Sorry, it's Tuesday. Art's off.

Pyjamas, kitchen table, two blocks from Centre Pompidou, Paris. Yes, that Paris.

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I knew the Louvre was closed today but was surprised (which didn’t surprise me) that other museums and galleries were too. I suppose even culture needs a day off.

What also surprises me is that a cold is supposed to take seven days to incubate, but you only have to be out in wet wind with a green scarf and rain jacket on Tuesday morning and by Tuesday lunchtime you get that feeling that something may be brewing. It is important to try to nip it in the bud as quickly as possible with French Onion soup, a glass of red wine on a red and white checked tablecloth, a platter of delicasies including inscrutible suggestions of something suspended artistically in gel, then after a good deal of wandering, a hot bath with a glass of cold white wine. You may not be cured, but you certainly don’t care any more.

I begin to sympathise with my much maligned GPS, although I’d prefer you didn’t tell it. I followed my curiosity and took a stairway underground beneath a garden and found myself in a cavernous subterranean movie/shopping complex. With lots of escalators. Enclosed spaces with escalators all have that particular smell...it must be the grease. I wandered for miles and suddenly needed to escape...it felt too much like an airport and I wasn’t ready to be in an airport yet. I decided to head for a huge bookshop so stepped over to a helpfully colour-coded map. “You are here”, it said, with a good deal of confidence. Don’t read this next bit if you are a bit delicate...”Bullshit!”, I replied. In a shopping complex which is essentially one long hallway, I’d managed to complete a circle and was back where I’d started. Somewhere there must be a use for me.

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A great deal of gardening in Paris happens in tiny boxes. What IS that guy with the motorcycle helmet going to do with the rack of jeans he’s just manoeuvred out of the shop? Why doesn’t somebody invent clothing that actually looks BETTER on you than it does on the mannequin? When you’re staying in a strange building, two and a half winding flights of stairs up, it is a good idea to note the location of buttons which operate the hall lighting in case everything goes off and you end up in pitch blackness when you’re not sure where on the two and a half gracefully winding flights you are. While you’re at it, it would be a good idea to memorise which way they wind.


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