Today has been a day of great sadness and reflection trying to make sense of the tragic events in Paris last night. News was breaking as I went to bed and I listened to the radio until the early hours of the morning, scarcely believing what I was hearing as the evil acts unfolded, I lay in bed feeling a sense of disbelief and anger, strong, pit of my stomach anger. I love Paris and France, I am a French graduate and spent a very happy year working in France in my early twenties. In this year many of my weekends were spent in Paris, travelling through by train and then staying in the cheapest hotel me and my friends could find so we could enjoy the delights of Paris, I have so many happy memories of nights dancing, drinking and having sparkling fun. Such delights and simple pleasures which were attacked last night and in which many innocent people lost their lives on a Friday night out with friends. It is so sad that the wonderful relaxed evenings spent in bars, philosophising over meals or watching a football match or rock concert could be so cruelly interrupted. These activities are French life and culture at its best, passionate, vibrant and respectful. I particularly liked the cartoon by a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist not asking people to pray for Paris and treat it as a victim but to celebrate French life and values, liberte, egalite and fraternite. For the second time this year my heart has been broken at the events in France but France is strong, fair and determined, such strength and values will always defeat extremism and hatred.
Paris, je t’aime. La France reste forte.