Monday, 24 October 2011

What Did You Do At School Today?

Ooh I am actually really enjoying this cold weather. I love it when I'm cooking in my room and all the mirrors steam up and over the sound of onions sizzling (yep, I fry onion in the same room that I shower and sleep in. And what? AND WHAT???), I can hear the rain on my window. I feel all warm and cosy in my room on dark winter's nights, especially because I actually tidied it up on Saturday night, finally! Having a tidy room really makes a difference to my mood; I feel so much calmer and productive.

Unfortunately the cold weather also makes me want to eat. All the time. I feel like I've turned into a Christmas pudding and it's not even December yet. We've not even had Bonfire Night. Or Halloween. But don't get me started on Halloween this year...

Anyway, I thought I would do a quick blog just because I felt like it.

Nothing to report really, apart from I had an ok shift at the restaurant on Sunday and then Georgie cooked a huuuge amazing dinner (posh people and Southerners read: lunch) on Sunday for me, Kayt and two French guys she'd invited, but not in a weird Mrs Bennet* way: it's just that we don't have any male friends in our little Paris social group and whereas I can take them or leave them, the other girls have been feeling the lack of 'masculine energy'; so Georgie thought it would make a nice change if she invited a couple of guy friends round.

And oh! I'm so glad she invited them, because one of them brought two little cardboard boxes round with him and do you know what was in those little boxes? Cakes. Six little works of art; the kind of cakes I see in the windows of enticing pâtisseries several times a day but can never allow myself to buy because they are at least six euros a pop... They were beautiful, in taste and appearance. I can't remember any of the names but that doesn't matter because I will never forget what they look like.

Actually, I just tried to picture them and I have forgotten what they look like, but I'm sure if I saw them in a pâtisserie the taste would come flooding back to me, filling my mouth with saliva...

Sorry that image was a bit disgusting.

Anyway, before the cakes, we had this amazing smashed/smushed/crushed (roughly mashed, let us say) potato thing with garlic and then this big pot of pork and chorizo and lardons cooked in plum tomatoes and paprika... MMM.

After lunch we even went for a walk around the Bois de Bologne, how very quaint and Austenian of us, taking a turn around the grounds after a long and leisurely lunch! But. We saw a duck with ducklings on the lake. Am I the only person who thinks this is worrying? Ducks are born in the Spring. Seeing tiny, fluffy ducklings in the winter felt like a bad omen, like if a farmer's wife happened to be walking past, she would shake her head and say "Nay good can come from seeing ducklings in the autumn I tell thee, nay good at all."

There was a fucking yappy little dog there, of course, pacing up and down the edge of the water, growling and barking at the fluffy babies.

"He's going to eat them." I said.

The owner just happened to speak English. He translated what I'd said to his wife and she cried:

"C'est pas vrai!!"

Of course it's not true, sorry Dog Owner! He doesn't want to eat those lovely little ducklings, I'm sure he's only trying to snatch them into his jagged, canine jaws so he can let them have a cosy sleep in his warm, stinking dog mouth... Once again I've seen that Dog Owners are completely fucking mental.

The male Dog Owner thought I was having a Laugh and a Joke, but as they walked off the dog went for the baby ducks again. The Dog Owner turned round to share a smile with me but he caught me muttering expletitives under my breath, my face contorted with hatred. I've decided that maybe I need to Chill Out on the whole dog thing.

So, Sunday was about lovely food and then today I went for lunch with Anna. She is leaving Paris in a week! She's moving to Australia for a year, she decided this about two weeks ago and her work visa has just come through, so she's off. Maybe I will do something like that if I can pay my overdraft off this year. Not Australia though I don't think. For some reason Morrocco keeps coming into my head and it won't go away... maybe because there are massive tourism posters for Morrocco in every metro station.

We went for lunch in this Spanish restaurant near Gare de Lyon, it was really nice and not too expensive. It was 13 euros for the formule, I had starter and main and Anna had main and dessert, but we ended up sharing the starter (calamari) and the dessert (some sort of nice cake with fruit). After lunch (I know I said before only posh people call it 'lunch', but when I eat it in a restaurant I call it 'lunch'... I guess because it's posh to eat in a restaurant in the middle of the day) we went for a walk around Jardin des Plantes.

It was so nice having time for Leisurely Persuits today. I wasn't working in the restaurant/pub because I told them I'd be doing my au pair job, but in the end the family didn't need me until 3.30pm.

I had a really nice time at work actually. When I got there the mum told me I would be taking the kids to the park with her grandma, who seems about the same age as my grandma which is weird. I chatted to her a little bit on our way to the park and she said once she went to London and she loved it, but she said that everything was trop cher, like Paris. She doesn't live in Paris anymore, which might explain why she's so nice.

