Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cocktails

Good, Productive, Real Person Things I Have Done This Week

- finally sorted French bank account out (card working and everything)
- tidied and cleaned my room
- arranged a job interview
- announced that this week would be alcohol free
- made plans for a calm, cultured weekend

Bad, Ridiculous, Stupid Person Things I Have Done This Week

- lost my Pandora bracelet that I have had since I was 18
- broke my wardrobe and my shower
- used my new bank card to buy make-up, cocktails and sushi
- drank eleven alcoholic drinks since 'swearing off the booze' on Monday
- made plans to get drunk and rowdy this weekend

Oh dear. One drink during Happy Hour in my favourite cocktail bar at Bastille (L'an vert du décor- it's a pun on the phrase l'envers du décor which means 'behind the scenes'... yeah I don't get it either) turned into nine of drinking. Hold on, that can't be right...

I've just worked it out. It is right. Shit.

The 'Mojito in Love' cocktail is just so nice (it's a mojito made with raspberries) and during Happy Hour they are half price, making them 5,50 euros, which is cheap for a nice cocktail in a nice place in Paris. Hmm, I think six was a bit obsessive though.

But we were having such a nice time! It was a boiling hot day, I finished work early and at L'en vers du décor 'Happy Hour' lasts from 6pm to 9pm. I went with Olivia, my New Friend, Abby, my French Friend and Julia who is Abby's French friend. You know when everything everyone says seems hilarious? We probably annoyed everyone else in there, a lot.

After the cocktails we went for something to eat and out of all the nice restaurants in Bastille we ended up in a Japanese restaurant eating the most disgusting miso soup ever. It tasted like a very sweaty man, who had been wearing dead fish as trainers, soaked his feet in a vat of hot water, added some chopped spring onions and then served it up to four very drunk girls. The sushi was ok though, although it is the shittest food to eat when you have been drinking and all you want is a kebab.

After the sushi, I should have gone home. Abby and Julia had to be up early so they left, but something deep inside was crying out for more alcohol, so me and Olivia went to another bar for another mojito, then we went to another bar for a glass of wine, then we went somewhere else for another glass of wine, then we tried to get into a Hippopotamus for some chips and it was closed, so we went back to Olivia's.

Her 'studio' is the best thing I've ever seen. It's huuuge, with wooden beams and a bachelor pad-style bar made out of glass bricks. Olivia got behind the bar and made me an Earl Grey Martini. I was very impressed but looking back, I probably shouldn't have drunk it- the next day (today) I felt very ill and my normal hangover helper, a cup of tea, made me feel a bit worse because Olivia only had Earl Grey tea.

We just lay on her bed all day, eating toast and watching Burlesque which is the worst film I have watched for a long time, although I enjoyed the spangly costumes.

I wasn't in work until half six tonight, by which time I felt a lot better. Work was fine, although a bit awkward as always. It has been going quite well this week- on Tuesday I danced the macarena for a solid twenty minutes while the eight year old girl sang 'Maca-maca-maca-maca-maca-rena' over and over again. When I left she gave me a kiss for the first time, so I thought she was finally starting to like me, but then tonight she was off me again and I spent most of my time feeding the fifteen month year old baby, who Very Cute, his macaroni.

Speaking of babies, tomorrow I have an interview with a woman who needs someone to look after her three month year old baby. I was hoping I could fit it in wiht my au pair job but now I'm not sure, as she'll need me in the school holidays and my au pair family will probably need me. It's ten euros an hour though and I could potentially be doing ten hours a week. Imagine, an extra 100 euros a week. That would help me sleep better at night.

Ergh! I've just remembered me and Olivia ate a block of cheese when we got in last night. AND! Also ergh, one of her weird neighbours slipped a note under the door saying 'Can we take part in your party?' and they drew a smiley face and wrote their telephone number on it.

Creepy...

Oh yeah and something weird has happened, I haven't heard from Chaz, my friend from home who is in Paris this week on a uni trip. I'm worried. If you're reading this Chaz... GET IN CONTACT and we can go for cocktails.

Monday, 26 September 2011

FUCK FUCK FUCK OFF

Apparently, God does exist. He read my previous post and as punishment he has made me lose my Pandora bracelet!! I just looked down and it wasn't on my wrist. I can't remember when I last had it, but I never take it off, so it must have slipped off at some point. When I wonder. Now, when I just went to the bank? Or Saturday night, when I was dancing to reggae? Or yesterday, when I leant over to put some money in the collection?

I've had that bracelet since I was eighteen.

Religion On a Hangover

You know when you feel like everything you are doing is wrong? I've been drinking too much and wasting my days, when I could have been learning French or walking around nice parks or looking for jobs.

Yesterday me and Kayt went for falafal which are the nicest things to eat when you are feeling hungover. As we ate, we walked through the maze of expensive clothes shops and kosher bakeries selling pretzels and doughnuts, and watched the local teenagers being all cool with their kippas* and scooters... we saw one boy, who looked about fifteen, stop his scooter abruptly next to his girlfriend, kiss her on the mouth then drive away down the little cobbled streets, leaving her to woozily wander back to her friends. It was the coolest thing I have ever seen. Why don't teenage boys in England do that? When I was fifteen I remember me and Chaz waiting around for hours because Amo and her boyfriend were 'doing stuff' in a bush.

From the marais we walked to the river and then we walked to the Notre Dame. Kayt had never been inside so on a whim we decided to go in and have a look. When we got inside I saw that mass was starting. Now, I would call myself Catholic, even though most of the time I don't believe in God, because I went to Catholic school and did my Confirmation and my Holy Communion... Kayt is not a Catholic, nor is she religious in any way, shape or form, but she thought it would be 'interesting' to go to a mass at the Notre Dame so we went.

As soon as we sat down I felt sad because the last time I was in Notre Dame I lit a candle for somebody in England who is really ill and it didn't help them.

I don't know if it was because I was really hungover, or because the cathedral is so dimly-lit and the air so thick with incense, but I felt really weird and filled with doom. Also the organ was playing a terrifying piece of ominous music that must have been called something like 'The Sinners Fall Into A Pit Of Fiery Hell.' It reminded me of the opening credits of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I remember seeing it at the cinema when I was seven years old and it scared the shit out of me.) Religion is scary.

I didn't understand anything that went on, because it was all in French and even though Kayt understood the French, she had no clue what was going on because she isn't Catholic and church must seem weird to people who aren't familiar with it; sitting in a cavernous cathedral, being made drowsy by the incense and the candles, listening to hundreds of people chant in unison like they are in some sort of cult, while old men in dresses and big hats slowly move up the aisle in silence.

When I came back from receiving the communion, because I was hungover and my mouth was really dry, the Body of Christ wasn't dissolving- he was just stuck to the roof of my mouth. Kayt was trying to tell me she wanted to leave but I felt rude talking to her whilst Jesus was stuck to the roof of my mouth, so I just nodded and then I got down to pray. I said a prayer for some people I know because even if I don't believe in God, prayer can't do any harm can it?

Afterwards Kayt said I looked very dramatic and ridiculous when I got on my knees to pray, but that is what you do in church Kayt! I told her how I couldn't speak with Jesus in my mouth and she made a very crude joke indeed that I don't think Jesus would have approved of.

As we walked out of the Notre Dame, they opened the giant doors at the front of the building. It was impressive, walking from the dark cathredral and that ill-omented organ music, which sounded like somewhere a god was frowning at me. It was like last year, when me, Amy and Kay went into the service at the Paris Mosque- I felt like Allah was getting ready to smite me down for being in his house when I am a binge-drinking whore who doesn't always dress so modestly.

ANYWAY. What the fuck am I talking about? I feel that something bad will happen to me because I have written about religion.

My friend Chaz arrives in Paris today! She is here for a whole week on a trip with her university. Me, Chaz and Amo my friend who works at Disneyland, who I never see because it's fifty minutes away by Ghetto Train and I'm lazy, are bestest pals from school.

We were supposed to be going out tonight, but now Amo can't come because her upcoming holiday might be cancelled or something and she has to sort it out.

I am obviously sad at this news, but I am also slightly relieved because I feel quite ill and I think I would react violently if anyone tried to make me get drunk again. I was planning on not drinking for a couple of weeks because I look and feel worn-out and disgusting.

Ergh I feel sick. I want to stay in bed all day but my room is like a sauna, I think I'll force myself to go out, maybe I will snap out of this weird, doom-filled mood that religion has put me in. I think also I feel like shit because last night I went to bed at 10pm because I was so tired, but I couldn't sleep. The last time I checked my phone before I eventually feel asleep it was 4am. Ergh I don't even have any money for paracetamol. I put my last 3o cents in the collection at mass. I hope they're not using it to chase gypsies and burn them.














*A kippa is the name for the little hat Jewish men and boys wear.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Blregh

I'm all ready to go out, sat in my room waiting for Georgie and My New Pal Olivia who I have never actually met before. She was an au pair in Paris three years ago with Lauren, and now she is here for her year abroad, so I have invited her out as a sort of blind friendship date.

Ergh. I still hungover from last night. I've just put mascara and eyeliner on my tired eyes and they're burrrrning. I look like I've been smoking weed all day. In fact, I've been working. Yep, I kind of forgot that this new job of mine includes the occassional Saturday, so I don't feel so bad about not doing a lot during the week, because working Saturdays is So Shit.

