I’m going to be honest and admit I’m not so sure I can survive winter in the northern hemisphere. It has been a cold start to November, and despite having Welsh made-for-arctic-temperatures blood, it has sent a jolt through my weak Australian-raised body.
But, I have to say, if I am going to endure a relentless winter, there’s no better place to be than Paris. After two months of seeing the yellow leaves gather at the base of trees lining the picturesque boulevards, I almost don’t mind that they will be bare for the next three months. Perhaps it’s the novelty, but there’s something romantic about being in a big city like Paris during the winter. Drawing the curtains in the morning to see locals out on the street as they come back from their morning trip to the boulangerie, fresh baguettes under their arms and faces protected from the frosty air by scarves. By night, people gather at the brasserie on the corner, laughing over a meal inside or rugged up on the heated terrace, drinking red wine and, of course, smoking cigarettes. It’s a time to explore museums, read a book in a hidden café, or shop for Christmas presents in the extravagantly decorated department stores.
OK, it’s almost definitely a fantasy conjured up by the part of me that takes Christmas movies too seriously and is a sucker for a Parisian cliché.