Saturday, 30 June 2012

Cake

I'm back home now. I need to do another quick blog post because I feel really bad about slagging off the au pair family now. The mum came home at midnight and as soon as she came through the door she said:

"You want cake?"

"Yes." I said, leaping off the couch.

"Ok then I prepare it for you." she said.

I slammed my laptop closed, threw it in my bag and followed her into the kitchen. She put four little cupcakes into a tupperware box and then five plastic shot glasses with weird, solid shots of brightly-coloured mousse or something inside. As she helped me to put them in my bag she said: "Op, op. Tac, tac. Woop." and then she mimed turning something upside down. I didn't really know what to say so I just said thank you about six times and then ran out.

I would do anything for cake. Someone could hack my arm off with a rusty machete, then give me a cake and by the second slice I'd be saying through a mouthful of crumbs, "They say it's good for your brain, learning to write with the other hand."

Whenever I have an arguement with someone, I get more annoyed afterwards when they insist on talking through what happened and trying to justify themselves, whereas they could save us both the trouble and just buy me a fucking cake.

Anyway, something else happened between this post and my last post. As soon as I 'published' that last post, I got a text from my manager at work:

Read the blog. Love it.

I felt like someone had knocked all the breath out of me. Somebody has shown her my blog and she has read it. Ok... ok... I tried to quickly think what I've written about the restaurant, but before I could she sent me another text saying she's guessed the person I have a crush on. Also she wants me and Mez to write a rap for her about the restuarant and perform it at work. We've already started it but I won't give anything away, all I will say that is that Mez's rapper name is Furrrious Stylez AKA Da Triggaaa Fingaa and mine is Genie B AKA The Lime Slicer.

I think my name needs a bit of work.

Anyway I need to go to bed now, I hope my manager didn't read the post I wrote tonight, about not being able to work next Thursday and Friday.

Fucking hell I need to be more careful.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Men, Blergh.

Uh-oh, it's been so long since my last blog post that I don't know where to start...

I think I'll probably have to stop in a minute anyway, because I'm babysitting and the word on the grapevine is that the mum will be home around 11pm. The nine year old has only just gone to bed (her sister is at a sleepover) and she didn't have a bath, wash her hair or brush her teeth and I know the mum will be fuming when she founds out but... it's not MY problem:

Before the dad left to go out, I asked him what time the nine year old had to go to bed and he said 'She can do whatever she wants'.This was in front of the nine year old, who was sitting at the kitchen table looking very smug as her daddy basically gave her license to do whatever the fuck she wants.

Nice one, dad.

I was really looking forward to getting her in bed so I could blog and drink tea and watch 'Boardwalk Empire' on the iPad. I almost cried when he said she could do whatever she wanted and I realised she wouldn't be going to bed for hours. If the mum says anything I fully intend to drop the dad right in it.

As she could do 'whatever she wants', we didn't eat tea until really late (chicken nuggets and pasta- standard children's cuisine), then we put the baby to bed and then we had a dancing competition. About half an hour ago she started getting sleepy, so I put a DVD on- 'The Princess and the Frog'- and she fell asleep on the couch after twenty minutes. Score. Only it's not really 'score', because now it's 11pm and the mum will be home any minute and I haven't had time to blog and I'm so very tired.

I'm all stressed out because next week the au pair family need me to work Thursday and Friday (it's the summer holidays) so I told my boss at the restaurant and she said 'Absolutely not, you need to come in.' Awkward, because I'm definitely not going to come in. It's not fair though: I could have just kept quiet and then rung in sick on the actual day, an hour before my shift; but I thought it only fair to give as much notice as possible. Now the manager will hate me, even though I'm just trying to be honest, whereas loads of people have been ringing in sick lately and I would never do that.

Pffft.

I hope the family can't see what websites I've been on using their internet. That's not possible is it? I don't want them to discover my blog. Especially as I have something cringy to tell you about the dad. Nothing embarrassing has happened with the dad since the Grinding Incident (oh Lord, how I've tried to blank that from my memory) until now. It was bound to happen...

