Archive for January, 2012

The Final Day (For Now)

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

So here it is: my last full day in Paris. I get on the plane tomorrow afternoon and head off at 2.30pm, France time. I arrive in Dubai one minute before midnight, Dubai time, then get on another plane and get home at 5.30pm, Perth time. WHAT FUN! OH BOY! I CAN’T WAIT! Twenty hours of travel and plane time! Squished into a cozy seat! Listening to the constant hum of the plane! Eating at least four delicious meals of who knows what! Excitement plus. I know you’re all jealous.

My plans for my final day in Paris had originally involved Nutella crêpes, however over the past three days I appear to have stressed myself into a state of “Stupid Stomach” and my desire to eat such delights has completely disappeared. I know… how can this be?! It is terrible news and I’m not proud of it, but I am going out for dinner this evening with Tom and hopefully I will be able to stomach something chocolatey then. If not then I deserve to return to Perth. How dare I live in a city of deliciousness and not sample the goods! For shame.

I have to say that it doesn’t seem particularly real that I am leaving and the concept that Tom and I have been living in Paris for an entire year does not compute. It feels both shorter and longer at the same time. We have managed to do so much, see so much, make so many great friends and eat so much extremely good food, that surely we have been here for longer than 12 months? At the same time, a year is a long time but it has passed so quickly. I am overwhelmingly happy to know that I have secured our apartment for another year and that it is highly probable that I will be returning. I just need that visa… If I wasn’t coming back I think my stomach ache would have evolved into all of my limbs falling off.

So what did we do in each of these months? Let’s do a month-by-month breakdown! YAAYY!!

February
Arrived in Paris in -3 degree weather.  Bought lots of stuff for our apartment including an awesome miniature oven. Saw Rich Hall perform in a tiny room on the other side of the canal (he’s coming back while I am away. Boo…)

March
The sun started to shine and flowers came out. We went to Nancy and Custines. We got gastro. I bought a sewing machine.

April
We went to Morlaix and Mont Saint Michel. Tom got the flu. We saw Morcheeba in concert. We went to Lyon with Rom and Coup.  We went to Germany for Tom’s Opa’s funeral. I got my first Parisian haircut (unsuccessfully.) Mum and Dad came to visit.

May
We went to Madrid with Rom and Coup and had the best time ever. Tom’s parents came to visit. We went to Holland and met up with my parents. We went bike riding and mud walking.

June
We went to Germany and travelled with Tom’s parents. We went to Crete. We hired a scooter and drove around the island. We ate lots of food. We went swimming at the beach. It was Fête de la Musique in Paris. I successfully completed a 10km fun run.

July
I became a tour guide. It was warm and sunny. Rom and Coup went home. It was Bastille Day and we went to a ‘ball’ at a fire station and watched fireworks from the roof of the Récollets. I had my second, far more successful, hair cut in Paris. We watched Cadel Evans win the Tour de France on the Champs Elysee.

August
I sold my first sock creature from Paris. I discovered Kooka Boora. My Nanna came to visit. I spent weeks trying to find a restaurant for Tom’s birthday dinner. It was Tom’s birthday. We went to London. We saw Underworld perform while standing in mud.

September
It was my birthday!! We went to New York. We went to Maine and ate fresh lobster. My brother came to visit.

October
We went to Lisbon and Porto in Portugual. We ate good food and drank nice wine. We went swimming at the beach. We went to the Salon du Chocolat and ate way too much chocolate. We had a halloween party at the Récollets. We ate oysters and charcuterie, and drank wine off car bonnets.

November
I wrote 50,000 words in less than a month. Autumn arrived and all of the leaves fell and looked so pretty. We made rabbit stew with our friend Friso. I made a pumpkin pie for a thanks giving dinner. I accidentally ate tête de veau.

