Posts Tagged ‘day’

The Oddity of Time

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I have fond memories of pointless, rambling, never-ending conversations in my university cultural studies classes where we would discuss a topic of grandiose proportions, ducking and diving between ideas, concepts and beliefs. I used to love these discussions because they would take up the entire two hour class and we wouldn’t really have to do anything. The topics would range from the meaning of life; the impact of gender; religion; whether or not nudity was bad… Strange things, really. One topic of discussion that was quite frequently raised was the concept of time and space, and over the last two days I have had moments of “Time is a weird thing.” Let’s discuss.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, France changed back into winter time. Before I went to sleep on Saturday night, I turned my clock back and instantly gained an hour! What surprised me was before I went to bed, I googled to see what time the the big all-knowing, official clock would actually change, and discovered that it depended entirely on what country I was in. There wasn’t a single hour where all clocks across Europe and America would shift. It was 3am for France and Germany but 1am for Greenland and some of Portugal. The rest of Portugal changed at 2am. Jordan changed their clocks last Friday. I then read a news article stating that Mr Cameron is contemplating setting Britain’s time to be the same as Central Europe. But England has Greenwich mean time! They can’t change! That would be weird because would Portugal and Spain change as well? How can humans fiddle with time so easily? I guess we invented the idea, so we can decide how it works.

We spent Sunday in a state similar to jet-lag. Now the sun is up at 7am (I could see where I was going this morning on my run) and it sets by 5.30pm. I wanted to eat dinner so much earlier than usual and I had to sit around and wait until it was an appropriate hour. By 4pm, it had started to get dark and I felt the urge to return home. Considering only a few weeks ago, we could sit outside in the sunshine until at least 8pm, this change is quite dramatic. My entire system is confused and I know it will take a few days to get back into a rhythm.

To push things even further, this time fluctuation has clearly played with my mind so much that not only did I gain an hour yesterday, but I appear to have gained a day today. I spent all of yesterday CERTAIN that it was the last day in October and that (Monday) would be the first day of November and I would therefore have to start writing my 50,000 words for Novel Writing Month. Not the case! The old 31st October has crept up on me and surprised me with ghouls and ghosts and pumpkins. Not that I mind. Any extra time is always welcome when long plane flights back to Perth are looming in the distance.

Poor Me.

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Ok, that’s it. I’m having a whinge. It has been one of those days where I’m fairly certain an evil little man with a remote control and a general mean streak is sitting up in the sky and causing things to happen to me JUST TO BE ANNOYING. He is definitely French and he is most certainly short. I don’t like him. In fact, I hope his arms fall off because this is just ridiculous. Ok, here are the rubbish things that happened to me today:

  1. Whilst making coffee this morning, the plunger decided it was a volcano and spurted hot coffee all over my perfectly clean jeans.
  2. I had to take a tour today at 1pm so I left home at 12.15pm which gives me enough time to find a Velib (which can be tricky sometimes) and ride down to Place Saint Michel. I left the house and found there were no Velibs in the stations near me so I started to walk towards Place Saint Michel. On the way, I found a Velib station, took a bike and all was fine and dandy until BANG! I must have ridden over something sharp and my back tyre blew. So I then had to find a station to put the bike into so I could take another one which should have been easy except the closest station I found had one spot where I could have put the bike back except it was broken. So I then had to walk down the street, pushing the bike in search for another. It took me 10 minutes to find a station that wasn’t full where I could leave the bike. I then had to keep walking to another station as you have to wait five minutes in between taking bikes. By this time, I was late for work. I finally found another bike and rode like the wind (hitting every possible red traffic light) and made it just in time to be told that today was the day they were reporting back to the ‘Big Boss’ as to what time staff were arriving. Excellent.
  3. It rained for about 15 minutes of my tour – at one point quite significantly.
  4. I had an arrogant, know-it-all, likes to butt in, Frenchman on my tour who didn’t give me ANYTHING at the end. He brought with him his two know-it-all sons who proceeded to tell me the CORRECT history of France and how many things I had said wrong (this was probably a good thing though… I considered stealing his brain. Although I did wonder why on earth an 8 year old boy knows the names of every single King of France. He must get teased at school.)
  5. I had another arrogant Irishman on the tour who also didn’t tip me.
  6. My group was full of poor backpackers who are living on 4 Euros a day and therefore are disinclined to give any of it to me for taking them on a 4-hour walk.
  7. During the break in the middle of the tour, I bought myself a nutella crêpe because usually they make everything better. This crêpe was made by a 14 year old boy who had clearly never done it before and who proceeded to completely and utterly stuff it up. It was awful and I had to throw most of it in the bin because it wasn’t worth the calories.
  8. At the end of the tour I took a group to a ‘local French restaurant’ where they could have ‘real French food’ at ‘great prices’ and I proceeded to make measly centimes (that’s French for cents) for each person I brought.
  9. Someone gave me a Russian coin as part of my tip.
  10. I had to come home and cook dinner and then stupidly left the stove top on (I never do this.) Thankfully no fires resulted so clearly the little man has had enough.
  11. I discovered that an apartment that I have been trying to book for when Tom and I go to New York and that up until now has appeared to be available and the guy renting the apartment kept telling me was available, is, in fact, UNAVAILABLE. And now the internet is working at a snail’s pace and I am having to try and find somewhere else for us to stay.
So, as you can see, I’m having a bit of a whinge because I did also spend the day walking around Paris seeing the Louvre, the Seine, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais etc, and then I did come home to find that Tom had mopped the floor, defrosted the freezer AND bought ice cream for dessert. The ice cream did fix most things. Except for the internet. That’s still a pain.

