Thursday, 28 June 2018

Back to Paz

Sneaky blog post at work!

I am going to Paris tomorrow I am so excited, can’t quite believe it. Haven’t been back for three years. All I want to do is eat bread by the river. I haven’t told the au pair family I will be in Paris, I reckon the kids are too old too care now. Right?

The youngest girl follows me on Instagram so can’t post any pics. Don’t know what to do.

Will worry about it another day. I just want to finish work now, pack and go to bed.

PARIS IT’S BEEN FOREVER!!

I’ve forgotten all my French. Maybe I will collapse under the weight of all the nostagia.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Time Touchpoint

Ooh is there anything nicer than having a tidy bedroom?

I feel as if I can relax now, and do some blogging.

Yesterday I even did some Big Cleaning Jobs - scrubbed mould of the bathroom ceiling (tied a sports bra round my face and wore sunglasses for protection) and cleaned the bin. I wonder if I don't blog as much now because I have so much more to do?

Nah.

I had a lot to do in Paris too, I just never did it. 

I have been rereading my old posts, from my first year in Paris. Wow, is all I can say about my grammar and spelling. It was very idiosyncratic. It's funny how I used to talk A LOT about how time was flying by, and that I didn't know what to do in the future. Now I feel the same, apart from the future thing. Enough has happened since I moved to Paris almost eight years ago for me to know that the future unfolds itself, one way or another.

Really, I am writing this blog as a little touchpoint for Future Me, as I have found my old blog posts really useful for remembering things.

So right now, it is Marathon Day and the race goes right past my road on the Isle of Dogs, except I've been in Brighton today to see my boyfriend's family, they were having a big get-together. It was hot and sunny, and all of a sudden, when we got down to the seafront after lunch, this thick white mist started rolling in and within minutes the sea, the pier and the hideous viewing tower had completely disappeared.

Back in London, we went for a quick drink round London Bridge, just a half as both of us skint two days before payday (another thing that hasn't changed since the Paris blogs - not being able to keep some money back for the end of the month). I love London Bridge, and in the sunshine it reminded me of auditioning for drama school, I felt that same excitement and old worldly, theatrical atmosphere (completely in my head), and it brought back memories of finding out I hadn't got in anywhere.

We talked about an upcoming holiday to Scotland, we're going after my cousin Chlo's wedding in August. She's got a little girl and is due another next month. Wouldn't have believed it if you've told me when we were disco-dancing in Geneva five or six years ago - I got the coach to see her while she was living there as an au pair.

It's been so sunny in London this week, feels like being on holiday. At lunchtime I've been going to Kensington Gardens as it's close to work, and when I get off the tube at the end of the day everything's lush and green, and the air smells of perfumed trees and heat.

Lauren and I are going to make the most of our summer here, because we're moving out on the last day of August. I'll be moving in with my boyfriend, North London so we're close(ish) to his brother and sister-in-law and his niece and nephew. Lauren isn't sure what's she's doing yet, but after our very successful and stress-free move last summer, she says she isn't too worried.

I can hear birds singing outside, I feel all emotional for no reason really. Had quite a bit of wine at lunch and then half a pint, maybe that's why. Just spoke to my gran on the phone, she is gutted they the M&S in Stockport has closed, I can't believe it either. She knows where all the staff in the cafe are going on to next, it's her favourite place for a coffee. Most of them have been made redundant, the rest are going to other stores. My gran said the big Debenhams is going too. I didn't say this to Gran, but Stockport really gives me the creeps and now it will be a complete shit hole. I feel bad for the town though, it could be so nice. They built a road and a massive bus station over the river. Am I being a London wanker when I say they should have bought cafes and wine bars along it?

Actually I know for a fact all the grannies in Stockport would love to have a coffee along the river, I'm not being a London wanker.

I am a London wanker though. Or I don't know. 

I've started making my own toothpaste, does that make me a wanker? I'm trying to use less plastic.  Lauren said she is going to tell me as soon as my teeth look bad or my breath smells. She's not convinced...

Anyway, I'm going to make a cup of tea and maybe watch Mad Men. I'm only on the third series, and already I want there to be a sequel set in the 1980s, showing us Peggy as a hotshot Creative Director.

Ta-ta!

Ooh, I remember when I used to finish posts off with a nice track, here you go:

Monday, 12 February 2018

Piggy

I come to work early on Mondays, so I can leave early and go to tap.

Tap-tap-tap.

Work is still quite quiet... I hate this feeling in London that you can never relax. I spent so long trying to get a new job and now I've got one, and I'm constantly thinking is this going to be good for me, is this interesting, should I be doing something more interesting?

I've got more money now and I'm worried I shouldn't be spending it, should I be saving it should I be saving up to buy a house even though I don't want one really. I just want to go to India but my boyfriend doesn't want to go so is it ok if I just go to all these places on my own?

Will people think I'm selfish but what if I get run over by a bus and I haven't been to any of the places I wanted to go to.

It's mad isn't it, my problems compared with other people's all over the world. It's kind of disgusting actually. That's why I don't blog anymore.

Enough posts about how I'm going to blog all the time/am never going to blog again.

Something that happened at the weekend. We went to a farm for my boyfriend's neice's birthday. Lee Valley. I saw my name written on a blackboard in a barn - some of you know, my name is not that common and I don't meet people with my name very often (twice in my life in fact).

Anyway I couldn't see what the animal was but when we got closer, it was a huge fat pig lying in the hay. A special pig apparently, an ancient breed. So there you go.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Good Books I Read This Month

Feel a bit mean about my last post, talking about all the things that can bring you joy in January if you have cash.

I myself am now skint anyway, after forking out for meds yesterday. The doctor said I have an ear infection. That news enough isn't reason to be annoyed, but the same doctor told me before Christmas that it wasn't an ear infection, it was vertigo, and prescribed me some tablets for it. And told me to stop taking the ear spray the walk-in clinic had prescribed me.


At £8.60 a pop, I wish they would be a bit more certain. I had to buy three different things yesterday. I was counting on using that money for drinks this weekend.


Anyway.


My (stolen from Lauren) New Year's Resolution is to read one book a week - and that costs nothing.


So far I've read The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa - it's beautiful, but beware, the reviewer quote on the front cover that says it is "Heartbreaking" should be taken as a warning - and now I'm reading a book my boyfriend's mum bought me for Christmas. It's called The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George. You've probably heard of it but don't know what it's about, like me before I started reading it.


Let's just say I was surprised at the, ahem, very erotic nature. It is not just a candyfloss-for-your-brain book about Paris and reading. I wonder if Phil's mum nows how rudie it is??

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fan of Jan

So my last post was a bit miserable, wasn't it?

I'm actually enjoying January. Yesterday, when I noticed it was (what they're now calling) 'Blue Monday', I realised that I am generally feeling very upbeat about January. I think a bit of subconscious prepping in November and December has helped to make this month quite nice, along with with the sheen of newness that shimmers over cold, crisp mornings, and the wholesome simplicity of not drinking too much booze and sticking to a purse-friendly diet of soup, lentil curries and baked potatoes...

A few months ago I booked myself on to a tap dancing course that started last week. It's amazing. I went to see 42nd Street and was completely taken in by the MAGIC OF TAP-TA-DAH and thought I'd have a look online for local classes... I found one at a community college that was only £80 for 11 weeks of classes (one hour a week). And it turns out Briony has already done the course, so I knew it would be good. (She also lent me her tap shoes.)

I've only had two lessons and already it's my favourite part of the week. My brain is completely focused for an hour, because you have to concentrate on the steps. And it's such a mix of people, coming together, always a bit self-conscious for the first five minutes, and then we all get into it. This week I partnered up with a guy called John while the teacher tried to sort the music out, and we were supposed to practice in pairs. He adds little jumps and jazz hands to all the moves, and he said he's also having jazz singing classes, just because he fancied it.