December
I made a science laboratory out of socks and displayed them in an exhibition at Café A. We went to a big wine tasting show at the Récollets. I put up Christmas decorations. It didn’t snow. We went to Germany for Christmas and stayed with Tom’s Oma. We ate lunch at the single table at Les Têtes dans les Olives. We went to Gouda for New Year.

January
We celebrated the arrival of 2012 with my family in Holland. We didn’t go mud walking. It rained a lot. Ben was in Paris for a few days. I started my count down for leaving Paris, doing one fun activity every day until I got sick.

So that’s it! There is my year in summary. Not a bad one, if I do say so myself. Now I am going to go and visit my favourite bakery lady and buy my last baguette for lunch. And then I have to pack. Dang.

News from Perth soon. Thanks for living this year with me.

(One of the) Best Days Ever

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Every now and then days come along that are just fantastic. You wake up and everything goes to plan or amazing things occur that make you laugh and jump for joy. Last Friday was one of those days for me, where I let down my hair and let whimsy take over. Thanks, whimsy. You’re a good one.

Here was my day:
7.30am – I met Becky down stairs for our usual morning run, but poor Becky had to pull out by the time we reached the first corner due to extreme knee pain. So I took it upon myself to run for the both of us, heading straight up hill to Parc de Butts Chaumont, and then down to the canal. Usually at this point we head for home, completing a 7km circuit. But I was feeling good, my legs weren’t tired and I had spring in my step. So I ran on joining one of our other routes and heading to a bridge that has “Cabaret Sauvage” written in shiny lights. By the time I got home I would have completed a 10km circuit. A great start to the morning.

9am – Breakfast. Having showered and de-stunk, I sat down and ate my usual banana, muesli and fromage blanc (it’s like yoghurt but better) concoction and continued to read Le Delicatesse. I am determined to read and entire book en français and have been given a short novel that I am slowly making my way through. I haven’t read much in French in the past as it is hard, slow going and generally frustrating as I realise how few words I actually know. But I am doing it! I am learning new phrases, new verb conjugations and actually enjoying the process. Fun times.

Between 9.30am and 12noon – I worked on some ideas that I have for a new book. I started researching my favourite street in Paris, Rue St Denis, as well as prostitution laws in France. Yes, prostitution. Fascinating history – it has shifted from being an acceptable and socially appropriate career to now being illegal. Despite this, it is extremely easy to spot in certain areas of the city.

10.30am – Morning coffee with half a gevulde koek.

12.30pm – Tom and I met Pip and her boyfriend, Manu, for lunch. We went to L’As du Falafel, one of Paris’s most famous and popular falafel restaurants in the heart of the Marais. As per usual, it was extremely delicious and ridiculously hard to eat as these pitas are stuffed full of falafel, lettuce, and grilled eggplant that just go all over your face and hands. So good.

2pm – Manu wanted dessert (I like this guy) so we wandered through the Marais before settling on le Pain Quotidien, a chain boulangerie that makes very good bread and desserts. I had a mini chocolate tart that fit perfectly in my stomach after my large falafel.

Chocolate tart

Yum.

3pm – Time to do something crazy. Pip talked me into going ice skating with her outside the Hôtel de Ville in the centre of Paris. It is a beautiful setting and each year the Mairie sets up an ice rink that people come and zoom around on. I am the world’s worst ice skater. Really I am the world’s worst at any physical activity that requires me to be balanced and moving at the same time. I stuck to the wall on the side and pulled myself along, my legs like two planks who refused to bend and glide, bend and glide. Pip eventually convinced me to go around with her. I didn’t fall over! I think that’s a positive. And there was a fun and supportive atmosphere amongst all of the less-talented skaters. I was sure to speak in my strongest Australian accent so everyone realised that I wasn’t from these European, ice-filled lands. I’m quite certain that Australians were not designed for ice skating.

