Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Au Pair Face-Off

Oh my God. I am babysitting in the most beautiful Parisien apartment I have ever seen- it has huuuge windows and fireplaces, and ornate mirrors with gold, frames that look like they should be in a musuem, and the ceilings go on forever and the monitor I'm looking at right now is about twenty five inches, and they have a massive telly and and a Wii and a cupboard full of DVDs and English books and there's an IPad on the table and they said 'Use it all, do what you want!'

I'm a bit overwhelmed with choice so I thought I'd fill you in on Super Au Pair...

She looked just as I expected- very, very tanned, with thick black hair, although she didn't look anything like Jessica Alba in real life; she is more of a Selma Hayek. As soon as I opened the door to her the kids jumped into her arms, screaming, and she screamed back, ruffling their hair and gushing to them in her Fluent bloody French, because even though she's from Australia she went to a French school and got 100% in her baccalauréat (the French equivalent to GCSE's), as the kids are always telling me.

After a few moments of me stood behind the door like a sinister manservant, I caught her eye and she went in to kiss me on each cheek, even though neither of us in French. I didn't want to be out-Frenched so I sucked up my Social Touching Fears and joined in, putting on my bestest 'I've not spent the past few months blogging about how much I hate even though I've never met you' smile.

The kids were all over her but she managed to hold them off her long enough to tell me "I've got it from here, you can go any time you want, seriously."

I didn't need telling twice- the night before me and Amy had gone out for 'one drink' for Elle's birthday, ended up drinking three bottles of wine in Pigalle otherwise known as the Sex Pest District, then spent a good few hours hopping on and off the night bus, by which I mean hopping on the night bus that was going in the completely wrong direction, and then when we finally managed to get on the right one, we hopped off, changed onto another bus going in the wrong direction, and then we had to get a taxi home, using some money Amy had in her purse that was actually change for her boss. (The worst part is, when the taxi took us round the corner, we realised that we were about two seconds from the bus stop we needed.)

The Mum of the family had given me a long lost of tedious housework-type things to sort out, because Super Au Pair was going to take the kids on an amazing day out somewhere fantastic that I would never think of and that the kids would never want to go to with me.

Obviously, I went straight back to mine and a lovely, much-needed two hour nap. Then Kayt and Amy rang me and asked me if I wanted fajitas for lunch. A few weeks ago I babysat for her family and they paid me next to nothing, even though I am a little au pair who can't afford fresh milk and they earn over 60,000 a year... To pay me back she made the fajitas in their apartment with their chicken, so HA, I must have cheated them out of about one euro fifty. Every centime counts!

While we ate I tried to bitch about Super Au Pair but I had only seen her for about two seconds, so all the spiteful, bitterness I could muster was aimed at her leather anklet and the fact that she doesn't have an Australian accent- she sounds like Nicki Minaj doing her British accent.

Anyhoo, after the Sneaky Fajitas, we took Kayt's little boy to the park and who should we see but the kids and Super Au Pair, jollying along on their scooters and bicycles, Super Au Pair herself on the mum's bike with a fishing net sticking out of the baby seat on the back like Julie bloody Andrews.

"Hey, we're not stalking you!" she said, stopping in front of us, "We were just watching Twilight and eating lollies (sweeeties!! They're called sweeties!!) and the dad came home and said we should get outside, so we're just going to the shop..."

Well well well, Super Au Pair's amazing day out wasn't a day out at all, it was a 'sit around and let the kids do what they want day', very similar to my favourite 'sneakily nap on the couch and let the kids do what they want day'.

God I feel like I'm just writing a load of shit, who wants to read about this? If I don't start watching a film now I'll never finish it before the couple I'm babysitting for get back, so I'll finish telling you about Super Au Pair tomorrow... Who do you think came out on top?

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

My Arch Nemesis Is Coming...

Guess who is coming to take the kids out for the day tomorrow, do give me a 'breathe'?

Dun dun dun...

Fresh off the plane from saving pygmie gorillas in the rainforest (probably)...

Super Au Pair.

I can just imagine the scene: It's tomorrow morning, I'm hungover as I am going out tonight, sweaty and sunburnt and yelling at the kids. The doorbell rings. I answer it to find a Jessica Alba-lookalike stood in the door, deeply suntanned and cool in the heat because she has just flown in from her native Australia.

"G'day!" she will say.

Before I can form a sentence, the kids will run past me, jump into her arms and they will bounce, all chattering away to each in fluent French, about the Black Eyed Peas and Micheal Jackson, who I'm told on a regular basis Super Au Pair 'loves'.

What a dick.

I can't believe me and Super Au Pair are going to be in the same room together- we are arch nemesises. Who will win in a battle of the au pairs, Shit or Super. I think we all know the answer to that.... BUT I am hoping that although she is a Super Au Pair, she will also turn out to be a Super Gimp.

I will let you know how it all goes down...

Monday, 27 June 2011

Single Mum Barbie

Last night I lay awake in my hot, hot room, with the covers on the floor, listening to traffic and the snippets of French that floated, laughing, underneath my window. I was waiting for the ceiling to fall in, or for a motorbike to come flying through the window, or, to be honest, for a tiny little fairy man to fly through my window and say "Good news! Tonight is the night I am finally allowed to transform you into a tiny fairy princess and you can come and rule my kingdom with me and we can have surprisingly filthy fairy sex in my castle in the bluebell woods!": anything so I didn't have to come to work today.

But actually, so far, touch wood, please gods, don't jinx me, it has been ok as both the girls have friends round today and are managing to entertain themselves: the eleven year old and her friend have gone to the shop to buy a birthday present for someone (erm, I hope this is allowed, but she does come to and from school by herself so surely a two minute walk to the Rich People Boutiques on the end of the street is permitted?); and the eight year old and her friend have made a den with the bunk beds and they're watching a film on their mini DVD player. All this means I have got time for a sneaky Facebook Fix and also, I felt like updating my blog.

Hmm, I feel a little bit guilty that the eight year old is watching a film- the mum told me this morning that they are only allowed to watch one film a day or one hour of television, but I'm fed up of fighting with them about it. When I had my friends round we used to PLAY, I don't understand why these kids can't just make up games or play with their millions and millions of toys... I would suggest some of the games I used to play at school but I don't think they'll really get 'Single Mums'- basically, you walk around the playground saying 'My Tyrone's in prison' and 'I've got five kids to look after and he's just lost his job!' (I'm not exaggerating. I know this isn't just a Manchester thing because Kayt and Amy said they used to play similar games in Newcastle and Liverpool respectively, but somehow I don't think it will ever catch on in Western Paris.)

Anyway, this morning we did at least play Barbies together, before the eleven year old's mate got here and she all of a sudden was Too Cool. I came to the game late because I'd been preparing lunch, so they'd already divided up the best stuff between them. All that was left for me was Scratty Barbie, who for some reason has black marker pen in the corner of her mouth and she has really short hair for a Barbie, tied up in a scally ponytail on top of her head. There was also a little Shelly that nobody wanted, so I got her as well and all of a sudden I realised I was playing Single Mum Barbie.

The Shelly doll was dressed as a princess but all I could scavenge for Single Mum Barbie was an asymetrical crop top and a very short, pink tutu. When I'd finished dressing them I actually thought the ensemble looked quite good, kind of Ironic Nineties with a contemporary sportswear twist, and I trotted them over to the Barbie Tour Bus, where the other Barbies were already settling down for the night. The eight year old had invented herself a millionaire family- she had a Ken in a tuxedo and a well-dressed Barbie and Shelly, while her friend also had a millionaire couple, this one with a fashionable teenage daughter, played by the eleven year old's Barbie.

The Tour Bus is amazing- it has double bunkbeds, a kitchen (complete with microwave that actually bings and a fold-out breakfast bar), a hidden bathroom and at the back there's a pull-out swimming pool, which lights up when you press a button, and when you press another button it plays techno music and when you press it again it makes jacuzzi noises.

The bunk beds were taken by the two families, so Single Mum Barbie and her little Shelly had to sleep in the driver's seat. "She has to sleep here because she doesn't have a job." I said. The eleven year old understood me and laughed, but I instantly regretted saying it: all of a sudden I had given life to Single Mum Barbie and it was a shit one and I could never take it back.

We put the little Shelly dolls to bed (mine on a blanket across the two driver's seats, the eight year old's Shelly on the bunk bed, dressed in proper pyjamas and tucked in with a teddy) but the girls started getting their Barbies ready for a party.

"Ooh, are we going to a party?" I asked.

Single Mum Barbie's outfit would look good at the party, and she might meet a rich Ken there, I thought. But as the other Barbies and Kens got into their carriages, I looked at the two sleeping Shelly dolls, all alone in their Tour Bus, parked in the middle of God Know's Where (all right, it was in the girl's bedroom, but there are all sorts of toys in there, just waiting to prey on two little Mattel dolls. Those Littlest Pet Shop pets in particular look very sinister to me).

"Who's going to look after the kids?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

I insisted I didn't mind, but inside Single Mum Barbie was dying. She felt like such a ridiculous idiot, all dressed up in her in her tiny top and tiny skirt, who did she think she was anyway? I changed her into a shapeless, plain dress and waved off the happy couples and the spoilt, teenage daughter.

"You sure?" the eight year old's Barbie asked Single Mum Barbie one last time, before they sped off.

"Oh yes, I don't mind! Don't worry about me, have a good time!"

What else could I say? Single Mum Barbie could hardly say no, when they were letting her and Shelly sleep in their Tour Bus for free.

I sat Single Mum Barbie in the driver's seat, with her arm around the sleeping Shelly, still in her princess dress because Single Mum Barbie couldn't get hold of any pyjamas. Two minutes later Rudeboy by Rihanna blasted out of the eleven year old's phone as the party started and all the nicely-dressed Barbies kissed each other in greeting.

"I love this song!" I said enthusiastically, remembering all the times I've danced to that song with my friends, in clubs, in basements, and once in an empty shop window at the top of Bold Street, in the middle of the day as shoppers stood outside wondering whose money was paying for all these drama students to piss about, doing 'street performance'.

The girls ignored me and changed the tune to Black Eyed Peas, then two minutes later it was Judas. The party went on into the night, with everyone ending back at the Tour Bus, in the jacuzzi, the sound of bubbles and laughter just audible under the tinny sound of the eleven year old's mobile phone, playing the latest chart hits.

Single Mum Barbie sat in the front seat of someone else's Tour Bus, with one arm around her sleeping daughter and the other raised to her ear, trying to block out the noise of someone else's party, and she wondered how her life had come to this.

Phew. I really should go and see what the kids are doing now, but the temptation to sit on their balcony and sunbathe is so strong... it's nearly 40 degrees outside today. In some ways it's good that the girls are refusing to go outside though, as yesterday I stupidly got sunburnt by the outdoor pool. I may as well wear a Union Jack teatowel round my head and start singing football songs, in between demanding why there's no fish and chips anywhere. It's so embarrassing being sunburnt, fulfilling the worst stereotype of a Brit Abroad... But I fell alsleep, I'd only had two hours in bed.

I'm going to write a post about my weekend later, to cheer me up when the kids inevitably turn into Crazy Bastards and I can't cope. It was such a fun, fun weekend- there was interpretive dancing from one fast food joint to another, plus grass skirts and gypsies. Ah. I can't wait to relive it by writing about it later, but right now I have to go and stick my head in the freezer, before I melt onto the kitchen floor, flood onto the balcony and drip drip drip into the courtyard below. I doubt the girls will notice.

Friday, 24 June 2011

WEEKEND

YES! It's the WEEKEND baby, my first week of Holiday Hell is over and I'm going to eat Chinese, get very drunk and I'm going to dance dance dance to Shangaan Electro at Point Éphémère- think South African dancing, to rave music.

Tomorrow is going to be rrreally good as well, Loefah and Boddika, amongst others, at Glaz'art in the 19th. Anyone in Paris who likes dubstep click here for details.

I am sooo excited, I don't care about work anymore. I have decided I will just let the kids be Little Shits and watch telly all day instead of going out and doing Interesting Things and if the mum kicks off I will just leave. I will stay at a mate's and find odd babysitting jobs until it is time to get my Eurostar home. But she won't ask me to leave because, as much as I am Shit Au Pair, I am their only au pair and they have booked my flights to Nice with them.

In other news, Tunisian Man is still doing something to stop me from connecting to his internet (I'm using FreeWebs at the moment) but while he doesn't want me taking his internet, he apparently is depserate for me to take his television. Last night he caught me on my way back from the shower (awkward) and he asked me if I wanted his telly, because he is getting a new one. I said no, because I don't have room and I can't understand French TV. He was insistent though and kept coming up with reasons why I should have his television. "You can watch it!" "You can throw it away!" "You can keep it in a cupboard!" I kept saying no and he kept trying to persuade me to take it and this morning when I got in from work, I found it outside my door.

Keep up the crazy Mr Tunisia, I'm loving it!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Back to Reality...

I have just discovered that on the day I was born, the number one single in Britain was 'Back to Life' by Soul II Soul- that is one of my favourite songs!

Hmm.

Maybe instead of searching for Random Shit on the internet I should be telling the girls to go to bed...

I'm babysitting and they are watching telly and I cannot be bothered with a show-down. By the time I finish, I will have worked fifteen hours with them and they have been Little Shits today. The great news is, every day from now until the 1st of August is going be exactly the same, only it will get worse and worse as I gradually loose my Soul and Spirit.

The only bright point today was when me and the five year danced around the kitchen, and he blew on a little plastic whistle while I shook marracas and sang 'Spice Up Your Life'. If only I could get all three of them to do that with me, all day, every day.

