Monday 27 January 2014

A first trip of the year (2)

I woke at seven, I figured it was probably wise to move the car.

I checked with a taxi driver who had drawn up behind – yes he confirmed, this was not a good palce to leave it.

So I drove up a one way street the wrong way, you can do that in Paris if it’s before eight o’clock. It may even be a local bylaw.

And I parked on the corner near the shop that sells clocks.

I saw a pile of things on the sidewalk and strolled over. 

A workman was piling up furniture and boxes.

Plastic bags too.

“Is this being thrown out?”


Hmm, good English for a French man, I thought and then I opened the first box.

Unused artist’s canvases.


I grabbed a handful.

Sketch books.

I took a pile.

Some were full, some were empty – I have a use for both.

A man joined me. He took some canvasses too, and a huge wooden frame, and a pile of books.

He struggled to walk with them.

“Are you going far?” he asked.

I helped him with the frame and said good bye.

I went back.

Two women were there now, one had sorted out all the tubes of paint the other was looking at the bottles of wax, turpentine and oils.

The workman came out with another two bags –‘here’s the next delivery’ he said.

We rummaged, we found treasures. There were six of us now.

Someone picked up my pile.

“Ah ,those are my pickings.” 

“Do you have your name on them?’

“No, but I kind of like them – there mainly for my son who is studying at art school with no money for paper”.

No money for anything in fact.

He gave them back, he was teasing. Then he went into the building – he was one of the workmen.

A guy stopped and took pictures of us. I posed with a skull – one an artist would use as a model.

The teasing workman came back with a 1950’s radiofunk record player and offered it to me.

I took it, my son needs this too as he has started buying vinyl.

What is it with youth – they sleep all day and buy vinyl?

What is it with oldth – they love jumble sales.

An easel arrived – I was too slow. 

Some vintage fabric – too slow again.

But then I found the bag with all the 1950’s wrapping paper.


Half the street were here now, someone was handing out coffee.

I took a sip, then, figuring I had enough, I wandered down to the foot of Montmatre.

It looks beautiful in the morning too.

I watched the parents taking their kids to school.

I don’t do that anymore.

Then again, maybe I do, this trip finishes in London at the university.

Not just yet though.

No comments: