We did Paris stuff on our second day in Paris; tourist bits, lots of walking. I love walking in big cities – doesn’t matter how far. I love walking anywhere, just trundling along chatting and looking at things. It might actually be my favourite thing to do, now that I think about it. I’m 30 years old and I’d genuinely rather take a one-hour stroll through a park than spend five hours in some swanky rooftop bar with a pool. Annie is not as fond of walking as me, which is why I always have to lie to her about the distances it says on the map.
“So how far is it to this cemetery?”
“It’s just, uhhhh…” I glanced at my phone: 43 minutes to Père-Lachaise. “Another twenty mins or so.”
I turned 30 on Sunday. Wasn’t that big of a deal in the end. It’s sort of mad to think that I worried so grandly about it for like, ten years – and regularly made a right mess of things because of this mad looming fear of being Too Old for Stuff – and then it just happened regardless and it’s basically fine.
Too skint to enjoy a lunch at Les Deux Magots, Jeanne and I crossed the road in search of a cheaper alternative. We found a cute place around the corner, where for the price of a single sandwich in the first café, we were able to buy a pizza and a carafe of wine. I don’t know whether it’s the northerner in me or the millennial or just basic stinginess, but I get a giddy thrill from finding a good deal.
The train from Marseille to Avignon was a pleasant 90 minutes. The south of France looks like Spain, and reminds me of family holidays when I was a kid – walking along in flip flops and baggy shirts down to the beachfront restaurants for an evening meal, the night air warm, crickets chirping in the bushes.
I met Seth at the station. I’d been running late, and when I found him outside he was leaning on a railing, shaven-headed, grinning at me through a pair of dark sunglasses.
I’m on a train rocketing across the south of France, and from the window I can see the ocean and hills and a rusty abandoned car with lime green paint. Daniel Bedingfield has come on shuffle somehow, and it’s making me feel like a wide-eyed young girl on a 1990’s road trip.