I am trying not to loose the will to live thinking about the next seven weeks looming ahead. At least two of them will be in the South of France, although, there are issues with that, mainly the fact that when I come back to Paris I have two days with nowhere to live before my Eurostar back to England and I have to clear my room out before I go to Nice. WISH they'd told me that before I agreed to go... Still- Tan tan tan. That's what it's all about.

I think today has not been made any better by the fact that I am hungover and tired, but I had a brilliant time last night. We went to a street party around Place de Clichy and there was dubstep and bass and it's where Kayt is going to be living next year so we can geg in on the cool, ravey neighbourhood.

Fucking hell they need to go to bed now. Better steady myself for a horrible, horrible fight. Being an au pair is the reason I was able to go to a rave on a Paris street last night, so I will bear that in mind. Excruiatingly pointless arguements with children in exchange for Good Times.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer Solstice

Two years ago today, when I was living with my aunty and my cousins in The Countryside for the summer, me and my cousin Chloe celebrated the summer solstice by dressing as flowery pagan types, getting really drunk and listening to Native American chanting. Then we painted each other with acrylic paint. At dusk we climbed up the hill at the back of their house that looks over the whole of Winderemere. We sang made-up songs (most of them went along the lines of 'It is the middle of the year, that is why we're chanting here'), bit into a tomato and then set fire to the grass around us... it was magical and also, for anyone watching us from afar, I imagine it looked like a scene from The Wickerman.

We ended up hurting ourselves quite a bit when we came down the hill, as it was pitch black and we were drunk. Also, the paint didn't come off so we had to go into work the next day with swirls and flowers all over us and everyone that came in the cafe knew what we had been up to because the whole village had heard us chanting and shrieking the night before...

Ah I do miss England!

















I wish I could go to Stonehenge, or at least do something magical, like do some chanting or leap over a fire... I'm going out in a bit to see what's going on for Fête de la Musique, if I see somebody with a cigarette, I'm jumping over it shouting 'hey nonny nonny'...

Puzzled

This morning I was clinging to my bed like it was a sinking ship, because I knew it would be my last lie-in for a long time. Tomorrow the eleven year old finishes school for the summer holidays, so from tomorrow morning until the 1st August, I will be working every weekday from 8.30 am until 7.30 pm. Seven weeks of eleven hour days... I cannot wait, really, for the joy of trying to entertain three children, with an age range of six years between them. Theoretically, I can take them anywhere and do what I want with them, the only problem is they refuse to leave the sofa, which would suit me just fine, but the mum obviously wants her kids to be out and about and experiencing life. ARGH.

In other news, I got a text message from Potential Family this morning- I got the job! Yey.

It's 'Fête de la Musique' tonight, so there is loads of free music stuff on all over Paris and Mikix the Cat is playing at Le Batofar... if I can find someone to go with me, I am going, although I will have to go straight from work. Tonight is going to be 'a bit different' the mum said, but she didn't have time to explain why, so the eight year old has 'written' it all down for me. I am going to type it out for you and hope that it makes more sense on a computer screen:

the Day: Thursday, June 21

1. pik-nic

give bag you at 4h30

17h school

at 18h00 in danse

(here she has drawn a picture of a house and a picture of her wearing a tutu)

my mama com and you

(here she has drawn seven little stick people, one of whom I can tell is me because she is wearing a dress and has a puzzled look on her face)

Then she has written 'I ... the' and drawn a picture of a TV, and then she has drawn an arrow from the TV to the three dots in the middle of the sentence.

Hmm. Not really sure how this evening is going to pan out...

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Magic of Seven and Monsters

What a ridiculous gimp I am, posting about eight posts in the space of twenty four hours...

BUT- this weekend I was being Good and House-Bound in preparation for next weekend, which will be my, Amy and Kayt's last weekend together due to various trips and holidays with our au pair families. Sad, very sad, but after Clare leaving last weekend we knew it was coming, we knew her departure marked the Beginning Of The End.

Last night we said goodbye to Laura, who left for Scotland today. We drank a few pitchers of beer at the Pop In, which was appropriate considering that in Laura's first week as an au pair, she got very drunk and lost her house keys (she was live-in), so she broke in through the window and pretended there'd been a burglary. If only these families knew who they were letting look after their kids...

Anyway, in exactly seven weeks today I will be on the Eurostar, back to England. And you know how I feel about seven, it is my Magic Number, so I knew something magical would happen today and it happened at lunch time...

Me and the five year old have got a lot of 'imagination games' on the go, which I am worried are getting a little bit out of control: every time I go and pick him up from school, I have to check that I have got my Invisible Cat with me and I panic if I think I've forgotten it; I also have an Invisible Bag in which I keep my Invisible Sword-Ball (a sword that turns into a ball) and my Invisible Phone-Ball (a phone in the shape of a ball).

Last week we had a bit of Argy Bargy because the apartment was filled with Invisible Robots and we were fighting them with our Invisible Sword-Balls and I thought I'd be clever and call for back-up on my Invisible Phone-Ball. I told the five year old back-up was coming, thinking he'd be pleased, but a look of fury crossed his little face.

"No! You put the robos gris, is mean!"

So then I had to call again and explain that I'd accidentally summoned the mean grey robots instead of the good gold robots and all the time, he was stood over me, yelling about these bloody robos gris and I got really stressed out and started flapping and I realised I was apologising to an invisible nobody, on my Invisible Phone-Ball, about a clerical error involving Invisible Robots, because my boss, a five year old boy who sometimes wears beige polo necks, flared jeans and a brown velvet blazer (at the park the other nannies call him '70's Boy'), was breathing down my neck.

After this episode I have tried to teach him the difference between reality and pretend, and when I say 'teach him' I mean 'convince myself'. It didn't work though, as today we had more trouble when we were crossing the road and he wouldn't hold my hand because he had his Invisible Bag in one hand and his Invisible Cat (on a lead) in the other hand. I had the same problem, but as I demonstrated to him, it just about possible to manage them both in one hand, but he was having none of it. Seems like there is no distinction between Reality and Make-Believe.

Get to the point, I hear you scream!

O.k, here it is...

So, we were eating lunch today, exactly seven weeks until I leave. Every time we eat lunch, we play a game where the five year old knocks on the table and I pretend that I think it is the door and I go and answer the door and there is an Invisible Monster there that I can't see (obviously, because he's invisible)...

Well, today we were eating lunch and as I was looking at the five year old boy, we heard a knock at the door and both his hands were on the table. He said:
"Is no me dat!"

But I knew it wasn't him.

"I wonder who that is at the door?" I said melodramatically.

I left the table and went to open the door.

There was nobody there.

There was definitely, definitely a knock at the door...

I went back to the table and the five year old asked me who was at the door.

"It was an Invisible Monster," I said, and he nodded and carried on eating his lunch, "I felt his fur and he was really tall."