It's a lot more enjoyable than that crazy ballet class I went to, where the teacher kept asking me difficult questions and getting annoyed. The tap teacher is lovely and when she asks the class the question (she would never ask individuals a question like the bitchy ballet guy), if we're slow to answer she's says "There's no trick questions guys, it's ok."

I've also got trips to the ballet and to Hamilton to look forward to, although the seats I booked at the ballet are actually a bench, they're the cheapest seats I've ever had so we'll see if they're ok or not. I don't mind sitting up in the gods but I'm worried I might have booked seats against a wall behind a pillar or something.

Also cheering me up this month are the gold boots I bought in the sale. I wanted metallic gold boots for about six months, and then I saw a lovely pair in Anthropologie for about a million pounds. I tried to find a cheaper version and came across the Dune ones online - but there still £90. Low and behold on Boxing Day I checked online again and they were £45. I love them. It sounds simplistic but putting them in the morning makes it feel like it's an extra special day.

I've just realised all these things are about money, but what can I say? Only rich people will tell you money won't make you happy. I'm finally on a wage where I can afford to have tap dancing classes, and go to the theatre, and go food shopping whenever I need to, and wear glittery gold boots whenever I like. And it's made January very nice indeed.


Friday, 12 January 2018

Well well well

So I should probably stop promising to blog more, as I clearly am not up to it.

I wonder if maybe, during my three years in Paris, I was just a stunted teenager and so was still wrapped up in my own teenage self-involvement, and so that's how I was able to blog about my nights out and nights babysitting and thoughts on world events and such, whereas now I am a Mature Lady (28 and counting) I'm cripplingly self-conscious when it comes to my own writing.

Even if I try and write stuff for myself, that I know will never go on the internet, it just seems pointless. Everything's already been written, or people are writing it now. Every subject has already been talked about, or people are discussing it now.

I think about my ideas for short stories and novels constantly, but I've stopped writing them down. I work longer hours now, and have so much to do at the weekends. I guess this is the point where determined writers break free from the millions and millions of people who say 'I've got this idea for a novel' and actually make it as writers.

My cousin has self-published her children's book, it's beautiful. She's one of those people who will make things happen, whereas I say I will all the time and then never get round to it.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself, I'm just writing by the way. I was about to qualify that but if I have to explain the purpose of each blog post I start then I really will never get back into blogging. I mean I don't know if I do want to get back in blogging. I had the idea to maybe record some of my posts as a podcast, but I probably won't.

Maybe I'm just so negative because I'm a bit ill at the moment. I haven't had a cold for literally years, so it's taken me by surprise. I've also had tinnitus and vertigo, which is shit. That's loud buzzing, roaring and pitches in your ears and getting dizzy and losing your balance, if you don't know.

Whenever I've been ill in the past it's just gone away eventually, but I had this a few years ago and it went away and now it's back so should probably sort it out.

I don't know why I'm so miserable. I read a book about Paris during the war recently, it is a truly horrific but essential read - Les Parisiennes: How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s by Anne Sebba. (Review here - but I disagree with the last sentence of the review which, incidentally, is about the last sentence of the book. The reviewer says the author should have passed judgement on those who collaborated. As you read the book it becomes very clear that the author dislikes most of the collaborators... by which we're talking about people who actively helped the Nazis rather than young women who slept with young German soldiers, either for love or food, and after the war, had their heads shaved and were stripped in the streets by angry mobs who in the large part and done nothing to resist the occupation and yet, once France was liberated, took all their rage out on young women. I was also shocked by what happened to camp survivors when they returned to France. We all need to read books like this so that as a collective we never forget and we are alway ready to stop it from happening again.)

For a few days afterwards I felt glad just to be alive and safe.

My new job is going well. I really wasn't sure at first. The first two weeks, the run-up to Christmas, were so quiet that I panicked I'd made the wrong decision. I was getting to work on bigger projects at my old job and now I'm doing random internal communications for tobacco companies.

