Posts Tagged ‘2011’

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.

Holiday Snaps

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

For anyone interested in seeing where I went and what I ate over Christmas and New Years, you can see my holiday photos on my Flickr site. Highlights include movies of crazy Dutch fireworks, a hill in Holland, and a GIANT spring roll.

Bienvenue, 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Apologies for my recent lack of contact. The last few weeks have been particularly busy with completing my work for the exhibition, playing tour guide for my friend, Rachel, and my brother, Ben, and now Christmas and New Years adventures in Germany and the Netherlands. I am writing this from the loft of my second cousin’s house in Gouda (yes, like the cheese except with the correct Dutch pronunciation – Gcchhhowda.) To my left is a view of apartment blocks surrounded by a Dutch morning sky – grey, foggy and wet. No snow in sight. It seems that all of Europe has been hit by some sort of strange heat wave and snow has been rare this winter. Very disappointing but somewhat expected as I am here and hot weather seems to follow me where ever I go. I have now spent two snowless winters in Europe. I need to work on this.

So today is New Year’s Eve, the day when everyone is supposed to reflect on their past year, examine what they have achieved and what they need to put on their “To Do” list for the next year. We all know I love a good reflection so let’s do it.

This year really started for me in February when I moved to Paris. It is still hard to believe that I only have one month left of my year away. If I hadn’t planned on extending my stay I would now be in a state of complete and utter panic, depression and general Oh-Woe-Is-Me. I am still very nervous about my approaching trip back to Australia and Sydney to visit the French Embassy to ask for a second visa, but at least it is going to happen. I think I can grandly announce that this year has been the best year of my life thus far but how could it not be? I have lived in an amazing city, met awesome people, visited wonderful places and eaten some of the greatest food of my life. What’s not to like?

Next year I plan to continue this current way of living while also endeavouring to put more effort into my writing and ‘stuff’. When I first made my Zaum business cards, I kept my options open by declaring Zaum was a business for “Writing and stuff”. I am still trying to find out what that stuff is and how exactly to do it but my recent sock laboratory adventures have put a few ideas into my head. I have so much I want to do and try – I just need to work out how to do it. According to my horoscope in the Dutch tv magazine, the best time of the year for me to work out what I want to do with my career is from March to June of next year. Sounds like a plan.

So this reflection has become a bit of a pathetic thing but to be honest my stomach is grumbling and I want to go and eat some breakfast. At 10am I am expecting to hear the onslaught of hundreds of fireworks being set off. In the Netherlands, it is legal to purchase fireworks for a few days leading up to New Years and then legal to set them off between 10am and 2am on New Year’s Eve/Day. It is now 9.30am and apparently the existence of sunlight doesn’t put people off. Should be a fun day.

Happy New Year to all – I hope 2012 is exciting and fulfilling for everyone. I highly recommend running away to a foreign country and eating food for an entire year. It has worked out for me rather nicely.

And a special Happy Birthday to two of my most regular readers, Heather and Brendan. I hope people remember to say happy birthday amongst the happy new years.

Hippy Nu Yah

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Howdee doodley, ladies and gents. The New Year is finally upon us and in less than 12 hours we will be in the future! At least, that’s what people seem to think happens. We stand around all night being eaten by mosquitos and talking to people we don’t know/like, all in the aim of seeing the future. When the clock hits twelve all sorts of amazing things are expected to happen and it is a moment of change, reflection and acceptance. It is when people declare they are going to introduce something new into their lives or do something differently, only to forget their declaration when they wake up with a hangover the next morning. While I’m not a New Years party animal, I do like celebrating milestones and the end of the year counts as one of these so I quite enjoy the reflection of the past year and consideration of the next. So, what are my new year resolutions? Let us see…

  1. Live in Paris.
  2. Eat baguettes, cheese, chocolate, tasty European tomatoes, pastries and crepes.
  3. Not get too fat while doing Resolution 2.
  4. Write, create and explore cool and interesting crafty, arty things.
  5. Become world famous at something (preferably for good reasons).
  6. Have lots of fun, see lots, do lots, explore lots.

Well… that all sounds do-able and as I don’t plan on waking up with a hangover, I may actually achieve most of them. 2010 has been an interesting and eventful year for me – quitting a 9-to-5 job and starting a new business certainly puts a new spin on things. This year I:

  1. Created a business name and logo for myself.
  2. Printed business cards.
  3. Learnt how to use resin.
  4. Learnt how to sew and continued on to create a range of fabulous sock creatures.
  5. Sold 4 sock creatures.
  6. Completed some writing work for various businesses.
  7. Worked 2 days a week at the UWA Business School.
  8. Maintained a blog that is read by many, loved by some.
  9. Reached number 12 on the Urbanspoon Perth blog leaderboard.
  10. Finally decided to move to France.
  11. Bought tickets to Paris, applied and successfully received a French travel/work visa.
  12. Went to Sydney twice.
  13. Went to Melbourne once.
  14. Had long lunches with my Dad.
  15. Ate lots of good food.
  16. Didn’t crumble in a heap and die from incompetence.

This final point is probably my most pleasing achievement – I survived a year of potential insanity and have come out the end with a desire to be even more crazy and do it all again, this time in a foreign country. I have no idea what I am going to do, I have no idea how I am going to spend my days, I have no idea what next year or the future in general holds. While half of me wants to hide in the corner until someone gives me a nice little ordered job, the other half cannot wait to see what happens. Bring it on.

Happy New Year.

Jess

Happy New Year from all of us at Zaum