Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The scene: France, 1950s

I thought it was time for an update on my quest to read my way around the world.

In case you're wondering, I'm still in France. I did mention that the Simenon that I was reading is an omnibus, right? So I'm on the second novella of three.

It's still raining, and there's still a lot of booze going down.

Luckily - I suppose, (though that could be debated) - most of the meteorological and spirit-ual activity is on the page. Here in Melbourne, it's been windy and dry, and suddenly hotter than French Algeria (as I believe it to be). On crowded, hot trains -- that is, when they are not cancelled -- I read of the infidelities and petty lives of Parisian characters. (It's almost better when they are cancelled, because then I read on train platforms and can make believe I'm in a nice park somewhere, and that I'm not going to be late for work again.) There is much sleeping around, mentioned in off-hand manner. Murders happen. People get desperate, and depressed. Maigret goes home for lunch. (Madame Maigret is unflappable, as ever. I'm sure her tailoring is immaculate. Black and white; Eau de Nil.)

In Melbourne it's hot; but in Paris it still rains.

I still haven't decided where to go next, and although I wanted it not to be England (too predictable), I'm flirting with a lovely new book just arrived from Margo -- a book of maps and memoires and the countryside of the Cotswold. It's cheeky and cute - just what you want in a flirt. But there's a hint of more intelligence on closer acquaintance.

Will it be -?

We'll see. Maybe the weather will change.


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