Ice skating

Jess "Ice Legs" Davies

Anyway, for just five euros to hire the ice skates, it was a fun way to pass the time. The boys stood on the edge and froze. Silly things. And on my various turns around the edge of the rink, I could have acquired at least seven phone numbers from French men watching and saying, “Bonjour, la blonde!” They must be desperate if they’re willing to go for the dorky blonde who keeps saying “WHOA!” and almost falls over.

4pm – From here we separated ways and headed home. I went online and bought a Le Creuset pot for even LESS than I had seen in the shops! It arrives in the mail next week (I hope.)

8pm – We met Pip and Manu again for dinner Le Jardin D’en Face. We wanted to take them to our favourite restaurant before Pip and I head back to Australia. I had spoken on many occasions of the world’s best chocolate cake that can be found at this restaurant and so there were high expectations. Thankfully dinner (and the cake) were delicious PLUS the waitress who has been there for our past few visits mentioned that she recognised us and asked where we were from, what we were doing etc. When I said we were from Perth she became very excited and said she had lived there for eight months. Of course she had. Every French person between the ages of 22 and 30 has. So now we have a friend at our favourite restaurant. Hoorah!!

10.45pm – The night didn’t end there. The old saying, it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know (or rather it’s knowing people who know other people), came into fruition with Pip having scored us half price tickets to the Moulin Rouge. Pip works in the pub next to the Moulin, and the dancers come in for drinks so everyone is friends with everyone. This is fantastic when you want to save 50-plus Euros and see half naked girls dancing.

Moulin Rouge

Le Moulin

We were allowed to get in through a secret back entrance with a password, gate keeper and locked doors. Very exclusive. Pip’s friend and Moulin dancer, Alex, met us backstage wearing a face-full of stage make up and very dirty terry-toweling overalls. It was fantastic. All of the dancers were wearing these as they walked past with their heads high, shoulders back, looking ravishing from the neck up, and like trailer-park bumpkins from the shoulders down. I need to get myself one.

We were taken to our table as the show began and another friend of Pip’s was our waiter. Once again, this came in handy as he put an ice bucket on our table with three bottles of champagne. Thank you.

So, the show. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. The costumes were fantastic with some great use of colour and they were well designed to cover and reveal the dancers bodies. It wasn’t all boobs – some of the dancers remained covered up for the entire show and only the lead dancers revealed their ‘bits’. The dancers’ bums were more readily on show as most of the outfits involved minimal ‘bottom coverage’. It certainly wasn’t crude, nor was it overly sexy.

The choreography was a bit tired and could do with an upgrade or perhaps return to how it really used to be when the Moulin was in full swing. It seemed very 80s and some of the dancers looked bored to tears. It was the late show and I don’t blame them for being sick of doing the same steps over and over again, but the crowd is expecting some sort of enthusiasm. The girls were definitely better than the boys, with most of the guys looking like their mum was making them do it.

There were a few interesting moments involving snakes and miniature ponies, but really overly I felt the show lacked some sort of spark. Maybe my expectations were too high, but really I’d much prefer to spend that sort of money and go and see a band perform. It was a bit naff. I think the other problem was that the crowd was full of tourists, half of whom didn’t really seem to get into the performance. There wasn’t much excessive clapping and the atmosphere was generally quite flat.

The show finished at 1.30am, our day of Parisian fun over. Tom and I walked home and were finally in bed by 2.30am. It was a long but fantastic day and a great way to say “A bientôt, Paris!” It also made me even more determined to be back here in six weeks’ time for more good times and more good food.

Catching Up

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Gosh, how time flies when you have an approaching deadline. Four days have past since I last wrote which means I have lots of Fun Time Count Down events to tell you about. Let me see if I can remember…

Monday

Tom and I have decided that now we have been living together relatively successfully for almost a year it is time to take things further. We know it is a big step but we feel we are ready. It is time… to buy a Le Creuset pot. PLUS what better time of the year to do it than during the winter sales! For those of you who haven’t discovered of Le Creuset, step out of your restrictive shell and open your eyes to the world of cast iron cookware. They are beautiful, heavy as hell pots that will last you a life time, once you’ve made the investment. Being that they come from the land of the French, they are significantly cheaper in France. Plus with the current 20-30% discounts we’ve been seeing on them at shops throughout Paris, they’re even MORE of a bargain!