Suddenly I pictured him, really tall and lean with pale, biscuit-coloured fur.

The five year old stood up on his chair and stretched his arms up in the air.

"He like this?"

"Yes!" I said.

The five year old nodded as if I had confirmed something for him.

"Dat my copain, he."

So. I am trying not to be a Mental but... I think the evidence speaks for itself. If you believe in magic... then pretty soon a seven foot furry monster will show up at your door.

SEVEN WEEKS TO GO!

Seven is my magic number...

Ooh and I had an interview with a lovely, lovely lady who runs drama classes for kids, in English, here and she said she wants me to work for her, but she might not have the money to hire me, but because I met her today I think the Number Seven will work its magic...

In case you don't think me and the number seven have a magical connection... guess what else! On the 7th day of the 7th month (my birthday), Lauren arrives in Paris at 7 minutes to 7. SERIOUS.

Marvel and Wonder at the number seven.

Marvel and Wonder...

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Babies and Baby Cats

Joy to the world, my cousin has given birth to a little girl! She was born at 2am this morning.

Also! I went into my corner shop before to spend my last two euros on a bar of Milka for my tea (don't worry, I also had two macaroons from Angelina's and, rather less glamorously, some left-over mashed potato from the kid's dinner on Friday- I smuggled it out of The Family's house in an empty guacamole pot) and there is a KITTEN living in there! A little kitten in my very own corner shop... lovely lovely lovely. I crouched down to stroke it and it hid inside my anorak- I thought about crawling all the way back to mine so it couldn't escape my massive anorak... I thought I could take it into my room and snuggle with it on my bed and let it drink milk out of a pan. I was going to bring it back, honestly. But the shop keeper was watching me so I had to give it a good stroking and leave it at that. Until next time...

Ah my cousin has had her baby! I'm really pleased for her and Tom, even if it isn't a baby cat.

Shit Daughter.

I don't celebrate Father's Day, let's just leave it at that. BUT I do feel a bit snyde, because I've not spoken to my dad since Christmas and for a while I've been thinking 'What a Bad Nobhead, not calling his only daughter and oldest child for six months!' but I have just realised that, actually, it is more me not calling him, because he doesn't have my address or my phone number, but I have all of his details, so techincally, technically, it is more me not contacting him.

Shall I break the habit of a lifetime and ring him to wish him Happy Father's Day? I did ignore his birthday, and my little half-brother's birthday...

Oh my god.

I don't have a Shit Dad- I'm a Shit Daughter.

Well. There you go. I've got no credit to even text him and he doesn't have a computer, so looks like I'll be Shit Daughter for a bit longer.

BUT can I just say, in my defense, do you know what my dad got me for my 21st birthday last summer?

He 'got' me my bursary from university. He said because he filled out all the forms (don't get me started on that Fucking Forms Nightmare), my bursary from uni was his 21st birthday present to me.

No Happy Father's day text for you dad!!!

In other news, guess who's back?

Portugese Couple, with a vengence. They have not left their room ALL WEEKEND and they have not stopped screaming and arguing and whimpering and battering each other ALL WEEKEND.

I hate them I hate them I hate them.

Why do people have relationships??? I really, really, really don't understand- all they do is fight and scream and hit each other, when they could be sat on their own reading a book and eating biscuits.

Sleeping Snaggletooth

Oh fucking hell, I'm babysitting and I just watched an episode of True Blood and the parents will be back soon and I'll have to walk home in the fear that a vampire is going to get me and lock me in their cellar, and not in a sexy way, in a horrifically scary way. I hope the screams and chains rattling from my laptop didn't permeate their way into the children's dreams.

I'm very superstitious about dreams. This morning I had a dream that I was in the Lake District with all my cousins and my brother and my mum and my aunty and my grandma. And I was so happy, I was saying 'I can't believe I'm here! I feel like I'm dreaming!' And my grandma had three Disney DVDs that she wanted to split between us and she let me choose first and I chose Sleeping Beauty.

And then I woke up and it was half two and I'd wasted half the day. Maybe my dream was trying to tell me I am just like Sleeping Beauty, although in my case it is more like Sleeping Snaggletooth, as those of you who have been reading my blog for a substantial amount of time will know, as I have previously posted pictures of offending tooth.

Anyway, I have just started watching Sleeping Beauty on Youtube to chase away The Fear instilled in me by True Blood. At first I tried to read trashy celebrity news to cheer me up but an article about a Certain Film being banned in the UK came up and the only thing to calm me down after I am reminded about this Certain Film is Disney. I cannot speak it's name, for it is a film most Terrible and Disturbing, but the first time I (idiotically) let someone show me the trailer for this Certain Film, I was so haunted that I could only fall asleep whilst listening to Disney songs on my Ipod. Oh God it was terrible. I really can't even type the words, but let's just say that a few days after I saw the trailer for this Certain Film, the kids held out their hands to me in the park and said 'Let's all join together!' and I ran, screaming, on to the main road, hoping a truck would come and run me over. That is how horrifying it is.

For some reason, they have seen fit to make Certain Film 2 and an article about it just popped up on my laptop, with a picture, so now I have to watch Sleeping Beauty on Youtube to make life nice and good and lovely again.

So that is why I dreamt about Sleeping Beauty- my mind knew I would need it later. I really believe in dreams, even though people say they are a load of rubbish. (But people also say that mermaids are a load of rubbish, and as I have already proved, that is just not the case.) My mum Skyped me the other day because she had a dream that I was a baby and I had a rash on my neck and my back and she thought it meant I must have one in real life. I spent ages looking for a rash on my neck and my back but I didn't have one. We were really disappointed. It must have been a metaphorical rash, we decided.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Gaga

Lady Gaga is on the Champs Elysees apparently.

I don't want to give my location away to all the murderous stalkers I have, but I could get there in five minutes- that's roughly about how much of my life I lost forever watching the 'Judas' video. I wouldn't be surprised if she was the new Sacha Baron Cohen, and the 'Judas' song was her pièce de résistance. After seeing her erotically washing the Son of God's feet in a roll-top bath, I am counting down the days until she appears on National Television, jumps out of her giant egg, rips off her dress made out of ham and says:
'FOOLED YOU ALL!'

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Festi-less

I've been looking at everyone's Facebook photos from Parklife at the weekend, it seems EVERYONE in Manchester was there, and they all wore denim hotpants and got really drunk. Last night I went round to Amy's to eat chilli and she said 'You look very... I don't know, very something' and we figured out I looked very festival-y because I was wearing bare legs with a little dress and boots and my I Know What You Did Last Summer anorak. I think I was subconsciously trying to pretend I was at a festival in England.

There are so many festivals I thought I could make it to this summer and lack of funds means I am definitely going to miss Lovebox and Field Day. I wish I wasn't going to the South of France with Family Decent now, as I will miss Secret Garden Party and the Cambridge Folk Festival...

