Posts Tagged ‘events’

What’s Been Happening?

Saturday, September 24th, 2011
Jess knitting

I've been busy knitting.

Grave apologies, friends. I know I have been terrible with my updates but I have been a little bit busy. When one is faced with the conundrum of sitting at home and writing, or finding new shops and art galleries in New York, one generally chooses the latter option. Of course I will now sit at home in Paris and tell you all about my latest adventures except I realise I have seen too much and done too many things. There is so much to tell you. So Step One involves you looking at my photographs that I have finally finished uploading on my Flickr site. Step Two involves me choosing specific things to tell you about, highlights of my past three or so weeks. So if we’re all willing to play our part we will catch up and be reunited in all that has happened in the World of Jess. Exciting times.

What is less exciting is that this morning I finally sat down and researched visas for next year and what I need to do to avoid being sent home. The results weren’t good. Apparently I can only be in the “Schengen Zone” (an invisible, make-believe area of land that was invented by nincompoops just to upset me) for 90 days every six months. That is RID-IC-U-LOUS. Sooo the idea of country hopping has been crossed off the list. I can’t renew my visa, so that isn’t an option. Problem is that I also don’t want to leave France. So we are faced with a bit of a problem. Looks like I might be going home at the end of January as the stupid French government wants me to and then I will fly to Sydney to get myself a “Long Stay Visa”. It is all just a ridiculously expensive way for them to give me another piece of paper. Problem is that I don’t really know who to talk to in France to ask questions like “Do I really need to leave France?” and “Can’t you just give me the piece of paper here?”. If anyone knows, please tell me.

Anyway, go and look at my photos and I’ll start writing things. See you soon.

Jess and Yannick

I've been busy hanging out with hippy ex-tennis players who now sing

Five Months Down

Friday, July 1st, 2011

I’m feeling rather ‘bleerrr’ today as today marks the five-month point of my stay in France. This means I only have seven months left which, considering how fast the past five months have gone, are going to disappear before my eyes. This makes me very sad. I thought I’d do a bit of a recap on the past five months – what I have done, what I have seen, where I have been etc. Ready? Go!

  1. I have been to Versailles (twice), Bretagne (Morlaix, a few small towns along the coast and Mont Saint Michel), Lyon, Nancy, Madrid, Holland (various towns), Koblenz, and Crete
  2. I have eaten at least 15 nutella crêpes
  3. I have found some really great restaurants and shops in my neighbourhood
  4. I have started organising events for Les Recollets residents (that started this week but it still comes within the 5-month mark!)
  5. I have been a tour guide for my parents, Tom’s parents, and various friends
  6. I have seen Morcheeba, Architecture in Helsinki, and some other random bands live
  7. I have been up the Eiffel Tower twice
  8. I have experienced -3 and 37 degree temperatures in Paris
  9. I have been swimming in the Libyan sea
  10. I have applied for a few jobs and have finally almost been successful
  11. I have started four sock creatures and completed one
  12. I have competed in a 10km fun run
  13. I saw Rich Hall in a tiny room with about 30 other audience members
  14. I have been (unsuccessfully) to the hairdresser once
  15. I have established a nice home to live in
  16. I have seen some amazing works in some spectacular galleries
  17. I have attended French classes although skipped most of them
  18. I have been sick more times in the past five months that I normally do in a two year period
  19. I have eaten lots of delicious food
  20. I have sat by the Canal Saint Martin on numerous occasions and had a beer/picnic
  21. I have maintained my weight from when I left Perth
  22. I have run 5-7km almost every day
  23. I have updated my blog and flickr site relatively frequently but have failed to write anything of any significance
  24. I went mudwalking and survived
  25. I ride Velib bikes around Paris, dodging traffic like a true Parisian, on a daily occasion

Twenty-five things isn’t bad. There’s potentially more but I am starting to make things seem more significant than they really are so I should stop. To be honest, I am currently feeling like I haven’t done enough in the time I have been here. I think I set myself some high expectations when I left Perth and I’m not fulfilling it as I would like to. Things I wanted to have done and haven’t are:

  1. Improved my French
  2. Made friends
  3. Travelled more (although maybe not as I do enjoy the daily life of being in Paris)
  4. Met more people
  5. Started to write something which has the potential to be published/used/good
  6. Started more creative projects
  7. Taken art classes.

I seem to feel this way a lot of the time that I am here and maybe I am not doing enough to change it. I know it isn’t entirely my fault as it is hard and while five months sounds like a decent period of time, in the scheme of making things happen it is really very short. But I am a bit disappointed in myself. I mustn’t waste another seven months.

I have made some moves to change things a bit. In this last week I have initiated two new activities that will hopefully help me feel a bit better about being here and what I am doing. On Tuesday morning I had an interview with a guy from NewEurope tours who run a series of tours in cities throughout Europe. It was a significantly more successful interview than my last (mostly because it was in English) and I am now in the process of learning the history of Paris in under a week. Well… elements of the history of Paris. I have been given a base script and an outline of where the tour goes. It is a three-hour walking tour through Paris and it is run on a tips-basis ie. the company doesn’t pay me and I will be relying on people giving me tips. I have been on one of the tours to see how they are run and this afternoon I will go on my second. There’s lots to learn and my biggest concern it being asked a question that stems outside my range of knowledge. But this is giving me a good excuse to sit down and learn some French history. Next week I will do an audition and then hopefully I can start. I am looking forward to it.

