Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Plus ça change...

We went to Lille for the weekend. It was a belated birthday present from Toby, and the city was lovely. Lots of little boutiques and cobbled streets and places to eat oysters.
But nothing really changes, even when you're eating fresh seafood. In fact, we had time to ourselves to reflect, and it was sad.
After checking in to our hotel, we walked to the main square for a spot of lunch. We ate at one of those classic French cafes where the majority of the seating is outside. It was warm, and we ordered our food.
For not particular reason, we got straight on to Bear. How he should have been there too. How we're fed up of just being a couple. How... and then these little boys, two gorgeous brothers, came over to our table and started giggling and trying to become our friends. One could only have been 18 months old, the other maybe 3. We tried to smile and wave and still talk, but it became an impossible, and painful distraction.
Can't you just go away, I thought. Please leave us alone with our thoughts. But they didn't understand. They were playing games now, and I was forced to interact. It was like cruelty against the afflicted.
As it turns out, Lille is a baby town. Apparently, fifty per cent of the population is under forty, which means lots of buggies. Hundreds of them.
This, coupled with our usual weekend lull, where we sit and look into the middle distance, and both imagine how much nicer it would be if Bear was gurgling next to us, meant the two days away were really quite heavy.
We walked a lot, and looked at the decorative architecture, but we didn't have the heads for the art gallery, even though we made it to the front desk, and were about to pay the entrance fee.
On Saturday night we stayed up late and talked in bed. It was good to have time together, uninterrupted space that was removed from reality. If only, we didn't have to escape like this...


  1. Dear Alice, I checked your other blog. I went through all the posts and looked at the pictures and the dates you'd posted them and was trying to think what I were doing on that dates.

    That's bcoz, I didn't maintain a blog when I was pregs, I didn't buy anything for my baby bcoz in our culture we aren't supposed to buy anything for the baby unless he's here.

    And I have these so many things crossing my head and I end up thinking how cruel, how unfair, why us..

  2. Upon learning of my upcoming mini vacation to an amazing lake cabin up north in Minnesota, a coworker commented how nice it will be to be able to escape reality for a bit.

    But alas, I replied, my demons are internal and unfortunately, my reality cannot be escaped.

    Then I felt bad and had to soften the harsh comment--at least it will be nice to be surrounded by all the natural beauty. Oh, and the fall colors should be perfect, they are supposed to be amazing this year, I hope the recent cold spell won't spoil them too early, yadda yadda yadda. I babbled past the uncomfortable shock seen in the faces of others when I allow a small glimpse into the magnitude of my grief.