Anyway, on Monday Tom and I walked through Paris in search of a bargain pot but were slightly disappointed. Mostly because at one point we decided to go to Galleries Lafayette which is ALWAYS a mistake. I dislike that place with an ever growing passion. It is hot, it is stuffy, it is full of snooty Parisians and tourists. The staff are rude and I’m clearly not rich enough or touristy enough to be worth serving. Anyway, we didn’t end up buying one. But I have since found the exact pot that I want, in red, at a shop near my house. With 30% off the original price. Excellent.

All of this shopping had made me hungry so we had crêpes. I had my usual Nutella, while Tom went all out and ordered a cheese, ham and egg crêpe from the crêperie that claims to have the best crêpes in Paris. They are good, and they’re freaking huge. Tom spent the rest of the afternoon/evening walking around like a stuffed duck. Good times.

Crepe

It warmed my hands nicely, but then I ate it.

Tuesday

Tuesday wasn’t the greatest day as our friend and fellow Australian who is trying oh-so-hard to stay in Paris next year discovered that her application for a sponsored work visa had been rejected. There were tears, there were profanities directed towards Monsieur Sarkozy and his anti-immigration policies, and there were very early evening drinks at Pip’s bar. There’s still hope for Pip’s visa if she reapplies when she is in Australia (weird French policies about not being able to get a new working visa if she already has one… blah blah blah) but it’s ridiculous really. Anyway, I bought Pip a jasmine flavoured biscuit from a very unique patisserie Tom and I walked past.

Jasmine biscuit

A delicious heart for a broken heart

We also purchased a pistachio galette for ourselves as a “we have to make the most of being in Paris” treat. It did make things slightly better.

Pistachio galette

Mmm... so green.

Wednesday

I have been trying to do some writing and expand my range of writing styles and genres. I figure I should attempt some different forms other than first person narratives about Paris. So I spent the morning attempting to do this, failing mostly but at least I tried. In the afternoon we met some friends for afternoon tea at a café called Rose Bakery. It is very popular in Paris as a BoBo place to be and sells organic and home made food. I had a date slice which was delicious and a long black. The long black was served as an espresso with a jug of hot water. Strange. But it worked.

In the evening Tom and I went and cured my pizza craving at a restaurant on the other side of the canal. Maria Luisa is one of the few places in Paris where you can get a REAL pizza and their toppings are fresh and delicious. The restaurant itself is a bit pretentious, but of the three wait staff who served us, only one was grumpy. A miracle, really.

Pizza

Mmm... pizza... so big it is nearly falling off the table.

Thursday

Thursday was a busy day of washing, shopping and eating lunch with a friend from the Récollets. She is Romanian and made us romanian crêpes which were essentially the same as French crêpes only made by a Romanian. They were gooood. In the afternoon, I went for a walk to burn off my lunch, and attempted to get lost in Paris. Unfortunately I have tried to do this too many times now that I always know where I am. That’s a good thing probably. Anyway, I ended up at the WHSmith bookshop where I purchased three books for under 10 Euros. I was happy. They are all ‘classics’ as I am on a bit of a “I must read must-read books.” So I will soon be literary and knowledgable.

My walk home involved a sprinkling of rain, sunset (well, the sun was going away but it was cloudy so you couldn’t really see much) in the Tuilleries, a sparkling Louvre and turbulent and lively waters of the Seine. It was wonderful. But it also made me realise how much I don’t want to leave this place. But I’ll be back. Just you watch.

Louvre

Sparkly!

Weekend Fun Times

Monday, January 16th, 2012

I was thrilled to be living in Paris this weekend – we had amazing weather with very cold temperatures but crisp blue skies and the occasional puffy white cloud. I love this weather as everything glistens with the icy frosts and sparkling sunlight. So pretty.

