Oh Paris… where to begin? No matter how many times I go, there’s something about this city that never fails to move me. My most recent trip – a 2-day whirlwind tour doing research for my mum’s book – was no exception. Take a combination of beautiful autumnal light, a gratifying lack of the summer crowds, and the ability to take the time to sit and appreciate the sights, and you’re left with an understanding of why so many writers, poets and artists fall in love with Paris.
Paris was where I first learnt to appreciate art and museums, so much so that I spent 3 hours in the Musee d’Orsay with tears streaming down my face in a strange state of bliss. Paris was where I spent a happy few weeks speeding around on the back of my cousin’s motorbike, getting to grips with French slang before heading off to university to study the more formal version of the language. Paris was where my 21st birthday present from my parents was bought. Even though I’ve never formally lived there, Paris holds many memories for me. I would never claim to love all of Paris, and having been there several times, I know that away from the glossy boulevards and sculpted gardens, this city (like all cities) has its seedy and dirty sides. But, along with most tourists, I’m happy to overlook these small blots on what is otherwise one of the most aesthetically pleasing places I’ve ever visited.
So there we are – nothing profound, no slightly controversial opinions, no trying to find a moral. I’ve realised recently that it’s so easy to write negatively about a whole host of subjects, whereas waxing lyrical about something can come across as cliche and cheesy. Being scathing, tongue-in-cheek and derisive about people and attitudes and opinions is, let’s be honest, more fun than being soppy and poetic. But I thought I’d give it a try!