Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Another world.

Early afternoon. Hot. The slight northerly air was barely enough to ruffle the wavelets. The crowds were gone and the beach was almost empty. Two hundred yards offshore, a windsurfer was trying to angle his sail to the breeze, but failed, and fell in slow motion into the water. I heard the 'slap' as the sail hit the sea. That and the muffled snarl of the traffic on Point Nepean Road.

Thomas was beside me silently making engineering feats in the sand with his legs. He'd been in the water and his hair was brined to his scalp and he was wet and now he was covered in sand.

I was in another world.
(Maigret) had not turned on the lights at once. After removing his tie and opening his collar, he had walked over to the window and leant his elbows on the sill, as thousands of other Parisians must have done that night.

The air was soft like velvet, almost palpable. Not a movement, not a sound disturbed the peace of the Rue Llomond which slopes gently down towards the lights of the Rue Mouffetard. Somewhere, behind the houses, could be heard a dull roar, the deadened noise of cars driving along the Boulevard Saint-Michel, of brakes and horns, but that was in another world, and between the roofs of the houses, between the chimneys, one could enjoy a glimpse of infinity inhabited only by stars.
Maigret Takes a Room, Georges Simenon, 1951


Dr. Alice said...

I haven't read any of the Maigret stories, but loved the BBC adaptations with Michael Gambon which came out... twenty years ago?! Something like that, anyway. I may have to give the stories a try. The writing sounds wonderful.

neil said...

I'm jealous of people who have such an evocative knack with words.

kitchen hand said...

Dr. A, the writing's great but I'm trying to read through the interpreters who betray the era. In the current book (1961) the police are calling girls 'chicks' which grates no end.

Neil, it took me straight to Paris. And I've never been there.