After my run on Saturday morning, I decided I deserved to eat whatever I wanted that afternoon and so headed to my favourite cafe – Kooka Boora – for a coffee and a piece of cake. Somewhat unfortunately, over the past few weeks, the owners of Kooka Boora have decided to renovate and have installed new furniture. The comfy couches have been removed and replaced with pine box seats, lots of tables and little wooden stools. While it looks cool, it is now a very difficult space to navigate and everyone is sitting on top of each other. It is far less comfortable and is now clearly designed for people to come, eat and leave, rather than sit around reading a book for a few hours with a cup of coffee. Pity. It will still be good in summer when the outdoor tables are available but the new indoor layout isn’t really doing it for me.

Anyway, the guy taking orders was in a very generous and somewhat flirtatious mood and insisted on giving me a HUGE piece of blueberry cake. I can’t say it was an issue for me – their cakes are really very tasty. So this was my Fun Times Count Down item #6.1 as I had already been for a long run that day which counted as my fun item for Saturday.

Blueberry cake

That's a big slice.

Sunday was a quiet day for me but as I sat inside talking to my parents on Skype, I became increasingly aware of how great it looked outside. So after lunch I grabbed my book and went in search of a sunny seat in the park or along the canal, for my Fun Times Count Down Item #7. Unfortunately I forgot that while the sun might be shining, 5 degrees is still bloody cold, and no matter how sunny a spot I found, I couldn’t sit still for long as my bottom would freeze to the chair. So instead I took photos of the canal for you to see how pretty it was (although please excuse the poor quality of my phone camera) and then went shopping. I bought myself two books – one with sewing projects, the other about handmade products that have been designed by artists around the world. More inspiration.

Canal Saint Martin

So pretty.

Tom came and joined me and we went and had a cup of tea at a BoBo-tastic cafe/bar near the canal called Le Comptoir General. It is a big shed-like-space with lots of couches, tables, chairs and knickknacks lying around. It is very hippy-chic and the local BoBos love it. My cup of tea was over priced and that yucky green tea that tastes like seaweed. Tom’s hot chocolate was over priced and only half of his already small cup was filled. So we weren’t that impressed. While the space was interesting, I’m not sure I will rush back for more tea.

Comptoir General

BoBo-nified

My Father in Toy Form

Monday, January 16th, 2012

My Dad’s name is John and he is a handyman and enjoys working in the garden/around the home fixing and making stuff. Imagine my utter delight when I discovered this in the boys’ section of a toy shop in Paris:

John World

All of the cool people of the world get miniature plastic versions of themselves, including my Dad

Exercise Challenge is Fun!

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

As I have frequently mentioned, every morning I go running with my friend Becky, our running courses usually involving 6 to 8 kilometre circuits of the canal and local parks. Becky has signed up for the Paris half marathon AND the full marathon later in the year. I would have attempted the half marathon with her, however it is on the day that I return from Perth so I will be asleep and/or on a plane. Very annoying. Anyway, in order to help Becky train for the upcoming half-marathon and to burn off a few of those excess Christmas-calories, I suggested Becky and I attempt a longer run on the weekend in order to see how hard running longer distances really is. This was my Fun Times Count Down item #6.

Yesterday (Saturday) morning, Becky and I met at 10am and caught the metro to the Bois de Bologne – a wooded area just north of the Eiffel Tower that is notorious for being the place to find prostitutes at night time and if you want to be murdered and buried in a shallow grave, go here when it is dark. Fear not, it is perfectly safe and full of people exercising on Saturday mornings.

