Our neighbourhood has been calm, many shops shuttered, like the Luxembourg Garden, where I went yesterday afternoon and founds the gates locked for the weekend, a couple of guards standing in the middle of deserted alleyways and forlorn-looking trees. Sad to see the trees locked up, locked of. I also called the Soupe Kitchen I sometimes help out in, thinking some of the Saturday team of volunteers might not make it, and they were open, preparing for the usual four or five lunch services with a full contingent of volunteers. "Call on Monday," they said.

I have been reading--well, as usual, lots of books at once: Reginald Gibbons' How Does Poetry Think, a new book with a dense argument but also an interesting narrative thread about his own growth as a poet, Maire-Hélène Lafon, a newish French writer, recommended by my brother- and sister-in-law, and Svetlana Alexievich, who won the Nobel Prize this year for her books. I'm reading her raw account of Tchernobyl and its aftermath, from a French collection of various things she has written about World War 2 and after. Oh, and for the third time, this time with a French-Italian dictionary, Elena Ferrante's Days of Abandonment.