Spring and Sunglasses

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I can’t help thinking that there should be some way, in a country such as France, of only having to work when there is no sun.  I’m sure that would still give us enough working days. I know I’ve already complained about the awful weather this winter and spring but there hasn’t been a lot of improvement since I last wrote.

Magnolia in bloom in the Palais Royal gardens
Magnolia in bloom in the Palais Royal gardens

Today, the sun came out and the temperature has actually gone up to 14°C. That’s not exactly warm enough to be sitting out-of-doors like my friend Redfern who’s learning French in Montpellier at the moment (and posting photos on Facebook to make me envious) but it’s enough to not want to be cooped up in an office.

Curie Cancer Institute selling daffodils on Place Royale
Curie Cancer Institute selling daffodils on Place Royale

I could see the sun on the Palais Royal fountain from my office window so after lunch, I found an excuse to go outside. The white magnolia next to the fountain is now in full bloom and the pink one next to it will soon be out as well. There are daffodils and jonquils in all the flowerbeds. This time, I didn’t make the mistake of not wearing my parka but I still found the air surprisingly nippy.

Jonquils and daffodils in the Palais Royal gardens
Jonquils and daffodils in the Palais Royal gardens

My excuse to go out was to buy another pair of sunglasses. There must be some trick not to breaking or losing them that I don’t know about. If anyone can fill me in, please do. I seem to go through two or three pairs a year – and I don’t even wear them in winter. The only ones I manage to keep are my photogrey cycling glasses because I religously put them back in my bike bag at the end of the day.

The only sunglasses I don't lose!
The only sunglasses I don’t lose!

My fashionista daughter, Black Cat, is always saying, “You’ve got new sunglasses again”. I don’t know how she can even remember what the last ones were like. I certainly don’t. So, as a result, I don’t buy those expensive ones.

Sunny Seville in spring with its famous oranges
Sunny Seville in spring with its famous oranges

They come from all over the world – Australia, Seville, Hong Kong, Basel, Ljubliana – you name it. First, you have to track down who sells them. In Australia, for example, the starting price at an optician’s is way beyond my budget, which is not the case in France, which they always have a shelf of no-brand sunglasses. In Australia, the cheap ones are in pharmacies, I discovered on my last visit.

Sunny Brisbane most of the time - Goodwill Bridge
Sunny Brisbane most of the time – Goodwill Bridge

Explaining what I want in another language isn’t that easy, but the lady in the optician’s in Seville was very helpful and I found a lovely pair, very reasonably priced. Black Cat said they looked very trendy. I wonder what happened to them?

Galerie Vivienne from Rue Vivienne
Galerie Vivienne from Rue Vivienne

Today, I went to a couple of optician’s in Rue des Petits Champs (home of the lovely Galerie Vivienne) but their non-brand-name ranges weren’t very good. I have uneven eyebrows so I have to make sure they are both covered.  I ended up at the Optical Discount in Rue Vivienne where I usually buy my contacts. I told the man that I wanted some cheap ones but with good optical quality. He told me the glass is  exactly the same as the brand names, that only the frame is different, which was reassuring. I don’t want to damage my eyes, after all.

Sunset approaching from my balcony
Sunset approaching from my balcony

I found a pair I liked and he gave me a nice hard case, not too big so I can put it in my handbag, and I only paid 33 euros. We’ll see how long these last!

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12 thoughts on “Spring and Sunglasses”

  1. Better to lose your sunnies than your car keys, which is what I seem to have done in the last couple of days — can’t find the wretched things anywhere. As for sunglasses, my current pair cost 15 € at Auchan or Leclerc and are Hello Kitty brand (rather embarrassing, but hopefully the logo is discreet enough that no one will notice…)

    1. I must pay careful attention to the Hello Kitty next time I see you! It’s bad news about the car keys. That used to be a constant problem for me before we got our Scenic because you can leave the key in your handbag. It’s just perfect. However, I’m so afraid I’ll lose the Volvo keys that I give them back the Jean Michel every time I use the car. Good luck with finding them.

  2. Don’t talk about it!, In the past I have always bought $20 glasses because I tend not to look after them very well….drop, scratch etc, but after Xmas this year, when the sales were on, I got it my head to buy a ‘quality’ pair of sunnies. I tried on soooo many, desperate to make the right decision,, ending up with a pair of Ralph Laren’s. got out to car, grabbed the oldies to get rid of…….but on closer inspection I had chosen EXACTLY the same style as my cheapies!!!!! Nooooo. I must admit, the vision is better thru the new ones…..which I guess is some consolation 😉

  3. Oh, Jill, that is so funny but it certainly speaks in favour of no-brand sunglasses! I hope you haven’t lost or scratched them yet. I forgot to mention the scratching. Jean Michel’s are always in mint condition, despite the fact that he’s had them for years while mine get riddled with scratches.

  4. You’ve stumbled upon the secret, actually… Buy expensive sunglasses! If its going to hurt when you loose them, you make extra sure not to! You’ll do like you already do for your cycling glasses and take the ten seconds necessary to put them away every time you take them off.
    Which means, of course, you have to have a dedicate place to put them away.
    Same rules apply to gloves, but they’re useless if you accidentally grab two gloves of the same hand as you head out for the day, like I did last week.

    1. I’m probably more disciplined with my cycling glasses in the presence of Jean Michel. Also I have a chain attached to them. I’m a little worried about paying the earth and losing or scratching them anyway. Sad about the gloves …

  5. Ha – I have the opposite problem – I lose a pair momentarily and the buy new ones and the old ones show back up. I currently have 4 different pairs of sunglasses sitting in my kitchen. At least I’ve got back ups! AND le sigh…I’m with you on the weather – it’s time for SUN!

    1. By the time mine turn up again they’re so old-fashioned that I can’t wear them any more! But I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one with the problem.

  6. Your missing sunglasses [and anyone else’s and those socks, keys, whatever..] slide inconveniently through those little cracks into a parallel universe…
    where another you [or me] finds them… and, not recognising them, wonders!!

    When we were unpacking some of our boxes on moving here, we found a pair of size 13 white plimsolls with green edging….
    not only did we not recognise them, our combined shoe sizes come to just a couple of sizes more…
    and then there’s the keys that neither of us recognise and don’t fit anything here…
    strange old multiverse!!

    1. Things that are not ours do occasionally appear, but nothing nearly as exciting as a pair of size 13 white plimsolls with green edging!

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