Posts Tagged ‘love’

Growing Up

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

As a kid, I suffered from terrible growing pains. The backs of my knees would ache and throb and at the time it seemed like the worst possible pain to have to endure. As a result, I have very long legs, but I have also come to realise that maybe my thirteen-year-old-self had it good. It turns out growing up also involves sharp stabbing pains in the heart, brain, back, stomach, etc etc…

In four days’ time it will be my birthday and I will move even further away from being “in my early 20s”. I think I will continue to claim “mid-20s” for another year but after that it is definitely “late”. Those of you who know me well will be aware of my obsession with my birthday. I live for this day, and every year as it comes along I become increasingly more and more excited as I count down towards the BIG DAY. I always try and make the day as special and cake-filled as possible; I am allowed to do whatever I want and, more importantly, eat whatever I want on my birthday. And the same rules apply for everyone else in the world on their birthday. It is the one day of the year where you can feel important and alive enough to drown yourself in chocolate cake. Hoorah!

This year, however, my birthday has managed to sneak up on me and I am currently experiencing a sensation that I have never felt before. I am not looking forward to it. Sure, I am pleased that my parents will be in town (especially seeing as ALL of my friends are leaving and going on holidays) and my mum’s cousin will be in Paris from Holland on the day, but it just doesn’t seem right. I always say that as long as there is good cake I am happy, but this year I am questioning this logic.

I think it boils down to the fact that I am scared about next year. I have been doing a lot of ‘thinking’ about ‘stuff’ lately and my plans for the future have played a significant role. Bad, bad move considering I have no idea what I am doing on a daily basis, let alone in a year’s time. So maybe it is time to stop worrying about what I am going to be doing then and focus on what I am doing now.

In four days time, I will turn 27 as a single, relatively young, Australian living in a 13th-century ex-convent building in the middle of Paris. I have great friends and a wonderful family. I am the fittest and slimmest I have ever been in my entire life and my thighs are no longer thunder-esque, they’re more just sturdy posts. I am working on creating myself a life that I love, rather than one that pays the bills and is satisfactory. I was in Italy last week, I am going to England and Poland in October and who knows where I’m going to be for Christmas. Today I am having lunch with 0ne friend and dinner with another. Last night I finally cooked myself a real dinner after three months of living on vegetable quinoa.

I wouldn’t normally spill these sorts of beans in such a public forum but I felt that I needed and wanted to. While I might be getting older, my internal wisdom says that that doesn’t mean I need to ‘become serious’ and ‘settle down’ and ‘get a real job’ because that will just reverse everything that I have done and achieved in the past few years. Instead it is about moving forward and continuing on this journey and seeing where it takes me. And I wanted a bit of an emotional rollercoaster so that when I eventually write my “My Life in Paris” book it is actually interesting. This is turning into a best seller.

Ma Vie à Paris

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

I have realised that I haven’t written about life à Paris for quite some time. My focus has shifted to my experiments in the world of linoleum and paper and I haven’t kept you up to date with the latest and greatest happenings in Gay Paris. Times, they may be a’changin’, but I shall now redeem myself with a longwinded discussion on the ins and outs of the French capital. Vous êtes prêts? On y va!

Weather

Allow me to start with what everyone is talking about – the fact that it is now June, and therefore apparently summer, yet I am wearing pants, a long-sleeved shirt AND a cardigan. Today the sky is covered in varying degrees of grey cloud and the forecast for this afternoon is rain, rain, rain. This is seriously going to disrupt my friends’ and my plans of having a picnic by the canal. Sure, the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm these days, but that’s difficult to enjoy when you can’t actually see the sun anyway. We had a week or so of glorious sunshine and last Saturday I got sunburnt. The following day I was wearing jeans and a jumper. Something is wrong here.

Politics

France has elected its new President, Monsieur Hollande, and he seems to be fitting in just fine. I haven’t really heard much about him, nor have there been any scandals involving him and a younger woman (yet). So really, he’s quite boring and we can tell this just by looking at him. He looks like a maths teacher (or, as I have been informed by my American friends, a MATH teacher). Not that I have anything against maths teachers – they just make for fairly limp Presidents. Maybe Sarkozy will give him some hot tips on how to be a slime-ball.