(Nobody believes me but I have been to the Cambridge Folk Festival almost every summer since I was seven- I might love a good warehouse rave but if I had to choose between a house rave or a hoe-down... ok I'd probably choose the house music, but I do love the Folk Festival; it hasn't changed in the fourteen years I have been going. When I walk through the entrance along that same old dusty orange path, and I see the same old stalls laid out in the same old way, and I smell the same old hot cider brewing and see that same old man with a long beard carrying a walking stick with a skull on the end of it, I know I've come home.)

Still, I'm trying to focus on the tan I will get from the South of France. TAN TAN TAN. For...

IBIZA.

I can't let myself get too excited for Ibiza yet or I won't be able to cope with normal life- I'll take the kids to the menagarie wearing a zebra-print leotard yelling ZOO PROJECT!!

Hmm, I need to calm down. I went with the festival vibe again today and when I met the eight year old at the school gates, she looked me up and down with her mouth open and said "Are you CRAZY? You wear big boots with that dress and no tight?"

As we walked home I realised other French people were gawping at me too- maybe I did actually look a lot like a twat... But still, let me make my mistakes Paris! Stop fucking staring at me! Wait until you go on holiday to England and you see the girls of Shoreditch raving in their fur coats and day-glo leggings*, or the scouse girls in their hair rollers and pyjamas, popping into the Asda near me Nan's on a Saturday afternoon. What will you do then, eh? Because if you stare at people that blatantly in England, you normally get a punch in the face.

*To be fair, I don't really know what Shoreditch girls wear, but this is what I like to imagine they look like, when I'm back home in the North of England, chilling down the mines, huddled around a hot pie to fight the cold and playing the ukelele.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Merde

Apparently someone has stumbled across my blog, twice, by searching for: why do the french put their medication up their anus year in t...

I'm not sure what the 'in t' is for at the end (Ah-ha! I've just realised, they might have been meaning to type 'year in the merde' which is a book about living in France by Stephen Clarke) but all I can say is that I didn't know the French were particularly famous for using suppositories, although I suppose it makes sense, considering they are such great fans of the Anal Thermometer.

Only last week I arrived at work to find the five year old lying on his back with his legs in the air, holding aforementioned instrument up there.

"Erm... is he ill?" I asked the mum.
"No, but he think because he have mosquito bite." she said, rolling her eyes.

Erm... I'm pretty sure I won't be having any kids thanks to the wonderful experience of being an au pair, but if I did somehow procreate by accident (whilst I was distracted by the television say, or looking in the other direction), I'm quite certain that I would discourage my children from putting things up their bum, rather than letting them think it is a normal thing to do on a Wednesday morning.

But I guess the whole point of being in another country is adapting to someone else's culture... I just wish that the family would be as open-minded: most people looking for an au pair claim that they want their family to be introduced to a different culture; but in my experience of au pairing the culture exchange is very one-sided.

Family Thrift wouldn't let me eat the skins on my potato. I mean, granted, they turned out to be Bad Nobheads, but even Family Decent think that if I'm not doing it the French Way, then I'm doing it ridiculously and stupidly wrong. The mum told me the other day, with a slight smirk on her face, that she had noticed I was leaving the skin on the cucumber... so now I have to peel the cucumbers. At first I felt like a complete Idiot and Fuck-Up, until I realised that it is not wrong to eat cucumber skins, it is just Their Fucking Preference to not eat the skins.

I always feel like an Idiot and Fuck-Up if I don't fold the towels into thirds before I put them away, or if I try to pack their winter clothes into bin bags... who has a winter and a summer wardrobe anyway? I just wear the same thing all year but with a coat on in winter. As for the bin bag thing, the mum thought I was being a Mental but as I tried to explain, I couldn't find any big enough carrier bags. The mum was shaking her head and saying 'Well you don't put in bin bag!'

What's wrong with putting stuff in bin bags?? I took all my stuff to uni in bin bags, just because it's not French doesn't mean it's Stupid. Although, I was venting to my friends the other day and they did say that it isn't actually normal to take your stuff to uni in bin bags, but still... each to their own.

Hmm even though I am trying to convince myself that I'm not an idiot and instead I'm just not very French in my ways, I'm beginning to suspect that I am secretly Incredibly Stupid. I found Family Decent's advertisement that they have put in the FUSAC for a new au pair next year- all that stuff they told me about needing an au pair who could also be a private tutor for the eleven year old was A Lie, because the advert mentions NOTHING about being a teacher. It just says they need an au pair- same hours, same money.

They don't want me next year is because I am Shit Au Pair, no other reason.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Poor Little Rich Girls

Just watched that BBC documentary 'Poor Kids'. Obviously, given the mood I'm in, I cried quite a lot. I wish I could show it to the kids I look after. On Friday I was talking to the eleven year old and she was telling me about her 'rich friend' who has a leather jacket from Mango. She told me that this friend's uncle is the director of Hermès and then she said, in these exact words: "She has a lot of thing from Hermès, I only have this bracelet." Then she showed me this little bracelet she has and did a sad face.

"Maybe when my dad's business is big, we will be rich!"

Will be rich?

Her and her eight year old sister have Marc Jacobs bags and they wear Raybans, they have Nintendos and a computer, they go on holiday at least three times a year, they have a house in the countryside and their apartment in Paris must be at least two million...

But I guess they do have me for an au pair, so maybe they are pretty hard done by. While we were having this conversation by the way, the eight year old was sat with us at the kitchen table, eating her dinner naked. I know it's probably one of those things you should stop kids from doing, but she was in such a nice mood I didn't want to spoil it. When I first started she didn't want me to see her naked, and now she is happy to sit next to me and eat her dinner wearing not a stitch, so I'd call that progress.

Hmm. Maybe I do let the kids do what they want too much, but I am trying to be more authoritive... A few days ago I said that the five year old could watch television if he had his shower quickly. I went out of the room for two seconds and when I came back he was completely naked, as if someone had sucked them off with a super suction hoover, eating a chocolate bunny. (STILL left over from Easter, I don't feel guilty for eating their Easter chocolate now, I feel they deserve it, who saves their Easter eggs until June!?) A bit fell onto his litte boy parts and he picked it off and ate it absent mindedly.

"Don't eat chocolate off your willy!" I said.

He didn't listen to me, but at least I tried. We had a bit of an arguement when he tried to get me to eat the chocolate that had fallen on his unwashed nether-regions. I almost ate it just to shut him up but then I thought 'No, he's five years old and I'm an adult.'

"I'm not going to eat chocolate that has been on your willy." I said in my stern voice, "And I don't think you should either."

He shrugged and carried on eating it, but at least I tried to do the responsible thing.

Oh those lucky, lucky kids. And I'm lucky too, so, so lucky. I feel terrible for being such a Bad Nobhead with money, I had twenty five euros to last me this month and I spent it all on Friday night, dancing on tables at Favela Chic.