At the park, the great-granny played with the baby in the toddlers' area while (whilst?) I was supposed to be watching the girls, but they kept moaning and saying they were bored. I tried to get them to play an 'imagination game' where we were little people who lived in the woods and we had to sneak out of our tree houses to get nuts and berries and hide from the goblin monsters who wanted to eat us, but they weren't having any of it. I was kind of gutted that they wouldn't play my game, but I put a brave face on and suggested we race each other instead. That got them running around and I really enjoyed it- I haven't been so Fast and Free (like a 1920s jazz floozy) for ages.

The girls said my run is: "So funny! So stupid and funny!"

After the race we did headstands and cartwheels... Well, the girls did cartwheels- I did a roly poly which made me so dizzy that I had to have a Lie Down on the grass.

When we got back to the house we did some drawing and the eight year old kept saying "So good! So great!" and even though I know I am supposed to be a Grown Up and not allow myself to patronised by eight year olds, I was bloody loving it and kept drawing and drawing. My tongue was even sticking out of the side of my mouth, which as everyone between the ages of 6 and 9 knows, helps you concentrate.

That's why I like being around kids- I can do a nice drawing or a bit of dancing and they go "Wow! So good!" because I'm an adult and they are children, so of course I'm better at everything than them. Well. Not cartwheels, admittedly. Or handstands. Or running. Or hoola-hooping. Or skipping. Or swimming. Or riding a bike.

In conclusion:

I ate lots for my dinner it was yummy then I went to a nice park then I went to another park and I did a roly-poly and then I done a good drawing of a girl in a nice dress and then I came home and I ate some pasta for my tea and I ate all of it and then I got ready for bed all by myself and now I'm going to read myself a bedtime story and go to sleep like a Good Girl.

*If you don't get the Mrs Bennet reference, she's a character in 'Pride and Prejudice'. Don't tell me you haven't read 'Pride and Prejudice'?**

**I haven't read it either! I've only seen the film versions, both BBC's famous 'Colin Firth In Wet Shirt' version and the more recent one with Keira Knightley. Don't tell anyone.


  1. Just wanted to say I love your blog. I've been reading it for a wee while since I came across you on A Taste of Garlic and as well as being generally hilarious you make me feel a lot better about eating horrific quantities of food (although Must Stop) and you reminded me to wax my eyebrows (you may not realise this, but you talk about your eyebrows a lot!) Anyway, keep up the good work blog-wise and ditch the crap work waitressing-wise!

  2. LBM

    Just wanted to agree with Gwan...

    Ditch the crap work waitressing-wise!

    All the best


    P.S. I think that you're getting a bit of a fan club?

    P.P.S. Congrats on the footie- it was your lot that won, wasn't it?

    P.P.P.S. I can't believe that I've just agreed with Gwan! I think I need a little lie down and a mug of Ovaltine!

  3. Keith- yes it was 'my lot' that won, thank you! Also, I think I am getting quite a few 'fans' from A Taste of Garlic which is exciting and lovely so thank you for that too.

  4. Gwan- I didn't realise I talked about my eyebrows so much, but now that you mention it, I do think about them a lot. As I read your comment I was actually stroking my eyebrows and thinking how thin they were- I decided to pluck them instead of getting them threaded and now I have to live the terrible consequences of my actions. I went too far.

    Hmm the job thing is a conundrum because the money is good and it's one of things that might get better as I get used it it, I'm giving it until Friday!!

  5. I have heard so many good things about threading, but have yet to try. Plucking, on the other hand, is evil and always has terrible consequences. I used to have a mate who trimmed her eyebrows with a wee pair of nail scissors, but I don't recommend it!

    About the job - I do believe with giving things a chance, but I also believe in quitting with no remorse if it continues to suck. Good luck!

  6. WAIT, It's posh to say 'lunch' now?!


  7. Hi,I was wondering where in Paris you go to get your eyebrows done. I'm in need of a good place that isn't too expensive and does a good job threading. My french is practically nonexistent, so I'm quite nervous about them getting fucked up.

    I had a Chinese woman thread them once about 6 months ago, and I STILL have a bald patch where my hair has refused to grow back in! (Not in France) I only trust Middle Easterners with my brows, since I find it to be a specialty of theirs.

    Anyway, fantastic blog!

  8. Thank you!

    I think you are very wise to only trust Middle Eastern ladies with your eyebrows, I agree completely. I get mine threaded at a place near La Chapelle which, being the Indian/Middle Eastern area of Paris, is full of good places.

    The place I go to is called 'Centre de Beauté Indien' and it's really close to La Chappelle metro stop. It's on Rue Philippe de Girard and (I think they have another shop at Chateau D'eau.)

    They didn't speak English with me but I assume somebody there can as they are all Indian and most Indian people speak excellent English! I just went in and pointed at my eyebrows and said 'pas trop meagre' which I hope means 'not too thin' but it probably doesn't...

    They are really, really good and it's seven euros for eyebrows.

    Good luck!