at the front refreshing you with a glance – before you step into the beautiful church. A step there – a quaint hotel, some people or a very small dog on a long lead.
We wandered past shoe shops. I am not a fan of shoes the way some women are, the way my mother is , but I wish I could go back to that one. All the shoes in the window were ballet pumps, simple, understated footwear. if you can imagine how a Parisian might draw a ballet pump with a pencil and then with a wand bring it to life. I couldn’t so I wanted to buy the whole shop.
We wandered in swirls, nobody really knowing where we were and everyone thinking they did. But it was better that we were lost.
We went to Montmartre. I wanted to go even though I was sure it would be all tourists and sexy business. But I wanted to … After debating all morning (me debater, Pete audience) we went.
And it was neither. We took a child-sized train and choo-chooed our way up the hill to a background of commentary in three languages. It was very quick commentary and I missed nearly everything but I did catch the word artist three times.
The sun was shining and I felt so happy, happier by the incline.
“I can feel the artists history here” I said.
“Yes. I can” and then I just sank into feeling it.
Sacre Coeur was sparkling at the top and inside, filled with feeling. Enough for every person there. Filled with lightness, joy, release. Pete and I both felt it, he quietly in a pew, me walking a circle, pooping coins into boxes because I felt so happy. Even when you left you felt it. We took some of it with us. I still have some here.
Another day started out as a fiasco so mid-trip, we all four jumped out of the mini-bus and found ourselves in the heart of Invalides, an area of vast grandeur which the name does not suggest.
Plonk! - that was us sitting ourselves down outside the first cafe that we came to.
Why is there caviar on the menu, I wondered knowing nothing of anything.
And one by one people of every generation filed past showcasing an exquisiteness of taste I had never seen. Never really even believed in. Each one wearing, apart from extremely beautiful clothes, a kind of genial light, all walking past our little table.
Knowing nothing of anything, our waiter let slip that we had plonked ourselves a block from fashion week, known to all the world as Paris Fashion Week. But they probably don’t use capitals.
We watched, stared at and adored creatures from another world, one with rarefied air which they were kindly sharing with us. And it did feel easier to breath
They did it with clothes.
Leaving day and we could hardly bear to. But we did.
We only had to come back here, to Edinburgh, one and a half hour’s flying time on the wings of a steel bird. But we chose seats inside. This is not India. People do not usually ride on the outside of public transport here.
Home was beautiful we when landed and still is; days are filled with light, sky and trees starting to glow, undressing to candlelight.
It took me a few days to work it out. But I think I did.
I took a compass and placed it on the world map. And it pointed to the Blue Mountains.
I tested for and against it. But it showed me this:
There are lots of beautiful places in our world.
You only have to see the beauty
and stamp it: Paris.
And if you happen to be travelling a long way away
from a lot that you love
and hold dearly in your heart
you might find that there is one near you
with more leaves
a different shape
and a new colour.
Artwork, The Banksia Tree, Margaret Preston (1875 – 1963)
Image from Google