notes from an urban hibernation

Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn

chauffe-pied à eau chaud

I made a visit to the Musee des Arts et Metiers.  I was longing to see the Brazilian steel-toed flip-flop again. I knew I had a photograph somewhere but a photograph is never is good as the real thing. I walked  through the entire museum revisiting a lot of favourite exhibits and spending an unusually long time looking at the large scale models of bridges and aqueducts.  I visited Foucault’s Pendulum again, not because it is a favourite thing, but simply because it is there. I always leave that as my final thing before departure. I found a nice group of egg beaters and learned the term for them. There were nine of them:  Neuf Batteurs a Manivelle.  A Manivelle meaning that they were operated with a crank handle.  
I could not find the steel-toed flip-flop anywhere. I went to the section about construction. I think I went everywhere.  Eventually I came across a small library area where books are available for study, browsing or research. I described the flip-flop to the woman at the desk.  She had no idea what I was talking about.  We struggled along as I tried to explain it in my faulty French. She got a bit excited about it. She disappeared into the back room and came back with a pamphlet about an exhibition which had been held in 2013-2014. It sounded like exactly the kind of exhibition the flip-flop would have appeared in. She had no record of it but she showed me a fine photograph of some foot warming devices which were made of metal and filled with hot water before the person using them stood upon them. Chauffe-pied a eau chaud. They were a fine thing to see. I was not allowed to take the pamphlet but she made me a photocopy of the foot warmers. 
When I got home I remembered that I had a photograph of the Brazilian flip flop on this blog already.  The dates she provided helped me to find it.  (It is there to be seen on 22 February 2014 in these Notes) I wish I had shown the librarian the photo. The Musee des Arts et Metiers is free every Thursday from 6 in the evening.  I shall plan to return to show her the photograph then, but she might not be there.  Perhaps she only works in the day time. 
The couple wanted pyjamas made. They wanted their pyjamas to match. They said that they always slept in matching pyjamas. They arrived with two pairs of their favourite pyjamas which they wanted to have copied.  The old ones were well worn and very soft. They were Italian.  Susan, the seamstress, said it was no problem to duplicate the sizes and style of the Italian pyjamas, so the two men went away to shop for fabric.  Susan copied the pyjamas and made two patterns in paper. The couple went shopping and returned some days later with beautiful cotton cloth.  I do not know if the new cloth they bought was Italian. They had purchased three different kinds of striped fabric. The order was for six pairs of pyjamas. Three pairs for each them. I saw the pyjamas as they were being cut out and I saw them as they were being sewn. I saw them as they were folded neatly in a stack on the table. I never saw the couple. I like the thought of the two men asleep and entwined in bed wearing their matching pyjamas, not knowing where one body stops and the other body begins.
I am still without a hat.  After wearing Kate’s fancy hat and then returning it to her, the weather got warmer.  Now it is cold again. The wind has been vicious.  I have borrowed a few hats from Simone and Erik’s coat rack. Once I am wearing a hat in the cold I have no desire to look for hats.  When I am not wearing a hat I do not need a hat so I do not even consider looking for a hat. The city is full of hats. I should just force myself to buy one.

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This entry was posted on February 24, 2018 by .
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