Welcome to my blog; inspired by Hemmingway's A Moveable Feast, a desire to record the more succulent and misshapen nuggets of my Parisian adventure in nibble-size lobes for your light-entertainment and my anticipated future memory failure, and to get some things off my chest and onto yours.

My Paris

"All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know."

Paris is the most visited city on Earth.

I don't remember whether I first heard this before or after I decided it'd be a great place to live. But it is now one of my 7 facts which I like to offer out when there's nothing left. Others include the fact that Falmouth, Cornwall (my adopted hometown, if I've ever had one) is the third deepest natural harbour in world, following Sydney, Australia and Somewhere Else.

So what brings the masses (myself naturally included) to this shrine of beauty and light? Well let's face it, probably the stereotypes. In terms of what Paris is- particularly to those who have heard more than they know about it- there's the Eiffel Tower, one of the most recognisable landmarks on the planet; romance -a fantastic hike for the tourist board- art, literature, philosophy and all sorts of other good stuff (berets, baguettes, black bicycles and brie aside). Paris attracted visual artists and musicians world over in the 20 years that straddled 1900, writers in the 1920s, and filmmakers in the 1960s...

But what now...the onions?

Knowingly, the city's tourist office still hangs onto that past, and thrives on the stereotypes which those prolific times have provided it. After all, who comes to Paris seeking something new? They go to the Louvre, the biggest art museum in the world, to Montmartre, perhaps for the Moulin Rouge where for €150 they can watch a show based on the caberets of the sort Josephine Baker et al proffered in the 1920s, or tread the streets and lounge in the cafe's which Picasso and Satie, Satre, Hugo, and all those other namedrops trod on and lounged in, once upon a time.

So what now, Paris?

It is undoubtedly true that it is difficult to summarise an age whilst we are still living in it, but if time has told anything in this city, it's that it is the work of those artists which lives on in the hearts of lovers of Paris; and not the politicians.

Evidence of the bloody revolts, insatiable greed, political turbulence, and everyday grievences are there for all to see; but there's something about Paris which I hope will never be discovered, and is a secret that keeps me here.

There is after all, nothing more exotic than the mysterious, and here, in this most irrelevent of blogs, is what I hope to add to that mystery, rather than unravel. I am the masses, the étranger, and everything in the betweens. And here I hope no more than to add another angle to this knowingly blurred and indulgent album of snapshots of European utopia. Paris; through the eyes of another, but perhaps updated, middle-class voyeur.

But why not...it was here (near enough) after all, that the first photograph was taken, and what better a backdrop is there to examine life than that which surrounded such greatness?

The point is that amongst the moules marinière and absinth and the Verlaine with all his exclamation marks, there is the piles of crottes de chien, and all the other shit that shakes in a big city, and all the fun and frolics and weirdnesses and dreams, and all the stuff that gets in the way of them inbetween.

And this is what I have seen...