It has been a very long time since I have travelled to a country where I could neither speak the language or it had got rather rusty, and a city break, well decades. So being back in Paris for the first time in over 30 years I was looking forward to brushing up my French.

You know, all those things some of us of a certain age learnt at school, such as ‘where is the metro station’ or ‘do you have a trouser press’ courtesy of the phrase book. I remember once being on a school trip to Dijon and we were set loose around the city without no aids, just our alleged knowledge of the language to find a host of places from the local toilets, now that’s still a challenge in France, to the famous mustard factory, even a bar what fun, what a laugh. In fact, at school I had to learn at least two foreign languages.

French was my favourite and I also took German (I blame the teacher. He definitely fought in the war, I was just never too sure which side he had been on!) I digress, now thanks to smart technology, plus the fact everyone appears to speak English, the fun is gone. I did not need to ask anyone for directions, not even for a trouser press, I didn’t actually need one but I thought it would be challenging for the hotel staff to find one in this day and age.

I just asked Google and some smarmy voice would direct me step by step to my destination. The voice really got on my nerves, I would rather have had an argument with a local Parisian.

Now that’s fun.