Soon after our first grandchild was born, Sweety and I travelled to London, England to meet him. We figured we’d spend a few weeks cooking for and helping the parents as this was their first child. But they were doing so well that we decided to take a five-day trip to Paris, France in the middle of our vacation. I was in Paris with my parents in 1973 as a side trip when in the UK, but didn’t recall a great deal from that trip. This time I was, however, a superstar at figuring out the underground/overground train system, made up of the famous Paris Metro and the RER, a regional railway (maybe rekindled the rail traffic controller in me??). We made the most of those five days, seeing all the major sights.
Sweety and I took the Eurostar from England to France, which was exciting though, in advance, the idea of being in a train beneath the English Channel was a little unnerving. But we went through so many tunnels along the way in England that, by the time we were in the 50-kilometre long Channel Tunnel, we had been in it for almost 20 minutes before we realized it. I had booked a hotel on Priceline.com, which ended up being about 50% off, and was two blocks from the Tour Eiffel. One of my favourite excursions was a day we spent in the Musée d’Orsay, a converted railway station (railway, again!) which holds many significant works of art, including paintings by Vincent van Gogh. I would love to go back there someday.
We also went on two walking tours, free tours by Sandemans New Europe. The guides make their living on tips from the tourists, and our first tour guide was fabulous, taking us around much of the old city. We probably walked 15 km that day. The second tour was okay, but the guide didn’t have the exuberant kind of personality our first guide did. The tour was quite a distance by trains from our hotel, up in Montmartre, and the highlight of it was the Basilique du Sacré Couer de Montemartre, plus an amusing stop in the Café des Deux Moulins where some of the movie, Amelie was filmed.
Friends of ours were playing some piano music quite some time ago, and one piece was “Comptine d’ un autre été, l’après-midi,” from the soundtrack of Amelie. It, of course, reminded me of the film; and our visit to that cafe during our five glorious days together in Paris.
While writing my post this evening, I was listening to a live-stream of the release of Mixing Colours, the Roger and Brian Eno collaboration which they released at midnight on March 20 in Berlin. I told you about that album in my post on a pre-purchased track, “Blonde.” I enjoyed listening to the live-stream this evening and participating in the chat. The live-stream is already available as an archive, here. I’m excited that, after midnight, the preorder will be in my Apple Music library. (I finally upgraded to Apple’s Catalina operating system which, in part, broke up iTunes in favour of Apple Music, TV and Podcasts, though I was relieved to find I can still purchase music in the iTunes Store.) All that to say, the acoustic piano and synthesizer-based Mixing Colours made me think back to today’s solo piano selection while I was surfing through some photos of the 2012 trip.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
(Note: If you follow the links in this post, you’ll see some of them have warnings associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole world, and many people, are hurting in this global crisis. Let’s be kind to each other and help in whatever ways we can.)
Here’s the official audio from composer Yann Tiersen’s YouTube channel: