Day 51 – Versailles to ourselves

Today we went back to Versailles. We got a few odd looks on the train, people were probably thinking “stupid tourists going all the way to Versailles when it’s closed”. But this was all very much part of our plan. We loved the gardens (opened daily) and couldn’t think of a better way to spend a sunny day than lying in a secluded spot eating, reading and sleeping. The fact that the palace was closed meant that there were hardly any people at all in the enormous estates.

We walked for a good half an hour and found a spot where you could lie down and your 360-degree view was nothing but grass and trees, and not a person in sight. All you could hear were the birds and the sound of Demis munching on pizza biscuits.

We spent a good few hours there (I may have fallen asleep at some stage) and I felt very very happy.

Happy is a strange feeling. I don’t mean to sound cynical it’s just that rarely have I defined my state of feeling as happy. Sure I’ve been happy to do something, happy to see someone, happy with how things are going, but there’s always something prickling my subconscious, some piece of reality that serves as a reminder that I could be happier.

It’s refreshing to feel happy – with no caveats and no disclaimers. I guess that’s why sometimes you see people smile to themselves (something that has always bothered me, usually because I suspect them as being part of some religious cult but sometimes simply because I’m not a smiley person and feel that others smiling at me for no reason is suspicious, freaky and annoying) – maybe it’s because they’re happy?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an unhappy person and my life is in no way miserable. But it’s not often I drag myself away from everything to the point where I feel there is nothing to worry about, nothing to do, no responsibility or action I’m in charge of, nowhere I need to be, and no deadline. When you get rid of all these thoughts I guess that’s when you’re able to work out what the hell do you feel and it’s nice to know that taking all these things away – I am a happy person.

Do you remember being a kid and you were out playing at a friend’s place and you knew it was time to go home soon but then you find out your parents have rung up and your allowed stay for dinner and suddenly the world is huge and full of possibilities? Suddenly you feel free and energised and nothing can hold you back. A few extra hours you hadn’t planned on open up a world of wonders.

That’s how I felt lying there looking up at the trees.

Of course as we were walking back to the train station and marveling at how perfect the day was Demis did the worst thing in the world. He said “well the day’s not over yet, we could have a terrible train ride back”. That’s right, the fool jinxed us.

We got to the train station just as the announcements were advising us that all trains back to Paris were cancelled until further notice. And so we waited about two hours until whatever it was sorted itself out before we could make our way home. By that stage I had also developed a cold.

But really, the universe is going to have to do better than that. I’m still happy.

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