But then I realised there was nothing better about writing fashion-focused copy for a designer outlet brand, or chocolate brands which is what I was doing just before I left. It's all just meaningless shit that I get paid to do, and now I get paid a lot more so I can go to the theatre more and maybe more of the places I've always wanted to visit.

God this is miserable. I'm not even going to add a song to end on, my left ear sounds like a speaker plugged into a laptop, volume turned up but no track selected, so just wavering static blasting out.

Please buy my cousin's book though if you'd like a children's story about the outdoors. It's about a little girl who lives in the Lake District, and goes off exploring in the wilds...

Take a look on Amazon here.

(Someone has written a negative review about the grammar in the blurb, my cousin is dyslexic and she must have written it in a rush, ignore that because it is a lovely story! EDIT Looked at that reviewer's other reviews and they are just a miserable moany Amazon reviewer, who hates everything!)


Friday, 1 December 2017

Last Day

I can't believe I'm up and typing at 8.30am. Last night was my leaving drinks thing at work - my last day in the office. The leaving drinks weren't actually too heavy. I got very very drunk last Friday with people from work, and the next day felt really guilty about drinking so excessively and ruining my weekend. (I couldn't move from my bed until late afternoon, and I had to plan a barre class I'd booked so they charged me £12! Such a waste of money/time/electrolytes.)

So yesterday I decided not to get horrifically drunk, and I'm so glad I didn't! I left at about 11pm, most of my team had left and I was a bit hungry, also the office security guard had kept my flowers and leaving present behind his desk for me but was very insistent that I collect it at half eleven/quarter to twelve as he doesn't like 'opening the door to people' after midnight even though he is a 24hr security guard! To be fair neither would I. It's dark and scary out there, whether you're a heavy-set security guard or not. (I know I'm going wildly off-topic, but his sign 'Security guard on patrol call this number' really makes me laugh, as surely he just having a wee rather than wandering up and down the five empty floors. If he doesn't want to open the door after midnight, to employees, I can't imagine him investigating weird noises and poking around in dark corners.)

What was I even talking about?

My last day. I felt like it was a weird anti-birthday - everyone wants to celebrate you and get you drunk, but they're not happy about it. We went for pizza and cocktails at lunch to this place called Maverick in Victoria (where our office is) and I would recommend it, especially as Victoria can be really lifeless, and it's mainly chain restaurants there. The woman who owned it (I assumed, maybe she was just a great manager) was so lovely - as I left she said 'Are you leaving, was this for you?' and I said yes and she said 'When one door closes another opens, you have all these lovely friends and now you can move on and still be in touch and make more'. The pizza and cocktails were great too. I had a gin martini in an effort to avoid a hangover this morning, but later on there was only wine or beer to start with at the leaving drinks so I switched to wine and ruined that plan.

Although I feel ok. And I don't feel sad really, I guess because it hasn't sunk in. There are people I will really, really miss and I don't think I'll realise until I've been at my new job for a while. I've never actually left an office job before but people do seem to keep in touch. I kept in touch with people from the restaurant in Paris, but we've recently lost touch I think. I actually didn't think of that when I deleted my Facebook.

I mean I'm not going to go on and on about my last day in the office, but I will say that I think I did a good job on my leaving speech. People came up to me and said it was the best leaving speech they'd heard. It got a laugh, which is good. I was worried people would take it the wrong way. You can have it if you like:

When you're a copywriter, people really analyse your words. So I'm not going to say too many.

It's been lovely. And I'm really sad to go. (Dramatic pause)

But I'm not sad enough to stay. Cheers!

Right, going to have a brew now. I might talk more about my last day as I think starting a new job is quite a good topic to get me back into blogging regularly. TTFN. Also. TGIF. Me and Lauren are having a Christmas shopping day today and getting a tree. Can you hear sleigh bells ringing?