I had to go to work straight from Kayt's, in my little black dress from Friday night. I borrowed some tights off Kayt and luckily I had my boots with me, but I looked ridiculous because today was the hottest day ever.

Everyone in the park was wearing sandals and summer dresses with bare legs and I had my huge coat on, thick black tights and knee-high boots lined with fleecy wool.

The little girl had a chum round and they really didn't want me there, so I had to sit quietly in the corner of the room while they whispered about me. It was horrible. I felt like I was the Nitty Nora in the school playground and the other girls wouldn't let me play.

I thought I would finish after lunch, but I had to take the girls to the park again and wait for the dad to come with the baby. He came about half four and I casually asked if he still needed me, because all I was doing was watching the girls play without me from a distance, like I had been doing all day, and he said I needed to stay because he couldn't watch the baby and the girls.

Then the baby got melted chocolate all over the dad's back and he asked me to wipe it off for him with a baby wipe. Awk. Ward.

Finally, finally he said I could go about 5pm and I got home and had the best Disco Nap ever. I am hoping I will perk up soon. Tonight we are going back to Cabaret Sauvage for some dubstep/dancehall/jungle type affair. It should be fun... but I feel so poorly. Erghhhh.

Last night we went for drinks around Belleville in the 19th. We were all very drunk. There was a lot of caramel vodka and me and Kayt had a conversation where we kept telling each other how brilliant we were and also how similar we were, so we were essentially bigging ourselves up for forty minutes, trying to disguise outlandish drunken arrogance as compliments to each other. For example:

You just make loads of FRIENDS like I think you are so good at having friends and you always make people feel like they are your friends its so brilliant and actually I wouldn't say this normally but we are so similar that's why we're FRIENDS cos we're the same you and me no no no, we are, no its true though we are we're such good friends and we're really the same. You're so attractive no you are you are you've got the best ankles I've ever seen I'm not just saying that cos I'm drunk.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

I Heart Banks

Yey! I know nobody cares about my whingey bank-problems... but my plan of being consumed by rage and completely ignoring the situation worked!

Today I checked my account again and the money has been taken off my credit card amount, so I won't be charged millions of pointless pounds again and I didn't effectively throw the last, precious amount of English money I had in the bin.

I am so happy- I don't hate you anymore, Royal Bank of Scotland! I'm sorry for calling your mum a fat whore, I' sure she's a lovely woman and she is welcome up to my Cinderella room anytime for tea and cake. Although she would have to bring the cake, because I'm skint. But it's not your fault that I'm skint, RBS! Now I can say with all certainy that my financial crisis was caused by everyone else in the world, apart from me, obviously. It has nothing to do with me.

I have some other good bank news! Today I went to my new French bank all by myself and, although I didn't really understand anything, I came away with my cheque book and debit card! Wow. I no longer feel an unhealthy fury towards banks. I feel like banks are my friend and occasional fuck-buddy (if they're up for that and they don't think it would get in the way of our newly formed friendship).

On a slightly less positive note, I can't actually use my new bank card until I receive my pin number in the post and I have no idea where my post might be, or if us peasants who live in the Cinderella rooms are even entitled to get post. Maybe the gardienne has received the letter already, looked at the stupid English name on the front and thrown it in the incinerator, along with the remains of that prince who came by last week to take me away on his white horse...

I really wish I was living in a fairytale. As much as I now heart banks, I bet Rapunzel didn't have to worry that if she left her tower, the banks wouldn't know where to send her statements. Talking of Rapunzel, my hair is now so long that if I stick my bum out as much as I can, my hair can rest on it like a shelf. (I don't know which part of my appearance that statement actually said more about.) I need to get it cut, but I had it cut in August and it just grew more. It only confirms what I have always suspected- I have magic powers.

Now, because I don't put photos of myself up here, I am aware that some of will not know what I look like or even what my real name is. Well, my real name is Olga Schelisnger and here is a photo to prove just how long my hair is:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Sauvage Saturday

It might have been two days ago, but I have to write a post about Saturday, because it was Amazing...

Me, Anna and Kayt had tickets for Rebel Rave which I think... is the tour... of an album... released by a label called Crosstown Rebels?

Oh come on, we all know I have no idea what I'm talking about, but the important thing is that Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler and Damian Lazarus were playing and they all had residencies at DC10 this summer, where I loved the music, a lot. Also, Ricky (my very own Resident Advisor) said that I should 'Go! Go!' so I was as eager as a beaver and very excited.

Saturday daytime was the Techno Parade, which I only managed to catch the end of last year. This year I wanted to experience the actual parade, instead of just the resulting riots. But as the day wore on, me and Kayt found ourselves drinking tea and discussing plans with each other on Skype, without actually making any attempt to leave our Cinderella rooms and get to the Techno Parade...

By the time me and Kayt got our act together to go, and met up with Georgie on the metro, it was about half five. We literally arrived at Place d'Italie to see the back of a massive carnival float driving away, with an American voice blaring out: "Goodbye Paris! Thank you!"

As that plan crawled into a hole to die, so we decided to use the opportunity (of being awake and out of bed) to do Something Cultural. We went to the Palais de Tokyo near the Eiffel Tower to see some modern art and guess what- the Palais is having some work done so we ended up sitting in the café having 6, non-alcoholic cocktails. I am slightly concerned that any plan of ours involving Something Cultural results in us sitting down in a café attached to the musuem we were planning on visiting, having an over-priced drink and not seeing any art or historical wonders.

The Palais de Tokyo is a really interesting place, although the upstairs toilets are a little too interesting if you ask me (they have translucent doors that open on both edges and have no locks- I went in, freaked out and swore never to use them again) but I wouldn't recommend going at the moment, because Georgie paid to get in and she said they only have three pieces to see.

After our non-cultural, non-alcoholic cocktail, we went back to Kayt's with a very large bottle of vodka, a large bottle of coke and a large can of Red Bull. 'Rebel Rave' was on until 7am so there was no rush; we had the whole evening to get nicely smashed and dance about to Shangaan Electro, which sounds like this:




As Georgie was going to 'the country' early the next morning, she wasn't coming out with us but she did get drunk with us and do an impromptu photo shoot. Now, Georgie is a professional photographer, but I'm not sure how great the photos will be, considering we were trying to dance exactly like they do in the above video...

Anyway, Kayt cooked us a lovely chilli so we ate that as we drank and danced. By the time we had faffed about putting lots of make-up on and posing for silly photographs, it was about midnight, so we set off for Cabaret Sauvage and the rave that was waiting for us...

Cabaret Sauvage is a venue at Porte de la Villette, which is in the North-East of Paris. There's a really nice park there with a canal and the 'largest science musuem in Europe' and they have lots of good music events (such as Villette Sonique that I went to in May) BUT that part of Paris is a bit dodge, especially at night.

This sounds really arrogant but we didn't want to dress too nicely. We weren't like 'Oh if we look our best we will surely get raped because we will look so attractive and the peasants won't be able to resist'; we just put a bit of thought into our outfit choices, which means leaving the heels, bare legs and little dresses at home. (Don't literally take your legs off and leave them at home, I mean, take your legs out by all means, but cover them up with some sort of clothing.) If you are going to places in East Paris, like Porte de la Villette, or Glaz'art for example, you have to be sensible and not dress like English tourists, who everyone in Paris assumes are binge-drinking slags. (If you are wondering what we wore, we went for jeans, a nice top and wedges, with coats on top.)

Anyway, our journey to Porte de la Villette was fine. Once we got off the metro however, we found ourselves in a pitch black building site. Luckily Kayt is quite good at Finding Places so she steered us in the right direction. After a few minutes we spotted more people walking ahead of us who looked like they were going to Rebel Rave and we could hear the bass in the distance.

When we got to Cabaret Sauvage, we had to wait outside these tall, metal gates because Anna had our tickets. Unfortunately, there were some weird men who insisted we accompany them inside, clearly because they needed girls with them in order to get past the bouncers to the ticket booth. After a bit of half-hearted joking with them, they really started to get annoying and they did that thing that only men in Paris do- they just. don't. quit. The conversation went something like this (in French though):

- Hey girls. Are you English?
- No, we're Greek.
- Ok what do you know about this, is it just for bobos? (a word for rich, liberal hipsters)
- Yes.
- Good, I'm a bobo!
- Ok off you go inside then.
- Lets go in together.
- No.
- Yes, lets go in together.
- No. I don't speak French.
- Ok, come on girls, lets go in together.
- We don't speak French.
- Ok, lets all go in together, come on.
- No.
- Yes, lets all go in together.
- I don't understand, I don't speak French.
- Ok... Why don't we all go in together?

ARGH this went on for about ten minutes. Kayt finally went up the bouncer and asked him if we could hide behind him because weird men were bothering us and he was so nice about it. He let us through the big metal gates and we waited for Anna. While we were waiting it got busier and busier and soon there was a huge crush of people trying to get through the gates. Some people had tickets but some didn't. There was tickets for sale on the door, but to get to the ticket booth you had to get past the bouncers and they were only letting in 'certain types' of people. Basically, anyone with thick, Geeky glasses who looks like they shop at The Kooples.