OH MY GOD. Portugese Man, formerly of Portugese Couple, is wailing. Like proper, mournful, heavy sobs and cries. Oh my god, shut up. His girlfriend has been away for a while and then yesterday morning I woke up to hear them SCREAMING at each other, and it went on for ages and ages and I could them slapping each other about. I hope she's left him. Oh SHUT UP WIFE-BEATER. I know, I might play Adele's Someone Like You to help his melancholy.

Sometimes it LASTS IN LOVE and sometimes it HURTS INSTEAD...

Get the hint mate...

Oh shit. I think I preferred it when they were yelling at each other.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Seven Weeks Left... Goodbye Clare

I have seven weeks left in Paris, well, until September anyway, I think... I had a 'trial' yesterday with the Potential Family for next year, they are going to let me know if I have the job or not on Tuesday. Everyone has been pestering me to send them a follow-up text saying 'Great to meet you again, looking forward hearing from you' etc, but I don't want to. I don't want to give them the impression that I am Confident and Dynamic and Pro-active because this is not me at all. I don't want to try at life, I belong in bed, on benefits, depressed and everyone needs to accept that.

Me, Amy and Kayt just waved Clare goodbye at Gare du Nord. There were more than a few tears. It is so sad, I didn't actually believe Clare was going until she walked through the doors away from us, struggling with her four suitcases. Now Clare has gone everyone else is going to drop off, one by one, until there will just be me, struggling through Gare du Nord on my own, with nobody to see me off and nobody to meet me on the other side.

I think a part of me doesn't want to get this job next year, a little part of me wants to go back home and stay there. I've been waiting for somebody to make the decision for me, for somebody to say 'It's ok, you've done the year in Paris like you said you would, you can come back home now.' But nobody has said this, everyone seems to want me to stay in Paris.

Seven weeks... you know how I feel about the number seven.

I've just read the little postcard that Clare wrote for me and cried a bit. The worst thing is from now on there is only going to be a lot more crying and a lot more goodbyes. If I do come back to Paris next year it won't be the same city without all the friends I have made here. The sad thing is that I feel as if I'm either just getting to know people, or else I made friends with them in the beginning months and haven't seen much of them lately. I wonder who I'll meet again, and where, and when?

I felt like singing We'll Meet Again at the Eurostar terminal this morning, but thought it might be a bit too much. Instead, me and Kayt started singing Goodbye by the Spice Girls once we'd seen Clare off and were waiting for the bus home. We managed to sing:

Goodbye my friend (I know you're gone, you said you're gone, but I can still feel you here)
It's not the end (You gotta keep it strong before the pain turns into fear)

So glad we made it...

But then we couldn't go on anymore, we got all choked up.

Oh god, why do we do this to ourselves? Listen to sad songs and cry and enjoy it? I'm going to listen to it now and read my postcard again, I might even look at photos of abused puppies on the internet and read a text message from my mum...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

A Stormy Weekend: Part 2

Tunisian Man is being very coy with his internet, maybe because he knocked on for me a couple of weeks ago and told me that everyone in the building was stood in the courtyard having a party for Some Reason.

"Come, get to know the neighbours" he said.

I was getting ready to go out and I didn't fancy standing outside with half a face of make-up on, with a load of people who would ignore me or, worse, try and strike up a conversation and then ignore me once it became apparent that I Don't Speak French. I couldn't be bothered to explain all this to Tunisian Man- The Giver and Cruel Taker Of Free Internet- so I just said:

"Erm, no."

Tunisian Man shrugged and said "As you like."

Since then he has been taunting me with his internet, sometimes letting me connect and most of the time, not. I'm using this small window of sweet, stolen internet to finish off writing about my weekend in The Countryside.

So, it was chucking it down outside and Amy was pacing up and down the room.

"It was horrible," she wailed, "I just wasn't expecting them!"

She said that her and Clare had been sunbathing, when they heard French voices approaching across the lawn, so wisely they pretended to be asleep. Unfortunately the French people sat down at the table outside, right next to them, so they had to lie there pretending to be alseep for ages and then it started raining so they stood up and walked into the house, on their way in they passed the French people and, rather than introduce herself to the people she would be sharing a house with over the weekend, Amy panicked and pretended they weren't even there.

"I don't know why I did it!" she said.

I didn't know what to do either. Amy's panic made me panic and then Clare came up to laugh at both of us. She didn't understand why we were so anxious about meeting the French People, but then I think Clare has Posh Girl Confidence; you know, when you meet someone and they are really Posh and they are really Confident. For example, when we first went into the house, me, Kayt and Amy dithered about in the hallway, not sure what to do with ourselves; Clare went into the kitchen, poked around a bit and came back holding a peach and said: "Ooh! Doughnut peaches! Can I have one after lunch please?"

Eventually Amy went downstairs to get away from Clare, and Clare followed in the hope that Amy would do something embarrassing. I stayed upstairs waiting for Kayt to get ready, because Kayt can actually speak French and I was planning on using her as a human shield. If anyone tried to speak French to me, I could just pick up Kayt and deflect it back at them.

We went downstairs and I was terrified. There was a sunny spell a few weeks ago when I thought I was finally grasping the French Language, but since then my brain has clouded over again and I feel like I'm right back where I started. I just don't understand what people are saying to me and they don't understand what I am saying to them and it's HORRIBLE.

As it turns out though, I needn't have worried, because the French People didn't want to speak to us. We stood in the kitchen, leaning against the sideboards, not talking, whilst they sat at the kitchen table and chatted. It was Fucking Awkward.

When the 'guys' went to the supermarket to get food for dinner, we did have a bit of a chat with the two girls who were actually really nice, although I say 'we'- Clare and Kayt chatted to them and every so often I repeated what they said.

There was a terrible moment when another French person arrived, one of Emma's friends who I have met before, and we all had to kiss him. I think I have been doing quite well lately with the whole Touching Other People Thing, but he came at me from a weird angle and as a result he got my bun (as in my hair bun, on top of my head) and all the French people looked shocked and asked what the matter was and I curled up in my chair like a snail that's been poked in the face, except I wasn't poked, I was kissed in greeting, and that is so much worse.

I vowed never to kiss another person again (unless I'm doing that business, obviously). Unfortunately for me, at about eight o'clock more French people arrived and by more I mean about twenty five. They actually queued up outside the kitchen to come in and kiss us all. I hate Touching Other People the most when I know it's coming and I have to wait in line thinking shit shit shit which way do I go is it a kiss or a hug do I touch their arm do I make a 'mwah' noise shit shit shit.

Somehow I made it through.

As the evening wore on, about twenty more French people showed up but by that point there was so many people there that kissing went out of the window, thank god. Our friend Anne also showed up, who speaks really good French, which isn't fair because she is German and speaks fluent English. Not everyone was eating, only those of us who bought the food, so while we ate at the garden table the party went on around us. We had roast chicken which had been cooked in a whole packet of butter (They cook everything in butter here, maybe that is why the eight year old patted my stomach today and said 'Hello baby!') and ratatouille, followed by rhubarb, praline and banana ice cream, although not together, that sounds kind of disgusting.

