I spent a wonderful week in Paris back in December – I’ve been travelling a lot recently! I first went to Paris when I was 12. I thought it was beautiful; the pale yellow buildings, the cream and black accents, the navy purple slate colour of the roofs. I’ve been back many times since; multiples times between 12 and 14 with my parents, practising french and visiting friends. In my late teens with school, A-Level French trips and orchestra tours. In my university years, with boys, the New Years we went to Moulin Rouge and the hazy summer festival where we saw Beirut and Arcade Fire. Padlocks on bridges and carved initials in trees.
This time we went for one piece of art, and really just one of us needed to see it, so the other three of us accompanied. The way friends do, out of love. We stayed in a flat overlooking the rooftops of Paris, our living room opening out onto our own roof. We stayed in most nights, playing cards, talking endlessly and getting to know each other, letting the honest truth out over four types of cheese and du pain. Celebrating every hour on the balcony with cold beers and hugs whilst Tour Eiffel sparkled away in the distance, dazzling for 5 minutes on the hour every hour, our preferred form of clock.
Paris is even more beautiful at Christmas. The perfectly pointed trees, the cold nip in the air and the magical fairy lights and decorations. It’s very difficult to think about all the tragedy and horror that has unfolded just a couple of short weeks later in this city, I think a lot about the people living there. I’m so grateful to have made these memories.