The best things in life don’t change

Sharp eyed readers will be able to play spot the difference in this post. And be grateful that there isn’t any!

I know that somewhere deep in this blog you will find (almost) this photo, the beautiful lettering on the old Didot Type Foundry, on Rue Jacob:

or this one, the perfect storefront of this Tabac around the corner on Rue des Saints-Pères:

Yes. We were in Paris this weekend, buying for the shop, and it was time for a wander around St. Germain.

The sunshine glowed and the streets sparkled. Paris seems completely eternal and the lack of change is something that is deeply comforting. There is a danger in stasis – I sometimes say to people the one thing you can’t keep, in cities, is exactly what you’ve got. Like it or not, our towns and cities are always changing, and are either going up or down. But somehow – I would feel a loss when this tobacconist goes, and I hope it never will.

We had time for a short walk through gleaming early Saturday morning streets.

But before you think life is all a breeze… Robin and I (and our neighbour Maggie Owen) were there for a shopping trip, at Maison & Objet, the massive trade show held twice a year in an enormous exhibition centre in the fairly grim suburbs not far from the airport. Our happy half an hour was over; time to go to Gard du Nord, to meet our other neighbour Will:

and to jump on the decaying 80’s trains that take you out to Parc des Expositions:

where 8 million unbelievably aggressive buyers rush off clutching their wheelie-suitcases and dressed, from time to time, in some rather questionable outfits:

where we all spend the next 8 hours traipsing around a giant overheated greenhouse, going a bit brain-dead.

Bonkers, really. But we did find a lot of very exciting new stock, even if our weekend in Paris isn’t quite as glamorous as you might have been thinking when you started reading this post.

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