Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Paris Break

 Ovidia--Every Other Tuesday

Every time I go online I'm reminded this isn't the best time to be out of Singapore given the Singapore Writers Festival is on 'Live' now, over three festival weekends. 

But oh, I really needed this break! And the timing was right, given I'd just submitted a short story and the rough of the next book and got my Covid bivalent booster before leaving. And also because it's l'automne here in Paris now, our favourite season for visiting and our first trip here in three years!

The agenda was to do nothing except rest and recuperate. It's also our first trip since our dogs died, so it marks a turning point. Some people celebrate becoming empty nesters, we'll just be shifting things around and getting rid of dog stairs/ dog exits etc. 

But for now, Paris!

We're back in Astotel Bergere, my favourite hotel because it's small enough that you don't feel you have to put on your LVs to chat in the foyer and it has this lovely skylight in the lounge, so we can sit comfortably with an outdoor feel. It was still on air-conditioning when we arrived but just switched to heating (10 C today).

But of course most of our time has been spent outdoors. Walking here is great, but I need to be around water. I only swim outdoors back home, but here it's getting cold, really cold for someone just in from the equator.

We found an indoor (heated) pool with some help--

The most convenient pool for us turned out to be the Piscine Suzanne-Berlioux in the Forum des Halles. It's not very popular with the locals here who say being in the complex is like being trapped in a giant shopping mall/ metro station... which sadly might be why Singaporeans feel right at home here!

Phones aren't allowed inside, but this is a snap of the outside:

The entrance fee is 5 euros and lockers are digital and included. The water is warm, the chlorine is strong and the shallow end very shallow, but people were still doing flip turns!

What was interesting was, certain lanes allow swim aids like fins and paddles (pretty much forbidden in Singapore public pools) and in the lanes where training aids are forbidden, it's also forbidden to swim butterfly stroke!

Granted, this anti-butterfly stroke discrimination might not surprise anyone else, but I (not a butterfly stroker) found it interesting. The other thing I found curious and a little off-putting was music being played in the pool area? I guess making it more like a gym workout? 

But enough of swimming. We've met up with family from the UK, visited old haunts like the Parc Monceau,

where the plants are getting ready for winter. But the ducks are still here!

and just walking and walking. 

The greatest difference between walking here and in Singapore is being able to walk outdoors without getting overheated before you get tired out!

It's clear that winter is coming. But though the trees are brown the sky's still blessedly blue.

And some are determined to stay green through the grey months,

Like this magnificent evergreen... and like my new friend Toby!

I'll be sorry to leave. But I'm glad I'm looking forward to getting home too! 

We'll be back in Singapore for next weekend and I'm half looking forward to/ half dreading a yoga workshop (backbends and balances) on Saturday and an SWF panel on Sunday.

I'll catch up with you all once I'm back! In the meantime, this is a fantastic time to visit Paris if you've any inclination to at all!


  1. Hi Ovidia, I’m just across the channel, and if we were both going to be here for a while, I would take the Chunnel train to have lunch with you. I hope I do get to see you in person one day soon! AA

  2. Is that you Ann? I can’t seem to register!

  3. Looks and sounds lovely, Ovidia