I don't like the French. They are rude and slow and talk too fast. They take food far too seriously - especially heavy, greasy, pointless food which doesn't deserve any attention or ingestion, as far as I'm concerned. A cup of tea is something with water so I will be living off bread crusts and Evian during my stay as I become a pyromaniac when I drink coffee. I don't like the language because, again, they take it so seriously. A choux fleur may sound sexy but it's still a cauliflower. Language just gets in the way of thoughts and ideas. And the fashion. Again, if it is supposed to be the city of haute couture, how come most people are wandering about in zipped up grey anoraks and NAF NAF tracksuit bottoms? And nobody seems to know where anything is even though it's much smaller than London. Surely they know which direction the river is? The Metro is just like the tube except dirtier and it's all in French and you have to open the door yourself.

So why have I come to a city whose food, fashion and language I cannot stand? Why do I get a thrill just walking across Le Pont Neuf or standing in the square of The Palais de Louvre? Because years and years ago, I started drawing strange goblin characters who hovered on roofs, the edges of books and corners, creatures with old wise eyes, deformed, ugly, intense things like a cross between E.T. and miniature dragon angels, armoured Ewoks. They were forever outsiders yet the world could not be safe without them; they were lost in the grey and the revelry (or the anoraks, tracksuit bottoms and greasy gravy). I understand why those beautiful lords and ladies partied to excess in the midst of the grey and squalor but I also understand the burning gaze of the just gargoyle perched way above. The ancient weird one, forever strangely young, forever outcast, knew what they chose to forget in their bubble of ecstatic excess. He knew their names would dissolve faster than the drink in their glasses, that the grey poor would be trampled on like dirt and that the politics and truth of the day would be reshaped and distorted to suit the next set of elite and poor.

But, as I wander these streets and perch on the parapets of bridges, legs dangling over the grey Seine, I see that I actually have a lot in common with these French eccentrics of old: they dreamed of flying, of angels and demons, warriors, kings, beauty and something eternal and dignified. The pupil - less stares of these semi-naked regal statues in poses of heavy power speak words their time could not stand. All the art, all the glory counts as nothing for what remains is the endless yearning of mankind for something stronger, bolder, fiercer, more enduring, freer and true than itself. Come on, even I know lions have never been a native of France so what are they doing, these green effigies of regal monsters, sitting on gates? The French, like me, wanted something real, higher and better than what they were but their gods served them poorly. Art does not last but our dreams of eternity do.

I feel sorry for these winged creatures trapped and cornered between H & M and a parade of gift shops. They strain for the skies, for space and a look of recognition and understanding but all they get is a woman in an anorak with a questionnaire selling catalogues, a beggar from Algeria, a make-up-caked girl on the phone and several rushed-off-their-feet commuters striving for things these stony eyes have seen fall and fade time upon time upon time. But even if these stone statues could speak, could lift their heavy weighted wings and fly far over the city, bellowing out their words of truth and wisdom the centuries of patient observation have given them, would anyone believe? The girl on the phone would just faint or scream and then list it as another anecdote to tell Louisa or Jeanette, the beggar would blame it on the bottle, the businessmen continue relentlessly chasing their Euro.

And so the stone angels sit quietly and watchfully, waiting for that one person who would believe what they would tell.

I get out at Republique. Again, that old strong bold lion and the beautiful regal women lifting up high liberty and the olive branch. I don't want some remote interpretation or version of this contradiction as below it cars owned by companies and banks driven by ageing, stressing humans owned by banks, religions and cults parp horns and jam next to each other. They must drive past here almost every day and yet not see, not really see, what these old eyes could really tell them about Liberte. A mini roundabout of dodgems blinks across the road. I'm trying to draw but this albino black man is grabbing hold of his struggling tearful black girl. She is gorgeous and he is cajoling her but blocking her every move. She tries and tries but, finally, reaches into his black coat pocket for a packet of cigs, takes one out, holds onto the packet, leans against the railings, lights up and lets him pressure her freely. Her eyes close and above her, the titan woman with the branch waves it. The lion blinks. The RATP are out with their walkie talkies, alert to everything except the truth around them.

You will never know if what you made, what you did, was true. You have to have faith to do it and someone has to have faith to see it. All art is a two way street. But only good hearts will stand the test of time. They need no interpreter or critic. There are no dead ends here.