Paris!

As I did last year, so also did I spend August in Paris this year. I made brief references to this fact in some recent posts, but little has been forthcoming in the way of news or reflections. But I did create the Flickr set today! That will updated as time marches on. I hope to rectify this sparseness, now that Juniper has fixed my blog for me.

Monday-Friday in Paris I spent my mornings studying French at the Institut Catholique de Paris. My French certainly improved over the course of the month, and I quite enjoyed myself at la Catho, and met some pretty cool people in my class.

My afternoons and Saturdays were my ulterior motive for visiting Paris, though. As before, I went to the Site Richelieu of the Bibliotheque nationale de France. Last year, I spent most of my hours with actual, physical manuscripts up in the Galerie Mazarine. This year, however, I was down in the Salle Ovale with microfilms. Which are much harder on the eyes, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

I got a lot done, by no means all. However, I believe that I should be able to complete all of the undigitised Parisian material if I go again in 2014. Thankfully. Since, after all, I have to submit this PhD at some point.

And, as always happens when I work with manuscripts, I found some fun things I hope to share with you, like dupplicatio. It’s funny because the p is doubled.

In spare moments, when I wasn’t studying French or mediaeval manuscripts, I did some reading, including Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, volume 2 of Ammianus MarcellinusRes Gestae, and volume 1 of Sidonius Apollinaris. And I watched a little Doctor Who. If you actually follow this blog, you’ll know all of that save Sidonius, though (hence the links).

The rest of the spare moments? Well, these included Free Museum Sunday (first Sunday of the month), on which I visited the Louvre and the Musée de Cluny. I got to see some great stuff I’d seen before and some new things (see photos in that Flickr set!), and even play ‘Guess the Roman Emperor’ with my friends Andrew and Ray! (As opposed to alone as I did last year.) I also took in the Musée Carnavalet, Musée d’Orsay, l’Orangerie, and the best little museum in Paris, the BnF’s collection of coins and other small, exquisite objects (I promise a blog on that!).

Beyond museums, I enjoyed Gothic Paris in my spare time. Revisited Notre-Dame — once to ‘read’ the facade, once to visit the interior. Also visited la Sainte Chapelle, St-Merri, St-Germain l’Auxerrois, St-Denis, as well as the Gothic Chateau de Vincennes. I visited Romanesque Paris at St-Germain-des-Prés and St-Julian-le-pauvre. Was blown away by the sudden appearance of the chapel at the Musée de Cluny, which I had not noticed last time!

I visited Roman Paris — Thermes de Cluny (part of the Musée) and Arenes de Lutece, the old amphitheatre whose sands today are used for the fierce competition of old Frenchmen playing the French version of bocce ball. I’d already visited the Crypte archéologique on Ile-de-la-Cité last year.

And I ate & drank. Crepes. Baguettes. Cheese. Mariage Freres. Kusmi. Wine. Belgian abbey beers. Pains au chocolat. The whole shebang. It was delightful.

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