Métro Boulot Dodo And Rooftops

Midnight faded into dawn, dawn gave way to early morning traffic which eventually yielded to my alarm clock. A quick breakfast of French bread, croissants, and unsalted butter (Parisians…) took the final yawns and wrinkles out of my face. The day seemed daunting. With a three-hour presentation in the morning in front of a twenty-odd crowd of academic people, I was going to be the unwilling star & start of the show.
The underground stole past Central Paris to drop us off in the southern suburbs of Paris where our meeting was to be held. The meeting in itself wasn’t worth mentioning. It’s all work and no play for poor little Jack. However, there were two items to remember. Firstly the food, in these premises, is as good as ever and so much better than those grim triangular club sandwiches which make you feel like Pascal. Secondly newcomers. The project I work on is an EU-funded piece of work and is not in its infancy – far from it. But over the past few months, it’s been accepting new members two of which were at the Paris meeting. Two Spaniards from Galicia with whom I hit off very well. Probably the liking of Spanish culture in general and the friendliness in particular of the two new members, Daniel & Marta (I’m quite tempted to write it the English way, with an h tucked in between the t and a). I also met up with familiar faces from past meetings.
The meeting eventually gave way to the evening which I spent with my brother made single for the week as his wife was off to a photography exhibition in Southern France and his toddler was in the good caring hands of the in-laws. With no family around, there ain’t nothing like quality time with the bro’ round a bottle or two of cool refreshing beer. Belgian beer might I add. Coming from England, it’s a treat. Ollie (that’s his nick) and I split a pizza over a game of foosball. I won the first leg easily and we drew the ‘return’ leg. The game’s still a bit rusty (maybe fading away altogether). We had a nice chat about family, work, life in general, and rooftops. Well yes, rooftops. Not that my brother’s recently taken to the roofs like Giono’s hussard. It’s just that having only just bought a house, he sorely discovered the roof needed work to be done: reshingling if there be such a word. Those things are not cheap (no matter how real the word is). He did need that beer after all. We soon parted – Ollie walked me back to the underground (RER) and I headed back to central Paris to sleep the pizza and the beer off.