Posts Tagged ‘time’

Spring Time in Paris

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

As I write this I am sitting next to my window, facing out into the park behind my apartment. I am sitting on my dining/work/extra-space table as it is the only thing in my apartment that puts me at a high enough level to look through the window properly. Today is too beautiful to not appreciate in its full extent.

It is Sunday afternoon and the first official day of Summer Time. Paris is alive. The park is full of families having picnics, children playing on the swings, old people sitting on benches watching others go by. There are also the occasional drug dealer and homeless person but everyone blends together.

Last night Europe moved its clocks forward an hour and there appears to have been an instant effect – people are wearing shorts and tshirts, the new leaves on the trees have burst out of their buds, and everyone is smiling. It is definitely contagious – the only thing keeping me inside is the banana bread that I just took out of the oven. After a slice of cake and a cup of tea, the Parisian sunshine and I are going to get acquainted.

Magnolia

The magnolia (I think that is what we decided it was last year) is back in bloom

Round Two

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Je suis à Paris. It is 7.17pm Paris time, which after 24-odd hours in a plane feels much, much later. The good news – I had a Nutella crêpe at Sacré Coeur this afternoon. Let year two in Paris begin!

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.

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.

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.

And the Times, They are a Changin’

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

It is currently 11.21pm on Saturday 26 March. In two hours I will be asleep AND time will jump forward by an hour like some sort of time warp. Tomorrow is the start of summer time, which is exciting because it means the start of long evenings, glasses of wine and evening picnics by the canal. What more could you want?

Of course, if I were to start thinking like a typical Perthian I would be scared of this impending time change and be worried about the INTENSE HEAT that I will now be exposed to and the INCREASED RISK of cancer due to more time in the sun. Perhaps I will just spend all of summer inside so as not to put myself at risk. <—- That was sarcasm, by the way.

The Second Month

Monday, February 1st, 2010

It seems that the older you get, the faster time passes. I don’t recall time being this rapid when I was a child. I suspect this is due to the fact that time is now money and I need a certain number of hours in the day, days in the month, and months in the year in order to satisfy my work demands. It is already February and Zaum is nearly a month old. I have managed to get some work and I can finally announce that my business cards are at the printers but that is about it. My website is still half finished and I am worried about the extreme lack of work for the future. But it will come, I’m sure. Until then I will sit in front of my computer and muse about aspects of life that no one really cares about.

Today’s topic will be: Feeling Lost Without Fruit and Vegetables.

Most people complain about having to some how fit five vege, two fruit into their diet. Some people would scream with delight if they were told they couldn’t eat another piece of broccoli. I, on the other hand, adore the hated food groups and would quite easily live on spinach for the rest of my life (I’d prefer if I could have a sprinkling of cheese with it though…)

So imagine my horror when I discovered I would have to go without fruit, vegetables and grains (aka. deliciousness) for four whole days for health-test related purposes. Instead I can only eat white bread, pasta and chicken. And vegemite. If I were 8 years old again, I’d be in heaven, but over the past few years I have grown a certain addiction to vegetables and I feel like someone has stolen my favourite Barbie. Normally at this time of the day I would sneak off in search of a piece of chocolate but currently all I want is a plum. Or perhaps a Pink Lady apple. Mmmm… At least I’m allowed solid food today though. On Wednesday all I can have is clear liquids which I am dreading more than the needles they’re going to stick into me. Hurry up time and speed up again. Bring Thursday afternoon when everything will return to normal and I can eat a whole bag of spinach leaves.

P.S. You’ll be pleased to hear that avocado I bought on Friday was DELICIOUS and well worth the $3.60.