Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sightseeing - an utter waste of time.

Last night's meal:

After a wonderful day in la Rochelle, had an utterly pointless meal at the much vaunted Alain Buiton restaurant.

It's much vaunted on the internet and prior to leaving Scotland I had asked the hotel in Poitiers to reserve me a table there. God knows why because, unlike last night's excellent establishment, it was empty from the off and only another three people had arrived by the time of my leaving at half past nine - and this a Saturday night!

It wasn't excessively expensive and indeed they undercharged me by 3 euros. They were also very pleasant and attentive for the whole evening. But the food was banal.

Empty on a Saturday night must mean something.

Kir - my now favoured aperative

Hellish starter of cuboidal spring roll and cottage cheese inside ham shell.

Perfectly acceptable cod.

Tedious Rose wine in CRACKED dispenser repaired with sellotape!

Boring creme brulee.

I found the place to be pretentious and third rate. A joyless evening is how I would sum it up.
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This morning:

Church this morning at Notre Dame. Beautiful and vibrant service but only after I'd had my usual cafe au lait with pain aux raisins at a cafe on the square.

Going there, a French woman stopped me and asked  the way to the nearest boulangerie. I directed her to my little cafe on the square which also sells bread. A French man intervened and said that in fact the boulangerie was in the opposite direction. I didn't care two hoots since I knew where I was going and didn't want them to nip in before me and get the last of the pain aux raisins.

Three minutes later at the cafe while standing at the counter waiting for my coffee to be made, I turned around and there behind me were the French male and French female bread hunters.

Le pain aux raisins.

Le cafe on the square.

This morning's Mass begins.

An imposing Romanesque church.
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Paris:

On a whim, decided to go to Paris for the afternoon - a 90 minute journey by TGV. Superb journey there, sweeping across the beautiful French countryside.

The colossal subterranean terminus of Montparnasse

But when I got to Paris, I really didn't want to be there. What was the point? Next to the station was the brown and bronze skycraper, "Tour de Montparnasse", which offered amazing 360 degree panoramique views of Paris. Cost 13 euros and one ascended the 56 floors in 38 seconds.

Here are some photographs I took from the top with my phone camera.


The tower itself.




I was glad to get back on the train and hugely enjoyed the journey back to Poitiers - just staring at the passing countryside.

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"Adrift in Soho" by Colin Wilson

Continuing to read this gripping semi-autobiographical novel about 1950s London. Some excellent and humorously put observations in it.

Basically, the hero has come down to London from the Midlands to seek his intellectual fortune. He falls in with a bohemian crowd of wasters, actors, writers, tramps and exponents of the occult; all living in various middens or squats as we would now call them. At first he is pretty sceptical about the philosophical tosh he is being served up, but then he meets a particularly articulate drop-out.

"He began to explain at length to me the philosophy of freedom. For the first time, I realised that it was really a kind of vision, and not just an excuse for doing nothing."








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