Postcard from... Paris
I did something that Parisians never dream of doing: I went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. My daughter was due to go with her German exchange student but she was given a detention by her school. Heike and I queued with Japanese and Chinese, Italians and Germans, Britons and Americans. After an hour, we reached the second floor. We queued for another half hour to reach the top.
That was a good day. My first visit to the tower was in July 1964. Almost half a century on, the tower is looking its age. The hefty steel girders and split-level, cuckoo-clock lifts are like something out of a Jules Verne novel.
The City of Paris, owner of the tower, is already on the case. €25m (£21m) is being spent to transform the first storey into a shiny, new visitor centre, with a partially transparent floor.
In theory, when the works are completed this summer, the queues will move quicker.
But queuing can be fun. I eavesdropped with amusement the banter between three young Britons and a group of young Americans.
We were passing through one of those metal mazes, in which the queue is folded over and over. The three Britons had pushed in. One young American woman gave them an earful before they moved hurriedly around a bend. One young Briton to another: "Oh God, how embarrassing. She's coming around again. We had better think of something witty to say. We are British after all…"
By the time we had reached the lift, they were all the best of friends.
- 1 Ireland gay marriage vote: 'No' campaign appears to concede amid reports of 'yes' landslide victory
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...