Anna called us to say she'd brought her new housemate with her and she didn't have a ticket, so I quickly got in the queue and got her one before they sold out. Eventually, Anna and her housemate, a lovely French girl called Angélique, managed to push their way to the front and the bouncers let them in. I was so glad we had pre-bought tickets.

On the door to the actual venue, it was mayhem. They had no barcode scanners, so everyone had to present: their printed-out ticket; a form of ID; plus the card they paid for the tickets with. After a lot of explaining and pushing, we managed to get in to the venue.

As soon as we got in there, I loved it. As soon as you step inside, you are greeted by a little stage with heavy, red velvet curtains behind it. I knew what lay beyond the curtains because I researched Cabaret Sauvage (sauvage = wild) on the internet before we went, but it still took me by surprise.

You step through a small gap in the curtains...

... and suddenly you are at the circus.

The venue is circular, with luxe material draped across the ceiling, making it look like the dome of a real circus tent. The main floor is surrounded by wooden platforms that you can imagine crowds sat on, cheering at painted elephants and sequined tight-rope walkers. There were flashing lights, multi-coloured lazers and hordes of huge, helium balloons, in the shapes of animals and stars. Some of them had floated away from the pack, so that shiny zebras and carousel horses bopped about on the ceiling.

And the music... the music was brilliant. As we walked in we saw Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones were up playing, together. This YouTube video might give you an idea of what is was like to be there:



We did go outside to smoke and chat with people, as well as going to the bar and the toilets a couple of times, but mostly we stayed in the crowd, dancing and smiling and generally having a Brilliant Time. We stared into the bright, trippy lights and watched the shiny helium ménagerie shake and jitter above us.

There was one horrible moment at about 4am when Damian Lazarus was playing and the sound cut out. The lights stopped and everyone was left standing still, holding their breath in the sudden silence whilst frantic techies tried to get the music started again. It was an awful, awful moment and after about ten minutes it seemed as though things would never be ok again. Kayt pulled gently on my arm as the crowds around us left the dancefloor in disgust. "Lets go outside for a minute while they sort it out."

But I couldn't move, I kept thinking about how good it would feel when the music started again...

Time sped by. Nothing happened. I was imagining the journey home, sad and disheartened, when all of a sudden there was a PFFFUUUUUUT as something spluttered into life and the music was back and we were surrounded by people again, cheering and whistling, looks of relief and happiness all round.

From then on it was great again. But like all Class A nights, it was over far too quickly. All too soon Damian Lazarus was playing his last track, which luckily there is a video of on YouTube. In this video you can really see how amazing the venue is:



Even though that was his official last track, he played Night Air by Jamie Woon as everyone was leaving. It was perfect for the moment and it gave me goosebumps. I've already posted three videos so I'll let you find the song yourself if you want to hear it, but the lyrics go like this:

Night air has the strangest flavor
Space to breathe and time to savour
All that night air has to lend me
Till the morning makes me angry
In the night air
The night air

I've acquired a kind of madness
Daylight fills my heart with sadness
Only silent skies can soothe me
Feel that night air flowing through me
In the night air
The night air

It was such a perfect song to leave a rave to! We said goodbye to Anna and Angélique and walked out into the night air...

Dawn was coming and the sky was like a yellow pearl. We walked back to the metro along the glittering canal and even though I was sad that the night was over, I was still happy and everything looked beautiful.

By the time we got back to Kayt's and had a cup of tea, we had to shut the blinds to keep the morning away.

Sunday was spent in bed, watching shit on Kayt's laptop and eating lots of carbohydrates, trying to Come Down from the domed ceiling of Cabaret Sauvage. We finally made it out into the fresh air at about six pm, just in time to see a bit of daylight before the sun started setting. We walked from Kayt's place to mine, through the quiet streets of Paris where everything was calm and pretty.

So that was my weekend. I can't believe it's Tuesday already. Soon it will be the weekend again, then it will be October, the month that I now WON'T be going to England. I just sighed a very sad sigh. Is anyone a fan of Spaced? Because I'm reminded of something Tyres says in the second ever episode:

"Last Night was an A1, tip-top, clubbing, jam fair. It was a sandwich of fun, on ecstasy bread, wrapped up in a big bag like disco fudge. It doesn't get much better than that. I just wish that I could control these FUCKING MOOD SWINGS!"

Monday, 19 September 2011

VENOM.

I definitely can't afford to go to England in October, so obviously that means I can't go to Mulletover on Halloween. It's not like I made a decision not to go, I just realised that I don't have any money. The money I got from my tax rebate, I am keeping in my English account so Royal Bank of Scotland can take payments for my credit card. Very sensible and good, I thought.

But no. The money I paid off on my credit card has gone out of my account, but my credit card did not decrease, plus they took the minimum payment, plus they charged me £6 interest plus they charged me £12 over limit fee. What is the point?

This is why I actually hate having money, because if I don't have it at least I don't have to worry about losing it. I really don't understand. How am I supposed to sort this out from Paris?

I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!

This is why I prefer to spend my money on trips to London and wine, because I know I will never, ever regret spending it on things like that.

Now I am furious. And confused.

I thought I was on my way to being a Good, Organised, Careful Person, but all I have done is fucked up my finances a little bit more.

I hate you Royal Bank of Scotland. I can feel all the bile inside my stomach, burning with hatred. I hate you RBS and I hate your fucking mum, she's a fat, ugly whore and if I ever see her I'd punch her in the face and then spit on her.

On the bright side, Saturday night was amazing and I will tell you all about it later!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

French People Do Not Dance

I'm trying to find out where the Techno Parade started, but the website has crashed, so I'm doing a little Google research and look what I found:

“We put the focus on dance this year,” said Tommy Vaudecrane, the co-president of Technopol, “because many people in France do not dance and know very little about the dance culture associated with electronic music, such as house, vogueing, rave and the Melbourne shuffle..."

(Technopol organises and sponsors the Techno Parade)

The first time I went to see an English DJ in Paris, I wondered why everyone else was dancing so... unusually to the music. It was dubstep and most people were just kind of hopping from side to side and shaking their arms like they were warming up for a long jog.

Hmm, less funny is the fact I have just eaten the most disgusting crêpes I have ever made. I don't have any measuring thingys. I am petrified now that Vomiting Girl will make a re-appearance tonight at Cabaret Sauvage...

Friday, 16 September 2011

Strange, Sexy.

So I stayed in after all. I have made the right decision; tomorrow will be expensive. And yet... I'm so bored. I have just consumed a disgusting amount of spaghetti carbonara. Living all alone in my little Cinderella room means I always make too much food and I don't have the self-control not to eat everything.

I was half-way through watching an episode of True Blood when an annoying message flashed up saying I had watched more than forty minutes today. Grr. Just as it was getting to the part where everyone has sex. I don't know what's the matter with me, but being all cooped up in my little room on the sixth floor... I'm all hot and bothered.

Last night I had strange dreams. There was a man who was judging cat owners on how sexy they were and then he locked them all in a wooden chest. Then I was in England and I thought 'This must be a dream'. The Rave Crew were there and they said 'We remember when you were sick on the dancefloor, it was minging'. Then they all got on a bus to London and left me sat on the kerb, all alone in the dark and eating pizza that had lardons on it.

Also... I had a sex dream about the dad of my new au pair family and I'm not going to lie, it was a really good dream, although I'm glad I didn't have to see him at work today. I've got the weekend to get the images out of my head...

I think I'll go and try some clothes on for tomorrow night. Anna has booked the tickets. How exciting! Hmm, I've just had a quick scan of my wardrobe, I messed up this week by not doing my laundry: I've got a choice of two sequined tops and a pair of coral jogging bottoms.

Pfttttttttttttttttttt. SO BORED. I really should use this evening to work on my French, or I could update my C.V and translate it so I can get applying for that second job, or maybe I could whack out an award-winning screen play.

Hmm, I think I'll just eat the rest of that spaghetti carbonara and look at myself in the mirror for a bit.

Friday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for his living,
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.


It's Friday and I was born on a Friday, so I thought 'Friday's Child' would be a good title. But actually, that poem is a load of shit. 'Friday's child is loving and giving'?

That's not me at all: I would like to be more giving, but somehow the money I mentally put aside for Christmas and birthday presents each year gets spent on alcohol and mascara; as for being 'loving', last year I shocked the girls by telling them, rather herodoxically (thank you 'A Word A Day'), that I didn't believe in love.

Oh, don't look at me like that!

I'm not going to get into it now, but one day I'll sit down and tell you my theory about why love is not a Real Thing. It is a question of believing in it or not. I believe in fairies, you believe in love. Lets agree to disagree, ok?

Anyway, I am writing this blog post on a Friday afternoon when I should be in work. The mum of the family texted me earlier to say that they didn't need me today because they were going to their country house for the weekend, straight from school. Obviously, not being a fan of Work and his scary cousin Hard Graft, I am elated at having the afternoon off, but I am a little worried that the parents are going to turn around and say "We've realised that we don't actually need you at all. Bye."

I don't really do anything. This job is so different from my last job. A few months ago, when it was the summer holidays, I was working eleven hours a day (8.30 am to 7.30 pm), five days a week, looking after three children and sometimes more if they had friends over or cousins to stay. I had to get them up, give them breakfast, get them dressed, drag them out of the house to a museum or to the park, despite them screaming that they just wanted to stay at home watching TV all day... I had to cook lunch, clean up, do the laundry, force them all to shower, tidy their rooms, prepare the dinner, put the dishwasher on, play with them, unload the dishwasher...

