For The Love Of Paris
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
- Ernest Hemingway
For those that have followed this blog from the beginning, you will know that it all started with Paris. When I moved to the beautiful city two years ago I felt inspired to start writing and, in the wonderfully technological world that we live in, I could do just that by starting a blog.
As I migrated across to Squarespace, having made moves away from Blogger and before that Wordpress, I realised that I didn't want to pull across all of my old content with me. Those snaps from Paris look so dated and, whilst I could enjoy my old scribbles they weren't exactly worth bringing with me. Instead I wanted to write a new post, and date it back to the same day that I first published, so that I could remember where this came from. The site that bears my name is unrecognisable from those early days, but I don't want to forget what launched it.
I wish my photography and writing skills had been better back then. Paris is the backdrop of dreams, and my pictures are clumsy efforts at appreciating the surroundings. Of course I have myriad memories of happy days gone by, shared with friends or in solitude. And even if my photos do little to convey that to me, I have private pieces of writing to remind me of all that was. I also dream of returning, to visit the places that are marked upon my soul. Hemingway certainly knew what he was saying, and those five months of French freedom in the city of love will most likely stay with me forever.
Forgive the slightest hint of melancholy, but I really do miss it. I had visited three times prior to studying there and each trip holds a great deal of significance, but there is something so different about having a regular patisserie, a favourite frequented cafe, the hallmarks of a more permanent life.
Although, I still acted like a tourist at every available opportunity
And I was given plenty of opportunity to do so, thanks to the steady stream of visitors my way. We celebrated Louisa's 21 in Disneyland Paris, giggling with mouse ears perched upon our heads. It has been many years since I had experienced Disneyland's magic and I was as every bit as enthralled with it as I was all those years ago
My boyfriend (at the time) also popped across from New York, and we had a wonderful week together. A particularly notable memory was sailing down the Seine on an incredible dinner boat cruise. We sipped champagne and wine and watched the world drift by.
And of course, there was always the Eiffel tower.
I found it such a reassuring sight, peeking it's head over the rooftops as it does. You really can see it almost wherever you are, and it's so much more glamorous than that other visible structure: Tour Montparnasse. They say you're a true Parisian when you despise that building, and it didn't take long for me to hate it (given that I lived just five minutes away).
Can you see how much I loved it? Of course it will likely come as no surprise: moving to Paris was, after all, one of the reasons I chose the university that I did.