Travelling with Ernest: it is easy to be happy in Paris

Ernest Hemingway tagged Paris as A Moveable Feast in 1950 more than 20 years after he had left. Its meaning is often misunderstood as the number of good restaurants and markets people can discover if they are adventurous.

For Hemingway it was not the person who is moveable, but Paris itself:

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man,” he wrote to a friend “then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

The following post was written in Paris a year ago. It half brings this blog up to date with my previous writing on Travelling with Ernest; but mostly it is here because Paris and the friends who are there stay with me.


Luxembourg GardensIt is easy to be happy in Paris and if you go to the Luxembourg Gardens on a clear afternoon in early Autumn the sun will be shining into the lower branches of the almost leaf-fallen trees and people will be facing their chairs to feel its warmth.

Every sound will be distant: the barely audible traffic from the Boulevard St-Michel, the emptying rustle of leaves on the trees, the crunch of fine gravel under walking feet, the slow metal scrape of heavy chairs when old women drag them over dirt into the light, and young people laughing anywhere.

Around the centre, the last crimson geraniums of summer will be blooming in large pots on a stone white balustrade that rings a sunken garden.

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