I’ve started my French trip in the Centre Culturel Irlandais again, with my great pal, Irish composer David Coonan. Anyway, we found ourselves eating brioche in the courtyard one morning and considering one of the great questions of our time. What happens when the obscenely, grotesquely rich hanker for a simpler life?
They build a sanitised, replica rustic village on the grounds of their palace, and then they role-play life as a normaller, of course! At least that’s what Marie Antoinette did in the grounds of Versailles, a gaff so nauseatingly extravagant you’ll need to juice cleanse after visiting to set you right.*
(For accuracy’s sake, the Oxford Dictionary defines a ‘normaller’ as a person of modest means, who keeps chickens, tends crops, and doesn’t use the national exchequer to cosplay serfdom or bend reality to their will).
Versailles, the French word for ‘extra ‘, is quite a good day out even for a socialist , if you can set aside the horrific implications of hoarded wealth and just get into the themed rooms, mirrors, and marked-up macaroons. Which I can, and did.
I did nothing of grand cultural significance in Paris, other than chat long into the night with friends, so here’s some more shots of me being a tourist. (I ordered duck, if you’re wondering.)
On a more artistic note, the time in CCI was, as usual, incredibly inspiring and kitted out with super cool people – writer and journalist Una Mullally, film-maker Paul Rowley, actor and novelist Karl Geary, animator Tomm Moore and the incredible Irish actor and writer Shane O’Reilly. Being the most illustrious of the lot, I was neither intimidated nor star-struck, and was as comfortable cosplaying someone with an equally successful career amongst my new pals as Marie-Antoinette was in her model village.
Next stop? Nancy, baby!
*I never juice cleanse, and you shouldn’t either.