On Wednesday me and the nine year old were eating lunch when the dad unexpectedly came home from 'work' (I think most of the time he is actually shopping for designer baseball caps, just as when the mum is at 'work' I know she is shopping for ridiculously expensive baby shoes) and he sat down at the table to eat lunch with us. Now, me and the dad don't really talk that much. I get the feeling he doesn't like me and I don't really care. I'm always polite and friendly to him, if perhaps a little reserved... But then he's never really made an effort either.

Anyway, the first weird thing that happened is that the toddler came waddling in and the dad saw that he had a little spot on the end of his nose.

"Merde!" he yelled, "What is that on your nose? Why are you ugly today?"

He was moaning because he had to take the toddler to a birthday party and he couldn't believe the inconsiderate little bastard had chosen to wake up with a spot on that day of all days. He asked the nanny what the spot was and she shrugged her shoulders, clearly wondering, like I was, 'Are you being serious?'

I suggested for a joke that he put make-up on the toddler. He thought this was a great idea and asked the grandma if she would do it for him.

Yep.

This is why it's bad to be rich- it makes you mental.

Anyway, baby-spot drama over, we carried on with our lunch. Then the dad started singing at me. And I mean at me- holding his arms out towards me, singing in my face. He was singing a French love song. At first me and the nine year old were laughing nervously at each other, but then he went on. And on.

He broke off to say to his daughter in French, "Damn, it's not working on her!"

Then he carried on.

Right when I first started in September, he used to sing at me a lot and their old au pair, Chloe, told me he used to do it to her too because he likes showing off. He's not really done it for a while, I guess because my stony face is quite off-putting, but for Some Reason he decided to reignite his passion for 'Singing in the Face of the Au Pair Girl'.

After a while I stopped laughing and just carried on eating my lunch, ignoring him. The nine year old copied me, but kept sneaking glances at her dad, who was still singing. He gave up and left the table, then as he walked past me, he put his hand on my face and said:

"Ahh, you blush."

Now.

We all know I'm not a huge fan of Human Contact, but I am aware that I can be over-sensitive sometimes (e.g. reacting in a disturbingly violent manner when someone is trying to flick a spider off my coat), so I didn't freak out or pull my disgusted 'don't touch me' face that I can do so well. I kept my face expressionless and said:

"Am I?"

Greatest come back ever.

No.

(Olivia has since told me I should have said: "Yeah cos I'm embarrassed. For you." WISH I'd thought of that at the time.)

What the fuck is wrong with people? Why would you sing at someone for ten minutes, then touch their face and tell them they are blushing? Does he think I fancy him? Or does he just want me to think that he thinks I fancy him? Does he think I think he fancies me and is trying to tell me in a not so subtle way that I should be the one fancying him?

The whole episode made me feel like I was twelve years old.

ALSO, I forgot to tell you, a couple of months ago, I was sat in the kitchen, feeding the baby his dinner and minding my own business, when a really fit French man appeared in the open doorway, said hello and then started coo-cooing at the baby. He didn't introduce himself and by the way he was talking to the baby I assumed he was family, but I couldn't work out who he was. He looked about the same age as me. He didn't say anything directly to me, he just watched me feeding the baby. Just as I started to feel awkward, another sexy French guy came and stood in the doorway, also about my age and also a relative of the baby by the way he was behaving.

I felt really embarrassed because I was sat down and they were stood up, watching me feed the baby and talking to the baby but not to me. It was so weird, my hands started shaking and in my head I was telling myself 'Calm down, calm down, you're not the weird one, they're being weird, stop being embarrassed' but the situation was horrible.

After about ten minutes one of the guys asked me if I could feed the baby, so I said 'If you want', threw the spoon at him and ran like the wind out of the kitchen.

I hid in the bathroom 'running the bath' until the rest of the au pair family arrived home and still nobody bothered to tell me who these two guys were. I had to walk past them continuously all night because they were sat in the living room with their legs stretched out so I had to awkwardly climb over them each time I went to check on the dinner.

When they left, the dad gave them a lift home. He popped his head into the bathroom to say bye to the nine year old who was in the bath and he said bye to me too. I was sat on the floor by the bath and he PATTED me on the head as he left. That's when I knew I'd behaved like an idiot- I felt like he was trying to console me somehow... like when adults at family parties ask me if I have a boyfriend and when I say no, they say 'Don't worry.' and then I panic because before they said that I didn't think I had anything to worry about...

