Paris is where my parents spent their honeymoon, decked out in long, woollen flared trousers. Not quite what I would call fashion but maybe it was haute couture way back in the 70s. My own love for the city goes back to my early teens.
On holiday in the south of France when I was 12, I made friends with Dominique, an 11-year-old Parisian, and we became pen pals. We started off writing letters. Her English was better than my French but we found a way of becoming firm friends and still are to this day.
Before long we were jetting off to each other's houses on our own, the excitement cannot be described.
|A young me in Paris. What a catch.....(ahem)|
Dom lived with her parents and three siblings in an apartment round the corner from the Eiffel Tower.
|The view from my room at Dom's apartment|
The streets would smell of fried potatoes and omelettes. The humid buzz of traffic and mopeds excited me. We would spend our days wandering around, hanging out in Luxembourg Gardens watching the quirky artists. We would be enthralled by Marchello, a local character who amused us with his eccentric ways.
We would catch the metro, run around the grounds of Versailles and would return to check out the cool skater boys at Trocadero.
|He was a boy, I was a girl, could I make it any more obvious|
(that he was well fit)
We would scoff more Nutella crepes than you could shake a baguette at and spend our pocket money on Naf Naf folders and notepads in Galleries Lafayette. Dom also taught me the best French swear words to shout at the top of my voice when we reached the heady heights of the Eiffel Tower.
|The words she taught me from the top of here are baaaaad!|
I was 15 when I was in Paris for Bastille day. I remember eating cucumbers marinaded in vinaigrette with Dom and her parents at dinner and then Dom and I went to a party with all her school friends. Late at night we all lay under the shadow of the Eiffel tower sipping Champagne and I had to pinch myself to be sure I was actually there as we watched all the glittering fireworks exploding into the night sky. Champagne and stargazing in Paris. How I wish I could relive it.
Everything we did felt sophisticated to me. The teenagers in Paris were far more switched on than those back at home. The way they ate, drank, smoked, shopped, talked...I was in awe.
I remember my last visit to Paris as a youth, when we went to the cinema to watch Schindler's List. Dom had a wide circle of friends and I sat next to Jean-Christophe, who happened to be the son of the Minister of Monaco at the time. He was older, handsome with olive skin and dark hair, slick with his fashion sense and better still, he turned up with a huge bag of foam strawberry sweets. I could feel electricity between us, I was certain his hand brushed mine on more than one occasion as we sat there in the darkness watching the film.
The colour red always springs to mind when I think of Schindler's List, for the iconic red coat worn by the little girl in the film, as well as those foam strawberries.
I thought about Jean-Christophe for the rest of the trip. Then I went home and wished I'd taken the plunge because quite frankly, dating a dish who comes from Paris and just happens to be the Minister of Monaco's son is a pretty cool prospect when you are 16.
Ten years ago, the Husband and I went back to Paris for Dom's wedding.
Jean-Christophe was there as a guest. Still gorgeous but more arrogant, he could only vaguely remember me. My romantic illusion was a little shattered, but by now, I'd already met the man of my dreams (well, other than Jon Bon Jovi, who was unavailable sadly).
Still, I moved on and we had a great few days.
|Mucking around at the Pompidou Centre|
Mimicking the lady on the poster...badly
In October 2010, the husband took me back to Paris again for a surprise birthday weekend. It was wonderful.
|That's his sultry French look, don't you know?!|
|Ooh la la!|
|The thrill of walking around a street corner |
and seeing the Eiffel Tower always thrills me
|And not a hunchback in sight|
We walked along the Seine late at night, hand in hand, feeling like young lovers who had only just met.
The husband promises to take me back again sometime. And I truly hope he will, because for me Paris is the finest place on earth and nothing compares.
Enjoy the Paris Link Party held by Anita and feel the passion too.