And my new job? Yesterday I got to the family's house at quarter past six in the evening. The mum was there, the nanny was there and the grandad was there. I ran a bath for the eight year old and because she was doing her homework with her mum, I just stood in the bathroom awkwardly, fiddling with the temperature as intently as if I had been left in charge of controlling a nuclear cooling tower.

When the bath was ready, I called to the eight year old girl to get in it. After a bit of messing about she got in and I just knelt down besides the bath, trying to make jokes and chat to her. She ignored me and I felt like a bit of a Creepy Weirdo ot be honest, sat in silence while an eight year old girl I don't really know has a bath, also in silence.

After she got out, I told the eleven year old to get in. The eight year old wanted to play with her grandad, so I started preparing dinner which involved opening a box of sushi and getting three plates out. This was not me being lazy, the mum bought the sushi and told me to give it to the girls for dinner.

We ate the sushi. I put the plates in the dishwasher. The eight year old was being sulky so the mum sent her to her bedroom. I followed her in, as my main job is to keep her entertained, but she just lay on her bed in silence. I chatted to her in my special 'lets be reasonable and just have a laugh, I'm not arsed if you are naughty I just need to play with you so I can get paid' voice, but she didn't respond.

I tried to get her interested in some furry toys, but she wasn't interested. I sneezed eight times in a row, which normally makes her laugh, but she just buried herself further under the covers. In the end I sat at her desk and read one of her books, feeling very useless. The mum came in to the bedroom about eight pm and said "You may as well go, you can do nothing for her." So I left, after she had given me my eighty euros for the week, because she wasn't sure if she would see me today.

Hmm. As well as the eighty euros: they are giving me somewhere to live; they are doing a weekly food shop for me; and they are paying for half of my transport. In return I feel as though I am not doing a lot.

But. All this means that I have a lot of free time. I am not going to waste it, I am going to get a second job, just as soon as I find out what is going on with the drama teaching thing... Before I left for the summer it all seemed so certain and now that I am back in Paris, I get the feeling things might not work out like I planned.

Still, I made a payment on my credit card today! What a responsible adult I am! I am even contemplating not going out tonight, as tomorrow I am going to Rebel Rave Paris at Cabaret Sauvage and it is 23 euros and I'm sure the drinks will be about ten euros each, but Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones are playing and I've never been to Cabaret Sauvage before. It's in a really dodgy area of Paris but it's supposed to be really cool inside, apparently it's like a circus tent.

Tomorrow daytime it's the Techno Parade, which I went to last year but I don't know if I want to be out all day drinking and dancing to techno whilst trying not to get pickpocketed (there will be thousands of people there), and then be out all night, drinking and trying not to get attacked as I make my way to and from Porte de la Villette. I must be getting old.



Monday, 12 September 2011

Non-French Food and Funny French People

My first proper weekend back in Paris was full of funny French people and lovely, non-French food. (Not that French food isn't lovely...)

On Saturday, a visit to a photography exhibition turned into a jug of Pimms at the café next door, because the gallery was closed for Some Reason. Then in the evening we went to Chez Prune on Canal St Martin (metro: Republique). It's a well-known bistro and wine bar that does really, really nice wine. Obviously, we always get the shittest, cheapest rosé but the point is the nice wine is there if you want it. They also do nice cheese boards and meat boards.

Amongst our group there was some Real French People, and after Chez Prune they went and got us a Delicious falafal sandwich from a Lebonese restaurant they always go to. While we waited for our sandwich, we got in the queue for Comptoir Générale. Comptoir is just further up the canal from Chez Prune and it is brilliant, you should go. It is a really 'unique space' shall we say, a bar and restaurant set in what feels like an old hotel (I think its actually an old printing press), decked out like a natural history museum, with a Central American theme.














Unfortunately, by the time our French pals got back with our falafal, we had already gone inside and the slightly arsey bouncers had stopped letting anyone else in. Georgie had to go outside and get the sandwich off them, then sneak it back inside, where we ate it huddled in the corner, passing it around like a joint. There is always a queue outside Comptoir Générale and they stop letting people in at midnight, but don't let that put you off. The reason there is always a queue is because they don't let it get too busy, so there is always somewhere to sit amongst the old medicine cabinets and bell jars.

In the queue to get in, we met a couple who were visiting from Barcelona. The guy was Columbian and the girl was Austrian, and they were with a French couple they had just met on the steet, and they were all so drunk that they had decided to go on a night out together. The Austrian woman told us how the staff at their five star hotel had slapped her across the face because she asked to leave her laptop behind reception, so her Columbian boyfriend had ripped out all the broadband cables in the hotel... They weren't sure what would be waiting for them when they got back.

It was such an unbelievable story, from such an unusual couple, who we had met in such an unexpected way... They were fun though, but we didn't see them inside, so the bouncers must have decided they were too drunk to come in.

It was a Funny night, but not in a Ridiculous way like every night turned out to be last year. We had fun, but nobody ended up in bunk bed with a stranger or found themselves walking through tear gas... Ah, but they were the days!

Sunday night was also Funny. (When I say Funny I don't mean like 'Haha, this will make you laugh' I mean that throughout the night we found lots of things to laugh at.)

Me and Kayt met up with a friend of Mari's from last year who is lovely and has a Real Job in Paris working for a news channel. We met up with her at the Lizard Lounge, a bar in the Marais (metro: Hotel de Ville) where the happy hour cocktails were good and strong. Kayt had the Mojito du jour and I had Sex on the Beach- I know they are tacky but I love them.

After some nice chatting (and discovering some really bizarre mutual friendships) me and Kayt went to meet Georgie and some French People at a bar called Le Soleil (metro: Brochant) It was so French. There was a live band playing which consisted of a man who claimed to have played guitar for Led Zepplin and a girl on a violin. We got talking to one oldish man who, upon finding out we were au pairs, said:

"Watch out for the papas! My advice? If it happens... take the money, then have a shower."

Sinister advice.

After Le Soleil we went across the road to an Ethiopian restaurant. I have never eaten Ethiopian food before and I LOVE IT. You order something to share and it comes on a massive savoury pancake and you all get a smaller pancake to pick up the food with. It was really spicy and wholesome and I LOVE eating with my hands; I've always disliked the metallic taste of cutlery in my mouth. Eating with your hands, or with a bit of naan bread or pancake, makes much more sense when you think about it. The Ethiopian place was called Restaurant Menelik and the food was gorgeous, the staff were lovely and the music they played was brilliant, I wish they had a club as well.

Now I am off to read my friend Claire's play with a cup of tea, I CANNOT wait to read it. Today at work was fine, I finished work three hours early because the granny came round and said she didn't need me... suits me fine!

Yey, I really feel like I am getting back into the Parisien swing of things!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Ibiza: The Aftermath

Kayt is coming round and we are going to open me up a proper bank account, not that dodgy one that Family Thrift 'sorted out' for me... I still have twenty euros in there actually, but last time I went they wouldn't let me get it out, I reckon HSBC and Family Thrift are in it together. But they can keep my twenty euros- I'm just happy to be far, far away from them and their polenta rations.

I reckon I have just enough time to round off my Ibiza story before Kayt arrives and we embark upon the frustrating Life Challenge that is Opening A Bank Account In France.

So, I had six and a half hours to wait at Ibiza airport all on my lonesome and I didn't feel very 'with it'. The airport was practically empty, so I found three chairs and lay down on them, with my feet hooked over my suitcase and my head and arms around my hand luggage. I hoped that because I was so in the open, anyone trying to rob me as I slept would be seen and stopped. I slept for about two hours, then the airport started filling up with people and I had to sit up and look lively.

I can't really remember what I did to fill the time... I listened to music and stared at the wall for about forty minutes, I even tried listening to Michel Thomas: Learn French, but Michel gets on my nerves at the best of times ("I want to, I want to do it, I think I would like to do it.... je veux." -which one is it Michel?? It can't mean three different things! Organise your thoughts- some people paid good money for them!) and sitting in the airport killing time after four nights in Ibiza is not the best of times.

There aren't really any shops or cafés on the 'non-checked in' side of Ibiza airport, but I found one place that sold tea. I wandered over about lunch time and asked for an Earl Grey, which turned out to be a tiny, empty cup and a sealed teabag. I had to locate the jug of hot water, fill the cup, open the tea bag, then squish the teabag into the tiny, hot cup. I wouldn't really call it a 'cup of tea' per se, but it had been so long since I'd had a brew at all that my little paper cup of bitter, black water was one of the most welcome cups of tea I have ever had.

The departures board said that my flight to Paris was 'delayed' and there was no other information, so I kept checking it occasionally but I knew I wouldn't be flying at 4pm. At about 3pm I went and sat outside the airport and read my book. It was a gorgeous day and I felt stupid for not getting out into the fresh air earlier.

I decided to go in and check the boards at about half three. When I got inside there was a huge crowd of people queuing for two Easyjet check-in desks. My flight was Easyjet. I looked at the board and it said next to my flight 'Boarding- 15:40'.

'That's all right,' I thought 'Check in doesn't open for another ten minutes.'

