Hot and Cold

The weather of course. We had a few days of summer heat, calling for a change in wardrobe: skirts and sandals, instead of scarves and coats and umbrellas, but now we are back to cold and blue sky with big rolling clouds and sudden downpours. Right now it is pale sun, making—oops no, back to clouds over the sun and no shadows.

They were repairing the dome of the church across the street, but the workers have all gone, perhaps over to Notre Dame for the emergency work there. Crossing a bridge upstream from Notre Dame on a bus this week, it seemed to me that they had covered some of the walls (and presumably the holes in the roof) with sheets of plastic, against the rain, which duly fell. A week ago it was almost impossible to get onto the Ile de la Cite, but now they seem to be allowing people, if not in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral, at least closer. After all there is a major hospital across the street, courts of law, and shopkeepers losing business.

Yesterday afternoon I walked over to the Orangerie, one of the museums in the Tuileries, to see the Marc and Macke exhibit, which is, as several friends had said, extremely interesting. But perhaps what moved me most of all was a square of garden behind the Orangerie, which has been turned into a patch of forest undergrowth, with a life (if that’s the word)-size bronze sculpture of a fallen tree trunk, roots in the air, long trunk, branches broken over, under several ‘real’ trees and undergrowth of ferns, heliobore, and ground cover. The sun shone through the leaves, it was very peaceful, and somehow very un-French: most of the other garden-rooms are lawn with masses of colour-coordinated flowers, beautiful but very formal.

We are going to the Vaucluse tomorrow for a month.

Now the rain is pelting down again.