The first is a guidebook to Paris that, I must admit, I purely picked up due to the beeaauuttiful, art-nouveau style front cover that Alex so proudly showed off at the Manchester Book Club following her second book haul from Sharston Books. (Read her review here).
Metrostop Paris by Gregor Dallas is a pleasant guide to the city for someone who already knows it very well - like London, you do tend to navigate yourself around in relation to which metrostop you're closest to - however, I found myself wondering how those who don't know Paris so well enjoy Dallas' frequent tangents off into realms of time and space unknown that veer wildly away from the metro stations themselves. I personally enjoyed reading a little fact for a change, bombarding the boyfriend with particularly fascinating snippets and thoroughly enjoying the random points, obscure characters and themes in the city's history. However, I am, I have realised, a literary fiction girl through and through and I very naughtily skipped one chapter towards the end, desperate to leave the real world behind and return to some make believe instead......tralala.
My second mini-tangent comes in filmic form; Le hérisson, directed by Monica Achache, the beautiful screen adaptation of Muriel Barbery's The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which I enjoyed reading earlier this year.
Josiane Balasko stars as Renée and delivers a completely authentic, heart-wrenching portrait of the lonely concierge, superbly supported by child actress Garance Le Guillermic and the chap of the Go Cereal Bar advert! (Togo Igawa :)). The film, quite necessarily, ditches the over-your-head philosophical, slightly narcissistic french musings and thus compliments Barbery's novel wonderfully. It is also far funnier; with Paloma's old fashioned video camera replacing her 'Journal of the Movement of the World' and her 'life through a lense' view on the people around her is both more amusing and far more intense. Paris is beautiful, and this film makes it all the more real and beautiful....I really should make the time to watch more french film...
The all important conclusion to my bitsy post today comes in the form of my very best friend Joe who has taken the idea of 'Paris in July' quite literally and moved back there for good this very weekend! Utter envy aside, I will miss him very much and wish him the best of luck....but no better excuse to visit I say!