In the back of my head a little voice was trying to tell me that there was something wrong with that sentence, but I calmly pushed all doubts aside and took a seat, waiting to see if the queue would go down. It didn't look as there were any staff at the check-in desks, so I thought I better join the back of the queue in case they didn't start checking-in for ages

I stood at the back of the queue, but I wasn't even sure if this was the right place to be or not. 'Boarding- 15:40.' It was about quarter to four at this point and still nobody had come to the check-in desks. I looked up at the boards to check if there was any new information and then it hit me.

BOARDING.

The plane was BOARDING at 15: 40. Boarding means GETTING ON THE PLANE.

I felt like I was slipping under water... What was wrong with me? What was WRONG with me?? I have flown on my own five times this year, I know exactly what to do at the airport. I am always the one waiting by the gate an hour before the flight leaves, with my passport and my flight information inside my special Travel Wallet that my nana bought me on Great Homer St.

Normally in these situations, a list of possibilities runs through your head, a list of helpful solutions your brain offers up before you have the chance to go into meltdown... But this time, there was nothing. I looked into my brain, desperately looking for help, but my head was empty. It was just a white, blank nothing.

Then, pushing through the crowds came two flustered (but not completely freaking out, not yet) women and they asked me if I could speak French. In my panic I forgot that I can't speak French, so I answered yes, and then we managed to have a perfectly coherent exchange in which I understood they were on the same flight as me. Yesssss. If they were here, surely it was ok that I was here too?

The check-in finally opened and the two French women pushed their to the front. I was just debating whether to do the same when the lady at check-in called 'Paris? Paris?' Ignoring the angry retorts from everyone I manoevered around (demanding in every European language why I was pushing to the front), I made my way to the check-in desk. My baggage wasn't overweight, my plane hadn't left... I was checked in. All was fine.

"They are boarding your plane now, go quickly" the check-in lady said politely.

That panic again. I asked her where to go and then I ran there. I wasn't sure if they would let the plane leave without me, considering I had already checked in, but there seemed no sense in Testing Fate.

I leapt up the escalators to see a huuuuge long line of people snaking its way from me to Security. I wondered if I would be able to push to the front, seeing as my plane was boarding? However, seconds after joining the back of the queue, I was almost at the front. It was a fast-moving line and I breathed a sigh of relief. Remembering all the phones and keys and 'musical contraptions' in my hand luggage, I started organising myself before I got to the front.

I took out everything I would need to put in one of those little trays, including my travel wallet. I couldn't remember if you needed to put your passport in the tray as well. I opened the wallet. The A4 piece of paper with my flight details on it was folded up in one side and in the other side- there was nothing. Where I had been expecting the important maroon of my passport; there was just the blue material of my wallet and it made me sick to my stomach.

I checked the other side again... nothing. Nothing. I threw my bag down on the floor and rifled through it. It must be here it must be here it must be here it must be here. People were tutting as they stepped over me, but I didn't have the brain capacity to think it might be a good idea to move. All I could think was it must be here it must be here it must be here. But it wasn't. It wasn't there.

I felt like I was drowning. Had I left it at the hotel? No, I checked in. I obviously had it when I checked in. I tried to remember having the passport in my hand, taking it off the woman at check-in, but my mind drew a blank. Then I remembered, I had a fladsh-back to her holding it out to me, so I definitely didn't leave it at check-in.

Panic panic. Would they hold the plane? What if I missed my flight? I had thirty pence in my bank account. If I went back to Sant Antonio, could I get a job on the nasty tourist strip selling shots to rowdy boys from Sheffield, dragging my suitcase behind me, sleeping on the beach until I had saved up enough to buy a flight home?

There was a man in uniform stood behind me, making people wait and then telling them to go forwards to Security. I left all my shit on the floor and reached out to him. It seemed to take hours to get to there, it was like walking through mud, but eventually I was there, pulling on his arm, my brain trying to force words through the cloudy panic swirling in my head.

"HOLA!" was the first word that got through. After that it got a bit more difficult. "HOLA!"

He looked at me, frowning.

"I have lost my PASSPORT. Please can you... por favor... can you watch," here I did the internationally accepted sign language for him watching my bag- point two fingers at my eyes and jab them towards my bag, repeat X 2- "my bag? Por favor? I've lost my PASSPORT and I need to look for it!"

The man in uniform looked puzzled. Then, like a beam of light directly from heaven or fairyland or wherever you believe good things come from, a fat Spanish man stepped forwards.

"Passport?"

In his chubby god-like hands he held out to me a maroon-coloured passport. I checked the picture but I knew it was mine anyway. I could just feel it was mine.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh grazias grazias grazias thank you thank you thank you!"

The man in uniform and the fat Spanish man were looking at me quite sternly, but the fat Spanish man had a wife and she was smiling at me, so I aimed my thank yous at her.

Oh my DAYS. How lucky was it that the Spanish man who found my passport happened to be at that particular point in the queue? Actually, now that I think about it... perhaps that's where he found it. All this time I have been envisioning him finding it on the escalators and carrying it with him to Security, but why would he do that? It's all making sense now... I must have dropped it when I started 'organising' my stuff. He must have picked it up and before he could think what to do with it, saw a panic-stricken English girl yelling 'HOLA! PASSPORT!'

I am just grateful that I got my passport back and I didn't have to spend the weekend working the strip.

Once I had my passport, I whizzed through security and found my gate. It said 'Gate Closed' but before I could explode into thousands of tiny pieces, I noticed that, a few gates down, there was a queue of people, all wearing black and all looking pissed off: they had to be flying to Paris. I asked one of them if she was flying to Charles de Gaulle and she said "I believe so, but I don't know what is going on." All this was in French by the way. I felt very proud of myself. Obviously the key to speaking another language is to get rather fucked in Ibiza, then almost miss your plane, despite being six and a half hours early for it.

I finally, finally boarded the plane and I felt so relieved. I actually didn't feel horrible about going back to Paris, despite moaning all week about it. When the plane landed I felt really good about being back in Paris. After all the (self-inflicted) drama at Ibiza airport, Charles de Gaulle
felt familiar and safe.

The only problem was I didn't really have anywhere to go as I hadn't heard from my new au pair family. I really didn't want to turn up at their house in the state I was in.

I one-belled Kayt and she rang me right back. "Welcome back! Have you got enough money for the bus? I've got to meet my sister off the Eurostar, but you can make your way to mine!"

Ah it was so nice. In Ibiza airport I had felt like I was in freefall, with no friends to help me out if things went wrong and not speaking the language. I think in some ways it was good that everything went wrong- maybe the universe was telling me 'You can't rely on your friends all the time, nobhead.'

After speaking to Kayt, my new au pair family sent me a text to say that the gardienne would be waiting for me with my keys. I got on the nice AirFrance bus (fifteen euros but soo worth it) back to Paris and made my way to my New Home. I really like it! It's tiny though, a lot smaller than last year, but the location makes it worthwhile.

Kayt came round and we ate soup and bread and I told her all about Ibiza. She said "It doesn't sound as if you had a good time." But I did have a good time, I was just ill for a lot of the five days, but the memories of being sick on the dancefloor and having to go home early three nights out of four will soon fade... the Good Times, such as arriving at DC10, the Carl Cox moment, drunken tapas before Amnesia... those will be the times I remember a year from now.

By the way, I am now writing this blog post on Sunday...

Being back in Paris felt surreal. After planning my summer for months, I couldn't believe it was over and that my new era in Paris had started. I thought the summer would last forever, but it turned out to be the fastest four weeks of my life.

My first weekend back in Paris, I just slept and I still felt pretty fucking awful. I slept all day on Saturday, waking up just to catch the sunset outside my little window, then I fell back asleep and didn't wake up until the next afternoon. On Sunday night Kayt came round again and then I slept some more. Monday was my first day back at work and luckily I was feeling almost normal.

Since I've been back, I've spent far too much time on the internet, but it's been nice to look at people's photos from our holiday, to know that everyone else has been suffering from 'the Ibiza Blues'. This time last year I was feeling the same way, but I had something else to worry about back then... going to Paris. I was absolutely terrified. I've just read the first ever blog post I ever posted on here:

Nightmare Packing

Ahh, I can't believe I wrote 'But everything has to end, even Paris will end soon. Well, in ten months, but time flies by so fast that these days I can sense the end of something before it has even started.'

Even then I was obsessed with things ending before they have even begun. Wow. I have just depressed myself, a lot.

Here is the first ever post I wrote from Paris, exactly a year ago today!

Awkward Times from Paris

In other news, I have written so, so much on my blog this past week-I know it is sad and I promise I'll stop. I'm going to get out and about and enjoy Paris, rather than mull over the past. Speaking of Mulling things Over, I might be returning to England much sooner than I reckoned on... I didn't think I could afford to go back for Halloween Mulletover but my mum just texted me saying I have received an unexpected Tax Rebate of £100!!!! I really should use it to pay off my credit card.

But.

I don't want to.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Ibiza: The End

I can hear a faint voice murmuring outside my window... It is saying "Honey, nobody cares about Ibiza anymore, we lost interest when you started describing how you threw up in a bush."

But I don't really care who reads this post, I just want to write about Ibiza.

