My daughter Emmanuelle and son François find it hard to understand why I've never returned to Paris for years. This doesn't mean that I've lost interest in the most fascinating and celebrated city on Earth, where I lived for ages, in the Rue Rambuteau.
On the contrary. The truth of the matter is down-to-earth. Here at Gamone, I live with a dog, Sophia, and I can't ask my neighbors to take care of her while I wander off to faraway places. It was only recently, on the occasion of my week or so in hospital, that I got around to discovering the excellent solution of placing Sophia in a top-quality dogs' home just near the TGV station on the outskirts of Valence. Well, I've booked her in there for a few days so that I can finally get around to seeing, not only my children, but their Parisian apartments. And my ex-wife Christine will be leaving her home in Brittany to be there too. In fact, it's an immensely exciting idea for rural folk such as Christine and me to leave our respective villages and dogs for a few days, enabling us to revisit the capital and stay with our children.
I'm a little afraid that sophisticated Parisians might make fun of my rough country appearance and behavior. Maybe I should wear my Akubra hat, carry a camera around my neck, and try to look like an Aussie tourist.