She should’ve been 100

22/01/23 18:13 

It’s been a while since we’ve returned from our trip to Paris and whilst not much has happened since, such a lot has taken place.  I write today on what would be my grandmother’s 100th birthday.  I took the boys back to their mum this afternoon and continued on to the cemetery where my nan and grandad are buried.  She died just over 2 years ago and I haven’t grieved properly.  I probably never will.  That’s something I have to deal with.  Being there today, alone with her and husband, I felt a determination brewing inside of me.  Two things need to take place.  Firstly, I need to use what I learnt from her and continue to pass it on to my children.  Secondly, I need to do something with the time, money and effort I’ve already put into my writings.  There’s no point in me simply jotting all these words down after 8 years of study to not have anything come of them.  It’s unfair to everyone; my legacy needs more permanency in this world. 

Looking at my Instagram usage, my 119 posts are being enjoyed by my 197 followers and I started a daily “story post” yesterday that I plan on running for the year.  I have a semi-idea for next year ready – last year was a door a month. 

How was Paris with Nev and the boys?  Not easy by any stretch.  I was worn out before I began.  What also didn’t help was immediately after purchasing Navigo Easy passes for the boys, I lost my wallet.  My initial thought was that I’d been pickpocketed on the Metro as we made our way to Luxembourg but there was nobody really around me in a position for that to happen.  I racked my brain to figure out what else could have happened and as I went to check my pocket again for the eighth time, it revealed itself.  My coat has a button lining.  My hand slipped through it and I totally missed my back pocket.  That’s what must’ve happened.  As I put the passes in my front pockets, I then attempted to slip the wallet into my jeans.  And as I put my hand through the gap where the lining and coat miss, I released the wallet and down to the floor it went.  In London, you rely upon the honesty and goodwill of strangers.  It’s the same for Paris.  Unfortunately, as with London, not everyone is honest or exudes goodwill and £700 later, I froze my credit cards.  They tried to take £300 out of my bank but not even I can manage that trick!  With no cards to use for payment, nor to extract cash, I was left at the mercy of Nev.  And I didn’t like that.  Nor the fact that I was without my 12 year old John Lewis wallet and little sentimental knickknacks, contained within. 

That negativity aside, and also coping with my fried brain from the prior few weeks, I think I did well. Just not luxurious spendings.  My mind continued to spiral and for some reason, I decided to replan our itinerary.  One thing I pride myself on is my logistical and logical mind.  I plan things, trips, surprises, events and timings.  Yet I’d been cloudy of mind for a while and hadn’t expressed this to Nev.  Or the boys.  Or family.  Or doctors.  It’s not like me to feel helpless, to feel like I’m spiralling out of control.  Stress, anxiety and depression I can cope with.  I can identify these things and, eventually, get through them all.  This current state of mind was something else, though.  And I couldn’t break through it.  The actual final straw took place on the Saturday when when we went to the Louvre.  We slipped through the queue as I’d pre-booked and the 1030 time slot worked out well as we simply marched along with the short priority line-up.  It failed as I attempted to walk through the entrance to the Denton Wing.  I was refused entry.I had booked the tickets for the Friday.  In the muddled brain space that I was barely using, I’d forgotten about the day and when it came to the rearranging if our plans, it just didn’t enter the equation. 

We eventually got in after Nev bought new tickets and we all saw the small painting of the woman by Da Vinci.  We looked at a a few other pieces of art but we didn’t spend too long inside.  The boys weren’t in museum mood and I’d pretty much hit the wall at this point.  We went on to the Marche de Noël at the Jardin Tuiliers afterwards and I managed to secure another plastic cup full of vin chaud.  This cup takes residence with the two from last year when Nev and I bought a cup each of the hot, mulled, throat-burning alcohol.  From the market we made our way to Les Halles.  However, with my head the way it was and now alcohol thrown into the mix, my directions were totally off and we ended up getting to the posh Starbucks by Palais Garnier and then stumbling across Galeries Lafayette to see their Christmas tree for the season.  Taking the Metro to Chatellet, we finally got to Westfield in order to purchase the boys’ their Adopt perfumes. 

We popped into Monoprix to replenish our supplies for the evening and our shopping list for home.  It was at this point that I picked up a bottle of Champomy L’Original for our New Year’s Eve celebratory drink that I took with me – along with four paper bathroom cups from the hotel – to raise a toast once we were a little further away from the throng of revellers surrounding us on Pont des Invalides. 

I’m not sure at which point it happened, but when I awoke, my foggy neural pathways were a lot clearer.  Not perfect for I was physically exhausted and was facing a bit of mental dealings to handle, but I was now in a much better place.  The fizzy apple juice?  The new year beginning?  The lay in that I obtained after the late night?  The magic of Paris?  Or simply the fact I’d shown the boys the Paris of my passion with the woman of my heart?  I’ll never know for sure what it was that did the trick, but without it, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this page now. 

There was more to the trip that what I’ve written above and over the next few entries, I’ll expand more.  But for now, it’s time for me to rest.  I’ve still got a lot of updating behind the scenes remaining to do. 

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