The second change also happened on Tuesday. I have started to organise events with the residents of Les Récollets and the first one was last Tuesday. I had organised it for 6pm and as the thunderstorms after a stinking hot day rolled in at 5.45pm I had to run around changing the venue, worrying about whether or not people would come etc. At 6.30pm it was still only Tom, myself and Diogo, a guy who is also keen on organising things within the centre. But slowly people started to arrive and by 8.30pm there were about 15 of us sitting around a very small table drinking wine, eating nibblies and talking about what we all do. It was great! Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and some of us didn’t leave until after midnight. At one point, the two italians of the group went off to their apartments and whipped up pasta with a spicy tomato sauce for everyone. It was really wonderful to meet new people and to get the ball rolling for some more gatherings. I am going to send out an email for a wine and cheese night next Tuesday night. Should be good.

I think as long as I continue to bring new things in to my days then I will be content when I have to leave at the end of January. I think I might need to look into become a student again, only this time in Paris. The idea of doing a creative arts course in Paris is very appealing I just doubt they would let me in with my lack of experience and the high demand for those sorts of placements. Perhaps museum curation… We shall see.

Woo!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

It’s my birthday!

Hooray! I turn into a 5 year old whenever my birthday comes around. I count down to it for at least a month, get so excited I can’t sleep (although it may have been thanks to the mexican food I ate last night this time…), and try and eat as much cake as physically possible on the day. I don’t know why I love it so much… I suppose I do love presents and the fact that I can act like a princess for the day and everyone has to be nice to me. But I think it is also the fact that, despite cynics who say “You’re only a day older than you were yesterday.”, it is a day in your life when you can reflect upon what you achieved that year and think about what exciting things will happen in the next. For me, I have quit a stable job and started my own business, learnt how to sew and fallen in love with socks. In my 26th year (yikes) I will live in Paris, improve my french and eat a hell of a lot of food. It’s all quite exciting and even though I haven’t yet managed to eat a single crumb of cake yet today, I’m quite happy.

You’ll be pleased to hear my dad bought me a stack of socks for my birthday – all with different colours, stripes, spots, shiny bits. Also I got a bag o’ buttons. So look out world – the Zaum Menagerie is coming to a store near you!

Milestone!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

HAPPY HALF-BIRTHDAY ZAUM!

Today is six months since I officially declared Zaum open for business. Amazing! To be honest it feels like I have been doing this for a lot longer, but at the same time six months is a big number. I haven’t fallen in a ditch, I still have hair (and it’s still blonde) and while there have been a few tears it has also been a lot of fun.

In my first blog entry I listed a number of Zaum Plans that I hoped to achieve. Let’s see how I’m progressing…

  1. Write an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, tear-jerking, stomach-hurtingly-funny blog – You bet I have! Best Blog Eva.
  2. Step into the world of Freelance Writing Well I do claim to be a freelance writer whenever someone asks. I have written copy for brochures, websites and display panels over the past six months and managed to get return business. Thank goodness for word of mouth.
  3. Write brilliant books – Less successful in this area but I’ve had plenty of ideas! I think this is a more appropriate task for next year when I actually have something interesting to write about.
  4. Learn how to sew – I didn’t realise I had set this as one of my goals and I have KICKED ARSE at this one! Have you seen my brilliant sock creatures? If that isn’t a sign of sewing talent, I don’t know what is.
  5. Prepare myself to move to France in 2011 – I have a plane ticket. I’m counting down. How much more prepared can one be 187 days before moving to France?
  6. Learn French – This is also in the works with my weekly chats with my new Parisian friend. Not only do I learn French, I’ve also made a new friend who likes eating cake! BRILLIANT.

So those were my goals and now that I have performed a six-month self-reflection, I can see that I am clearly the best person for the job as Zaum President. I should probably work on the “earning money” part of running a business but I have the “enjoy the experience” section down pat. Now on to the next six months! Should I set some new goals? Have I mentioned I hate goals? Just for fun, I’m going to call them my KPIs and have regular meetings with myself to check in on my progress.

  1. Create a sock creature menagerie and sell them for the big bucks. At least one has to be sold to someone who isn’t a friend or family member.
  2. Work towards getting some products (perhaps my sock creatures) in a shop.
  3. Get some more writing work that does NOT include university course descriptions. As much as I love my reliable University clients (thank you, thank you, thank you!) I need to escape the mind-numbing tedium of “Study at…” and “You will gain the skills and knowledge to…”
  4. Do some more art courses. I’d like to do woodwork…
  5. Get a French Travel/Work Visa with as little fuss as possible.
  6. Be leaving for France four days after Zaum’s anniversary.
  7. That makes me think I need to build up my blog readership so that people continue to read when I move to France, meaning more people will buy my award-winning book next year! YAY!

Sounds like a plan to me. The next six months suddenly look very exciting.

Chocolate calzone

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I share with you one of the most insane things I have ever eaten – A chocolate Calzone in Rome. It's full of chocolate. I almost cried, it was so good.