This isn't new territory to be fair since we met on 19th August 2015 which happened to be the first birthday of my youngest son Edward (Teddy). We met at Le Deux Magots as any serious writer would want and he generously endorsed his then latest novel with a wonderful inscription that will go some way to explaining my absence from Teddy's Birthday Celebrations one day.
For those who don't know, Mark Pryor is America's Number 1 crime (my opinion) and author of the Hugo Marston Murder Mysteries that are set in modern Paris. They are well worth reading if you fancy intelligent plots, wonderful characters and a beautiful backdrop. Check out Amazon and you'll easily find all his works including the psychological thriller "Hollow Man" and his telling of a real life investigation of a brutal murder in "As She Lay Sleeping."
It will be great to meet up again but sadly I will be without my usual travelling companion Tom as he has set his plans firmly elsewhere where the sun burns a little brighter. So yes, for the first time I take on the city of Paris on my own. Daunting? Yes, a little, but at the same time I have the city all to myself and that presents many potential opportunities.
I certainly haven't had the opportunity to visit Paris this close to Christmas. I fly out on Thursday 14th December 2017 and so expect to see the city in a festive mood and lit up brightly perhaps even more than it usually is.
As ever, I'm staying in Montmartre very close to the Chat Noir and the Moulin Rouge so I will be in familiar surroundings.
Even as I type I'm thinking like crazy about new sites to visit but I'm not committing just yet as I keep changing my mind with each passing day.
One thing I can say with certainty is that I'll be retuning to Pere Lachaise Cemetery to visit old friends and new. As always, I'll visit Jane Avril and adorn her grave with flowers as it always should be and Oscar Wilde. This is a tradition that I have maintained on all my trips to Paris and that's also because I just never know when I'll return. I like to sit with them both and reflect on their lives and all they stood for.
I've spent quite a lot of time these past 2 years away from Paris reading the works of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway so I'll be looking to visit haunts that they favoured. I suspect I'll be visiting the graves of both Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas who knew both Fitz and Hemingway. I don't know if any of you have ever read the works of Gertrude Stein but it isn't easy. It's very much like trying to swim through treacle.