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No Need to Compare Bright Light to Mysterious Smoke

I don’t know about a thousand words, but this picture certainly says a few – stroppy, serious, sad yet sanguine and simply Sonja.

Wrapping up our weekend in Paris at the Musee d’Orsay was delightful, yet I stropped at Paul for taking a close-up photograph of me. I so despise head shots and then on the way home on Eurostar, getting my second fix of magazines (the first one was on the way there), I read an article about self-image and how women could sometimes be their own worst critics.

Ouch – I sat up straight and considered the charge, flipping through photos on my iPad. The closer up the photo, the more unpleasant the emotion, proving me guilty as charged.

I found it unbelievable that I, so full of self-worth, could have self-image problems. Who would have thunk it? Of course, my problems pale in comparison to serious esteem matters, which are no joke whatsoever. Still the point is all the same – poor self-esteem leads to dissatisfaction, unhappiness, unhealthy living and so on, even if it is on a small level.

And who has time to be unhealthy, unhappy and dissatisfied when in Paris or London for that matter. So with memories of The City of Lights in the near distance, I took in the blustery air of The Smoke.

On the taxi ride home, I recalled returning from Paris to London last year with my BFF, godson and one of his friends. Having gone from one elaborately stunning hotel to a sedately beautiful one, I remember thinking that the Parisian hotel got the prize. I even said it out loud and suggested that the London beaut was a bit tired, though I wouldn’t turn down a night there anytime. I love the place.

The City of Lights shines

The City of Lights shines

Suddenly, however, this Londoner felt second-class to a Parisian. Oh dear. And now speeding through Bloomsbury, I was comparing the two cities again, having been caught up in the romantic atmosphere of Paris for the weekend. I compared the Seine to the Thames, Marble Arch to Arc de Triomphe (unfair!), our bridges to theirs, museums and so on and then it struck me that I needn’t choose one over the other.

Like their respective luxury hotels, one wears its opulence on its sleeve and the other is ever so mysterious. And to be honest, I like a little mystery now and again. No wonder I can’t get enough of Hercule Poirot.

And anyhow, I haven’t seen the real the grit of Paris, albeit it is a dirtier city than London, on the surface. Still they are both impressive cities, just different—one characteristically French and the other English. Come to think of it, so are many of those headshots of mine, different that is.

But one showing is enough, at least for this outing. No need to compare, seriously!