As a combined birthday and leaving gift, the family have bought me a five-hour cookery class which includes a trip to the market to buy fresh produce, the cooking itself and then the eating of the meal. I’m really excited about it and hopefully it will inspire me to buy more of my food at the market and less at the supermarket when I go home again…
The class is tomorrow morning, quite early, and it’s in Montmartre – the district of Paris that I have been meaning to visit ever since I first got here and have never had enough time to give to it. After the class I’m going to spend a couple of hours strolling around and taking in all the amazing places that seem to have accumulated there.
Months ago, back when I first got here, my dad said something to me about making sure I didn’t put off visiting all the places I wanted to see until the end, because I’d be sure to run out of time. He wasn’t envisaging me leaving three months early, I don’t think, but it was good advice and on the whole I have followed it. I’ve seen lots of museums, almost all of the monuments and buildings I wanted to see (except Versailles Palace, which I’m seeing Sunday, and the Sacre Coeur, which is in Montmatre) and I’ve done a lot of the things I wanted to do. Even so, there are so many things that I haven’t had time to do. There are also things that I couldn’t have done in these three months, such as an evening walk by the Seine in the summertime.
Paris is not going anywhere, though, and I can always come back again with a better idea of what I want to see than I would usually have. The thing I’m going to miss most is watching the children grow up. Tonight Baby Girl suddenly started screaming and kept going for twenty minutes; I gave her Doliprane, changed her nappy, got her another bottle, rocked her, Daughter One sang to her, and eventually she quietened down and went back to sleep. No idea what caused it. I’m not exactly sad that I won’t be woken by screaming again for a while, but I am sad that I won’t get to sooth her and put her back to bed.
Anyway. Tomorrow is going to be a great day, and I’ll probably have another chance to quieten a screaming Baby Girl because the rest of the family are going out for dinner to celebrate Daughter One’s twelth birthday, which is this weekend. On Sunday I have church as usual and am going to Versailles with Anne-Birgitte. Then Monday and Tuesday the kids are all off school; Daughters One and Two are taking a three-day ballet course, Sole Son has a week of tennis camp, and the younger two girls will be doing something less structured with their Mother and I.
Then that’s it. On Wednesday morning I leave for my choir tour and won’t see any of the family again. In a week and a half I’ll be home.
It doesn’t feel quite real.