I know Brittany very well. My mum was born and raised over there and I spent every single summer holidays in the area until I was 18. I remember my grandparents country house with that huge garden where I could play for hours (ironically sold in the late 90s to an English man and his wife who I am in contact with twice a year by Xmas wishes and birthday pictures of my kids). And I know by hear the streets of the little main town (Quimper) where my mother grew up and returned to once a year to be closer to her parents and siblings since she lived in a foreign country for her (Italy, where my father is from and I was born and raised).
Paris was my beloved aunt’s city. She actually lived in Melun (which is only 1 hour away) for over 30 years so she would get to spend the day in Paris every time she could. Everything I know about this beautiful city, she made me discover it. That is why as part of my grief journey (courtesy of my husband as a birthday present) I decided to return to Paris for the day on the 18th of February 2016, on my own, dedicating all my thoughts to remember her and how much she meant to me whilst wandering around the same streets she would have walked along when she was still alive.
It was an extremely cold day, it started snowing in the morning and the sky was so grey it seemed to feel miserable. I felt really inconsolable at first. And then I passed next to a charming shop and entered it attracted by its windows. I got myself a lovely kitchen towel with a very old style French pub advertisement printed on it. All of the sudden I remembered my aunt would recommend me to be joyful and lively, the mood of the day changed completely by then and I really made the most of it, forgetting all self pity which had tried to get in the way!