Monday, June 25, 2012
Lunch at "J's" and an Afternoon with Ginette Spanier
So, I opted for "J's" a cafe downtown that serves ladies' lunches: salads, quiches, desserts, etc. With big windows and interesting objects from the antique store next door.
I had shrimp salad and iced tea. Not bad, but not filling. (I had to come home after my two encounters and munch all afternoon.),
But I had something to comfort me at home. My purchase from Amazon finally arrived: IT ISN'T ALL MINK by Ginnette Spanier, a "like new" copy from one of Amazon's affiliates. What a joy it was to hold it in my hand. It's a small book, maybe 5" by 7" and only 200 odd pages, with an introduction by Noel Coward -- the icing on the cake.
To hold it in my hands is pure pleasure. The hard cover is burnished gold. And there are pictures scattered through it of the author in various stages of her life.
Ginnette Spanier and her husband Paul-Emile Seidmann were Jews who had to flee Paris during World War II. That account is what prompted the book. But I'm enjoying the description of Ginnette's "cotton-wool childhood" although she says, "L'ennui is a desperate part of the existence of almost every child." And I can hardly wait to get to the part where she becomes the directrice of the House of Balmain, "one of the haute couture establishments in Paris."
Already in the first seven pages and the preface, she has presented herself as a kindred spirit with some of her observations:
"Obviously I have not changed. Nobody ever does."
"I believe in miracles and quite often they happen to me."
"I hated skin on milk more than anything in the world."
So, I leave you to enter another world, Paris just before and just after World War II.