That photo was taken on a family holiday to the South of France not so long ago. For more so-French-it-hurts shots, have a poke through my photodiary. And forgive the formatting, I’ll be honest: I have no idea what’s happened.
Five years is a long time to ponder an inconsequential opinion but I’ve finally realised the most fulfilling part about being young and carefree in London. Hedonism. Unattached millennial yuppies, as we are, pursue pleasure as their god-given right and why not? Somewhere under the concrete we stomp is a railroad and it’s leading towards a life we could have predicted for ourselves years ago. We choose to spend out 20s doing precisely the opposite of what we fear our 30s will be. It’s a decade of impulse, intrigue and pure, undiluted hedonism.
For some, un-ugly selfishness manifests itself in a knee-jerk tendency to travel. They are only ruled by their heart and the desires they serve are their own. To not have to answer to anyone; to have the option to come and go as one pleases is a rare gift and we’d surely be fools not to milk it for all it’s worth.
And for the impulsive, London serves us well. On two occasions over the past month, I’ve responded to a testing morning at work by booking the cheapest, nearest flights on Skyscanner (Gothenburg and Riga, geddon). The airports, the train stations – hell, even the Mega Bus – are best connected in the capital but there’s one avenue outwards that I have shamelessly underused in my five years here. I believe I’ve only been on the Eurostar once in the past five years and it’s a fucking disgrace – pardon my French. The old-world glamour of turning up to Kings Cross St Pancras with a small suitcase, sailing through check in, pulling up a pew at the caviar bar is irresistible in theory – why haven’t I been there every weekend?
The champagne bar alone is temptation enough; and where there’s Perrier-Jouet, there’s Anni Bould. Her signature smoke is a Vogue, her signature look is well-coifed and fucking fabulous; so who better to travel to Paris with? We’ll be leaving on the 7:30 tonight, hot on the heels of our less workaholic friends who cleverly booked annual leave for today.
But let’s pay homage to the elephant in the room. Right now, France isn’t too high on the explorer’s list. After the horrors the country has faced over the past eighteen months, I’ve had more than one person express their concern for our safety; and one otherwise-thick-skinned friend said you couldn’t get her to France if you paid her. But we mustn’t let anyone use fear to control our exploration. Personally, I feel I’ve been given a gift in having a time in my life where I follow only my own desires, and this flight of fancy has wings. Or train wheels. That’s romance enough for me and tonight, Anni and I are letting it flower on the way to France.