When the food had gone there was nothing to hide behind. Everyone was a lot drunker, there was music playing, spliffs being passed round, gin and tonics being mixed... it was time to get involved and speak some French. We looked at each other as if to say we can do this.

Twenty minutes later, me, Kayt, Clare and Amy were in the basement, putting sheets on the air beds and trying to convince ourselves that we weren't being rude, we'd just been up early and had a 'big day' ahead of us tomorrow.

Amy had a bit of a horrible time, because me Clare and Kayt decided to all listen to Adele's Someone Like You on our Ipods, at exactly the same time, singing along at the tops of our voices. Amy begged and begged for us to stop but after a minute she went silent and I knew it was because she was in awe of our beautiful voices. When we'd finished nobody said anything, we just basked in our shared moment, until Amy said:

"You'se have all got horrible voices."

In the night I had a nightmare that I was Fry and Bender from Futurama and a big spider had caught us/me and was going to digest me over a period of two weeks. I tried to call out 'No, no' but whenever I try and talk in my sleep it comes out as strangled mews and moans, but for once this turned out to be a good thing...

It just so happened that while I was alseep a very drunk and stoned Frenchman stumbled into the basement and put his sleeping bag next to me. Kayt woke up and told him that maybe there wasn't enough room but he was so drunk that he just lay down anyway. When we woke up he'd gone but Kayt told me what happened and laughed but I didn't laugh. I don't like to touch people. I can not imagine the horror of waking up to the shock of lying next to someone random (that I haven't slept with, obviously).

We made a joke about it with him over breakfast the next day and he said that he got up and left because somebody was making really weird, disturbing noises.

After breakfast (English muffins and scrambled eggs) we got the bus to Giverny and we went to look at Monet's gardens, the place where he painted all his waterlillies. We met up with Laura and Marie who got the train from Paris for the day and spent a long time getting heckled on the bridge as we posed for photographs and stopped anyone else from getting a look. The gardens are very, very beautiful and I think you should definitely go if you like flowers and shit.

It rained a lot and because we were wandering around gardens we got soaked, but we dried off in a cafe with a hot chocolate. The whole day, gardens and rain and hot drinks, reminded me of the National Trust and it made me sad and homesick, actually. Here are some photos I stole from Laura, Kayt and Clare (still not fixed my camera):





































































So that's what happened when we went to The Countryside.

By the way, Deadmau5 was AMAZING last night, the best I have ever seen him, the Parisien crowd was actually, for once, really, really good, loving every second of everything, although strangely, not one person was on drugs. Weird. You wouldn't get that in England. Also, if I would have been in England, I wouldn't have ended the night at 5am in a restaurant, having a sit-down meal. I shouldn't be eating two dinners every night considering I'm going to Ibiza in three months (EEEEEEEEEE!) but as we walked out of the venue Anna said "Come on, let's go to a restaurant and I'll pay..." and who can say no to a free meal?

In the end I didn't get all emotional and moony like I thought I would, it was too good not to dance to and enjoy, but when he slipped in a few minutes of
Raise Your Weapon I did think Ahhhhhh this reminds me of good times and they are so far away from me now. But maybe if there wasn't that distance I wouldn't have such good times. I'm thinking: Paris, for one more year; and then it will be back to England for me and I will really, really appreciate being home... but one more year first, I can do that.


Monday, 6 June 2011

A Stormy Weekend: Part 1

We had been promised two days of fresh air and peacefulness at Emma's ex-boyfriend's family's house in The Countryside- it sounds a bit weird I know, but The Ex is now one of Emma's bestest pals and more importantly, he is a chef in an expensive restaurant and would be doing all the cooking- the only condition alongside such gracious hospitality being that we spoke French.

As if we would choose to live in Paris and not want to speak French to anyone...

The weekend started, like a lot of my favourite weekends, on the No.43 bus, but instead of going all the way to Gare du Nord and hopping on the Eurostar, we got off at Gare Saint-Lazare and from there it only takes forty minutes to Vernon, which is where Emma's Ex-Boyfriend's Family's house is- keep up. (If anyone is interested, buying a ticket at the station on the day of travel cost ten euros and sixty cent and twelve euros if you're older than twenty-five.)

I had been anticipating a beautiful train journey through wildflower meadows and pretty villages, but for most of the journey all I could see out of the window was hedges and barbed wire. Still, it was nice travelling along with my pals and chums, talking about what we would do when we got to The Countryside. It felt like we were going on a school trip.

Emma's Ex-Boyfriend's Family's house (for simplicity's sake I'll just call it The House from now on) was a twenty minute walk from the train station. We didn't see any of The Countryside on our walk, but we did see lots of gorgeous detached houses and the roads were lined with flowers. The House itself was lovely and because Emma's Ex-Boyfriend's mum is English, it had a very British feel to it- there were those little frilly things at the top of the curtains and the living room walls were covered in material instead of wall paper.

The House also had a huge, clipped lawn and it took us all of five minutes to lay our beach towels on it and strip down to our bikinis. At this point it was boiling hot, perfect sunbathing weather, and we lay in the sun for a couple of hours, basking in the freedom and the space. I understand why everyone in Paris (who can afford it) goes to The Countryside every weekend in the summer.

The best thing about The House is that it had five cats and one of them was a tabby cat, which is my favourite kind of cat, in fact it's my favourite kind of anything. Unfortunately they were quite shy so I didn't get to grab them and rub them all over my face like I wanted to, which I guess is a good thing considering I am quite (ok, very) allergic to cats. But I just love cats so much... I have never let my allergy get in the way of a good Cat Stroking and I never will, not even when I am eighty years old and inevitably dying from my allergies as a consequence of sharing my inner-city bedsit with fifteen long-haired tabbies... oh yes, I know exactly what my future holds.

Anyway, while us girls lay around half-naked drinking cold beer, the lone male amongst us went to the supermarket, then when he came back he started making lasagne and salad for lunch which was lovely, especially after a week of eating plain rice and carrots with the kids, although, seeing as I do all the cooking, I guess I don't really have anyone to blame...

After lunch we tried to sunbathe and snooze at the same time, but the rain started. It was ever so gentle at first, we hardly noticed it, but then more and more came drip-drip-dripping on our bare legs and shoulders, so we went inside to nap instead. As a result of a misjudged dibs (we called what we thought was the only bed, when in fact there was another available and it was a double) me and Kayt had to nap top and tail. I dozed off to the sound of gentle rain falling on the Velux window pane, with my feet in Kayt's face.

When I woke up two hours later I was alone and the rain was hammering against the glass. The sky outside the window was dark and there was a storm coming. Amy walked into the bedroom, still in her bikini.

