Sunday, November 13, 2016

Paris, November 2015.

This post is a bit of a diversion from the usual (although I will mention that I've just put the finishing touches to a new short story "Macrocosm, Microcosm, Macrocosm, Microcosm, let's call the whole thing off").

One year ago today, Tara and I were in Paris. We were on the second leg of our holiday which had seen us in Amsterdam earlier in the week, and we were about to spend a day at Disneyland Paris.  We'd been there before for our honeymoon, so it seemed rude not to pay a visit to Mickey and his friends whilst we were in the area.

After an exhausting day of rollercoasters and junk food, we decided to get off a few stops before our hotel and find somewhere for a drink. A short distance away from the Republica Metro Station, we stumbled into Flann O' Brien's Irish Bar (you can take the girl out of Ireland, etc.).

Having been out of the house all day, our phones had run completely out of charge - especially with the sheer number of photographs we'd taken. We got given free bags of Tayto crisps by the landlord solely thanks to Tara's Irish Heritage ,had a few pints and watched the football.

The whole night is described far better than I could manage in my wife's blog. To cut a long story short, this was the evening of the Paris attacks. The evening when three suicide bombers struck outside the Stade De France, when hundreds of people were killed or injured at the Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan, and when there were mass shootings and a suicide bomb at cafés and restaurants in the area we'd been in.

We found out what was going on at a bar nearer the hotel. The streets were chaos, sirens blaring and nobody sure what was going on. We got back to our room as soon as the news started breaking, stuck our phones on charge and switched them on.

At my most miserable, whenever I'm feeling low or useless or unwanted - something we all experience from time to time - I remember that night. Literally hundreds of SMS and Facebook messages and missed phone calls, all from friends - some of whom I haven't really spoken to for years - checking that we were okay. Friends had rung the pub we were at, just to check that we were fine. We were lucky, many weren't.

Not really writing related, but something that is pertinent on today of all days. I'd never felt as loved. And you, in turn, are loved back. Thanks x

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