In my last post about Ibiza I was talking about Wednesday night, but today Kat said something on Facebook about Tuesday that I had completely forgotten about- it was one of my best moments ever on the White Isle: During Carl Cox at Space on Tuesday night, Kat managed to persuade hundreds of people to crouch down with her for The Drop. I am not exaggerating, it must have been a hundred people she got to copy her, because she wiped out half the dancefloor.

It was one of those moments that you hear strung-out forty-somethings (with leathery chests from years of going to Ibiza every summer) talk about: "Everyone was just waiting for the drop man, just all together, just like, all so in the music, like, together, in the moment, you know?"

But it was exactly like that. It was a Magical Moment and I think it will bring a warm, proud glow to Kat's heart whenever she thinks of it for years to come. Unlike most of my Outrageous Exaggerations, I actually have some video evidence for this moment. Well, Hollie managed to take a video of the second time it happened, but believe me the first time was so much more amazing. I can't believe Kat got so many people to follow her lead, and she did it at exactly the right moment. Carl Cox even thanked her- I really think it must been a Well Good moment for him; feeling the tension in the air as half of Space waits for The Drop... waiting, waiting for it and then suddenly:












Ahhh. Memories...

So that was Tuesday and on Wednesday I have already said how we went to Zoo Project. After Zoo Project, we went to the Ibiza Rocks gig which co-incidentally happened to be Dubstep DJ and his two Dubstep DJ Cronies performing. Don't worry, I didn't do anything embarrassing, but it was weird... at one point me and Claire were stood on a balcony metres above their heads and all the crowd were spread beyond and they were chanting his name... A strange thought crept into my head: 'I have been for lunch with those men in Lyon, on their tour bus, and now I am watching hundreds of people watching them and I'm just the same as anyone else in the crowd.'

Anyway, the gig finished, the strange feeling passed and I drew a sharp line under that episode of my life in Paris. We had gotten wristbands for Privilege and in all the excitement I wasn't even sure who was playing- I've gotten so used to blindly buying for tickets for things in London on Ricky and Kat's recommendation that I assumed anything The Group wanted to go to would be good. It wasn't until Claire took a closer look at her wristband and exclaimed "We're going to a Gatecrasher night?" that doubts started setting in...

I knew I'd heard of Gatecrasher- the word rang alarm bells but I couldn't quite place it. What did it remind me of?

"Furry boots and neon fishnets." Claire said, and as we drew up to the club in our taxi we did indeed see a girl rocking up in a huge pair of furry boots, teamed with a white, stretchy leotard.

It was trance. Or 'trahhhnce' as the Southern Belles we were on holiday with insisted on calling it (me, Hollie and Claire were the only ones on the holiday not from London).

But despite not really getting into the music, I had a Very Good time pretending to get into the music with Claire and Owen. We did some very enthusiastic trance dancing until we got told off by Ricky for making a mockery of the music. The whole night was worth it though, just to see Chris and Danny being the happiest two clubbers I have ever seen. Here is a picture of them (curtesy of Owen), grinning with their Sublime Love for trance and each other:
















So that was Wednesday. Face Painting, dubstep and playing at being Tranceformers.

Thursday was the last day of our holiday and it was really sad. I kept thinking I knew this day would come I knew this day would come and I couldn't really concentrate on the Good Times. In the afternoon everybody went for something to eat and I just slept. I don't know what was going on in Ibiza but it felt like my stomach was shrinking a little bit everyday, I just wasn't hungry. Looking back, I should have made myself eat. I should have used my Common Sense and maybe disaster could have been averted...

On Thursday evening we went to watch the sunset. (We had tried to see it on Tuesday but us girls had spent so long changing into our Sunset Outifits that we missed it.) We didn't really see the sunset because it was so cloudy, but it was nice to be out and about and together, trying to pretend that Tomorrow wasn't looming over us...

I was anxious about Friday because everyone was flying home early in the morning and my flight wasn't until 4pm. I knew the logical thing to do would be to wait in the hotel all day and go to the airport on my own, but we all had to check out together and I wasn't sure if I could afford the taxi on my own... I had a sense of dread weighing on me, pulling me away from the sunny skies of Ibiza to that dark place known as Severe Travel Anxiety.

After the (sort of) sunset we went for drinks at Cafe Mambo where me and Claire inexplicably got very drunk. Everyone else nipped back to the hotel to pack but me and Claire stayed put, drinking Sangria and having a very serious conversation about how this time last year, we were in exactly the same spot, with no idea what the next twelve months had in store for us and so much had changed and nothing stays the same and yet some things do but you never can tell which is which until it's too late...

The others finished packing and then called us to say they were at a tapas restaurant. It is the same one we found last year, right at the end of the Sant Antonio strip, down a very long and lonely dirt track... but the food is Amazing. Actually it's amazing that me and Claire managed to find our way there, but we succeeded somehow. We even stopped at a market and Claire bought us matching bracelets to mark the occassion. Hmm, looking back, we were really drunk. I had to
drag Claire away from those giant inverted bungee jump things and a 24 hour piercing shop, because she was convinced she was getting both her nipples done.

When we finally got to the restaurant, we ate really nice tapas (it worked out at ten euros a head, including beer and it's called, simply, Tapas Restaurant, if you are going to that part of Ibiza it is definitely worth the unsettling walk down the deserted country lane, just look out for two blue lights in the distance...) and then we got on a very loud bus to Amnesia for our Last Night in Ibiza.

The big shots that night at Amnesia were Above & Beyond but I can't honestly say I remember seeing them. Because we had been there for about half an hour when I suddenly got ill. Worryingly ill. I thought something horrible was going to happen. I got that feeling when you know you can't stand up any longer and you can't talk because you'll be sick and I tried not to think about it and I waited for it to pass... At one point I dragged Owen and Claire outside with me for some fresh air, but I didn't see any improvement. We did, however, see Joey Essex, but that's neither here nor there.

We went back inside and I tried to dance with everyone. It was the last night, everyone else seemed to be enjoying the music but I couldn't really hear it or dance to it, I couldn't really feel my face or my feet, I could just feel my stomach and it didn't feel right...

At one point someone, I can't remember who, looked into my face and said "Are you all right?" and in reply I crouched on the floor and before I could stop myself I... ok I don't know if I am able to type this.

Deep breath.

I vomited. On. The dancefloor.

When I first got down to the floor, all I could see were hundreds of paris of legs and then in the next second, after The Event, there were strangely no legs around me anymore. There was just a twenty foot space where horrified holiday-goers had scrambled out of the way to give Vomiting Girl a wide berth.

Oh my days. I cannot believe I was sick on the dancefloor like that. Why was I so ill? It's not fair. Ok, so I have a sneaky suspicion about why I was ill... but it still doesn't seem fair.

I had to go home early and Claire came back with me. She said she wasn't enjoying the music either but I don't know if she just said that to make me feel better. Ergh.

When we got back to the hotel I lay on the bed feeling like death. I knew that in two hours I would have to move around, pack up my stuff and say my goodbyes...Then, all of a sudden, I had a Brain Wave. I would have a bubble bath. I don't know why the thought came into my head but all of a sudden I felt great. I ran myself a hot bubble bath and as soon as I got in I felt better. I lay in the bubbles, marvelling at my brilliance (and realising that this would be the last bath I get to have until I go home for Christmas), for what felt like minutes but in fact must have been at least an hour.

Then Kat and Hannah came in. It was time for them to go. I packed up and we all checked out together. Everyone from London was leaving straight away, but Claire and Hollie weren't flying until 11am, so we had a couple of hours to try and sleep. I said goodbye to everyone in the hotel lobby but I still felt a bit weird. I felt like I was floating around everyone and saying goodbye didn't really feel real. I thought saying goodbye to Kat would make me cry but I didn't feel sad really, because I didn't really believe that we were really going our seperate ways.

I invited everyone to Paris, of course. Everyone replied with a 'Yeah...' and then a look flashed across their eyes that seemed to say '...when hell freezes over.' Still, last year I invited as many as possible to come and stay with me and in the end I had ten visitors over ten months, so it just proves that, erm, you only reap what you sow, or something like that.

Anyway, we all said goodbye. The London Lot left. Me, Claire and Hollie slept for about an hour and then we were up and out and on our way to the airport. I waited in line with Claire and Hollie, not really believing I was going to be left alone. And then, suddenly, I was. And that's why everything went horribly, horribly wrong.

Right, I didn't mean to leave it on a cliffhanger, but have just realised how tired I am. I have been on the internet for hours and it is not healthy or cool. I am going to bed for a good night's rest and tomorrow Kayt is going to ring me as soon as she wakes up. We are going to do something cultural in the day and in the evening we are going to go out and have a Marvellous Time and I won't be a sad gimp who sits at home all night by herself.

Good. Night.

Just Because I Eat Worms

How does that song go about eating worms?

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me...

That is how I feel at the moment. Also, I feel sick, having just eaten enough pasta for six people.

Nobody wants to come and see Manaré, French Fries or Claude Vonstroke with me at Nouveau Casino...



Kayt is babysitting.

Emma is already on a boat party that doesn't dock until the early hours of the morning.

Georgie has to teach early tomorrow morning.

Anna is working.

Harriet is going to Favela Chic.

And that is that. I have all of five friends left in Paris and they all have better things to do.

