Your French is very good

I am not a fan of Dan Brown. It’s fair to say I’ve only ever read about a page of The Da Vinci Code. It was as far as I could get before his lack of language skills turned me off. I’m also not a Harry Potter fan. I’ve not read any of them and only watched the first movie. It was enjoyable enough but never really struck me as something I’d enjoy.

Because of the above, I had never heard of Nicolas Flamel, the man who lived for over 600 years and was an expert in alchemy.

Of course, today his house is a restaurant. Mind you, when I say ‘restaurant’ it’s more an epicurean delight. That I know because we had lunch there today. It was a Mirinda surprise which worked really, really well.

Possibly the oldest extant house in Paris

In the real world, Nicolas lived for around 80 years from 1330 and sold manuscripts in Paris. He married Perenelle, a woman who had been married to some quite rich chaps of ill health who, conveniently, died leaving her an increasingly wealthier woman. It was clearly meant to be because Perenelle Flamel is one excellent name.

Of course his legend of alchemy and the philosopher’s stone springs forth about 200 years after his actual death. It reminds me of the Jesus myth given that’s how long before someone decided to write that down as well. Funny what people will believe.

According to legend Flamel met a Jew on a road and he gave him the skills to make gold from lead and gave him the recipe for the elixir of life which, naturally, made him immortal. Though, according to the Harry Potter books, he died sometime in the 1990’s.

Naturally I find all of that intrigingly hilarious and makes me shake my head at the gullibility of people. It also makes me admire Dan Brown a little more for using the stupidity of his readers against themselves.

I suppose lunch at Nicolas Flamel’s was a high point of the day. It was especially enjoyable given the waiter’s comment regarding my excellent French language skills. However, our second visit to the Musée Cognacq-Jay was also marvellous. Firstly because it was actually open (the strike, while still on has waned somewhat) and secondly because there’s been a few minor changes to the displayed collection.

We visited last year so I’ll not go into the place in any great detail. (The link to the 2018 entry can be found here.) I thought Bob would enjoy the examples of woodworking as well as the art on display given it’s almost all ‘pretty pictures’ rather than the stuff I really like.

Unfortunately the modern art display in the attic was either just finished or yet to come because the whole space was completely empty. I say ‘unfortunately’ because I’d have loved to see Bob’s face if presented with something not so ‘real.’

The collection at the Cognacq-Jay houses so many exquisite little pieces that it’s good to have a return visit in order to spot the things you possibly missed the first time. Like for instance the miniature of the Cupid’s Bank Job.

“We strike tonight, boys!”

Apart from the art collection of Théodore-Ernest and Marie-Louise Jay Cognacq and eating in (possibly) the oldest house in Paris, we generally wandered. We wandered the Marais, the Jewish Quarter, the rather trendy shops. It was all delightful.

The weather, which was a bit drizzly today, didn’t stop us. There were no riots though there were a few more people on the street. Mirinda insisted we have a morning coffee in the lively square of St Catherine. It was as lively as anything can be with a couple of old people dragging a trolley behind them, a cat licking itself and a scattered pile of leaves. Still, the coffee and croissant was lovely.

I found a lot of street art to photograph. Possibly my favourite today was the one below which is by TocToc who is also responsible for the skin on my laptop. Actually it always amazes me that no-one asks about the skin on my laptop.

On the way back to the hotel I forced the others into La Favorite for a beer or hot chocolate. I ordered the half litre because I thought that was the small one. My apologies to Bob. Mirinda’s hot chocolate came with sugar. She wondered why when it was very sweet anyway. I grabbed the sugar and said it was for me. I guess the waitress somehow realised I needed it.

I haven’t talked about the weird sugar at our hotel. It comes individually wrapped (grrr) and in various colours. I’ve seen white, brown and pink so far but Bob assures me there are other colours. The sugar has been molded to look like little biscuits. That’s a bit confusing. There’s also not many. As usual I scoop up unused sugar everywhere we drink.

I must include this picture of Bob. He asked me to take his photo in front of the Flamel restaurant for Judy. Not because it was in front of the Flamel restaurant but because he was never in photos that he sent to her. I Whatsapped it across so he could send it to her.

I think it’s quite nice

The umbrella came courtesy of our hotel. It was very handy.

I feel I must also include a photo of my main course from Nicolas Flamel’s. It’s cod. The red thing on the top turned out to be a bit of pickled cauliflower. It was odd because I thought it was going to be a raspberry. I see from the photograph that it’s obviously cauliflower. The restaurant was fashionably dark and it looked exactly like a raspberry. I swear.

YUM!

After a quick beer at La Favorite and a short rest at the hotel, we once more gathered in the lobby before heading up to the Duc des Lombards jazz club. We went last year and were really looking forward to tonight’s show.

Jowee Omicil plays a whole host of musical intruments though, for tonight he settled on clarinet and a couple of saxophones. He was born in Montreal, spent a lot time in Haiti and now lives in Paris. He is a big part of his music. It comes from deep within. He gives an amazing amount of energy to the audience. It’s all about the BasH!

Performing with him were: Randy Kerber, a maestro on piano: Jendah Manga who plays a mean bass guitar: Arnaud Dolmen on drums. They were all intricately entwined. It was all beautifully super jazz. Everything one hopes for at the Duc des Lombards.

Quite apart from the fantastic music and inventive audience participation, our front row seats were brilliant. Total immersion is one way of putting it.

Truly superb Musical Colors.

Mind you, I’m not sure everyone enjoyed the show.

Front row is not particularly keen

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