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Paris in the sixties

I don’t have unlimited funds and my garden is also taking up quite a lot of my time, so I don’t get around to travelling as often as I would like. Now and again though I do take the odd trip; for example, next weekend I am going to Paris.

The idea for the trip was born when I ran into an old girlfriend of mine in the local shopping mall. We hadn’t seen each other since our ways parted in Paris in the sixties. We sat down at one of the coffee shops and talked about old times.

The two of us were studying at one of the universities in Paris at the time and for both of us it was more a way of getting away from home and being masters of our own universe for the first time than about studying.

I rented an attic from a grumpy old Parisian lady and Claire took a similar room next door. We often bumped into each other on the street outside, eventually becoming friends and later much more than friends. We would stroll along the narrow avenues of the Marais district for hours over weekends, admiring the work of the artists and enjoying the coffee shops and the nightlife.

Those were the days of the student unrest in France and we enjoyed our fair share of action. I remember that once we were holed up in a one bedroom apartment for a whole weekend while the police were barricading the streets below and throwing teargas at the marching students.

How can I ever forget strolling along the banks of the Seine, hand in hand, enjoying the lovely spring weather? We thought it would last forever; that nothing would ever tear us apart, but sadly fate arrived in the form of a burly South African rugby player. He studied at the Sorbonne and must have had something that I didn’t, because one day Clair, right out of the blue, announced that she was moving in with him. I must admit I didn’t see that one coming.

It’s funny how things turn out, isn’t it? Of course all this memory lane meandering meant that I had the perfect excuse – if I needed any excuse – to plan a surprise trip to Paris with my wife. It may not have worked out with Clair, but I was fortunate enough to find the true love of my life shortly after…so here’s to a romantic weekend for two in the city of love.

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