It's Christmas time.
In a few days I'll be whizzing towards Brussels, an foreign orphan adopted into my dear friends' family celebrations, but for now I'm on holidays, with nothing to do but savour the achingly beautiful city I now call home.
Within minutes of leaving my building yesterday, I was strolling through the Jardin du Luxembourg. Although it's practically on my doorstep, life and other factors had conspired to keep me out of it for weeks, and I was struck immediately by how much the seasons have changed it. The flowers, usually exploding in a riot of colour from every possible flowerable surface, were gone. And, as put my gloved hands on the brim of a large pot and peered inside, I discovered that they had not simply retreated into their buds for the winter, but had actually been scooped out, soil and all by some unseen hand. Unnaturally geometric patches of lawn remained here and there, evidence of more man-made packing up for winter, and even the ducks who pottered around between the old-fashioned sailboats on the surface of the pond, were gone, replaced by seagulls who circled and cried and made the park feel weirdly coastal. I watched the tourists gamely taking photos of the senat and the pond and felt sorry for them- if only they knew how much they were missing out on! The snow-scenes the tourists and I both crave are yet to come, but at least I will be here long enough to see them out.Read More