Becky had planned a route that would be approximately 20km long, winding through the woods, circling a hippodrome and doing a figure-eight around Lake Superior and Lake Inferior. Interesting fact – Lake Superior is SMALLER than Lake Inferior. How French. We set off well – the first 3km passing easily and then everything seemed to slow down. It took forever to reach 5km, and then 7km was even slower. It wasn’t physically straining, it was just taking forever. We played eye spy in French for a little while but it became far too easy as we both have a limited vocabulary and there wasn’t very much to spy in the woods anyway.

We eventually made it over the half way mark and up to 12km but then our team was struck by injuries – poor Becky was hit with a terrible cramp in her lower calf that just wouldn’t go away. We called for our medical staff but no one came – no good looks physiotherapists to massage away the pain. Becky struggled on for a few more kilometres but it soon became clear that running was not a good plan. We decided to stop and walk back to the metro, having run 15km. Not bad for a first effort. The walk back to the metro was another 3km so in total we did 18km. I was pleased with our efforts and we are planning for a second attempt at the 20km challenge next Saturday.

It was a particularly enjoyable activity to be doing on a cold Saturday morning – the temperatures have dropped over the last few days so it was really very cold and I should have worn my gloves. It was about three degrees as we were running and there was frost on the ground – the closest I have seen to snow this winter. While it was cold, the sun was shining and the sky was crystal clear – a crisp and sparkly morning. The cold weather made my room temperature tap water in my water bottle turn refreshingly cold. Instant refrigeration.

So a great start to the weekend – I hope next Saturday the weather is just as nice and we can make the full 20kms. It was a lot of fun and I am really enjoying the fact that I am physically able to make these longer distances. Having run 15kms I know I could have easily continued on to complete the full 20. Maybe the marathon isn’t such a crazy idea after all…

Handmade

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

On Friday Tom and I met our friend Phillipa for lunch, shopping and exhibition visiting in the 12 arrondissement of Paris. This area is growing and becoming more and more fashionable with the super cool BoBos of Paris. We had decided to go to a vietnamese restaurant, Hanoi, and joined a long line of cool people in order to eat rather delicious bún bò. By the time we were seated and eating we were starving, but the wait was worth it – it’s nice to have some relatively ‘real’ vietnamese food for once.

Afterwards we wandered around some shops – this area is full of small designer stores and the sales have started in Paris so even Tom was getting into the swing of things, buying some new pants. Remarkable. Our travels led us to the Ateliers de Paris gallery – a gallery space that supports local and emerging artists. This was my Fun Times Count Down item #5.

The current exhibition was a small showcase of fashion made by students from France, Belgium and Quebec. There were only a few items on display and as with most student exhibitions, the quality varied. However there was one stand out piece that was extremely impressive. Made by a student in Montreal, it was a circular web made out of a white twine and safety pins, which had been painted at certain points in order to create a colourful pattern. It was intricate, fragile and stood out as a quality piece of work that was well designed and crafted. You can see the piece in the image below – the first photograph on the wall.

Ateliers Exposition

Very interesting work

It was nice to see a small selection of handmade products made by emerging designers. It is great to see that there is are opportunities for students to showcase their work in a city like Paris.

Relaxing Times are Fun Times #4

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Some of you may remember my initiation into the world of beauty treatments in December 2010 when I had a facial and massage in Perth. It was one of the most gloriously relaxing moments of my life and so I had been contemplating having another for quite some time. While living in France, I have managed to sign up to various websites that offer promotions and deals on a wide range of awesome things and one day I decided to purchase a facial and massage for the bargain price of 35 Euros. The other day I realised my voucher was going to expire so this week I made an appointment.

Yesterday was the big day where I psyched myself up and entered the world of beauty treatments. I hate doing this – I really do. I feel so uncomfortable and out of place, and I’m fairly certain everyone is staring at me thinking “What is she doing here?” The girls running the salon were relatively nice but it is always a bit difficult when they realise I am not from these parts and I don’t know how to answer “What is your skin type like?” in English, let alone French. Apparently my skin is “sensible et reactif” to which I strongly agreed and further agreed when she started putting stuff on my face and my skin started to burn. I decided to go with it as it was quite relaxing and I couldn’t feel my skin peeling off just yet.

