I have not written for four days. My excuse: Paris.
My friend Alex and I chose to celebrate the end of dreary January with an adventure to the land of art galleries, inexpensive wine and infinite numbers of women in polo necks.
By 8pm on Thursdawy we had already opened two bottles of Proseco on the Eurostar from Kings Cross (causing a few people to jump as we popped the cork). We were both in our best parisian garb, both insatiably excited. We both needed this break. Our mantra for the weekend was WE ARE NOT SOFT COCKING IT. (*I recommend this phrase whole heartedly - ideally one should tattoo it somewhere visible on ones flesh*). Whatever we did this weekend we were going to do it to the absolute maximum - no going halves, no holding back. It was going to be a saturated holiday of the senses. This meant good wine, good champagne, strong cheese and loud Vinyl records at all times. It also meant crucial attention to fashion details and creating numerous personas as we strolled along the Seine and the back streets of Bastille.
Highlights included the bar La Rochelle, the cinema Studio Galande, the fois gras in the gold cafe on the top floor of the Musee D'Orsay and ruminating on the meaning of life around the beautiful Parc des Buttes-Chaumonts. Also, going up to people at every opportunity and asking "Ou est la bibliotheque?" and "Je veux une grande saucisson.". Because despite being a woman, behaving like a child is fun.
Having returned from Paris this morning and spent the day in bed I have come to some assessments. I adore Paris, but I am glad to be apart of the barmy identiy of London. Before I left for Paris I read How to be Parisian Wherever You Are hoping it would instill in me some Parisian class. It sort of did. I wore lots of white shirts. However, I believe the writers make the concept of being Parisian more complicated than it needs to be.
Thus, from my extensive experience with the people of this marvelous city, for all you Francophiles, here is MY short guide on HOW TO BE PARISIAN.
Please take it seriously.
Rule 1 - GET A DOG AND LET IT SHIT EVERYWHERE. You can not be Parisian if you don't have a dog that looks like it's dying of chloera. Paris would not be Paris if you didn't tread at least five times in a day in the turd of someone's snouzer, greyhound or bounding labrador called Sartre.
Rule 2 - NEVER SMILE. Smiling is for people who like things like cake, fun and sunshine.This is not a parisian quality.
Rule 3 - FRENCH STYLE in one word: FUNERALS. Clearly, the average Parisian never knows when they are going to be called to attend the funeral of a loved one - so they tackle this by choosing to dress in prep for one EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK. Think greys, blacks, navys, heavy knits, hard denim and the facal expression of a personifided brooding storm.