Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Armchair travelling

This time last year was our first trip to Europe as a family and, so, each day I've been telling the others exactly where we were one year ago. (Today it's Positano.) This has The Child slapping her forehead declaring she's jealous of her one-year-younger self.

As that sort of trip is far from our normal holiday fare, I'm dabbling in a bit of armchair travel instead this year, and picked up these two new books from the library yesterday. I actually considered buying both of them last week but am glad I didn't. I haven't delved into the Stephen Clarke one yet, but I'm pretty sure it's one I'll enjoy at the time but not feel the need to hang onto.

While A Family in Paris is entertaining because I like the sensation of someone conjuring the city up for me again, it's just that I'd rather not have the author along for company (more the problems an ex-pat faces than joys of the city, for my tastes). That's travel for you, though, can't always choose who you sit next to on a journey.

I also get the feeling that the two-year Paris stay was quite a while ago as while some of the photos show receipts and tickets where the currency is shown in French Francs rather than Euros. I'm pretty sure I spotted one with a 1999 date on it as well. There's also been at least one 'NB' after a piece of copy, where the author explains that smoking is now banned in cafes.

Smacks a bit of the publishing company, rather than the author, jumping on the Australians-abroad bandwagon.

All that doesn't detract from the feeling of being in Paris again, but it certainly would if I'd paid $50 for the pleasure. So I'll just enjoy the free ride.

In the meantime, I'll remember the view from the restaurant we ate at last-year's tonight with people whose company I always treasure, including our then-14-year-old nephew.


  1. Nice picture. Did you take it? Maybe you can post a few more with some details about them? better than reading an out-of-date book.

  2. Hi Vera, it's good to get an honest appraisal of a book rather than the publicity hype. There is so much literature around now on living in France, it used to be such a mysterious way of living. Hope you're enjoying the holiday.

  3. That last picture is gorgeous. We haven't been to Italy. Maybe one day. Have a great rest of the week. Tammy