The beret – does it say “Max Fischer”? Or just “I’m-reading-a-book-about-France-and-way-too-impressionable”? Swear I bought it before I started the book, and sometimes you need a warm hat on a rainy day, and, and… ok. It’s lame.

But don’t underestimate the power of the beret. I bought this one on the weekend as a replacement for my previous beret, a red one. The red beret found itself at the centre of a farce of almost Monty Python (or perhaps Fawlty Towers) proportions in late 2008.

While lounging at a girlfriend’s place, the beret slipped off unnoticed. Weeks later, while cleaning under the bed, said girlfriend found said beret. In the exact position it would have landed, had it fallen off some beret-wearing trollop while she ravaged my friend’s fiance. It seemed a logical conclusion at the time. So you’ve been warned – berets are capable of almost derailing engagements.

My boss lent me the book, Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, I think in an attempt to cheer me up and get me more focused on work. Considering the book is solely about falling in love with a dreamy French dude and eating constantly (seriously, there are recipes book-ending each chapter), it may have the opposite effect and drive me out of the country. It’s fluffy stuff but quite deliciously observed and written. I loved this line:

One evening in May, I walked out of the Louvre just as they switched on the exterior lights. The statues of scientists and philosophers that line the balconies were lit from below like children telling a story with a flashlight to their chin.

1.5 days until my housemate and I hit the road and head north – to Queensland, to hometowns and to family; and in my case to muddy country races, cake-fuelled cards tournaments with Nanna and a bevy of long lost old friends. Bring it on.

PS There’s another Max Fisher that almost rivals the one Wes Anderson created. At 96 he was worth $775 million and the oldest dude in the Forbes 400! God bless the internet.

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