"You should have woken me up." I said, "If you don't wake me up I'll sleep for days."

"You were better off asleep." There was a haunted look in her eyes. "The French People have arrived."

I'll leave it there for tonight, because I'm working for eleven hours tomorrow and then I'm going to see Deadmau5 at La Machine. (I think it's sold out now but you might be able to buy a ticket on the door.) He was supposed to be at Social Club and I'm ever so pleased that it's changed venues because I've decided I hate Social Club, with their shit dancers and nasty bouncers. I might start calling it the Anti-Social Club.

I have mixed feelings about tomorrow, I'm excited, but I can't really afford it, by which I mean not at all. Also I don't think I should be going to see Deadmau5 without Kat, I might break down on the dancefloor and I don't mean into The Robot.

We shall see what happens.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Thunderstorm

This is my first Paris thunderstorm.

It has not rained properly for weeks, and yet now there is thunder and lightening, just as if the King and Queen of fairies were having a domestic, and there is so much rain that you would think it was raining from the ground up, with huge splashes of water hopping about the surface of the streets, neither falling from the sky nor touching the ground. In the light of the street lamps they look like little glowing crowns suspended an inch above the ground, flickering as they disappear and re-form continuously.














Thunderstorms remind me of home, in fact any sort of rain reminds me of England. I think of Manchester and Liverpool- dark, shiny pavements and grey buildings against grey skies, but most of all I think of the countryside- the Derbyshire hills and the Lake District- stone walls and muddy paths and the black lake, reflecting the storm clouds... it's fitting then, that my first French thunderstorm happened on the weekend I was visiting The Countryside.

I will write about my weekend in The Countryside properly, as I'm sure everybody is terrifically interested in my life, but now I am going to go to bed, if I can manage to sleep this hot, sticky night. The air is close, weighing on me, so I've got my window wide open but the rain is so loud and then every few minutes there is thunder, real rrrrrrumbling, sky-splitting thunder. And lightening. That tree outside my window is worrying me a bit.

Ah. I do love thunderstorms though. Like I said, the rain reminds me of home. I wonder if the skies are trying to tell me something? Maybe the storm clouds have come to carry me home to England.

Friday, 3 June 2011

Cash Money Eyebrows

The money situation is looking dire- yesterday I went jogging at noon, when it was 27 degrees outside, in denim hotpants, because I haven't got any Proper Jogging Gear and I refuse to spend my money on hideous lycra shorts when I could spend it on Farewell Meals and Goodbye Nights Out. The first of my Paris friends to swap France for the green, green hills of England, (apart from my jogging partner Ali who left to live up a Spanish mountain a few weeks ago- maybe it was my denim hotpants that drove her away), leaves next week and after that it just going to be wave after wave of friends leaving Paris forever. It makes me wonder if I can cope with staying here.

Anyway, the reason I am up so early is because I am going to the country for the weekend! It will be just like Brideshead Revisited, except with moules-frites, hopefully. We are going to stay at Emma's ex-boyfriend's family's country house, which sounds a bit awkward to me, but Emma has said her ex-boyfriend is a chef and will be cooking, so I have swept aside any concerns. Emma also told us all we will have to speak French and she was looking at me when she said it, as if I will just sit in the corner all night, being Mute Girl and drinking my wine. (That is my plan though, obviously.)

Oh shit I am going to be late, I had so many things I wanted to say, such as:

-Yesterday I saw five new born kittens and I held one and I was so excited I couldn't make any noise, I just stood there stroking it with my mouth open and my eyes wide for a full ten minutes.

- I finally got my eyebrows threaded in Paris, it was brilliant and I can't stop stroking them in a very unnerving and pervy way because they are so smooth and shapely. I shall tell you all about it another time in a very Informative and Useful Manner, in case anyone else wants to get it done.

- Thanks to my good pal and chum Kayt I have finally paid for Ibiza- YEY!

Although... at this rate I will have to enjoy the holiday from England, via Skype, because I haven't got any flights. I also haven't got any way of getting back to England at the end of August or back to Paris at the end of summer, which I will be needing because...

- It looks like I have got that job with the family I had an interview with on Tuesday, although I'm not entirely sure; the girl who told me about the job (who contacted me through my blog) emailed me this morning and said that the family really liked me, but they were a bit worried I was too timid and might not be able to shout at the kids when I need to. Hmm. Nobody's ever told me I was timid before... I guess I was quite reserved at the interview, but I have never met them before, I could hardly kick down their door, yelling 'SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEW AU PAIR!'

Anyway, I am off to the country darlings, I've got my fringe pinned back so I can dazzle and beguile the French people with my eyebrows, so hopefully I won't have to speak any French.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Productive

This morning I got to work twenty minutes late to discover that the five year old boy, who is the only child I have on a Wednesday morning, wasn't there. He was at school for Some Reason, even though his school isn't open on Wednesdays.

It is just like last Monday lunch time, when I dragged myself out of bed after only two hours of sleep, a lot of alcohol and a 'scallop wrap' purchased from the boot of a man's car outside Showcase. I stumbled to his school and waited for him for half an hour. When I rang the mum to ask if everything was ok, she told me that the five year old boy had 'gone away' for the week. I thought 'Where has he gone, Tenerife?' and I pictured him in his blue plastic sunglasses, sipping pina coladas round the pool, reclining on a sunlounger in his Thomas the Tank Engine trunks. (Turns out he had gone on holiday with his school for a week, which still seems strange to me, at just five years old.)

Anyway, I had the whole morning to myself and a lot of stupid, shit little jobs to do that I can't be bothered with: 'pack away winter clothes', 'fit more clothes in this overflowing, exploding box please' 'hang up wet washing' ''make sure white jeans and favourite pink shirt are washed and dried and ready for ironing lady, even though she arrives in twenty minutes...' SHIT- I've just realised I have left said 'favourite pink shirt' hanging outside on the balcony, and they have gone away until Sunday night... So let's assume that by then it will have been heavily rained on, attracted lots of little, sticky bugs and been shat on by birds.

I have a done a lot of shit things today. After work I was supposed to go round to my friend Clare's for tea, or 'supper' as she calls it for Some Reason. I fell asleep and woke up an hour after I said I would be there. Then I stood on my GHDs (they were hiding under a cushion) and they snapped in half. I am trying not to dwell on that.

When I finally made it to Clare's, I spilt red wine all over her couch, all over me and all over Kayt. The general consensus seemed to be to 'Soak them!' so I whipped off my dress and cardigan and put them in Clare's, sink full of water. After whiling away an amusing half hour dancing around Clare's room pretending to be a mime artist, the time came to go home so I had to borrow some clothes and I left my wet clothes floating in her sink. Yet she still decided to lend me 100 euros. Am I the worst house guest ever? As I left Clare said to me 'You're a tosser', but I think she meant it in a loving way.

I hope the next two days are more productive...