We leave tomorrow. It's been booked for ages-- long enough for it to have seemed so distant that there was no point in even beginning to think about it or make any plans. In the meantime I've been enjoying vague fantasies about languishing in the sunshine drinking hot chocolate at pavement cafes with the Eiffel Tower in the background (which reminds me of the cover of Taken for Revenge Bedded for Pleasure, and the bloke thereon, but that's a whole different kind of fantasy altogether) and skipping out for croissants in the early morning, dressed in nothing but a glamorous and quintessentially Parisian trenchcoat. This is the legacy left by watching the 80s TV mini-series Mistral's Daughter (based on Judith Krantz's bonkbuster bestseller) at a very impressionable age, and being deeply struck by the scene where Stephanie Powers (!) slips out of the Montmartre love-nest she's sharing with Timothy Dalton to get breakfast, naked except for his coat. (A tiny part of it is about 5 mins 43 seconds into this clip. Oh, the nostalgic joys of youtube.)
Looking back I can see now that all of my teenage ambitions were influenced to an unhealthy degree by the 80s mini-series phenomenon. I desperately wanted to be carried off for a few days of sinful pleasure by a priest (The Thorn Birds), longed to be sent to a strict Swiss finishing school (Lace), and what naughty Abby Green refers to as my 'blood obsession' can probably be traced back to North and South (the original swashbuckling, trashy TV series set in the American civil war, not the tastefully restrained Richard Armitage/Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation of recent years) which featured a succession of 80s hunks with big hair and tight trousers, gleaming with sweat and liberally splattered with the red stuff. * sigh* They just don't make TV like that anymore do they? Perhaps it's just as well.
Anyway-- will report back when we return; however, expect more in the way of touristy queueing for ice cream and the Mona Lisa than carefree running through early morning streets, semi-clad. Such is life.