Fucking hell. I am like a twelve year old, aren't I?

I'm just fed up of men, I hate them.

And on that note, I better go in case the au pair family burst in and see me on my blog. But more blogs to come, I promise!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

La Grasse Matinée

Thought I'd get a quick blog in while my brother is still sleeping, I forgot how much he sleeps. I didn't set an alarm and woke up naturally at 1pm, but I reckon he'd sleep until 4pm if I let him. I feel like we should get up and do something touristy though, he's never been to Paris before.

I've realised that having visitors stresses me out quite a lot- I worry that they're not having a good time and for Some Reason, everything goes wrong when I have guests. Last night we were supposed to go out for drinks with Olivia and Kayt, so I made us something to eat when I got home from work and tried to get ready as quickly as possible. It was a little bit awkward- he sat in the corridor with a packet of ham crisps and his book while I had a shower... Oh the joy of living in a chambre de bonne!

Olivia said her and Kayt were having a salad together, so when we were ready (my brother got really annoyed because I couldn't decide what to wear- I think getting ready for a night out with your teenage brother is the weirdest experience ever. Oh, sorry I'm not just going to throw a t-shirt and jeans on!) we got the metro to Kayt's with two bottles of cider I'd bought. I never drink cider in Paris but my brother has suddenly decided he doesn't like beer and you can't really offer a teenage boy a glass of chilled rose, can you?

I kind of regretted wearing my high heels, as to get to Kayt's the quickest route is to walk to the line 13, which is about ten minutes away, and then once you arrive at Kayt's you have to climb up five flights of stairs because she has no lift. Finally, we reached her floor, huffing and puffing, and I knocked on the door. I knocked on the door about ten times before realising there was definitely nobody home.

I rang Kayt.

"I'm outside your door but you're obviously not in, so where are you?"
"What? I'm at Olivia's."

Ah. Olivia had said she was eating with Kayt, she never actually specified where the two of them were eating. We nearly always eat at Kayt's so I'd assumed... Well, you know what they say about assuming things- Ass. You. Me. Etc.

"There's obviously been a misunderstanding." Kayt said in a wise voice.

"Of course there's been a misunderstanding!" I snapped, "I didn't go to the wrong place on purpose."

I was not happy. I hate it when plans are ruined, for no real reason. I could have easily asked Olivia where they were, but I didn't. Now we were on the wrong side of Paris, with two bottles of cider in a plastic bag and I was wearing high heels and bare legs. I was not dressed for a night out with my brother. If I'm going to wear heels and bare legs in Paris then I need to be with lots of other girls, also in heels and bare legs, so that I feel comfortable.

"Shall we come to Olivia's?" I asked.

"Well, the thing is babby duck," Olivia said (she always calls people 'babby duck' when is either trying to deliver bad news or when she senses someone is about to fly off the handle), "We're going to go out for drinks near Kayt's, so you may as well stay there. We're waiting for my friend Bernise to arrive as well, shall I call her and see how long she's going to be?"

Me and my brother sat down at the bus stop while I waited for Olivia to call me back. I didn't want to go half-way across Paris, just to come back again, but then I didn't want to go into a bar either. I was in that mood where I want to be with lots of people. After about ten minutes, I told my brother to crack open the cider.

Welcome to Paris, our kid. Let's drink cider at a bus stop.

I texted Mez, who was supposed to me meeting us out for drinks. She said she was still getting ready and I told her my predicament.

"We could go to work for a drink. Controversial." she texted.

Hmm. Until recently, I used to look at people who went into work for drinks and think 'Ha! What a gimp, have they not got any other friends?'

But it wasn't too far away, and I could show my brother where I worked. I decided to meet Mez at work for a drink and wait for Olivia to tell me the plan.

As soon as we got off the metro, I changed my mind. Mez wasn't wearing heels and I felt like a dickhead, going into work on my night off, all dressed up and with my little brother in tow. But by now there wasn't really any point in turning back.

We went in and one of the new waitresses, a French girl who I've discovered likes a lot of the same DJs as me, said "What are you doing here?" and I thought 'Shit. What am I doing here?'