I even messaged the girlfriend of one of the boys I went to Ibiza with- she has just moved to Paris and her boyfriend put her in touch with me. I thought she would be like 'Yes, I will come! I have no friends yet and as you have lived here for a year you must know all the cool places...'

But no, she has been here barely a week and she has more friends than me already. They are all going out tonight...

I am hoping I will perk up soon and suddenly get a mad desire to doll myself up and go to Favela Chic with Harriet. Alternatively, I have been invited out by the-girlfriend-of-one-of-the-boys-I-went-to-Ibiza-with which is soooo nice of her, but they are going to an Erasmus party and I'm not sure that I'm in the mood for foreign students to come bouncing up to me, yelling "DO YOUR PARENTS KNOW YOU LIKE TO PARTY HARRRRD?" over the sound of the Black Eyed Peas.

Ah. Kayt just rang me. We are going to get up early tomorrow and Do Something Productive. I feel better about staying in now.

And anyway...

Now that I am living where I am living (which is TOP SECRET, although you'll be able to work it out soon enough if you know anything about Paris) I am only two seconds away from an H & M that is open until midnight. And I got paid today... I might go and buy myself something very, very little to cheer myself up and then I can come home and finish blogging about Ibiza.

If anyone is thinking that this plan makes me a sad, sad gimp... all I would say to you good sir, is why are YOU sat at home on a Friday night, reading my blog?

Ooh I have found a really nice dress and it is only 25 euros! This night might not be a complete waste yet...




One Thing...

Me and Kayt have made a resolution to only go and see Good Music this year in Paris. I've just seen that Claude Vonstroke and French Fries, amongst others, are playing tonight at Nouveau Casino and Kayt is babysitting. I just saw it on Resident Advisor and got all excited, but I don't think anybody else is free... I keep forgetting that most of my pals have left Paris.

Sigh.

I love Nouvea Casino as well. And I fucking love this track:

Thursday, 8 September 2011

New Au Pairs and Old Au Pairs

I am waiting for a man to come and fit some blinds. I'm quite relieved because every time I go for a shower I look into everyone else's windows and think 'If I can see them, can they see me?' But I thought the fact that I didn't have any blinds meant that it was a given nobody could see in... Oh dear. As the mum of last year's family often said to me "You don't ask enough questions." I guess she was right. Which reminds me...

On Tuesday night me, Kayt, Georgie and Georgie's new Gentleman Friend drank quite a lot of wine outside a little bistro near where Kayt now lives. We got stared at rudely all night by the group of French people on a neighbouring table, but we had a marvellous time anyway and me and Kayt decided that we like Georgie's Gentleman Friend a lot, and not just because he paid for everyone's wine...

Anyway, the next morning, after a horrible period of about ten minutes when I got completely lost and found myself outside the Moulin Rouge, I made it on to the metro home and who did I bump into but the dad from my au pair family from last year, or 'Family Decent' as I often referred to them on here.

I was resting my head against the metal pole with my eyes closed, trying to wish away my hangover with willpower. When I opened my tired eyes I saw him sat opposite me, with his head buried in a newspaper. He looked all fresh and ready to work, while I was wearing the same clothes I had slept in, after drinking wine all night (I know- urgh). As I debated whether to let on or not, he looked up at me as I was looking at him, so I quickly jumped into Enthusiastic Ex-Nanny Mode- saying hello, asking after the kids and the new nanny etc etc.

Blind Man is here!

Half an hour later...

He is gone now, while he worked I walked to the Grand Palais and back, it is just beginning to sink in what an amazing location I am in. By the way, when I said Blind Man, I meant that the man who is fixing my blinds had arrived, not a man who happens to be blind.

Anyhoo, there I was on the metro, looking very hungover and disgusting, and there was the dad of my family from last year (probably thinking I had fallen on hard times since I left them). He said they have found a new au pair and she is Swedish. So now, as well as Super Au Pair to mentally compare myself against, I also have this to worry about:

















Logic tells me that their new au pair probably won't be an absurdly attractive Swedish Bond Girl, yet I've just spent a good five minutes Googling 'Swedish nannies' and let's just say you wouldn't kick them out of bed. Damn, I can just see her now, Swedish Au Pair, worse than Super Au Pair...

I can picture her sashaying to the school in her blue and yellow cheerleader's outfit, with her white blonde hair swinging behind her like a shiny curtain. She'll be on time to collect the five year old year for lunch, and when he sees her posed by the school gates, standing a foot above all the other nounous, he'll yelp with delight and run to her... She'll laugh a good-natured laugh that shows off all of her straight, white teeth and then in one graceful movement she'll pick up the five year old and lift him onto her slim shoulders. (This will be easy for her because she's so strong from all the stuntwork she did for action movies back in Sweden.) Then she'll take the five year old home for meatballs and cloudberries, which he will eat with relish. If he doesn't comply, she'll talk to him in her special, stern voice and he'll Obey Her because she's Swedish Au Pair- Super Au Pair with blonde hair and a sexy accent.

That bitch.

She must speak fluent French and fluent English, because I know the mum wanted someone who could talk to the kids in English and help the eleven year old with all her homework. Hang on, she's not eleven anymore, she'll be twelve now! I didn't send her a birthday card or anything. I really am Shit Au Pair. She sent me a text over the summer saying 'How are you, our new au pair arrived today but I think of you every day' and I didn't text her back until a few days ago because I didn't have any credit.

Aww. I do actually miss them. I bet Swedish Au Pair won't play Dragon Babies with the five year old after she's had two hours sleep and a lot of cheap wine. I wonder if she'll fight Invisible Robots with her invisible Sword Ball?

Ha ha, I am just imagining the five year old trying to explain the game to her and Swedish Au Pair thinking 'What was wrong with that au pair, did she really do this shit?'

Yes I did Swedish Au Pair! I might not look like a Bond Girl but you should see me in action with an Invisible Sword Ball!

No, no. Karma, karma. I wish her well. I imagine she is more competent than me at everything. I bet the mum looks back over the past year and thinks 'Why did I keep paying that maniac?'

The good thing about my new job is that I am actually friends with their old au pair, Chloe. (Well, we have met three times, but we email each other a lot- honestly, I am not being a weirdo thinking she is my friend when she isn't.) She is giving me loads of advice about what to cook for them, what kind of games they play etc.

I haven't really talked about my new job yet... I was going to continue blogging about Ibiza but I can do that later- I have lots of free time and no desire at all to leave my room or do anything productive, like learn French for example.

So. On Monday I was terrified that I was going to Fuck Up but it went well. I found the school, I got there on time, and because it was the first day the mum was there with me. When we got back to the house I just had to play with the Eight Year Old until it was time for her to have a bath. I got a bit stressed about cooking dinner because the Eight Year Old doesn't like being on her own and I had no idea where anything was in the kitchen or what sort of thing I was supposed to cook. In the end, there was some chicken that needed using so I cooked it with cream and butter, and the baby's nanny had steamed some broccoli for me to use.

Their old au pair told me today in an email that she used to cook them risotto, homemade burgers, fajitas... all this sounds great but this was my problem last year- I want to cook them nice things but then I look in the fridge and all I see is courgettes and ham. So I just muddle along, slowly making the children dread mealtimes...

It's so different from last year though, because the mum and dad, and the baby's nanny, are in the house most of the time. I'm not used to that. There'll be no more sitting in the kitchen crying into the Nutella when things go wrong.

In some ways this job is more intense than last year, but in other ways I have less responsibility and I'm working a lot less hours than last year. For the first few weeks I'll be working more hours than normal because the girls haven't started their after-school activities yet, but once they start tennis and ballet, I won't start work until about six pm. Then I have to make the girls do their homework, cook dinner, run the bath for them and play with the Eight Year Old. I have to help them tidy their room and then that's it- I should be finished by about eight pm.

The Ten Year Old mostly looks after herself and like I said, the baby (well, he's really a toddler I suppose) has a full-time nanny.

I think once I get settled in I will feel more at ease with being in such a full house. The only problem is that the new family were supposed to pay for my Navigo (metro pass) but they didn't realise how expensive it was if you're not a student. So now they want me to try and forge myself some student papers... I am about as keen on this idea as a mushroom is magnetic, but Kayt has suggested I offer up a compromise- they pay 40 euros a month and I pay 20. So we'll see.

But so far everything is going quite well! Please don't let me have jinxed myself...

The other amazing thing about this job is that they have A CAT. It has the colouring of a Tabby but it is really long-haired and it has a little squashed up face. It is a bit of a struggle not to scoop her up and wear her on my face like a balaclava, especially as I am allergic to cats and have neglected to mention this to the family, but we have already had some sneaky stroking sessions and I know it is only a matter of time before I become the cat's favourite person in the house...

So that is my plan of action: Try and sort out Navigo, get cat to love me. After I have acheived these two goals I will allow myself to worry about the huge cloud hanging over me which is MONEY. But enough for today. I don't have to leave for work until about half three, so I am going to make myself another cup of tea and then I am going to settle down and watch Geordie Shore: Magaluf Madness.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ibiza: The Middle

Where was I?

