I went with my niece .... just for two nights.
To get some Paris. I needed Paris, she needed Paris.
I think a little piece of all our hearts remains in Paris - however mad it sounds, even if we've never been .. you know it when you get there, there's always a little sense of coming home.
We wanted Paris and we wanted Montmartre and the little apartment was perfect, on the top (fourth) floor, on the Rue Muller which leads to the steps which lead to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.
The Sacré-Cœur. I cry every time I light a candle there and feel the overwhelming sense of history turning. Those candles that never go out, that each light another, as lives light other lives. I think of history, of people gone before, of my place in the world, my place right here in this place in the world.
There's no getting away from the fact that we live in times that are tense too - the day we arrived there had been another terror attack on soldiers in Paris.
It makes you feel the hand of history even more, I think, and the emotions of the fragility of life and the endurance too.
The Sacré-Cœur is breathtaking and overwhelming and also brings such a sense of peace.
There is a service taking place and the nuns sing and we take seats and stay to breathe it all in, take it all in, take these moments.
We go back the next day too, to take it all again and carry that essence with us, before we leave.
In the mornings, I stick my head out the little skylight window above the bed in the mezzanine bedroom where you can't stand up straight and see the Sacré-Cœur again.
We stay up talking over bread and wine and cheese from the very good supermarket just five minutes walk away.
We go out for fresh bread and croissants first thing and to sit with a coffee in the sunshine, before returning for breakfast chez nous.
Later when it rains we choose one of the many gorgeous-looking bistros - Le Sancerre - on the Rue des Abbesses and journal and write companionably together over French onion soup (her) and oysters with a glass of Sancerre (me).
When the sun is out we browse and walk and discover ... from the huge fabric shop Le Marche St Pierre to peeping into the Museum of Montmartre and the Renoir Gardens to choosing macarons in the most beautiful little shop.
We walk and walk and walk - and up and down so many flights of steps!
Usually the app on my phone shows 3-4 flights of steps climbed every day, sometimes up to 8 or 9 ... in Montmartre it was 48 flights one day and 37 the next!
We walk to my favourite restaurant for dinner - Bouillon Chartier - after queuing as always to get in, we love the bustle and noise and people-watching.
And the escargots, bread, steak haché and frites ... and all at such incredible value.
One last evening walk for a last cocktail sitting outside as it grows dark and one last walk down the iconic steps back to the apartment.
We don't want to leave ... but at just a 15 minute walk to the Gare du Nord and the simplest journey on the Eurostar back to St Pancras, agree not to leave it so long before returning.
After all, a little piece of my heart lives here.