I was not in a good mood at all. By this point it was 1.30am. We had one drink and then Olivia rang me, to say they were going to Chez Moune in South Pigalle. Finally, a plan. I dragged my brother to the metro, conscious that the last metro was very soon. We went to Charles de Gaulle to get the Line 2 to Pigalle, but by the time we go there the Line 2 had closed. I made a quick decision to get on the Line 1 to Concorde and see if the Line 12 was still running, I wasn't holding out much hope but I thought we could just get a taxi from Concorde and at least we would be a little bit closer.

We got on the metro and after two stops I realised we were going in the wrong direction. For once in my life, I'm going to say that perhaps this was not the fault of The Universe, that perhaps it was my fault we went in the wrong direction. (Although... I swear we went in the right direction. I think maybe there was a problem with the tracks and they made the metro go backwards. It's possible, ok?)

Swearing loudly, I dragged my brother off the metro. Maybe it was time to just call it a night. We got off at Porte Malliot and went to queue for a taxi at the 'taxi rank'- a bit of a joke in Paris because there are never any fucking Taxis at these things.

Olivia and Kayt rang me, drunkenly trying to persuade me to come to Chez Moune.

Kayt said "You've already given him a shit night, don't make it any worse by going home, just come!"

She was right, if we went home the night would be a complete and utter failure, so we waited for a taxi. But after ten minutes, I got fed up of waiting and decided we'd be better off getting a taxi on the main road, so we walked away from the taxi rank, towards the Arc de Triomphe. Not one taxi went past. (Ok, one went past, but I wasn't looking and we missed it.)

We walked all the way past the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs Elysees. My feet were killing. I asked my brother if he thought we should just go home, considering we were so close.

"Let's see if we can get a taxi and if we don't get one by the time we get to yours, we'll just go home."

Sounded like a good plan to me, better than all the other fucking plans that had gone to shit that evening.

"I'm so sorry, " I told him, "It's just the plan went wrong."
"What plan?" he said, "You didn't have a plan."

Then it dawned on me that my idea of a plan is just 'Eat, go out when I'm ready, see what's happening.' Perhaps this is why so many of my 'plans' go wrong?

We walked all the way back to mine without seeing a taxi. By the time we got to my street it was nearly 3am. We probably could have found a taxi  and I considered it, but I just thought it was The Universe's way of telling me to Go Home. You never know, maybe if I had gone out I would have been stabbed or something? Maybe it was Fate.

We got back to mine and both sat in bed, reading. By the way, in the end I didn't manage to find an airbed, I made a bed on the floor for him out of quilts and blankets. Well, one quilt and one blanket. It can't be too uncomfortable because he's still sleeping in it now.

Half-way through me writing this post, Olivia rang me and performed a hungover monologue, telling me that she feels awful and has false lashes hanging off her face. Last night they had a lock-in at Chez Moune- I'm so annoyed- people only have lock-ins when I'm not there- and she pulled one of the barmen. Along with Les Parigots, that's another place she'll now be too embarrassed to go to. She was lamenting all the gin, champagne and vodka they drank last night and the fact that they didn't get in until 7am. I'm really jealous and now frustrated all over again.

She also said, when I told her my worries about turning up to work on my night off, "Yeah if I was working I'd think, what the fuck? Why has she come in on her night off? Who does that?"

Thanks, babby duck.

I feel like the only way I can recuperate my dignity is by never going into work, ever again. At the moment I could happily never go back there again. Mez is a bad influence, I might start humming loudly whenever she sidles up and yells "Hey kid, whatya doing there?" 

Oh my God, Kayt has just rang me. She's at Olivia's and she just told me what Olivia really did last night in Chez Moune. She really can never go back there. I asked  Kayt to ask Olivia if I can allude to it in my blog and she said Olivia was being sick in her kitchen sink. I'm gonna take that as a yes.

Right. I think I might actually wake my brother up now. It's 3pm and my room is so hot, I just want to have a shower and get out of here. I'm really grumpy. Everyone keeps ringing me and telling me what a good time they had last night and how stupid I am. I know I should get ready, go out and get a coffee and some croissants to bring back for my brother, but I can't go out without a shower and I can't have a shower because it is the corner of the room and my brother is lying on the floor.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Fuck fuck fuck

The streets are literally alive with the sound of music and some football team or something has obviously just won because I can hear crowds cheering from the Champs Elysees and I just saw them waving flags.