In the meantime, France is gearing up for the NEXT election where they vote for their local representatives. I really don’t understand how this works because it seems candidates can stick their hand up to be a representative in any area of France that they want. I’m sure there are some rules, but it is probably just as long as you have a friend who lives in that area or you went camping there once then you can be a candidate. This has resulted in the extreme-left candidate from the Presidential election (Melanchon) challenging the extreme-right candidate (Le Pen) in an area in the north-east of France. This is risky business and could result in Melanchon not being elected which would be a DISASTER because really he’s the only candidate with any sort of human sentiment. It would also mean that Le Pen gets in and every foreigner in France will pack their bags in anticipation of their departure. Anyway, we shall see. I believe the first vote is this weekend, with the second round the following week. Exciting times.

Fashion

The latest in summer fashions are in the stores and despite not having been shopping for at least three months, I can report that the style for this season is beige, beige, beige with FLURO PINK or FLURO BLUE or FLURO ORANGE. It is extraordinarily awful. The BoBos have been out in force when the sun does peak its head out from behind the clouds and big, thick-rimmed glasses are still a must.

Food

Weird and disgusting as this may sound, the latest craze in the French food world is… American hotdogs and hamburgers. WHY?? I really don’t know. Actually, I do. While BoBos are proud of their native country and French ways, they also crave the style of New York and therefore a van driving around the city selling over priced hamburgers (on gross sweet ‘hamburger’ buns I might add) is considered to be “trés Brooklyn”. The hamburgers I can manage, but the other day I noticed a new restaurant on Rue du Faubourg St Denis that is a “New Yorkaise” style hot dog restaurant where you can buy a “real American” hot dog for 4 Euros. They even were proud of the fact that you could add fake “mustard” in your sausage in a bun. Needless to say, I haven’t tried these hot dogs and never plan to. I’m happy to stick to good traditional French food that is full of fat and cheese and cream and everything that is delicious and artery-clogging.

Life aux Récollets

Life in the convent is plodding along nicely. The next few weeks will see the departure of some residents who have become good friends. It is a hard aspect of living here – I get to meet so many great people but often they will leave after a short period of time. It is nice to know that I will have people to go and visit in Italy, the US, Canada, Poland, South Korea, Germany, Greece… But still. It would be nicer if they would just stay here.

My electricity still turns off at least once a day and the internet continues to be painfully slow. There hasn’t been much action from the ghost downstairs but I think he/she might come out when summer finally arrives. Becky and my vegie garden is growing like crazy and we will have tomatoes before we know it. We just need to build an anti-rabbit/bird/mouse/snail/monster contraption to save our plants. Something is very, very hungry and likes eating our green-leafed plants. Very annoying.

So I think that is about it. Most of you will have heard or worked out through amazing sleuth-work that I am now a single lady living in Paris. This has both its ups and downs as emotions are still quite raw and so any form of romantic liaison between people on the street can result in floods of tears. This is problem considering Paris is the city of love and sitting on every second bench or lying under every other tree are gross, soppy, lovey-dovey couples kissing and cuddling and doing all sorts of French things. I have considered going over and asking them to stop but I have refrained. Anyway, life is all about changes and growing and discovering new things, new places and new people and that is my plan. I would just like to sun to come out so that I can wear a skirt. I’m bored of pants.

Cutting Up the Mix Tape

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Recent events have resulted in it becoming particularly difficult for me to listen to certain songs without turning into a blubbering, sobbing, wimpy-girl mess. So what better way to deal with this than to pick up a very sharp knife and cut things.

Knives

Call that a knife? These are knives – on loan from my professional mouse-brain slicing friend, Becky

Tape stencil

That took a while.

Tape Stencil

Wet paint.

Tape Stencil

Ta da!

Now if I manage to sell this on my Etsy store I will have not only cured my emotional attachment to certain chansons but also made some moolah! Now THAT’S thinking.

Hand cut, hand printed original image on acid free paper. Measures 16 x 24cm.

