I rarely talk about what I do for a crust on this blog and that isn’t going to change today. The only thing to know for the purposes of this blog post is that it sometimes forces me to travel overseas for meetings.
The destinations for these meetings are normally European Capitals. If you live in Australia or Argentina this is exotic. If you sit in a dull meeting room in Brussels/Berlin/London/Dublin/Copenhagen/Paris it makes little or no impression on you. One of the only up-sides to speaking in the third person in meetings, sitting in coach class on the airplane and loitering in chain hotels watching BBC world news on repeat is that I get to go out for one of my misanthropic runs either early in the morning or late at night.
On a basic level it’s a great way to see a city but apart from that it’s an antidote to the routine of work.
And so this week I found myself running along the banks of the Seine and taking in the glories of Paris. An early morning run at the edge of the river as the city wakes up. The homeless sleeping under the arches of the bridges, the insolent french women with their “I wouldn’t touch you with a barge pole” look (maybe that’s just at me?). And the city – Snug inside it’s peripherique existing as a Utopian ideal – the apex of urbanism.
And me, frantically looking for a hedge to take a piss in.
Still, 10 miles in Paris is a treat.
The tile of the blog refers to famous graffiti from 1953 by Guy Debord on Rue De Seine in Paris. I went past it the other day after a long day of cuddling my laptop but they’d paid someone to clean the graffiti from the wall.
Irony is alive and well.