Amélie (originally known as Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) is a 2001 French-language romantic comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress, played by Audrey Tautou, who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while facing her own loneliness and isolation.
I love this film as it is quirky and creative, as well as beautifully shot and acted. Its underscores the importance of small acts of kindness and it highlights how we all belong to one another.
I love Paris. I have visited it many times in my life and it holds a lot of special memories. When I lived in the UK for six years, it was easy to access; and as I have friends and family living in the city, I have experienced it through the eyes of a resident. I have attended weddings and family gatherings. I even became engaged in the garden behind Cathèdrale Notre Dame over twenty years ago. It is for all of these reasons that Paris will always live in my heart.
The focus of this sabbatical visit was to visit family and introduce my daughter to Paris for the first time. As I had not been back for fifteen years, it was a treat for me to return. We arrived during a school break, so her cousin, uncle and aunt were able to join us for many of our adventures.
You cannot really go to Paris without experiencing the rich variety of cultural sites. Throughout the week, I took the girls to visit a variety of museums: Musée D’Orsay, Musée du Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie, and Musée Rodin. A highlight for me was showing my daughter Degas’ statue of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. This was the first piece of artwork that I can remember deeply moving me when I was close to her age; and it was the beginning of my appreciation for art.
My daughter and I took a day-trip out to the Château de Versailles. I booked us a bike trip through Boutique Bike Tours, which included a visit to the royal chambers of the palace, a ride through the expansive grounds, and a picnic in the park. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and at the start of the tourist season so it was not too busy. If you ever visit Paris, I highly recommend it as an experience not to miss.
We had a wonderful time during our week in the city. This included enjoying many good meals. My daughter was adventurous and tried her first escargot! She also took a special trip with her aunt, uncle and cousin to Montmartre, where they visited Sacré Coeur and the Moulin Rouge, and had a caricature sketched by an artist. Before we knew it, our time was up and we needed to catch our train down south to Provence. It is always hard to say goodbye but we knew that we would be back soon.