Sunday, Lovely Sunday

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Every now and then I fall in love with Paris all over again. I am always ‘in like’ with this city but every now and then I see something or do something or discover something that makes me completely infatuated. Yesterday was a delightfully sunny Sunday in gay Paris and as it was the first Sunday of the month, all of the museums and art galleries were open for free. BRILLIANT. Tom and I met a visiting Perth-ian, Amanda, at L’Orangerie – an ex-orangery, or Napoleon III’s greenhouse, that now houses Monet’s water lilies.

The glass building contains two curved-walled rooms which allow you to be surrounded by eight of Monet’s works. It is one of my favourite places in Paris – when there aren’t many people in the rooms it is a particularly relaxing experience. The free-entry did mean that there were far too people in the gallery yesterday but I highly recommend the L’Orangerie to anyone visiting Paris. I plan on visiting the real garden in Giverny sometime soon. I think I might wait until after the French holidays when tourist numbers die down. There are so many people around at the moment – it’s a bit overwhelming.

Monet

So pretty.

After the gallery we headed into Saint Germain for food before we headed to the Shakespeare and Co bookshop. WOW. I love bookshops but I never knew I could feel this amazed by books on shelves. Shakespeare and Co is an English bookshop near Notre Dame that I had read about but never been to. On one of the tours that I have been on lately, the guide pointed out the bookshop so off I went to see why it was so amazing. Every single book you could possibly imagine is in this place. The room is a mess of shelves, covered in books of various sizes, ages, quality. There are chairs where you can sit and read (if you are lucky enough to score one as the shop was full of people) and upstairs is a library full of old books that you can read at your leisure on one of their couches. It is a bookshop of intellect and cultural development – there were so many books on philosophy, history, art and cultural theory. I couldn’t buy anything I was too overwhelmed by what I was seeing. I need to go back when it isn’t a Sunday afternoon and the place isn’t full of English-speakers. I almost asked if they had any jobs available and probably will next time I am there. It was one of those dream-like places that you see in movies. I can’t wait to go back.

Shakespeare and Co

Look at it! So lovely...

Lover, Lover, Lover…

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Saint Valentine’s Day in the city of love. I expected to see the streets filled with red roses, chocolate smeared across young girls’ faces, and endless kisses in public places. Surely the sound of violins would be wafting through every crevice of Paris, filling hearts with the sounds of romance. Surprisingly, I was wrong.

I put Valentine’s Day on my list of “Hallmark Days I Hate” along side Christmas, Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day. Valentine’s Day is definitely at the top of the list though because why should there be a specific day where you’re supposed to buy your loved one (if you’re lucky enough to have one) a tacky red or pink coloured gift and declare your love for them. Surely it should be a daily, off the cuff, sort of a thing rather than predetermined by the card description writing folk at Hallmark.

Yesterday I didn’t spend a huge amount of time wandering the streets looking for lovers (Tom and I were stuck wandering around a very large home furniture store trying to decide on whether or not to buy a sofa bed), but I can’t say I noticed an excess showcases of love. I had wanted to go to the Eiffel Tower, just so I could point and laugh, but didn’t have time so I tell myself that every Jack and Jill was there popping the question and screaming with delight. In fact, on previous days while wandering through Paris, particularly in the city’s parks and gardens, the number of public displays of love have been far greater than yesterday. It seems to be a-okay to sit on a park bench with your lover and go a bit crazy and clearly these people have been overcome by Paris’s love vibes.

Anyway, I was a tad disappointed by the lack of Valentine romance in Paris, purely because I thought it would make a good story. Instead I have to admit that I was a little bit chuffed when Tom went out in search of croissants for breakfast and returned home with one of the ugliest bunches of flowers I have ever seen. I’m not sure he took my laughter very well as he then went back out for the croissants that he had ‘forgotten’ and then came home with some beautiful tulips. Dang! He completely ruined my negative nancy viewpoint as I can’t say I had a problem with being bought flowers… I even went and bought a new vase for my tulips, and the daggy roses are feeling right at home in a used milk bottle.

Tulips

Pretty tulips

Tulips

My tulips in their temporary vase making the window look so pretty

Roses

Nawwww! Look! There's even a pink love heart hidden in there!

Valentine's roses

Such a pretty vase for such pretty flowers

I do, however, mind that he gave me his cold as well. Lucky I’m in France – aka land of pharmaceutical drugs where they have a tablet, spray and ointment for EVERY illness.