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On landing in Paris, having wondered how come CDG looks like a different airport every time we're in it, we go downstairs to get the train into the city. This necessitates me queuing for ages in a very long snake, snapping at the youths behind me whenever they try to push in, while CS minds the luggage. Various insulting French words come easily to mind — more easily than lots of polite ones of which I have a far greater need, at other times ! — and are uttered, not to much effect ...

Memory : the many, many policemen and soldiers, fully armed, wandering about CDG with hard eyes that see everything. We immediately look as elderly and as innocent as we can.

We reach our hotel without too much drama, because its Website is the must useful hotel site thus far found, and has provided us with all manner of helpful directions. It's a small hotel (someone should write a song about that !), called Hôtel du Collège de France because that's what's almost right behind it, and it suits both our purposes and our budget very well. Our first stay in the Quartier Latin; I berate CS for not having booked us into this area on any previous occasion, for it's lovely.

Memory: sitting reading in the hotel's small lounge, which is both attractive and extremely comfortable; reflecting every now and then on my lack of back pain as I plough happily through some lengthy piece of rubbish while the laundromat (2 minutes away) goes through its paces.

But the Paris weather ! All I can say is . AAAaargggh ! To describe it as 'cold' is grossly misleading; it's f-f-f- freezing ! We've come equipped, because CS always checks the weather reports for some time before travelling; we've brought our overcoats, even though we're almost certain we won't be needing them anywhere else (and we're right). We also buy ourselves a scarf each, for the enormous outlay of €10 all told, and are thus able to stop the cold creeping down our fronts, for such is its way. (Later note: we're now waiting for it to get cold enough in Sydney to enable us to disport ourselves in these Parisian items; of course, the temperatures are being stubbornly mild ...)

Memory: CS in our hotel room in the wee small hours one night (neither of was hungry enough to go out for dinner), trying to file the top off an obdurate banana with my nail-file, grumbling that he might as well be using the side of a knitting-needle ... I'm quite hysterical ...

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