Jean Michel and I have just had lunch at Café Diane in the Tuileries Gardens for the first time this year. It was wonderful sitting under the trees on the edge of the duck pond lined with sweet-smelling pink hyacinths and vibrant red tulips.
Spring has been a long time coming this year, but I’m sure it makes us appreciate it even more. It was even warm enough at 20°C to take off my sweat shirt. Our Australian friends Redfern and Saint Vincent are visiting Versailles today, experiencing sun and warmth at last.
On Monday, I went powerwalking in the Tuileries around 5 pm. The first thing I noticed were the chestnut trees which are one of the earliest to sprout new leaves, along with the linden trees.
There were enormous beds of multi-coloured tulips and purple hyacinths. The ice-cream vendors had appeared around the fountains, but surprisingly, no sailing boats for the kids.
I saw several photo shoots of bridal parties all speaking foreign languages. Getting married in Paris in the spring is definitely romantic!
On Monday, I noticed a sign indicating the Paris-Saint Petersburg 2013 chess championship in the Carré des Sangliers from 21st to 25th April, so after lunch, we wandered down towards the Orangerie to a temporary pavilion to see what it was all about.
It’s the same spot where the Ahae photographic exhibition was held last year that I loved so much. We went through a lobby first where we were asked to turn off our phones, then into a second room with two commentators but no players. An usher came over and took us into a small dark corridor where we were given headsets and sent into the next room.
About six tables with chess boards were lined up on a podium, five of which had only one player. I don’t know where the others were. Our headsets meant we could hear the commentators next door and a screen above the players showed a projection of each board. It was all very hush-hush.
We didn’t stay long, first because we’re not chess players and second because it seemed criminal to be inside when there was so much sun outdoors!
As we strolled back up the gardens, we saw a very sophisticated-looking lawn-cutting machine that rolls the grass at the same time. Nothing like the basic electric model I use to mow the grass at Closerie Falaiseau in Blois!
And now Jean Michel is back at work and I’m about to attack my professional tax declaration which means finishing off the accounts first. Not one of my favourite activities at the best of times and definitely not on a perfect spring day. Sigh.