February 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm Leave a comment

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page and read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I had my annual rugby trip this past weekend. Ten of us headed to Paris for four days of relaxation, eating, drinking and hopefully seeing the Ireland rugby team beat France at the Stade Francais. This was my fourth visit to this magnificent stadium; I was really hoping I would see Ireland win when I was there. It hadn’t happened for me yet but I live in hope.

Paris was cold! Chilled to the bone cold. The compensation for the weather was the beauty of the city, walking round Paris will always make you smile inside. We spent a couple of hours walking from the Rue De Provence to Les Invalides. I wanted to visit Les Invalides again as I hadn’t spent enough time there on previous visits. I wanted to see the very grand tomb where Napoleon is interred again. I believe that those who are remembered in history are worth seeing, they had impact whether we think it grandiose or benign. It is a magnificent setting, a tad overblown perhaps but worth seeing.

I also visited the famous shopping centre, the Galleries Lafayette. What a spectacle and I am not just talking about the prices. Even with ‘Solde 50%’ sale prices some of the price tags on those pretty things made my eyes water. I did see a handbag or two that may have tempted me but I kept my credit card zipped away so that I wouldn’t be carried away by the thought of ‘but I saved so much money!’. Seriously, the thing about the Galleries Lafayette is the beauty of the building itself, the circular floors looking up to a magnificent stained glass dome. I also went up to the roof to see the Parisian rooftops and the Eiffel Tower in the near distance, I would recommend that view to everyone. My favourite site of the weekend though? The piano playing busker, his playing was wonderful and his piano-trolley was little feat of engineering…..

Of course, the highlight of the weekend should have been the rugby. We all knew the weather was bad and knew there was a pitch inspection. Many texts came from home and we were pleased to hear that the match was on at 7:30 so we headed to the Gard De Nord and packed, quite literally, into the trains. There was good humoured banter on the train, Ireland’s call and the Marseillaise was roared out by the opposing fans and then smiles and cries of ‘Bon chance’  from everyone. It is a wonderful thing about rugby, all the aggression remains on the pitch and the fans just love to sing and smile. Our tickets were gained at the last minute and proved to be up in the gods, my fear of heights always kicks in for about 15 minutes until I get used to the altitude:) Then we sat, sat and sat some more. I was told the next day by friends that everyone watching on television knew the match was cancelled, commentators were able to say that those in the stadium were not being told.

I understand why they took the decision not to say until everyone was seated. So many people moving in one direction is hard to manage, if the thousands had been pushing in two directions there would have been injuries, this I do not doubt. However, it is fair to say that the fans gave out many boos when they were finally told. As for me? I was sitting wrapped in layers with a not-so-fetching furry hat and a rug (yes, a rug!) so stayed in place until the crowds started to thin before the trek back down those steps. There was much muttering about the referee amongst the crowd but there wasn’t really anger, more bewilderment that anyone would think it was sensible to organise a match at 9pm in such weather. The only thing to do then was to meet everyone back at our favourite Basque bar and sing with the locals until the wee small hours.

The thing about disappointment? It only has power over you when you let it. Life is that strange thing, it is what you make of it. You may want different things, you may work towards your own targets but you won’t always have the control over choices that must be made or the timings of those choices. So, what do you do then? You can shout and scream but that won’t make you feel better for long. Isn’t it better to work through the twists and turns even if it takes you a little longer? Keep your sense of humour and don’t let the little things spoil your mood. I may not see the match in Paris but I will still see the match. I did get to see Paris again and that will always be worth it to me.

I close, as always, with this:-
  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.


Entry filed under: Children, Donating, Giving, Ireland, Life, Six Nations Rugby, Sport, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , , .

Bile, Invective, Vitriol. When I Don’t Want to Write……

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