Not nesting but waiting

I was going to write about nesting: ie, what we do with the dog (he doesn’t really like being covered with his blankets but does enjoy having them coiled round him like he’s in a nest) and what we people do when we want comfort. But I wasn’t really feeling it. Also, the review of the new-to-me house based on the 10-sample set a friend sent at Xmas is for later. It’s going to take me a bit to get through 10 new perfumes.

Mostly I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to do once travel feels sane again and other loose desires

I think this is all about being sick of being constrained even though I still believe it’s the right thing to do (wear mask, be careful, be aware of other people’s needs relating to health issues).

So, not very organised. No particular theme.

I’ve always wanted to smell Luctor et Emergo by the Peoples of the Labyrinths. This had a huge moment on the Makeup Alley Fragrance Board years ago (quoted on the website: “very modern with a nineties attitude”) and I never got round to it then. Now, this is really only possible at the lifestyle shop in Amsterdam. Which is fine by me as I want to return to Amsterdam at some point soonish. That journey can be done by train from London. I love long train trips. Really look forward to travelling on the Eurostar again.

I would like to visit the JAR shop in Paris after having read Tom’s post on Friday. I can’t imagine buying any of the perfumes simply because they are so pricey, but I would make it a stop while in the Palais Royale, after visiting Uncle Serge (I’m still thinking about Tubereuse Criminelle which is sadly no longer offered in a Belle Jar – just a weird oblong bottle …). I’m also hankering after a visit to the Divine shop. It used to be possible to smell these at Liberty in London but I’m not sure they are still stocked. Plus, I really just want to visit the shop and have done for years.

I need in that loose way we need lovely things periodically to have an Ispahan macaroon (big macaroon cut in half with rose crème and raspberries inside) at the main Laduree salon on the Champs-Elysees. The last time we visited was with my father and his then twit of a girlfriend (she was not a fun person). Someone who managed to drain all the pleasure and colour out of anything she was involved in. So, a visit needs to be made where no one is tense because she’s being so brittle, controlling and negative. Big pot of tea, something savoury, then macaroons.

I want to eat crepes in the square in Montmarte with all the other tourists.

I want to do what Portia and Jin do when waking in the middle of the night due to journey time differences: just get up and wander. Then go back to sleep for a few hours and start the day. Years ago, we stayed in the Hotel Le Crillon – old style fancy – as I got a deep discount through work. One of the highlights of that visit was room service. Could do that again …

I want to go to the Musee d’Orsay again and find the tiny, explicit Courbet painting the Origin of the World which I found once but never again since – and then eat a mediocre lunch in the gloriously beautiful restaurant. It doesn’t really matter that the food is only ok — the room makes up for it.

I want to meet friends in London which I haven’t been able to do for years. I want lunches and dinners and coffee and cake. I want walks through Covent Garden being snarky about the tat. I want breakfast at Dishoom and Abuelo; a big pasta lunch at an outside table at Padella in Shoreditch; a walk through Chinatown; a walk up Hampstead Heath and then ice cream outside the café; dinners that goes on forever at some small plates place and at a Turkish bbq restaurant in Walthamstow or Dalston.

I don’t believe we’re going to return to normal as it was. I think we need to build a new normal. I’m all for change – it’s never been something that makes me twitchy or uncomfortable. It does us good: messes with the synapses, gives us tizzies, opens our eyes to new things.

  • alityke says:

    I suspect C-19 will be endemic & we’ll just have to learn to live with it forever.
    I’m just back from a beach holiday in the Canaries. The mask rules in Spain & it’s territories means masks on the street are the norm there. Eating, drinking or sunbathing are the only exceptions. The clue is to find well fitting masks.
    I’m not a big city lover, I find the noise & crowds both distracting & wearing. IMO wearing masks on London Underground should have been compulsory for decades just for the filth & pollution. Gross!

    • cinnamon says:

      Hope the plane was ok and you can carry that holiday feeling with you for a while. It makes sense to me that masks should become the norm — certainly for the next around five years. Sigh, well fitting mask … I now have three different types of FFP2s that I wear in difference circumstances. I remember visiting this country (before I moved here) when people smoked on the tube. Awful and unfathomable.

  • Tara C says:

    I wouldn’t mind traveling again, but refuse to do it if it involves mandatory masks and vaccine passports. I acknowledge that might never happen. Right now I’m dragging my feet on renewing my EU passport because I suspect I may never return. Instead I will probably travel only by car within north america. I’m glad I travelled a lot when I was younger, lots of good memories.

    • cinnamon says:

      Hmmm, I don’t mind masks at this point. There’s a lot of America to travel in. And the regions are so different. Plus Canada and Mexico are relatively easy…

  • Dina C. says:

    Cinnamon, your dream itinerary sounds delightful! Full of interesting sightseeing, delicious meals and treats, perfumes — who could ask for anything more??? As an act of outrageous faith, I ordered a new bathing suit online last night as I dream of my longed-for beach trip this coming summer. Considering the snow on the ground, it really does feel outlandish. But a girl can dream.

    • cinnamon says:

      oh, I think it’s incredibly important we continue to dream and yearn. Fingers very crossed regarding beach trip.

