This weekend was the annual Fete de la Musique here in La Belle France. And like the rest of LBF, Paris takes this very seriously indeed.
So, while we (me and lovely London friends who'd hopped on Eurostar with their rollers and brushes) slapped on the paint in the final push towards a habitable apartment, the rest of the city geared itself up for one big party.
Naturally, we weren't planning on missing out and with tools downed suitably early, we joined the masses.
Well, I say we joined the masses...first of all we went for a quiet dinner a trois at Le Reconfort - an old favourite on the rue de Poitou. Dinner was fabulous and the Fete de la Musique meant that the place was quiet and service was excellent.
Leaving the restaurant we strolled down to rue de la Perle, passing by many impromptu 'performances' as we worked our way through the Marais. Some were good, some were dreadful, but none got our custom - we knew what we were aiming for. Well, at least we hoped we did.
As we approached the rue de la Perle, we could smell the party. The mix of grilling merguez, spilt beer and that '28-degrees-at-ten-in-the-evening' body odour that only a crowd of Paris BoBo's can deliver....
I've been to the party at this spot before and it has been good. This year we weren't disappointed either.
As the Marais has become hipper and the crowd more and more fashionable, the party has become funnier and funnier. And the (500-strong) crowd has become more and more eccentric and exotic.
There was no live music - which is a good thing, if you're like me and want to spend your Fete de la Musique dancing and drinking and not checking out new musical 'talent'. Instead, there was a DJ playing a great mix of music - everything from the Cure to Madonna, from Dalida to the Jam - and everyone was dancing.
We drank lots, we danced lots. We had a fantastic time.
As we left at half past three, the party was in full swing. The 'dumped' girl crying at the roadside, being comforted by her friends was having a marginally better time than the girl being fucked on a car bonnet by her boyfriend - in full view of the cheering crowd.
The boy jumping up and down on (I presume) someone else's bicycle was seemingly having the time of his life.
To get home we had to cross the Place de la Bastille. It had been busy earlier, but nothing compared to how busy it was now. It was mobbed. Cars had no chance of getting through but they still insisted on trying. For the occupants it must have been terrifying....
There was a massive police presence at the Bastille, and it seemed that trouble was only an ill-considered glance away. We all felt that all it would take would be for someone to say the wrong thing to a police officer and all hell would break loose. We got through and out the other side as quickly as possible.
On the final leg we passed belly dancers, more maudling singers and a cute boy playing a mean guitar.
The street below our bedrooms was home to a trad jazz band who had been setting up when we had left. They were playing a roaring set and did more than justice to some classics. As they played the last bars of Besame Mucho, we headed to our beds.
A great night out with a heady mix of music, laughter, sex, dancing and a promise of danger.
Hmm. When I put it like that it sounds like any other Saturday night really....
I should be so lucky.