Paris, mon amour (en noir et blanc)

Bonjour! Ça va? Hopefully you are très, très bien.

As you can see, I am getting my French on. Pourquoi, I hear you ask?

Because I'm off to le Paris!

Not quite yet, but soon.

For Christmas, I thought I'd get my mum something a bit different to the usual books and smellies (I do usually buy better presents than these, honestly) - and thought a day trip to Paris in the spring would be nice.

So we're off very early on a May morning and back late the next night - we thought an overnight trip could be done. It means more time for eating and shopping, right?

I haven't been to Paris since 2006, and I'm eagerly putting together recommendations from wherever I find them to cram in as much goodness as we can in two days.

I'm not sure if the city is still currently full of smog, but I thought I'd share my 'ooh la la, va va voom' vibe by revisiting photos from a time when you could see the Eiffel Tower from a short distance.

When I took these photos, I'd just started my A level in photography, and had been handed my first pro Ilford black and white film.

I loaded it into our old Canon 35mm automatic point-and-shoot, and I can honestly say I'm still happy with the results.

They may be a bit wonky or underexposed - but everyone starts somewhere, right?

While in Paris, I bought a Taschen book (Paris Mon Amour, coincidentally) of black and white photos of the city through the ages.

It's mainly centred around the street scenes of Paris, and contains lots of work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész and the like.

Ever since, I've loved flicking through that book - and it's really instilled a passion for street photography in me, which makes me wish to be less of a wuss and try it more often. (Sidenote: now I own a Lubitel, maybe I could try street photography without people realising I'm even taking photos?!)

Already I can't wait to step off the Eurostar (my first time on it, very exciting!) into Paris for a fun couple of days.

We're staying in the 14th arrondissement, Montparnasse, so if anyone has any local recommendations - send them my way! I've been gathering ideas over on Pinterest and from various travel mags and blogs, so I don't think we'll be stuck of ideas.

One thing's for sure: I'll be armed with a film camera (or two) and a roll of black and white film.