Friday, March 25, 2011

This is terrible. I am seriously becoming more stupid.

I am forgetting English. I'm usually pretty good at English, at least I used to be (I have my dissertation to prove that I was, back in 2009). Now; I am struggling with the Guardian 'quick' crossword. The two art questions I got in a jiffy, but took over 15 minutes to remember who the god of love is, and longer to think up 'opinion' as a 'view held without positive proof'. And I'm not even being compensated by getting better at French- I'm still terrible in French!

Oh deary me.

I'll partly put it down to tiredness, last week was a long one, travelling to Scotland with the 4 year old and spending 87 waking hours with him (approximately) by the time we got back to Paris on Tuesday night. We had fun, him more than me I'm sure, but it could have been a lot worse. Thank goodness for the neighbours' trampoline in the garden. It has confirmed that I shall not be wanting children any time this decade, if at all. I just quite enjoy sitting on a bus without a clammy child leaning on me, and going for lunch in child-unfriendly places, and to have conversations in which I don't have to continually -use the fork not your fingers- interrupt myself -no no it's going to spill if you do that!- where was I?

But anyway, the sun is out in Paris! Finally it's good enough to sit in the park and draw all day, the cafes are full, and the windows in the courtyard are flung open. The one opposite mine is opened wide, with its inhabitant hanging out, half-nakedly painting his window-frames.
A la prochaine x

Old news

I have been storing up stories to tell you, mainly because my internet works so rarely I don't get to upload them very often. So excuse me if these are a bit out of date...

One night then, some time in the past weeks, Laura and I had joined Claire and friends at the Mojito bar, and followed them to somewhere called Bar N'importe Quoi. We followed them for a long time, backwards and forwards along Rue de Rivoli before actually finding the place, so that by the time we got there the expensive rum had worn off and our feet were sore. Luckily it was a good bar, if you excuse the sleazy offers of a bottle of spirits to anyone who gives up their bra.That in itself doesn't bother me too much, but being asked to donate mine by one of the friends of friends who hadn't spoken to me all evening... emm, no!
Sat in the smoking area for a lot of the night; why is it all the interesting people smoke? A man called Marc kept pouring out shots of caramel vodka, I think he might have owned the place, or at least he thought he did. No matter. I chatted to someone who; it later turned out, works in the same 6-man team of air traffic controllers as one of my employers! Paris ain't so big after all. Feels big though, when you walk home from Chatelet, in heels.

The weekend with Meroe I've already told you about, so to the week after. It felt like a holiday, only having 3 days to work before another night out. This time it was Kayt's 26th birthday in the Republique area, and Laura couldn't come so I made my way there on my own. So rarely we're apart on nights out it felt a bit scary getting on multiple metros on my own, again in heels, going the long way around to avoid Chatelet. But it was a fantastic night- felt like I was at home. Bar International was like an art school party: people mooching and dancing about, squished together around the bars, to a huge variety of music. I was the first time I've heard Dizzee Rascal in Paris, but don't let that put you off! A place to go back to in my opinion, but we moved on to Alimentation General- a nightclub in a converted corner shop? It was less busy, but had the advantage of staying open till 5. We paid our tenner in, and used our 'free drink included' to get 9euro mojitos; I still can't decide if this was good value or not! Had a dance, and then stopped for crepes to while away the time before the metro opened to get us home just after 6am.

On a less wild night, Laura and I went to see The King's Speech which we loved, with the added luxury of going to Odeon just around the corner which is far too expensive for us usually. We had free passes given to Laura 'en lieu' of pay which is not really acceptable, but as it got us to the cinema I'll let it slide...

Monday, March 7, 2011

To illustrate:

The biggest lemon meringue tart I've ever seen, or eaten.
 at Le Loir dans la Théière.

at the Mosquée de Paris salon du thé- gorgeous.

The 'caviar' mojito.
Cheese, bread, tomatoes and olives from Bastille market, bliss!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Maybe France is having more of an effect on me than I thought: I plan days and weeks around meals and coffees.

Meroe, who is my oldest friend, came to pay me a visit this week and turned out to be a fabulous excuse to get out and enjoy Paris, and eating. We managed to pack in lunch at Cosi (salad, amazing bread and crumble), a burger at Breakfast in America (it being Sunday,) then lunch at Le Loir Dans La Théière (quiche, then coffee and the most ridiculous amount of meringue to ever be put on a lemon tart- photo to follow.) Croissants and coffee chez moi, courtesy of Paul; mint tea and sticky pastries at the Mosquée de Paris; a road-side crêpe, and more boulangerie treats sweet and savoury for tea while babysitting. 

Indulgence for 3 days! And we didn't stop at food, gorging also on art at the Centre Pompidou and Musée d'Orsay, fashion and jewellery at Les Arts Décoratifs on Rue de Rivoli, and at the Dior exhibition in Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche. 

(Incidentally, having had no internet access I hadn't heard anything about Galliano before going- obviously the clothes were still amazing but it did lead us to wonder why geniuses seem to be prone to being not very nice.)

And -writing this down makes it seem even more ridiculous- we even had time to watch the rugby and do a pub quiz at the pub up the road, and try some extravagant mojitos at the Bacardi Mojito Lab at Bastille. Mine was transformed into sorbet and very strong, Meroe's was classy with Prosecco and 'caviar' made of jellified cassis.

A pretty great few days really, and it doesn't get much quieter in the next few weeks, what with planning for my trip home with the wee one, birthdays, and finding the time to catch up with friends who have somehow managed to avoid me since Christmas. 

Bye for now, xx

p.s. As I always go on about how great places are and forget to 'reference' them in any way, here you go: 

Cosi, 54 rue de Seine, near Odéon.
Breakfast in America,
Le Loir Dans La Théière, 3 rue des Rosiers, near Saint Paul.
Café Maure de la Mosquée de Paris, 39 Rue Geoffroy St-Hilaire, near Jardin des Plantes.
Wos Bar, 184 rue Saint Jacques, near Luxembourg.
Bacardi Mojito Lab, 28 rue Keller, near Bastille.