The Louvre is one of the worst places I’ve ever been to see paintings.

Just so you know.

It’s so badly lit that quite often a painting is either too oily with glare or too dark. I’d forgotten how awful it is.

I was there today, snapping pictures of 17th century furniture and tapestries. Funny thing, and I don’t know if this is indicative of 17th century French paintings in general, but there were almost no portraits of women. It looked like the only way a woman was ever painted was in a biblical or mythical setting. This clearly changed by the time I saw the 18th century French paintings. Please, someone smarter than me ‘splain this?

Anyway, I bought a copy of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Yes, you’re snickering, but I had to close the book on the Metro because her descriptions of early 19th century foot bindings and their deadly complications were so horrific, I started to get queasy. It helps that she’s an amazing writer. I’ve heard Lisa See speak twice now. She doesn’t look remotely Asian, so you would never known she’s writing about her family and heritage.

Tomorrow we return to Aix. I’m sad.