The facial was nice although obviously cheaper and it didn’t smell like biscuits like the last time. It finished fairly abruptly and I was happily dozing and almost asleep when I realised she was talking to me and telling me to get dressed and to meet her at the “vistabulle“.

When I purchased this ‘beauty treatment’ I thought I was buying a massage, with hands, nice smelling oil stuff, soft music and me feeling awesome at the end of it. Turns out I had signed up for the electric chair. Well, not quite but I was made to sit in a big leather chair that then proceeded to ‘massage’ me. Unfortunately the chair was designed for French people who are generally at least a head shorter than me. When I first sat down, my legs were raised and my knees almost came up to my chin. The girl frowned and suggested I move my legs so that my feet were hanging off the end as I am “bigger than most”. Once I was settled, I was handed this weird headset that blew oxygen up my nose and I was then left alone in the room for half an hour.

Vistabulle

I sat in one of these.

The chair thing wasn’t bad – but it was hardly the same as having someone give you a real massage. The main problem was that I was too big for the chair so when it was supposed to be massaging my shoulders it was hitting me on my shoulder blades. Boney things, shoulder blades. I eventually started to enjoy it and then it stopped. And I waited. And no one came. So I leaped out of the chair which had turned off in a reclined position, put my shoes on and went down stairs to where the girls continued to look at me strangely and bid me farewell.

I can’t say I will be going back and next time I will make certain that I am getting a human massage rather than the electric chair. I did manage to then wander through Paris looking like a puppet on a string, my arms and legs flopping along, and I walked ten times slower than I ever have in my life. But after an hour or so it had worn off and I was back to myself. Shame.

Searching for Inspiration

Friday, January 13th, 2012

With all of the unknowns currently looming in my life, I have been feeling a bit flat and pointless lately. So to counteract this, I have been trying to find inspiration in other people who have been there/done that or who are undertaking creative developments that are of a similar nature to what I would like to be doing. This morning I stumbled across a guy called Noah Scalin who has developed a website called Make Something 365, which encourages you to do something creative every day. He has showcased lots of people who have decided to make or do something every day of the year in order to develop and explore their creativity. I am keen to get involved and to take on my own 365 day project – I just need to work out what it is. I am also a bit hesitant to start before I leave Paris, although really this shouldn’t hinder my ability to create. I need a project that I can do anywhere in the world. While my first thoughts are to do some writing, it isn’t what really excites me. I want something that requires me to use my hands and that will physically produce something. Perhaps 365 sock creatures? It’s tricky to always have a sewing machine around. Maybe the daily requirement shouldn’t be so important but by the end of the year I need to have 365 things. I guess 366 this year considering we get an extra day. Any suggestions are welcome.

The Fun Times Just Keep on Rolling

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The fun didn’t stop after the Paul Klee exhibition – in fact it probably got even better! We had invited our friend, Diogo, over for dinner and he had offered to bring dessert. Diogo has very good taste in food and wine and therefore I happily accepted his offer and was extremely pleased that I had when I saw what he had brought. He had visited a small bakery not far from our apartment and bought a piece of heaven – a Tholoniat. It is layers of sponge, cream, sponge, and then topped with crême brulée and served chilled. It was INCREDIBLE. Diogo had bought a fairly large cake which I cut into six decent sized pieces. But as the cake is supposed to remain very cold (they store it in a freezer at the patisserie), we decided we had better finish the whole thing. So two decent sized pieces of cake later and we were finished.

Tholoniat

The Tholoniat in all its caramelised glory

In addition, Diogo had also bought some chocolate financier which are rich, almondy mini-cupcakes that are also rather delicious. So our dinner was fantastic, as was my morning tea today which involved a left over financier. Thank you, Diogo and thank you France for inventing such wonderful things that I can consume.

Financier

Morning tea