Sometimes, the best fun is what you make yourself. We were too peeved with mass humanity to want more tourism, so we spent the day wandering and catching experiences by chance.

Our morning walk was along an icy Canal de Saint Martin. We saw a workboat pass through the locks: free thrills! We footbashed our way down through Beauborg Les Halles, bought nothing but childrens books for Jeremy’s two (we figure Ros will have them bilingual by now). The ice rink outside Hotel de Ville was made charming by the moppet who hit the ice first and performed for an admiring crowd. St Merry was ancient but closed, but we were fascinated by the hotel built into the old building and the up-market sex shops outside.

We walked through the Latin Quarter and by the Sorbonne. A visit to the Pantheon was unforgetable: Rousseau, Voltaire, Hugo, Dumas, the Curies – the French are on to something with the cult of the great. Foucault’s Pendulum was a highlight.

Nice lunch, because NYE was going to be expensive and crowded, then some shopping for our cold picnic tonight. We make our own fun!