Necessities ... or at least that's what we're going to call them!

My Gien "Paris-Paris" tea cup that I like to use for coffee

We're moving -- literally and figuratively -- at a whirlwind pace! The movers came all the way from Prague yesterday afternoon to estimate the volume of our belongings and the real-estate agency showed our apartment to a French couple this morning. When the woman asked if we would sell our oversized Ikea closet in the master bedroom, I suddenly realized that they're going to take our apartment. Soon it will be the French couple's new home and we'll be ... what? Praguers? Come to think of it, what do you call people who live in Prague? That's another thing I'll have to learn.

In the meantime, there are still a couple of items that Stéphane and I are determined to acquire before we leave France. Our emotionally fraught excuse is that x, y and z are absolute necessities. These souvenirs will remind us of our days in Paris.

For me, it's Gien's "Paris-Paris" breakfast set, a limited edition Hermés scarf that helped fund the restoration of the palace apartments at Versailles and a couple of "Chateau Baccarat" wine glasses conceived by Bruno Quenioux, a famous French sommelier. While they may be somewhat pricey, all of these items are practical. They're small, easily packed and will fit in any apartment in Prague.

Stephane's items are ... how can I say this diplomatically? They're absurd and ridiculously large. At least those are the words I kept hissing at him in the antique store in Hautvillers after he spotted a champagne riddling rack that he proclaimed he couldn't live without. Ok, perhaps my Swiss husband wasn't quite that dramatic, but there was no changing his mind. He was equally stubborn about the necessity of an antique safe that he found at the St. Ouen flea market a couple of weeks ago. It weighs so much (more than 550 pounds) that it's impossible to use the tiny elevator to transport it to our 5th floor apartment. Yet, Stéphane was so determined to possess this treasure, as he has started calling it, that he negotiated a settlement with our gardienne. In exchange for our dishwasher, she's keeping Stéphane's tresor in her first floor apartment until we move. I also suspect that it's because Stéphane doesn't want me to spend our last days in Paris ranting and raving about his nonsensical purchases. Out of sight out of mind is probably the wisest strategy at this point.

Unfortunately, Stéphane's irrational approach to recent purchases has proven to be contagious. No sooner had I finished my outburst about the riddling rack in Hautvillers than my eyes landed on a large antique milk cart with two aluminum cans. Inexplicably, I found myself offering it to Stéphane for Christmas.

Will we find an apartment in Prague that can accommodate two people who may or may not be speaking with each other, a wooden riddling rack, a fireproof safe, a milk cart and some other frivolous but completely necessary French items?  That's the question that's currently keeping me awake at night.

What was I thinking? Stéphane's Christmas present is a bulky milk cart! 


  1. Funny! Good luck! This is a big move, but you will survive…..

  2. Isn't that always how it works, the most funny-shaped things are the ones you want to keep most? Alas!

  3. I guess it's a bit like the question, " what would you grab from a burning house". Hmm, food for thought.!

  4. Ha ha, that probably wins most original Christmas present anyway!

  5. Oh, Mary Kay, you really had me laughing with this one! Especially the milk cart which I'm sure you will find in Prague. I can see that neither of you wants to leave Paris ... Hope to see you in January - just let me know when you're there!

  6. Oh, bittersweet leaving Paris......but a new adventure awaits and Prague is loaded with frivolous "must-haves" to keep each of you happy!! Wishing you an easy transition, a mild Prague winter and lots of new PRAGUIAN friends. (you know me well, I just HAD to Google it) LOL

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