Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Far far away

I am on a trip to France and Spain, concentrating on mediaeval art and architecture. So far so good. After several days in Paris, we arrived yesterday evening at Dijon, where I am sitting awaiting le petit dejeuner. I am a bit early, and still in the throes of jetlag and overall confusion, trying to dredge up some remnants of school French. Other languages keep intruding. . Especially Italian. I wonder whether, once I am in Spain, all my schoolgirl French will interrupt as insistently as Italian is doing.

In Paris we visited Sainte Chapelle, with its glorious stained glass windows and soaringly high ceilings.. Then we visited Notre Dame, where High Mass was being celebrated, officials quickly separated the sheep from the goars and we goars were allowed ro walk around the outer aisles.
I cannot believe the number of selfie sticks there are used at every possible opportunity, irrespective of place, context and whatever else may be going on. It is quite bizarre.

The group was taken to a welcome dinner, at an apparently notable restaurant. We were given a mixed menu, and it was pretty ordinary. However the lights in the restaurant were very pretty, but we were left wondering what the food would have been like had we been able to choose.

The Cluny Museum was next, and it was most interesting. I do like mediaeval stuff, but am lesskeen on the negative attitude to humsnity and its manifold imperfections. Especially in all the  attitudes to women, as the source of sin and evil, without rights.

 There has been no formal process of introducing people to each other. It is all casual and happenstance, and Ithink quite a few of us find it difficult to remember names. Perhaps had there been an introductory meeting, this could have been done. Those of us who arrived on the same flight as I was on were picked up, but there was some sort of protest demonstration by motor bike riders, which completely gridlocked the city, so whatever would have been dine at that meeting did not get done.
The countryside is beautiful, the cattle are white, the trees are turning into their autumnal colours, and it is fascinating looking at the different housing and roof styles, and seeing how many flowers and vegetables are grown in people's gardens.

It is time now to assemble for the day's programme. We are going to Vezelay, and somewhere else. As I recover from jetlag  my possible future blog posts may become more coherent.
A bientot.