Lazy Laze

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

I don’t know what has happened to me. I used to be so disciplined with getting up at a decent hour in order to achieve things during the morning. This week I have woken up at 9.45am twice. TWICE. This is really unheard of. Even on mornings when I have set my alarm for 7.15am in order to get up for a run, I have rolled over and fallen asleep again. I probably shouldn’t be so anxious about this fact as I am still getting a lot done in the day – I just start later and finish later. Considering the sun doesn’t go down until 10.30pm, I have plenty of time to do things in the afternoon. I have just always been a morning person and now my mornings are only two hours long.

I suspect it will all change back to my normal working hours in winter when the set returns to a relatively normal pattern. There’s another reason to vote out daylight savings – I sleep in too long and stay up too late*. Terrible.

*Please note: This is sarcasm.

Living Your Paris Dream Challenge

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

I have received a few requests for Parisian dreams lived vicariously through me which is very pleasing! Please keep them coming. The more specific they are the better. Pretend I have no creative thought and need to be told exactly what to do. It’s your dream, not mine! I can’t read your mind.

So, Tom’s mum has given me a broad, though butt-kicking, challenge to do one fun thing everyday just because it is fun. No thought processes allowed. For those of you who really know me, you would be aware of my tendency to over-think things and to weigh-up pros and cons, consider what other people would think, etc etc. No more – now I am to be free and easy and jumping at any opportunity that entices me. Sounds like a plan.

So today was day one of “Jess’s Fun Times in Paris” and what fun was had! MY GOSH. I woke this morning to the delightful sound of falling rain. I thought at first it was Tom’s computer having a heart attack, but I went downstairs to investigate whether or not I had to go for a run (my morning ritual involves my alarm going off at 7.15am so that I can get up and prepare my calorie count for potential french pastries) and discovered it was raining quite hard. No run possible with that water creating slippery French pavements! That was fun thing number one: sleeping in.

Then, after breakfast, I wrote on my blog before Tom suggested a run. Dang. But I managed to run a decent length at a good speed and it started to sprinkle which added that element of “I’m running in the rain next to a canal in Paris!”

By this stage it was lunch time so a fresh baguette with cheese, rocket, tomato and nutella (not necessarily all together) was consumed and greatly enjoyed before Tom and I hoped on our Velib bikes and headed to the movie cinema to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Ahhh… Johnny. How can a girl not have a good day when Johnny Depp is part of it? Yes, I am one of those girls but I also went to watch the movie because I think the Pirates series is particularly good. I found this episode to be quite well done with a good plot but a terrible casting with what’s-her-name-who-can’t-act-but-can-pout. I’m not sure how Penelope Cruz has reached the stardom that she has. Sure, she’s hot, but surely you need some sort of skill? She’s good when she’s speaking Spanish because then I can’t understand her. Good to see Geoffrey Rush again and the religious guy who falls in love with a mermaid was pretty.

On our way home, we stopped in at the bakery to buy our second baguette for the day to go with my sweet potato, carrot and chickpea soup. It was still warm, fresh from the oven and released delicious, enticing smells. This is where my official “Do something fun because it is fun” moment occurred. Normally I resist the temptation of breaking off the end of the baguette. Usually I wait until I sit down and eat my lunch and can devour the crusty tip with a dollop of nutella. But not today. I turned to Tom and said “This is my moment of fun for the day” and I ripped off the rounded baguette end with my bare hands and tore into it with my teeth. Worlds collided. Taste buds danced and I’m certain Bambi pranced down the street. The simple things in life can bring the greatest joys and a fresh baguette end eaten on a street corner outside a pharmacy is one of those simple things. Wonderful. I love France.

P.S. Not so dream like news is that I didn’t get that job. Luckily I didn’t reallllyyy want it anyway because who wants to work full time?

P.P.S. Tomorrow is Fête de la Musique in Paris where apparently the streets will be filled with free music performances. The sister of a friend (who I will immediately adopt as a friend) is visiting for the day so she timed it well. Lots to see, I suspect. A guy I went to primary and high school with is in town too so I may actually be able to show him something exciting in Paris.