Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Queue

How much must one suffer for one's art?

Depends on the factors. This response comes to me with the grace and dignity of hindsight.

I'd been sent an invitation for the private view at the Musée Rodin of the Camille Claudel blockbuster.

Apt terminology for a sculptress I guess. So that the missus could feast on the splendours, we organised a babysitter.

As I was travelling to the museum from the radio station, I got there first only to find out that the private view was anything but.

The queue to get in was a blockbuster.

But since La Claudel suffered for her art, I should at least reciprocate.

It had been raining earlier in the day but the clouds had yielded to a clear, blue sky.

Jolly queueing weather, la di di di da da.

I read my book and 25 minutes later I was at the door to the museum just as the missus arrived.

We were allowed into the foyer only to be ushered politely to another queue.

This one was a beast. And it was barely moving. But it was a beautiful spring evening. And the garden at the museum is a joyous place to be. We really should have taken turns to go for a stroll around it.

But we didn't. We stayed put. We shuffled a few yards and though there was never any doubt that we would eventually get to see the pieces, economics and hunger were starting to wreak their havoc.

With a baby sitter on the clock, waiting was costing and since neither of us had eaten, I was in danger of coming over all reductionist.

And you don't want to do that.

We left.

But in doing so we'd entered the realm of the impromptu. We have three children. We don't do unusual.

We breathe studied.

However by eschewing the queue we were unleashing ourselves into the unplanned. And what's more in a quartier that's not a usual haunt.

So we walked around bits of the 7th - choice, very choice and ended up on Boulevard St Germain.

We took an apero at Cafe Flore. I think the first time we'd been there in the seven or so years that we've been in Paris.

As we sipped our Kirs and observed the other almost as beautiful people, the missus popped out: "Ooh look a mouse."

Like the impromptu, I don't do mice. I hate the cellars in our block because I once saw a rat scurrying off after the missus had gone snooping around somebody's else's cellar.

Cafe Flore's house mouse darted around a bit. Gradually its presence was more widely noted. We drank up to move on to the planned part of the evening and a meal at Chez Casimir in our neck of the woods.

Didn't see anything untoward there. Too busy savouring the cuisine.

But I'm on my guard now about the doyens of Latin Quarter watering holes.

After Cafe (don't look at the) Flore. What next?

Flies in the drinks at Les Deux Maggots?