Wet feet Part I / by fran corbett

Eglise Saint-Ambroise, Boulevard Voltaire, 11eme

Eglise Saint-Ambroise, Boulevard Voltaire, 11eme

Five minutes into my Get Out and Explore Paris with my Nikon and my feet were wet but my resolve was strong.

Saint Ambroise, image above, now sits (or perhaps continues to sit) opposite a recently (re)created green space. It’s as if a block of the boulevard was just cut out and taken away. I wonder for how many years it has been since the front aspect of the church was completely visible.

The rain fell. My lens is smudged with raindrops.

As the pigeons around Montmartre sheltered, the humans, determined and with their soggy Places to See list bumped umbrellas and exchanged small rivets of water.

How weather proof is my camera?

The top of the Eiffel tower sought refuge within the clouds.

Cooked (well cooked) food vapours floated out of the restaurants in the crowded square. The visitors were looked upon hungrily by the waiters. The artists had abandonned their damp easels and the scene had now become a landscape caricature of a Wet November Sunday in Paris but no one was there to draw it.

Imagining the Dali exhibition as a colourful dry and out of the rain (and possibly heated with WC facilities) top spot to visit, in I went and 12 euros lighter, I descended the steps (disappointingly quite a regular staircase and not with steps sliding away from themselves in a Daliesque style).

With my fill of surreal, I left (via the WCs) and out back into the uninspiring weather.

Definitely not the Irish pub. Believe it or not, it is called Vrai Paris.

Definitely not the Irish pub. Believe it or not, it is called Vrai Paris.

To my surprise, there were three Irish people in the Irish pub. They were drinking Guinness. Even more surprisingly, they informed me, as I sipped one of the best Irish coffees that I have had the pleasure to fork out 10euros for in years and made by a Brazilian lady, that they were over from Cork on a fishing trip…….considering the rain, perhaps they’d been washed along the English Channel and somehow found themselves along the Seine.

They eyed me suspiciously when I jumped off my stool creating the water in my boots to slosh around my socks, ‘An’ where ye off to now?’

‘Sight seeing. That is what you do when you visit Paris’ without adding ‘instead of sitting in an Irish themed pub drinking Guinness’ but then, what did I know?

I think it was him, Santa

I think it was him, Santa

As I wandered towards the Louvre with purpose (the afternoon was rapidly moving forward unlike the weather front) I shoved my bobble hat on my head and rummaged around my 1, 2, 3 (in one jacket), 4, 5, 6 (in my other jacket) pockets looking for my damp and grubby white woollen gloves. It dawned on me that I must have dropped them in the bar as my hat slipped forward over my eyebrows. Pushing it back up, I realised that my balled up gloves, were sitting on top of my head inside my hat. Removing my domed shaped hat, I truly believed that must have been a better Irish coffee than I had even appreciated at the time.

Part II - coming soon