WINE CORKS. You can say what you like about the French but wine corks are an example of life’s simple pleasures that they have flatly refused to let go of. It brought a nostalgic tear to my eye to see one again as it reminded me of childhood when Dad would choose one of us kids to be the sommelier for the night. This meant we could run down to the cellar (cupboard under the stairs) and choose a red wine and open it. The introduction of screw tops to NZ was a day of mourning in our household. The hideous sound of scraping of metal on glass simply isn’t as pleasant experience as wedging the bottle between your knees and hearing that festive and well earned pop as you yank the cork out of it’s neck. To purchase this simple pleasure you only have to fork out a mere 4 Euro at the local Franprix which are actually partout.
As is conducive to my quarter century crisis I signed up for the Semi-Marathon de Paris. The training runs have been a great way for me to get to know the city, particularly Canal St Martin that runs through the 11e to Parc de la Villette. Running has also allowed me to observe Parisians footpath etiquette, one particularly amusing incident involved a mother with a pushchair who was kindly keeping out of the way of passers-by until she caught me approaching to which she reacted by turning a full 90 degrees across the footpath so I had to run onto oncoming traffic to avoid her wee baby.
OSCAR WILDE has been a long time favourite wordsmith of mine. The first quote of his that I heard was “The first duty in life is to assume a pose, what the second is, no one has yet discovered”. Being a fan of his I was eager to visit his tomb at Père Lachaise and I decided to do this on one of my runs. I approached the gates and walked past the guards and using my iPhone’s GPS I was able to quickly locate his tomb. As I was standing there phone in hand, ready to take a picture, a car pulled up next to me and I was told that it was “interdit” to be in the cemetry wearing running gear and that he had the police telling me to leave! Ah…. OK. So if you would like to visit Oscar’s tomb, assume a different pose to the one I did.