I love to travel and a day trip to Paris was warmly welcomed. Aboard the Eurostar, I daydreamed up poetic notions of strolling classily down cobbled streets whilst nibbling on a croissant. Paris exudes elegance and romance...even at 6 am.
The Sunday Times asked me to meet mathematician Cedric Villani. After a quick Google search I found a 19th-century aristocratic spider, which had just stepped out of a Pixar animation. He was a rare, stylish and classy gent.
I was excited.
I arrived early to take a brief tour of the building with an old buddy who left London life for fine wine, great cheese and bad manners (bit harsh). We briefly caught up whilst scrutinising our location options. Time was limited so I needed to ensure all of my locations were near and accessible.
Cedric (as spindly as I expected) greeted us warmly and we strolled to our first location. Our attempt was futile as a sea of fans and constant familiar faces proceeded to leech on him every 3 steps. After nailing off location one we headed for the outdoors, braving the bitter and relentless chill. Unfortunately my friend David had to flee so we continued alone and chatted about family. He painted a picture of his peaceful abode with an array of wildlife and pets roaming freely.
To my delight he was fascinated by my old beauts and I knew that a Polaroid was essential. He had such an interesting face. Reflectors flapping in the wind and occasional patience were required for passing clouds; Cedric was relaxed, kind and engaged. I really enjoyed photographing him. I was concerned that if I asked him any mathematical curiosities I would be reminded that it took me three attempts at my GCSE Maths and most likely glaze over. However his skill lies not only in knowing what he is talking about, but also not making you feel stupid when he does.
The piece comes out this Sunday so if you fancy a browse over your roast I hope you enjoy it.
When I asked him what his favourite number is he said 5...I asked why... his response:" you cant explain love"