I'm not fucking celebrating Fete de la Musique. I'm so angry and stressed out I can't stop my hands from shaking.

I was supposed to meet my brother off the Roissy Bus at 11pm, I persuaded him to get the bus on his own because I really didn't want to pay 10 euros to go all the way to the airport.

At 11pm my mum What's Apped me to say my brother was trying to get in contact with me on Facebook, his phone isn't working. I told him that his phone wouldn't work in France. I have a Blackberry so I'm always on Facebook. He left me a comment to say that he tried to get on the Roissy bus, but police with guns wouldn't let him get on it.

I told him to say Roissy Bus Roissy and start crying. Then I realised he had already missed the last one, so I told him to get the RER to Charles de Gaulle Etoile. Then I realised the RER doesn't go to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, I was thinking of Chatelet. Then he said the internet was running out, he was in an internet cafe. So I said CHATELET CHATELET. Then I realised he might not have missed the last Air France bus, so I told him to get that instead. Then he went off line.

His he going to get the RER or the Air France bus? What do I do? Should I wait at Chatelet, or should I wait at Charles de Gaulle Etoile in case he got the bus? Should I just wait at home? He has my address. How can he get in contact in with me?

Oh for FUCK'S sake. I knew I should have gone to meet him at the airport. I knew it. I fucking knew it. Everyone is like 'He's 19, he'll be fine' but he's never been abroad on his own before, he has no phone.

What the fuck am I supposed to do?

How am I going to FUCKING find him?????????????


Wanderlust

So we're going back a couple of weeks now but just for the hell of it, here's an account of Friday 8th June...

Ricky wanted to have one last rave with his 'Paris girldem' and he suggested going to see Heidi at Wanderlust. I hadn't heard of the place, which is embarrassing, but a quick text to Julia revealed that Wanderlust is a new outdoor venue, created by the same people behind Social Club and Silencio.  It turns out Wanderlust had only been open two days and- according to Kayt's 'hipster friend' who tried to get in to the opening party- on the first night it opened they were turning people away in their masses.

On Friday it was chucking it down, so I figured there wouldn't be as many people trying to get in, considering a large part of the venue is an outdoor terrace. For Some Reason I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to showcase my new peach, tiered skirt from Zara. As it's so long, I had to gather the hem up and hold it in my hand as I walked through muddy puddles. In my head I was a princess, dashing through the rainy streets of Paris with grace and style... Unfortunately, the skirt is completely see-through and the long black vest I was wearing underneath kept riding up so, as I was holding an umbrella in one hand and the skirt in the other, I had no free hands to keep the vest from riding all the way up to my hips... Therefore the whole world could see my knickers and if I'm honest it kind of ruined the whole princess fantasy.

Here's the skirt by the way: (Oh my god I've just seen on the Zara website that it is 100% Polyester and completely machine-washable! I spent ages hand-washing it the other night and it's not even clean. Humph.)


Me, Julia and Kayt went to Olivia's for pre-drinks and Ricky messaged me to say he wasn't going to finish work until late so he wasn't coming. It looked like it was just going to be the four of us, but then Harriet messaged me to say Maisie was staying with her for a few days and that they wanted to meet up...

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a long time will know that Harriet is the first friend I ever met in Paris and she introduced me to Maisie, who was my partner in crime during the first Dubstep DJ episode... She left Paris after a couple of months because she didn't like her au pair family and even though Harriet still lives in Paris, I haven't seen her for about a year because we move in different circles...

So, I told Harriet and Maisie the location of the club and arranged to meet them in there, then Julia drove me, Olivia and Kayt to Wanderlust...

We first saw it from across the water, a strange snake-like tube of green light, that seemed to hover in the air. Once we got over the bridge we realised the glowing tube was a glass corridor, attached to the outside of a building that had huge windows all the way around.

