There is something special about Paris in the winter, the moment you step off the train at Gare du Nord, the aroma of coffee engulfs your senses as you hit the dark misty grey gloom, lit up by the neon lights of the cafes and bars in rue dunkerque.
Paris does the cold dark miserable season like no other city, with its inimitable style and class.
But Paris is different this year, the pavement cafes are shuttered and deserted, the tartan army sipping their cafe cremes with an insouciance and panache, is just a distant memory.
Historically France and Scotland have a very special bond, in 1942 Charles DeGaulle described it as the oldest alliance in the world.
“In every combat for five centuries when the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight by the side of the men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous with its friendship”.
The auld alliance with France was first agreed in 1295 built on France’ need to curtail English expansion.
The canny Scots were given the pick of the best French wines as a result of this accord.
The Auld Alliance will be put on hold next Sunday when the battle of the blues takes place at Stade de France.
France having lit up our dark Covid infested year with flair and panache, showed they can also win ugly, victory in Dublin in the rain could be a watershed moment for this team, if you’ll pardon the pun.
Scotland are hoping they can go the whole hog and win in Paris, especially with the whole Stuart Hogg in such fine form, and of course the boy from down the road at La Defense, Racing 92’s Finn Russell.
Scotland’s championship chances are over if they lose, whilst a France win will see them heading to meet their Waterloo, this time the station not the battle, and a mouthwatering encounter with England at Twickenham.
Ecosse will be hoping that they can bounce back after a heartbreaking defeat to Wales, and do not succumb to a case of the Bleus, thereby sent homeward to think again.