02: In the Shadow of Notre Dame

The morning started with determination and optimism, but ended in a tacit admission of defeat in the shadow of Notre Dame. The overnight heat had anything but subsided, and after a walk down the Champs-Élysées, a morning revelling in the air conditioning of Musée de l'Orangerie, a baguette on park chairs under the trees in Jardin des Tuileries, a quick espresso with an old friend and a walk down the Seine, we surrendered to obscenely priced bottles of sparkling water on the terrace of an open-air café, a few metres short of our intended target. I said goodbye to my mother, who had to return to London, and wandered aimlessly in the direction of Notre Dame, where I sat alone on a bench in the tranquil garden watching families douse themselves with water from the drinking fountain nearby.