Julia pulled up outside and we sat in the car finishing the beer Julia had brought (we gots a lotta class, kids!) but a suspicious looking man knocked on the window and said we had to pay him 20 euros to park there. We drove around looking for somewhere else to park and ended up finding a quiet street on a bridge, quite far away, but luckily there was a shortcut, down some steep steps, that lead us back to Wanderlust.

I was worried that there would be a huge queue and we wouldn't get in, but either Heidi isn't very well known in Paris, or the rain deterred everyone from venturing out, because when we got to the entrance we walked straight through.

The terrace is huge- I can imagine it will be really fun in the summer when the weather gets hot. (If the weather ever gets hot.) As it's on the Quai d'Austerlitz, it's on the edge of the water, so you can stand on the terrace and look at the glittering river. I like the location a lot. (It's not far from Le Batofar actually.) Inside, it wasn't as impressive. It's certainly nice and modern and expensive-looking, but Heidi was playing a room that had floor-length windows looking out onto the street, so people walking past could look in and see you dancing. As there were bright street lamps outside, the lighting inside was rubbish- it wasn't dark enough to get a proper rave on.

Although, we tried our hardest, staying right until the end. Harriet and Maisie showed up and it was nice to see them again- we lamented how, when we first came to Paris, we struggled to find any good clubs to go to and by the time I started finding my way around properly, Maisie had already left. 

The crowd in there was mixed- old people, young people, a couple of hipsters but mostly normal boys and girls, who seemed to have come to check out the new venue rather than to dance to the music. One guy who Kayt was chatting to gave us, very suspiciously, a bottle of beer and a whiskey and coke. I asked him to taste the whiskey and coke in front of me and he took a sip, before spitting it out and throwing the glass to the floor...

These are dangerous times we're living in, girls. You've got to keep your wits about you.

The DJs on after Heidi were two French guys who were supposed to play until 6am, but at 4am the dance floor was looking decidedly empty, so the manager came over and told them to stop playing. The lights came up and it was time to go home. Me and Julia were talking to the coat check-in girl, who happened to be English, and she told us that they were closing early because there wasn't really enough staff. Me and Julia excitedly ran up to the manager and asked him if they were looking for people. I love the idea of working in somewhere called Wanderlust- what a lovely name. He told us to come back the following day with C.Vs, but obviously we didn't. Ideas that seem so amazing when you are fucked never seem so appealing the next day, do they?

Maisie and Harriet were going in a different direction to us, so we said goodbye and I promised them I'd mention them in the blog, they said they both still read it!

Julia was going to stay at her Gentleman Friend's house, but he didn't finish work for another two hours, so she decided to sleep in her car until it was time to go to his. Me, Olivia and Kayt walked her back to the steep steps and on our way we bumped into the two DJs who had played after Heidi. They were really nice and said they remembered us as the only people really dancing. They were with this very skinny model-y girl who kept saying something incomprehensible to us, in English.

"Is she asking us if we want a choc ice?" Kayt said loudly.

"Kayt, she won't be offering us choc ices." I shushed her.

But it really sounded as if she was saying "Choc ice? Choc ice?"

Kayt was really up for a choc ice, but unfortunately, we eventually realised she was asking us if we wanted to go to Showcase, in the strangest accent I've ever heard. It was a real shame because we all hate Showcase, so we politely declined, but we all love choc ices.

We said goodbye to Julia, who assured us she would be ok walking up to her car on her own and on our way to the metro, me, Olivia and Kayt noticed a huge clock tower lurking in the near distance.

"It's Big Ben, on his holidays!" we decided.

We had a lively conversation with him and he told us he'd been mostly living it up on the Costa del Paris. Me and Olivia made him a cheeky, cockney chappy but Kayt wasn't convinced, she said she'd always thought that Big Ben would speak in a deep, posh baritone... But now she's met him she knows exactly how he speaks- he sounds just like me and Olivia doing our London LADs on tour impression.

Sometimes I read my sentences back and I wonder if anyone ever understands what I'm going on about?

Just before we got to the metro, we got a text from Julia:

My car has been broken into. I don't know what to do.

Before me and Kayt could digest the information, Olivia had already turned around and was marching back the way we'd come. As we walked past Big Ben we scolded him for not paying attention- surely from that height he would have seen Julia's car being broken into? But he was too busy drinking shots and being a LAD.

"You've let us down, Ben." we said as we walked past.

I knew he wasn't really Big Ben on holiday, but as we walked past I couldn't even look at him, I was so disgusted. He should have been there for us, he should have looked his fellow Brits Abroad.

We got to Julia and she was crying. I've never seen her cry before, it was horrible. Her car window had been completely smashed in and they'd pulled out everything that had been in her car- leaflets, books, work files, and littered them all over the street. They hadn't even taken anything valuable. They'd taken her favourite sunglasses, which were really cheap and a small blue bag that had nothing in it, but she was really upset about the bag. The awful thing is that they'd littered her stuff so far up the road, we could imagine them strolling up the street, chucking Julia's possessions on the floor as they went.

Julia wanted to go to the police, but I didn't think we should go in the state we were in. I hate the police and I don't trust them. Maybe it's years of my Nana shaking her head and saying "The police are the biggest gang in Liverpool!" telling me stories about how they snuck into my uncle's house and broke his nose with a torch when he was alseep in bed one night (I've no idea why, either), but I just don't trust them.

Shit I have to go to my au pair job now, byyye for now.

Hey, Kid. Hey, Dickhead.

Somebody asked me in a comment this week whether my resto job ever got better, because I don't really talk about it much anymore. I was planning on answering with a blog post detailing how I now feel about the waitressing job and then yesterday something happened at the resto that I want to tell you about, so it's all good timing really.

It didn't happen when I was working, but it happened in work and when I say 'it' I mean 'I'. Yes, I happened, like a freak storm, like a natural disaster, like an awkward fight between a drunk couple on the edge of the dance floor...

This morning I felt The Fear as soon as I woke up- a hot, itchy wave of paranoia, rolling over me as I lay there with my eyes closed, wishing it away. Unfortunately you can't wish yourself away. Do you ever get sick of yourself? Do you ever roll your eyes and think 'What have you done now?' except you already know the answer because you were there?

I'm an absolute dickhead.

But it really wasn't my fault...

It was Mez, the Welsh girl at work who started a couple of months ago. She was exactly what I'd been waiting for, someone to do silly accents with and dance around in the kitchen on a Saturday night when we're both on 'the run'. We call ourselves the Dream Team. I think everybody else probably thinks we are dicks. Also we mostly talk in an American showbiz agent/New York gangster voice, which has got slightly out of control; last night we arrived at the pub, sat at the bar and I yelled to the new person behind the bar who I've never spoken to:

"Hey kid, get me a whiskey on the rocks. And crack a smile, would ya? Or my cousin Vinny'l crack it for yer."

Oh, how me and Mez laughed hysterically.

Oh, how the new guy at the bar gave us a small, fake laugh before asking us if we really wanted a whiskey, or not.

"No, really we'll have two pints. This kid's killing me! Some people just ain't got the smarts!"

And we went on. And on.

Last night it was the birthday of two girls- an American girl who has just started and an English girl who started a couple of months ago but I never really work with her, so we don't talk much. Also, the first time I met her she said I didn't sound very Northern and I have NEVER gotten over it. I will bear that grudge until I die.

Plus, this French guy was leaving to go back to the South of France for the summer, so word on the street was that there was going to be a little party after the restaurant shut, but it had to be kept a secret from all the Shift Managers, apart from the Shift Manager who was working that night, obviously.

At first I was reluctant. The two times I have been drunk at work I have made an absolute show of myself, putting the Spice Girls on and singing along, dancing around on the bar and yelling at the top of my voice, all the time, for No Reason.

But Mez insisted. Also... and I have to be a bit careful here because I have a few of people from the resto* on Facebook and someone posted a link to my blog on my wall and I know for a fact that a couple of girls read it, because they told me... I'm not worried about the girls it's someone else I'm worried about... I'll try and say it in clues... Do you remember agesss ago when I mentioned there was someone at work who somebody else said looked like somebody famous and then somebody else was making jokes about me fancying him right in front of said person and I thought actually, hello there, maybe I should ask him out for a drink but then I obviously never did because I don't do that?

I made that as confusing as possible on purpose- my brain hasn't melted.

Well anyway, I kind of thought they might be there. I don't know why this mattered to me seeing as I never really speak to him, or really look at him even if he is stood directly in front of me, but it swayed me a little bit. Mez was insistent.

