Posts Tagged ‘party’

Getting Old

Monday, September 7th, 2015

After running 42 kilometres I then had a birthday party. I wasn’t sure about whether or not my local bar, The Nic, would be an appropriate venue or if it would even be open, but it turned out to be perfect. From 3.30pm until around 6pm, my friends and I essentially had the place to ourselves!

Every time I leave a country I am reminded of how lucky I am to have such awesome friends and family. I had an unexpectedly large turn out to my party and despite it being a very random selection of people, everyone seemed to get along. There were no bar fights so I count that as a successful birthday party.

The post-marathon tiredness hit me at around 6pm as I lay down on a bench seat next to my friend Ellice who proceeded to stroke my hair as I nodded off. Good times! Wild party. Any shindig that ends in me having a head massage is a winner in my books.

My actual birthday was on Tuesday and it crept up on me quite suddenly. I didn’t find the ‘turning 30’ thing as scary as I could have, mostly because I have declared that 30 is the new 20. The fact that I am heading off on yet another adventure and starting a new life direction means I don’t have much choice than accept that I’m not being a typical 30 year old. No mortgages, white picket fences or weddings are on my radar. Instead I am going to become a student again.

birthday card

My brother knows how to choose a birthday card.

*Small aside* The flight attendants have just handed out bags of sweetened popcorn to everyone on the plane and it sounds like the start of a film. Packets are rustling and there’s the crunch and chomp of popped corn between teeth. Pity it is coated in caramel and a bit soggy. Mmm… plane food.

Anyway, good birthday times were had – I started my day with a massage in the hope to alleviate some of the pain from the marathon. It wasn’t quite the ‘dolphin sounds’ relaxation session that I was hoping for and more of an intense pummelling but my muscles thanked me for it afterwards. I then had coffee and cake with Dad and Eva before meeting my friends for lunch in the park.

Dinner was at the Beaufort Street Merchant where we were served by a charming waiter who sounded like Jamie Oliver. The food was excellent – cauliflower and lentils followed by a delightfully rich chocolate mousse with peanut butter ice cream. Somewhat unfortunately all of the desserts were covered with exceptionally teeth-sticking toffee. We all ended the meal trying to discretely remove chunks of sugar from our teeth with our fingers. Classy!

In this soft candle light, the wrinkles are far less defined.

In this soft candle light, the wrinkles are far less defined.

Birthdaying With the BoBos

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

I did it! I made it to the ripe old age of 27! What an achievement. Thankfully people think I am still in my early 20s thanks to my innocent-blonde appearance so I am quite happy to quietly grow old.

I spent my birthday with my parents and my mum’s cousin and his wife who had popped over from Holland for the day. It was lovely – the sun shone all day despite the forecast predicting clouds and I managed to eat plenty of good food. I had chosen to go to a restaurant called Le Cul de Poule (The Arse of a Chicken or also the name of the metal bowls used in kitchens) but the chef was in an accident and hence there was no food that day. Luckily we were up near Montmartre when I discovered I wasn’t going to be fed, right near my never fail, always good restaurant, Le Jardin d’en Face. There was one table available, outside and away from the smokers and my birthday ended with delicious steak with blue cheese sauce and THE WORLD’S BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE. To be honest I’m not sure why I even thought about trying a new place and missing out on this delight. It was the perfect way to end my day.

Chocolate cake

Nom nom nom…

Last night I claimed the usual Friday night gathering in the Récollets garden as a belated birthday party for myself and my friend, Chuck. My school friend, Nina was in town, and I invited a few randoms from outside the residency and it was a really enjoyable evening with wonderful friends, great cheese and awesome cake. The highlight was blowing out birthday candles as all of my friends and a garden full of Parisian BoBos sang happy birthday to me and Chuck. This is the second birthday I have had where a large number of random strangers have sung happy birthday to me and I never imagined the hip and cool BoBo crowd would actually participate in a sing-along. But sing they did, en anglais!

My friend Becky and Vivien hunted down an AMAZING chocolate cake from an amazing pâtisserie in St Germain called La Pâtisserie des Rêves (Pastry store of dreams) and fall into a state of dream-like bliss I did. It was a soft, smooth dark chocolate mousse cake with chocolate ganache, chocolate icing and small pieces of chocolate biscuit through it. Seriously amazing. There is even a movie about my cake. Merci beaucoup, mes amies!

What Happened?

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

I don’t know what’s in the water, but last night I turned into a mulleted man. And not just any mulleted man – MacGyver, to be specific. We had a barbecue/dress up party at the Récollets with a theme of “Mullets and mini-skirts.” I refuse to wear mini-skirts in the best of weather, let alone when it has been raining all day and is 15 degrees. So I chose the mullet option, taking on the persona of one of history’s greatest mullet-bearers.

