The Paris Dreamer

It’s officially the first month of autumn in Australia. Which, for me, comes as somewhat of a relief as I’m not what you’d call a summer person (too many years of interviewing skin doctors about the dermal-destroying effects of UV rays will do that to a girl). I adore the thought of easing into the cooler months as much as sinking into a pair of fluffy boots and melting into a mug of velvety hot chocolate. And I love how life itself seems to hit the brakes at this time of year, as the leaves switch from green through to yellow and orange and red, a metaphorical traffic light, as though Mother Nature herself is reminding us to shift down a gear or two. And while I miss the scent of frangipani and jasmine in my sea-salt-laced Bondi air, autumn is as visually wonderful as the two previous seasons; as Albert Camus so poetically noted, this season ‘is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.’

There’s only one thing that will ruffle my autumnal calm these days: social media. As you can imagine, I follow numerous Parisian Instagrammers, who compete on a daily basis for the most like-able photo of their beautiful city. Now Paris is a glory in any season — as everyone from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald to Doris Day has crooned — but the city really sings in springtime, bursting into a symphony of rosy blooms. You can’t help but practically dance for joy at the beauty of it all. Which is what I imagine the city’s Instagrammers do, as they skip beneath the blossoms of the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and the Tuileries, capturing the burst of springtime colour after all la grisaille (greyness) of a long winter. These photos are filled with so much pink fluffy happiness that my autumnal heart can’t help but lurch a little.

Granted, my annual case of season envy is not as serious as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which is the apt acronym. Because, in all seriousness, the doom and gloom of winter can trigger bouts of depression among some, and might equire medical attention. For me, I usually get over my mild form of the winter blues by telling myself that spring will come around again soon enough (as will, surely, another trip to Paris, which is always a spirits-raiser for me, even in the depths of grisaille). And also remembering that it’s now the time of year to be kind to myself — to slow things down, the mind too; to appreciate every little moment, every falling red or orange leaf; and to detox from fake tanner and rosé, those easily-abused summer essentials, for a while. And perhaps do a mini digital detox, too …


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