Our Paris homeswap adventure begins ominously: Emma, our 5-year-old daughter, vanishes between the Metro platform and the train, and we haul her to safety. On entering the apartment, a lightbulb pops, and we're plunged into darkness.
Finally, we're about to take a stroll when our key snaps in the lock. We are locked out of a stranger's apartment with no money and it looks like rain. Emma begins hopping about urgently: "I need a poo . . ."