Another sizable absence (though I think it’s shorter than the last!), and I’m back to blogging.

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Here is a list of things which have happened during my unannounced, and unintended, hiatus:

1. Outrageous sunburn. As you can see in the photo above, Paris is sizzling. I, naïve Britisher of low expectations when it comes to summer weather, arrived here woefully unprepared for the delight that is French sunshine, and have paid for my ignorance with a ridiculous set of tan lines which make many of my outfits aesthetically nonviable.

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2. Men have also happened, in the loosest terms, which is to say I have actually conversed with some. My French is still terrible, but I am now at a level of being able to hold a very simple conversation.

Add a dash of alcohol and a loud environment in which it’s difficult to talk anyway, and I’m away. No progress onto an actual date so far, but several brief encounters, including a kind Mexican who called six times whilst I was at work (ruthless as I am, I ruled him too eager), and a handsome but sloppy Serbian who lacked subtlety, and came in pursuit of just one thing.

Dating here is different to how it is in the UK. Things are refreshingly casual, with few rules or set expectations, but this also makes for additional challenges. I am gauche, to a great extent, and also very aware of it. Maybe things will change, but I don’t think a picture-perfect Parisian romance is going to spring upon me anytime soon, and I confess, I don’t think I want it to, not yet.

In a weird twist of fate, I have moved to the City of Love, and become only more content with the unconditional freedom of being single. It’s unexpected, but I think this is what happens when you let go, in the real world. Rather than being happy enough waiting, you become happy because you are waiting.

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3. And speaking of interests, I have been writing. For the first time in a long time, my novel has a latest draft with a word count over 30,000. I have been beetling away editing it, and yesterday I ploughed on with new scenes, reintroducing an old face who has changed a great deal since his first conception. Finally, I’ve pinched back enough confidence to say this draft is starting to feel right, and I’m on track for finishing by Christmas.

So, having said what I have to say, it’s ciao for now. I’ll be back, sooner or later. I hope this time I can keep up a decent streak of regular posts!

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