|30 Juillet 2012, Sacré Coeur|
I am sat in a little park next to the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre, Paris. My legs are stretched out on a stone bench that nuzzles at the arm of an archway of trees. Behind me there is a backdrop of waternoise, supplied by a waterfall where fat pigeons sit and clean their feathers. Above me they sit on branches and turn circles, wondering where to fly to next. There is just so much Paris to see! Pigeons always know the most popular places to gather; they are really nothing but feathery tourists.
A class-worth of French school children run around the park. I say 'running' but they are actually flying: arms stretched out as aeroplane wings.
Now I am in Paris and the moment has passed. I am blissfully happy on my own.
I was the only girl surrounded by business men drinking pre-work espressos and reading Le Monde, so I started chatting to the two French waiters. We spoke about London and the opening ceremony of the Olympics and they helped direct me to the street where Juliette lives.
When I saw her in the street my smile leapt up to my ears as I disappeared into her hug and the wild embrace of her hair. We squeaked at each other in the universal language that says: I have missed you.
After she left for work I had a shower in her flat. Her flat is on the 6th floor and is an afterthought, a glimpse, a smidgen of a flat. But it is wonderful. I looked out the window over the rooftops as I took my shower and didn't care that there were no blinds because only the pigeons and the sky could see me.
Clean and mildly more awake, I headed to Montmartre.
Of course there are places where the crowds can't be avoided, like when I round the corner of the Sacré Coeur and find myself staring out at the extraordinary view of Paris.
As a group of elderly tourists shuffle past following a flag and a loud flag-bearer, the English pair explain mischieviously that the two of them are their own group.
"Those groups are much too expensive - trop cher - and we don't want to be told where to go or how to have fun!"
The French ladies laugh and say (in French) that it was a much better idea to be sat there drinking wine and watching the world go by.
How right they are.
I am sat in the cemetry in Montmartre. I am on a bench, under the bridge, looking out at a cobbled road and a roundabout iced with a decoration of flowers.
It should be sombre, and it is, but I also feel incredibly peaceful.
A man just walked past in a black suit and a black tie. A family followed with rucksacks and maps.
I get home to my friend Juliette just before it rains.