Friday, November 12, 2010

Living the Life

We spend a lot more time at home than we used to, because it feels like home.  Last year we spent six months in an apartment (remember 'le Chateau'?) that never felt quite like that.  It was furnished for formal parties rather than sprawling on the couch with a book.  The sofa was unsprawlable and instead of a comfortable dining table there was a grand piano.  We don't play but we do eat.

This year the cozy garret we're in is wonderfully sprawlable and we love spending time at the table in the glass-enclosed kitchen.  Sometimes we're lucky enough to have interesting skies to watch, and when they turn gray and heavy we can sit over a cup of coffee and read with the rain hitting the glass overhead. 

But it seems to me it's more than just having a more comfortable place to hang our chapeaux.  We've come to feel more like we live in Paris and when you live somewhere you aren't always visiting its attractions.  You take advantage of that comfy couch and spend your days reading, cooking in that great kitchen, marketing in the local Monoprix rather than crossing town to the "typical" street market, doing lots of laundry in the tiny washer, going to the movies in the afternoon without feeling you're wasting time better spent absorbing sights and cultural offerings. 

Since we're no longer working we fill our days with leisure activities, classes, etc. and so we do see a lot of museums and visit interesting neighborhoods, but the sense of "ohmigod, we're in Paris!" has moderated.  And that's good, because this was always about how it would feel to live here, not how it would feel to have an extended vacation.  And it feels good.

Of course it's still glorious to get off a bus and suddenly see the Eiffel Tower lit up overhead, or look upriver when crossing the Seine and see those views you spent years dreaming about.  That feels even better.


Anne said...

I was exhausted after your last post and glad to hear that you're sprawling on the couch! As much as I too like to try to live each Paris day to its fullest, some times it's the better part of valor to stay in.

Janey and Co. said...

Can't exactly remember the quote but it goes something like this:

Those that enjoy true leisure are improving their soul's estate....

Shelli said...

Anne, this week I'm feeling very valorous!

Janey, thanks for that. I've always enjoyed leisure, but I thought that just made me lazy.

Anonymous said...

I have had a leisurely Sunday reading all of your travels and am mesmerized. How wonderful to visit such amazing places. Your writing is beautiful. Which leads into how wonderful it is that you are in a beautiful apartment that looks and feels like "home". I understand this from my travels and renting apartments. Love your blog....keep it up!

Laurent said...

Great post ! I like the way you seem to live in the city.