MacGyver mask

Note my thick jumper in the middle of summer – it was bloody cold yesterday.

Bastille Celebrations

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Thursday was 14 July or Bastille Day to all English speakers. The previous evening (the 13th) I organised for a group of interested people from Les Récollets to head down to one of the local fire stations. At fire stations throughout Paris (and France, I believe) on the evenings of the 13th and 14th of July they hold balls that are open to the public. Being Australian and not fashionably late like the French, I organised for our group to get there right on the starting time – 9pm. It was practically empty when we arrived. But things soon heated up and by midnight the place was packed and there was a huge queue of people outside wanting to come in.

Fireman ball

There were half-naked firemen for a ladies and scantily clad ladies dancing on the stage for the men! Everyone was a winner.

The firestation had been turned into a dance hall with bars selling drinks and food and a stage set up for the AWESOME COVER BAND!!! to play on. I don’t know why the French have such terrible taste in music, but they do. Most of the songs were 70s/80s American pop tunes, there was a whole three-song segment of Michael Jackson impersonations, and then they started singing English songs in French. It was so bad it was great; the only option we had was to laugh and dance. The ball was run by the firemen and every now and then one of them would stand up on the bar and do the obligatory strip tease. I’m not really sure why firemen have to be strippers as well, but the girls in the room enjoyed it. But with only five toilets for a ball of 300-odd people, it was easier and faster for us to walk home and use our own facilities rather than wait in line. So that was the end of the night.

The following morning Tom and I attempted to get to the Champs Elysee to see the military parade but the metro wasn’t stopping on the Champs Elysee that day and they had then blocked off a lot of streets so it took forever for us to get anywhere close to the parade. This was a bit disappointing as I had hoped to be in the midst of the action but we managed to see a bit of it. I was amazed at the lack of French-flag paraphernalia. Australians can’t get enough of sticking plastic flags to their cars and fake tattoos on their bodies. There was none of that junk in Paris. I even went down to the Bastille in the afternoon and there were no flags flying! Where was the patriotism? Terrible.

Place de la Bastille

Place de la Bastille

To end the Bastille festivities, I also organised a party at Les Récollets for the evening of the 14th. There was a good turn out of about 20 people and at 10.30pm when the fireworks were due to start at the Eiffel Tower we headed to the highest point in the building (the roof) and discovered an amazing view over Paris. It was potentially dangerous (wine + ladders + standing on the roof = probably stupid) but WOW! I spent the evening of Bastille Day standing on the roof of a 13th century convent looking over Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower and the golden arches of McDonalds. Once in a life time, folks.

Roof top

This was one of the best moments of my life. Absolutely amazing.

Over the past few weeks I have really gotten to know people at Les Récollets and it is becoming increasingly more obvious about how extremely sad I am going to be to leave. I have been having discussions about Christmas with my family and today I realised that I just don’t want to think about it at the moment because once Christmas is over then I will be close to having to leave. I don’t want this AT ALL. I need to find a way to stay.

Party Animal

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Those of you who know me well will know that I am not a huge party-person and will try, as much as possible, to leave early/avoid completely most social gatherings where I don’t know anyone. So why on earth have I started organising regular events at Les Récollets that puts me in a position of having to make polite conversation with random strangers? Because it is FUN!

Last night was the second Tuesday in a row where I sent out an email inviting all of the Récollets residents to gather in the evening to meet and mingle. Last Tuesday I thought I had been very successful when 15 or so people turned up and it was a very enjoyable evening. Last night I invited everyone for a “Wine and Cheese” night, expecting a similar turn out. I sat dumbfounded for the first hour as more and more people turned up with bottles of wine, lumps of cheese and baguettes under their arms. Our single 6-seater table was extended over and over again with people finding random chairs and tables and joining the party. I would say about 50 people came throughout the night and a similar number of bottles of wine were consumed. Everyone had a great time and at some point around midnight guitars were brought out and music was played.

The group was made up of people from all over the world – Italians, Canadians, Portuguese, British, Australians (I met a girl from Perth whose name is the same name as my name…), Dutch, Americans etc etc. It was such a wide variety – it amazed me how so many different people could be in the same space at the same time. Everyone got along so well and I didn’t get to bed until 2.30am. That seems to be a re-occuring thing. France is bringing out the night-owl in me. Considering the sun doesn’t set until around 10.30pm it’s hard to go to bed at a decent hour. But that is my plan for this evening! Bed before midnight! What bliss.