Empty Chairs and Empty Tables

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken
There’s a pain goes on and on
Empty chairs at empty tables Now my friends are dead and gone…
…..Oh my friends, my friends, don’t ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will sing no more. ‘Les Miserables’ (Marius’ song)

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I was not going to write any more on the tragic events in Paris two weeks ago, but I went shopping after work on Friday to one of my most beloved parts of the city, Montparnasse in the 14th arrondissement.
This is a very ‘Parisian’ area, one not often frequented by tourists, but a real hub of everyday life, with the offices of the Montparnasse tower looming over little streets filled with restaurants and creperies and quirky little boutiques.
I always get a thrill when I emerge from the metro at ‘Edgar Quinet’ to be greeted by the bustling market that takes place every Wednesday and Saturday, or just to be in the lovely traditional square surrounded by cafés packed with people elbow to elbow around the small, circular tables, taking a morning coffee, or lunch, or afternoon tea or dinner – it all just runs into one hive of activity, and it is often difficult to find a space to squeeze yourself into………

Imagine then my shock and sadness at what greeted me on Friday – not a sole (except for one elderly lady tucked into the corner) at these usually bustling hostelries.

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The terrorists’ bombs and guns have reached far beyond those who have so brutally lost their lives, or have been maimed and traumatised.
They have eaten into the heart of the city, I asked a friend to come shopping with me and have lunch in my particular favorite creperie, but they declined, saying that it was enough that they had to come into the city to work, without putting themselves at extra risk.

Very sad sign of the times. I will leave you know with some images and hope to post some more very soon, with all the chairs and tables once again taken.

Peace be with you all Lindy (Promised Christmas cake post to follow very soon……..)


11 thoughts on “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables

  1. Osyth says:

    No matter how compelling the call to arms when the memory is so raw of carnage and brutal ravaging of life it is not surprising that people don’t want to venture out. My heart aches and bleeds for all those most effected. Heal soon. Heal well. Heal.

  2. lindaravello says:

    Just shocked and saddened me Olyth. I have loved this place for almost 10 years, and it is changed.
    I am writing my Christmas cake post today, but can’t stop thinking of all those that will not see Christmas this year and their families who will never enjoy it again…..
    We all just have to cherish what we have for however little time we have it.

  3. Four Pesky Hobbits Mama says:

    Oh Lindy, these photos. I can’t imagine Paris to be so quiet especially on a Friday. I feel so sad that your friend feels that way, I can’t imagine having to live thinking like that. Its very hard to not think that way though given everything that has happened. We have had several bomb-style warnings for the big shopping centre near us. My girls have seen it on facebook and even though its been going around for years they are actually worrying about it. We had plans to go into London, like we do every year in December but today people were evacuated from the BBC building and London Bridge so I think that’s going to be a big no. I hate to give in to these people and not live normally but when your children are involved it is just too scary. I took C to her first gig last week and I was so panicky about it, made sure we weren’t right near the entrance but instead halfway down near a fire exit so if anything happened..I was so looking forward to it before but my thoughts for the whole show were in Paris and the Bataclan and those parents like me taking out their teenage children. It is no way to live. Much love to you Lindy xxx

  4. lindaravello says:

    This was lunch time also Zoe, and nowhere near were the attacks were, but they can and will happen anywhere.
    I do not advise London now, especially as we have now bombed Syria.
    I went to see ‘Cats’ at a theatre in the city centre near Opera 8 days after the attacks and dressed entirely in black and had a black scarf in my bag to throw over my head and face if I needed to hide it is best not to have light coloured clothes, and have something to darken your face (think camouflage )
    I also chose where I sit on the train (if I can sit!) and where I stand on the station (somewhere where you cannot be pushed from behind, or grabbed from behind)
    I keep my hair tied up and have stopped wearing scarfs and only wear shoes/boots that I can run in outside.
    Some of these things were already in place for city living, but I am much more conscious now.
    Still we can just take precautions, but can never be sure, so best just to do these things then try and carry on>
    The rules of the game are changing fast, and we have to adapt to those rules, just history repeating itself, it is our turn now I am afraid – keep safe, much love Lindy xxx

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