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One Night in Paris and London

 

Monsieur trots off to Paris for work. I stay in London. Yesterday morning on the way to the tube, Monsieur and I preview our days ahead.

“Darling,” I say, “you’re so lucky. You’re going to Paris for meetings, have a cocktail event in the Louvre tonight, you’re staying in a lovely hotel with very soft beds and really good room service. You’ll even have time to hang out in the Galeries Lafayette food hall!” And yes, I really do jabber like that, which irritates Monsieur first thing in the morning but hey! I’m excited for Monsieur, because if roles had been reversed, I’d certainly be looking forward to some time out of London. Just the mere thought of Paris makes me feel particularly poetic so I’m not prepared for his response.

“The reality is, I’ll be there for work, I won’t know anyone at the cocktail and room service isn’t as good as your cooking.” He looks a little glum and I start to miss him already.

That evening, I decide to have a night off being the master chef of our household and order in. Then the phone rings. It’s Monsieur so I ask him how things are going in Paris. He tells me he’s just left the Louvre, didn’t have time to view the Valentino exhibition because it turns out he did actually know some people at this schmoozing shin-dig, is now walking along the street to his hotel in Concorde and can see all around him Parisians soaking up the evening sun with a verre or two on terraces. “I can see the Eiffel Tower,” he tells me, “and the weather’s great!” I enthuse right along with him, picturing the scene in my head. It’s almost as good as being there myself, but without the confit de canard.

Back in London I console myself with an indulgent night in: a white pizza, a glass of chilled rosé, a couple of chick flicks and a whole lot of blog-reading. It may not be Paris, but these quiet nights are so rare that they’re precious indeed. Later on my brow does crease for a moment, just before bedtime when I wonder whether, without Monsieur, I’ll be able to set the UFO alarm clock? What is it with me and Monsieur’s machines? They must all be French. The minute he leaves, they know it and go on strike.

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