Oh yes, so everybody else went to Amnesia while me and Hayley went back to the hotel. We actually stayed up for a bit and had a nice chat, then when everyone else got back I was still awake. Claire stayed in my room because we had a spare bed and the only thing I could find to lend her for sleeping in was a very small pair of purple pyjama shorts that I've had since I was 13. I'm not sure why I packed them but I found them in the loft at home and something deep inside me made me pack them. My gran bought them for me from McKays and they have 'sports-style' white stripes down the side of them...

If Karma got me back for laughing at that woman and her one giant shoe by making me vomit and have to go home early; then Claire's punishment was definitey walking through the hotel wearing my shorts.

Ergh, I've just remembered- I was sick in a bush on our way out of DC10!

AND I've just remembered something else about our journey to Ibiza- when we went through customs, they thought that my hairdryer might be a bottle, so they searched my hand luggage which was full of clothes and underwear carefully rolled up and stuffed inside my heavy shoes (I was making sure my luggage wasn't overweight). Me and the Customs Man made awakward small talk as he searched my bag for drugs and/or explosives. Then, after pulling everything out of my bag and laying it out like a shop display for everyone to gawp at, the Customs Man discovered my box of 160 Yorkshire Tea Bags.

"How long are you going to Ibiza for?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.*

"Five days..."

I tried to explain about the whole 'returning-to-Paris-for-another-year' thing but he clerly thought I was a Bad Liar who cannot go for less than a week without drinking 160 cups of tea. As a matter of fact, I didn't have a single cup of tea the whole time we were in Ibiza. (Secretly I think this is why I was ill- my body simply can't function without tea.)

Anyway, I believe I was talking about Tuesday morning...

So Claire walked through the hotel in my hideous shorts, then we all went to Playa den Bossa beach which, up until I just Googled it a moment ago, I thought was called Bora Bora beach, but that is the name of the famous beach bar on the beach, not the name of the actual beach itself. Wow, I just said 'beach' five times in one sentence.

At the beach everyone got into the spirit of the Would You Rather Game (during which me and Claire exchanged a smug look that said 'We did this') but then Tom killed it by taking the game to its furthest, logical conclusion:

"Would You Rather sleep with your mum and everyone knows, or sleep with your dad and nobody knows?"

I think the question was phrased with boys in mind, as if sleeping with your dad is somehow worse for boys. Well it isn't any better for girls and not one amongst us deigned to answer the question, so that put a stop to the Would You Rather Game.

Tuesday night was Carl Cox and John Digweed at Space. It was my bestest music of the whole week I think. Ricky told me to call John Digweed 'Diggers' to sound cool but I just can't do it. Here is a video from the night we were there:



The next day was Wednesday, which meant Zoo Project. It was so good last year that me, Claire and Kat were almost crying when it was time to leave, because it finishes at midnight and we weren't looking forward to Eden. Little did we know, during that fateful night in Eden we would meet Ricky, Tom and Mark... the very same three who would make up part of the 'Ibiza Twelve' a year later...

Zoo Project is held in an old zoo and it has an outdoorsy-festival feel, all zoo-themed, obviously. Us girls decided to get our faces painted in order to get in the spirit of things. At first I was a bit dubious about getting it done, as it reminds me of being a little paranoid child and everyone staring at my face and feeling stupid, but the people who did it were amazing and they were heavy on the glitter, rather than whiskers and a painted-on animal nose. For anymonity reasons I can't show you mine (my Top Secret Identity must remain a Top Secret at all times) but I'm sure my feline friend won't mind me posting this lovely picture of her face painting:
















Ah I am suddenly very, very tired and apparently a man is coming tomorrow morning at eight am to fix me up with some blinds and I need to tidy my disgusting hovel before I go to sleep.

Until tomorrow...

*Ok I made that bit up about the eyebrow... but he could have done for all you know.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Ibiza: The Beginning

Here I am.

Back in Paris.

How weird is this?

I can't believe the summer has come and gone so soon... One minute I was in London, waiting for Kat to meet me off the Eurostar with silver stars under her eyes and orange skirts floating behind her; and the next I was sat on a quiet, air-conditioned coach, watching the banlieus slip past until suddenly the Eiffel Tower appeared from nowhere, like a silent welcome to the city.

Sigh.

This time last week I was in Ibiza, and my holiday had barely begun. Now it's over and I'm starting my new job in a few hours and I doooon't waaaant tooooo. Please, I just want to forget about reality for a little while longer, let me work out my memories with words and then I'll stop mooning about the past, I promise. I'm quite excited actually to write this last week up- I feel like I can travel back in time as I write.

So let's go back in time to over a week ago, back to last Saturday...


I arrived in London in the afternoon. I was happy to be there, but also a little stung by my mum's parting shot: "See you at Christmas!"

Four months sounds like a long time...

But my cousin met me at the station and it was lovely to spend time with her and see her new flat in North London- at one point the plan was to move to London together and it was comforting to see that at least one of us had seen it through.

We got quite drunk whilst watching the X Factor with her two flatmates, then the next day we went to watch the City v Tottenham match at the pub, like the LADs that we are... Seeing as the pub was filled with Tottenham supporters we did our best to keep a lid on it, but after a few ciders it became quite a struggle not to stand on the table shouting CITY TIL I DIE. The thing is I have no interest in football whatsoever, but it's easy to get caught up in the atmosphere.

I thought we were doing quite well with the whole Watching-Football-In-The-Pub-Thing, but then City scored a goal, so me and my cousin started clapping and the token male we had brought along to give is some credibility actually put his hands over ours to silence the claps and said out of the corner of his mouth: "Don't. Do. That."

I thought you were supposed to clap when your team scores?

Anyway, I don't think I'll bother watching the football again.

After the match we went back to my cousin's flat to get my bags. We were all quite drunk and I ate fourteen sausage rolls (they were 'party-sized' though). Then they walked me to the tube station and we said our goodbyes. Goodbye, goodbye. I'm always saying goodbye to people.

I sobered up on the tube journey, mainly because I had to keep shunting back and forth on the Victoria Line because part of it was closed or Something Like That. When I eventually got to Clapham it was about seven o'clock in the evening and I was so tired that I went back to Ricky's house and had a nap, while everyone else went for something to eat. Looking back, choosing to Nap rather than Eat might have been the start of my troubles...

As the evening wore on more and more people arrived at Ricky's, until the entire Ibiza Twelve (as we shall hereby be knownst) were gathered there. Our taxi to the airport didn't arrive until 2am so we had a long, long night ahead of us...

To kill the time some of us watched a documentary about a woman who has one giant leg that has never stopped growing. It was horrifying and I felt so sad for this lady and her one giant leg, but Claire kept being syde about the woman's one giant shoe and making me laugh. I felt really mean and also uneasy, because I knew that Karma would come and punish us for being Nasty Bitches...

The night passed slowly but somehow 2am arrived and the Ibiza Twelve piled into three taxis. Once we got to the airport me and Claire entertained everyone (by 'entertained' I mean 'irritated') by playing the Would You Rather Game.

For example:
Would You Rather... be blind, or be deaf?
Would You Rather... have eight kids, or none?
Would You Rather be woken up every morning with a man slapping his willy across your face, or be woken up once a month with someone slapping a dirty tampon across your face?

You get the idea.

We took off into the sunrise at about 5.30am and I cried a little bit as I watched the British countryside roll away beneath us, because I knew it would be the last time I saw England for quite a long time. (Oh, I do like to imagine myself as the tragic heroine, being forced against her will to leave her beloved homeland, when in fact I was just fucking off to Ibiza for five days.)

Nearly two and a half hours later we stepped off the plane into that blast of hot, dry air that lets you know you have arrived in your Holiday Destination.

We were Here.

By the time we checked into our hotel, most of us had been awake for about twenty four hours. But instead of sleeping, we decided to go straight to the pool for some sunbathing and general Holiday Frolicking.

We wanted to go to Circo Loco at DC10 which kicks off late afternoon, so before we knew it, it was time to get ready and get out. None of us had really slept, eaten or drank properly for about thirty hours at this point, but we got to DC10 (or 'day say dieth', as our over-enthusiastic taxi driver insisted we pronounce it) and it was brilliant.

It was a bit like Fuse- the sun was shining, it was really chilled out, yet at the same time everyone was dancing and a bit fucked. The club is in an old airport hangar (hence the name) and every ten minutes an airplane would fly over, really close and really loud.

Here is a video from the opening party this summer:









As the sun set and the music got better and better, Claire said to me "We've arrived in Ibiza!" and I nodded. I smiled. I danced. Then I ran outside and I threw up in a Portaloo.

It was horrrrrible. I kept thinking I would be ok and then my stomach went all weird again and I had to sit outside like the kid who has eaten too much cake and then gone on the bouncy castle. Luckily Hayley wasn't feeling too clever either so she stayed outside with me while I tried to recover my composure. But I couldn't recover- I was Sick. Me and Hayley, with much regret, admitted defeat and went back to the hotel in a taxi whilst everyone else went on to Amnesia. I felt so shit but I knew why I was ill- it was Karma, getting me back for laughing at that woman and her one giant shoe.


Oh nooooooooo. I have to go and get ready for work now. I don't want to, I don't waaaaant tooo.

Shit shit shit.

Shit.

I feel so nervous and sick and scared. I'm going to fuck up, I'm going to fuck up.

I'm Going.

To Fuck.

Up.

Ok, I will finish writing about Ibiza later. If I've not thrown myself under the metro.