13. 3 More Weeks in Paris…


Triathletes are tough.  Very bloody tough – and pain is their playground… So when you hear your own son muffling his whimpers into a pillow – so as not to wake us all up – you KNOW he’s hurting.  We were packed for departure at noon – but it was only 5:00am and we needed a doctor.  The hotel was helpful – but it still took 2 hours… the doctor went straight to the appendix – and then drove us to a Pathologist for blood tests and confirming scans.  JB couldn’t hang on for the results – he collapsed at the Pathology Lab – and we were raced to the Emergency Department of St. Joseph’s Hospital – a few blocks away in Montparnasse.  A splendid hospital – but they couldn’t operate until 7:00pm – because some genius had suggested he take a laxative during the night…  He was stabilised and made comfortable – then Carla and I “hit the phones.”  Flights cancelled – Insurance company notified – a very worried Mother (back in Australia) started mobilising English relatives – and David & Patricia – back in Kent – helped me with medical translations – when my French ran out.  Then I phoned Florence – who insisted that I come and get her – so she could be with JB when he came out of anaesthetic. 

JB was due to ride the Alps stages behind Le Tour in just 7 days from now – but there was to be no Cycle Tour this year… Carla decorated his ward – while I drove to St. Denis (on the far side of Paris) to collect Florence… This was to be home for the next 4 days.

And on the 4th day he arose… several kgs lighter, very gaunt and very hungry.  It was Bastille Day – Florence was taking us to the ‘Fire Artifice’ (sounds much better than ‘fireworks’) in the Trocadero – but first – a restaurant.  It was Chinese – they said…

A brave face – but he’s still hurting…

and leaning… we had to shield him from the surging crowd…

Florence talked her way through most of the Police road blocks (“Australien malade”) and they gave her a park – in Keith’s Street!

Florence hosted a special ‘resurrection’ dinner for JB and asked him what he would like her to cook for him.  No hesitation – “Snails” and – at last count – he devoured 4 dozen!

A wonderful night – lots of food – lots of wine – and just a few memories of absent friends… I still have to find the significance of that 4th wise monkey.  Maybe Martin can help…

The following few days were Carla’s last in Paris – returning to Oz for a new position.  We moved hotels to La Porte de la Chapelle – closer to Florence – but with a (bitch of the trip) receptionist who locked us in the carpark!  Not sure where she’s working now.  Shopping done (that girl can SHOP) – last lunch in Montmartre – then farewells at Charles de Gaulle… and she managed to leave with the bike bag and racing kit!

Then Peter and Kaydee arrived – all ready to join JB for the Cycle Tour through the Alps.  They hadn’t heard about his “change of plans.”  He handled it with style – took them to lunch (at the George Cinq – no less!) – then took them for walk around what was fast becoming ‘his city.’  He couldn’t climb the Arc de Triomphe with them – so Kaydee took the camera.  The better pictures are hers!

Then a long slow stroll down ‘the Champs’ – with a poignant pause at a very special little shop…

It was called ‘Yellow Obsession’ – and I felt for him – right then…

And then – there were two.  Peter & Kaydee left for their Alps Tour – and Carla was back in Oz.  He was recovering fast – and still discovering things to see…

Yes – that IS the tunnel…

And I don’t think Zidane is talking about head butts…

And each night – dinner ‘chez Florence’…

more monuments…

And – every night – a drive through (and around) the Place Charles de Gaulle.  We were back in Oz before I discovered this is the one place in the world excluded from ALL motor insurance policies!


And Finally – We Head Home… Read On…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: