As I may have confessed here before, I have an awkward relationship in my life. It should be all beautiful and romantic, full of lights and flowers, seduction and sophistication. And yet, too often, it's not like that. Too often, the busy-ness and the rudeness, the rushing and the endless, pressing presence of other people bring it down and I don't feel the loving emotions that seem to be expected of me.
Yes, my relationship with Paris is a difficult one.
But sometimes it has its high points. Like last weekend.
Saturday started off with some happy shopping buying presents and spending gift vouchers in the delightfully disorganised bookshop of perfect suburbia. Then I celebrated a friend's 30th birthday with champagne and a picnic in the park.
After that, I headed into the big metropolis, where an American friend was having a 4th July (or Lose a Colony Day) celebration. (It was only the 2nd and closer to Canada Day, so I figured I could justify it.)
In the evening, it was on to the last picnic of the day, with my lovely, laid-back Italian friends in the 15th. We sat on the grass admiring Les Invalides as it was lit up in the growing darkness, then slipped quickly back home on metro line 6 (my personal favourite) when it got too cold.
Sunday was another gorgeous day and I walked along the Promenade Plantee, which was gloriously green and cool, to meet friends at Chatelet. After a couple of hours of putting the world to rights over ice-cream, we walked along the banks of the Seine admiring the way the blue sky reflected turquoise in the normally brown water of the river and the way the light and shadows played in a dance on the sunlit quays.
My relationship with Paris may be fickle, but sometimes it's just perfect.