    • Musette says:

      LOL! Dina C – we’re sisters from another mister, it seems. I just ordered a silver maillot and will hang it on my office door (where I spend a lot of evenings, watching Forged in Fire) as a reminder to stay on the mat and stay off the Mallomars! Crap consumption can really sneak up on a gal on a Winter’s night… xoxoxo

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    LOVED this post but it has made me even more antsy to get back to Europe. I’ve lived such a spoiled and privileged life. Three years without is grinding my gears.
    I’m all for wearing masks all the way there and back. Sure, it’s mildly irritating but compared to not travelling it’s bloody nothing.
    Funnily, I’ve never been to JAR in Paris either and now it’s top of my list.
    Fingers crossed that your new normal comes quick and is comfortable for as many of us as possible.
    Portia xx

    • cinnamon says:

      Oh, yes, antsy. I am so twitchy for proper travel. I actually have reached a point where I can’t imagine riding a train or bus without a mask. I sometimes have anxiety dreams in which I realise I’ve forgotten to put on a mask. We’ve got to do a flying one day trip up to London next week and I’ve already figured out how to visit one of the Laduree shops.

  • Musette says:

    I love train travel. It has certainly re-emerged as the more elegant way to travel, at least for me. I would love to visit the Divine boutique, loving Divine as I do. I miss Pierre Herme’s chocolate sables. I miss Paris. I miss the former ease of going to Paris. Heck, I miss the former ease of going to Indianapolis! LOL!
    This is a very evocative post, Cinnamon, awakening many desires…


    • cinnamon says:

      Oh, yes, trains. The summer of 2020 we were meant to visit Japan and I was so looking forward to the bullet trains. Ease … It’s hard to even fathom ease now except when I’m with the dog walking in the neighbouring villages when no one much is around. I do stuff and plan to do more stuff but ‘ease’ isn’t really part of my current vocabulary. Really sort of sad.

  • Kathleen says:

    I wish to return to France only for the perfume shops and museums. I’m okay with a new normal, yet I miss the old ways so very much. I love reading about your dreams, they sound so full of joy, pleasure, and optimism and I hope they all come to fruition for you. My dream places are so very different, but just as hopeful. I adore the opposite of city life and pine for more time outdoors in nature hiking in beautiful places on trails with my dog.

    • cinnamon says:

      I now have trouble imagining behaving as I did before covid. That strange incredible freedom along with terrible bouts of flu and almost constant colds during winter. I live in a semi-rural becoming suburban area and thus really miss periodic trips to ‘real’ cities. Of non-urban dreams I yearn for wild seaside.

  • Maggiecat says:

    I am now longing for a trip back to Paris. I’ve only been once, and museums took precedence over wandering. Not that this was a bad thing, but Paris begs to be wandered in, doesn’t It?

    • cinnamon says:

      It does demand wandering. I also found riding the metro fascinating, even though I’ve lived in a number of cities with their own mass transit systems. And Europe is so wonderful for trains. I still recall with wonder the first time I road in a double decker train on the top.

  • March says:

    Oh honey, I hear you. And of course to me, Europe feels so, so very far away … Paris is my favorite city to simply wander, with only the vaguest of plans. And I want so, so much to go back to Italy. I keep telling myself that someday this madness will end (or moderate) and we can travel again, whatever the “new” normal looks like. I got to sniff all the JARs at Bergdorf years ago — they treated me like a valued client even though I told them upfront I wasn’t buying, just madly curious, it was such a treat. Being in a smaller town makes me value cities and all their energy that much more.

    • Musette says:

      Bergdorf is always so very elegant in that way, as is Neiman-Marcus – always welcoming to customers. I am always surprised at how snooty some shops (or their staff) aspire to be – how on earth do you know who has money and who doesn’t? And if you’re striving for elegance, they would do well to remember that elegance is always well-behaved, imo.


      • grizzlesnort says:

        Dear Sales Associate, I have a good idea how much you DON’T make working here so lay off already.

    • cinnamon says:

      I loved when Bergdorf had the whole ground floor of perfume, makeup and accessories. I don’t understand why they exiled things to the basement. Ah, cities. Our nearby town offers some great places to visit but I’ve just reached a point where I need the freedom and unknown of travel farther afield.

  • Rina says:

    I HOPE to visit London, Paris and Rome in July and have printed this out to hit as many places as possible then. Thank you!

    • cinnamon says:

      Fingers very crossed your trip happens. Hopefully by the summer our world has smoothed out.

  • Gina T says:

    I have never been to Paris and would love to go. My birthday is Bastille Day and that has been a dream but so pricey, hot, and touristy at that time of year. I was supposed to go back to London this year, but…Sigh. The only negative change in my life due to covid is the travel restriction.

    • cinnamon says:

      Although I live where travel to the Continent is fairly easy I haven’t been to Paris in years. In our past, I might have arranged spur of the moment a long weekend there. Having a Bastille Day birthday certainly provides an impetus for visiting the city.

  • hajusuuri says:

    Thank you for this very optimistic post! I’ll call your London itinerary the Cinnamon Trail. I am not going to take a plane ride until masks are no longer required. I may still wear one but don’t want to be constrained.

    • cinnamon says:

      I guess I’m folding mask wearing indefinitely into my life thinking. Cinnamon Trail … that made me smile. Thanks.

  • Teresa says:

    Thank you for a positive, forward-thinking article…makes me antsy for a ‘new-normal’ as well!

  • filomena813 says:

    I completely agree with you that we will not ever go back to what we thought was normal, but instead we will each have a new normal. It is what it is.

    • cinnamon says:

      Yes, I guess it is what it is but rather than acknowledge that and move on to address it there’s a lot of very not useful pushback it seems. Humans can be very rigid.