05 June 2006

20 days...

Since I last posted! Gulp! I really hadn't meant to leave it so long but the bright side is that I was incredibly busy with work. And then I took a much-needed holiday with my beloved P.

In the week ending Friday 26 May, I planned my workload carefully so that I could keep the Friday clear for such trivialities as tidying my desk and sending out invoices. I had a huge list of "things to do" which I methodically worked my way through as the morning ticked by. Alas (but not really), my plans went awry (or arse up as it's known in the trade). I belong to a discussion list for journalists and have been posting stuff on it occasionally. In one post, I mentioned that a large chunk of my earnings comes from editorial work. A very nice Dutch guy on the list took it on himself to contact me that morning and offer me regular work. I was delighted, especially as I'm well used to editing English written by Dutch speakers. I was expecting some negotiation about fees and rates but was even more delighted that he agreed to pay me what I was asking for with no quibbles. He sent me an article immediately which I spent my Friday afternoon working on, and earned a useful sum. I also had an interesting spat on another forum, of which more later...

Finally, the list was cleared, I poured a glass of wine and contemplated packing my bags.

Next morning, we flew here. The weather was good so we did all the usual stuff - the Louvre, the Musee Carnavelet, the islands, the Basilica in St Denis (where I lived in the early 90s - St Denis, that is, not the basilica), the Conciergerie and the attached church of La Sainte Chapelle, which has the most exquisite stained glass windows ever, and the cemetery at Pere Lachaise. We ate the best ice cream in France at Berthillon and dined every night at a different restaurant. We ate amazingly well actually and drank lots of wine and absinthe, too. It felt like coming home - it was my first proper trip back to Paris since I left in spring 1995. Much has changed but much is still wonderfully the same. I also caught up with some old friends and, of course, we shopped for England, bringing home gourmet goodies to die for, including a rare bottle of violet syrup (with which to make kir royale with a difference!).

Now, it's time to knuckle down and start work again. A spot of proofreading first, for some web copy that's about to go live.

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