While we're still unable to travel overseas, my reading this week has taken me to some notable cities of the world. London, New York, Berlin, Milan and, of course, Paris are all acknowledged in the history of the iconic magazine, Vogue (details of the new book 'Glossy' below).

And I've enjoyed thinking of some of my memories and associations with the French capital, not least the hospitality offered to strangers.

There's the wonderful Shakespeare and Company bookshop on the banks of the River Seine. Opened in 1951, this English language bookshop became a meeting place for writers and readers, even offering a bed and a meal to those unable to find accommodation elsewhere - in return for working a shift or two in the store.

And there were the marvellous tales of the Supper Club organised by the late Jim Haynes in his home. Dinner would be available to anyone who wanted to drop by as he sought to "introduce the whole world to each other".

But this week I read an article in the New Yorker magazine which detailed how Parisiens have been opening up their homes to asylum seekers.

Since the start of the pandemic, a lack of state-provided housing in France has meant that migrants are often forced to sleep in makeshift camps or in Métro stations so in an improvised, ad hoc scheme, residents have been making spare rooms available and offering a bath and a hot meal to individuals and families.

Such kindness and compassion is uplifting and encouraging to read as we begin to think again of community rather than isolation going forward.