I was in Cannes [pictured above] this time last week — eating a fish stew with a cheeky glass of chilled white at the Carlton Beach Club to be precise.
I had come to the French Riviera to research an article about Cannes’ rich cinematic heritage in time for the 70th International Film Festival in 2017; the 69th festival opens next week with Woody Allen’s new film.
But, between the cinema walking tour from La Croisette and an afternoon exploring the giant wall murals of Hollywood stars through history, I also rediscovered my love for all things French.
I lived in France for one year in the early Nineties as part of undergraduate life at Leeds University. It was a truly formative experience — a rite of passage of language skills, modern art and smelly cheese.
I returned to Leeds afloat on Left Bank pretensions and sporting a crushed-velor jacket.
But the head space of a year abroad also helped me decide to eschew a career path in Euro finance in favour of something more creative.
Come autumn, I walked into the office of Leeds Student newspaper and asked for a job.
Now, at another career crossroads, a few days of vin rouge, Jean Gabin and even more smelly cheese provided a contemplative Cote D’Azur backdrop to pondering the next chapter.
Viva la France!
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