"It will be bants, it will be bants!" she kept saying. (In the rare moments during our lunchtime shift together that she spoke to me in her real voice and not the American 1950s showbiz agent/mobster.)

In the end I decided to go, because I knew me and Mez would have a good time doing silly accents to each other and also we get cheap drinks there. I promised myself I'd be in bed by 3am, as I had to get up at 9am this morning and go to my au pair job. Mez also looks after kids, so she would be in the same boat. There's something so reassuring about knowing somebody else is going to be in the same hungover, 'at work and wanting to die' situation as you.

It was almost midnight by the time we got to the resto, we went in and took a seat at the bar, yelling at the bar tender to get is whiskey on the rocks like I mentioned before. The new bar tender is English and before I'd even met him I 'dibsied' him, as a joke. Last night all the other girls were saying:

"Don't worry, we know you've called dibs on him already."

Gees Louise, news travels fast in this joint!

"I'm taking the dibsy off! But the other person, I've still got dibs on him."

It's all a Joke and a Laugh, of course. I haven't really got dibs on anyone. But last night made me realise something- people don't realise when I'm joking, ever. I need to be more careful. Oh God, if only I have realised this earlier. Everyone at the resto now thinks I am a dibsy-ing, aggressive bitch.

Anyway. The person I mentioned earlier was there, after all. I planned to say hello and the first time we made eye contact was when he walked past, just as a group of scally French firemen had gathered around me and Mez, so I didn't get a chance to say hello. Bad start. The firemen were asking if they could take pictures. At first I refused to play the game- I ain't playing ball you guys, beat it- I can't be that girl who flirts with annoying men and pretends to enjoy their fucking shit craic. (Or Anti-Bants, as Mez calls it. I've used capitals because I think I'll probably start using it in my blog- I like it because it's a good label to slap on people who don't laugh at your jokes.)

But then the manager came over and told us they'd forced her to have a photo with them and then they'd given her a glass of champagne (she also told us that she knew we'd come for the secret party- busted. She didn't seem to mind that much though) so the smile came out and I forced myself to have a photo. I hate it when weird men ask you to get in their photo because I am the Least Photogenic Person in the world and it haunts me to think that there are disgusting photographs of me out there, in the hands of strangers who will look at my uneven, snaggle-toothed smile and half-closed eyes and think: 'Fucking hell.'

To be fair, they mostly wanted pictures of Mez. Mez is blonde and bubbly and cute. I am, as we all know, that girl who drunk men shake their head at and slur "What's up with your mate? Tell her to smile."

YOU'RE what's up dickhead, I'm trying to do American gangster voices with my friend and you're blocking my view of a Certain Someone.

I digress. Eventually the firemen got thrown out because one of them stole one of the waitresses' phone, the English birthday girl actually. She saw them take it and told the bouncer: cue long and boring arguement and then finally they left, leaving a big table with two sofas that me and Mez grabbed, beckoning over the other staff who had come for drinks.

Soon the pub closed and it was officially a Lock-In. I heard a rumour there was cake.

As always, I was drunker than anyone else. It always happens when I drink at work, I think because I sit down and drink steadily without going anywhere. Also I felt a little bit nervous. The reason I go around saying I dibsy people is because to me, it's obviously a joke, because I would never do anything about it. I can't dibsy people just to never speak to them, can I?

Oh God I'm an idiot.

It's painfully obvious, the way people were talking to me last night, that everyone knows that I have a little soft spot for Certain Someone. I probably shouldn't write it on my blog but I don't care anymore. Nothing is going to happen. I will never make a move and I'm pretty sure he knows so if he was interested, he would have made a move by now.

This is my life this is, always talking loudly about things but never actually doing anything.

And boy, was I talking loudly! All the boys back in New Jersey could hear me, doing The Voice with Mez, using it in (yelled) conversation with the American girl who must have been more than a little bit offended. I just can't stop myself. I drank and drank, yelled and yelled. I had a go at the English girl who said I didn't sound Northern. In a jokey way, of course, in that faux-aggressive thing I do whenever I get really drunk, that always makes me want to die inside the next day...

"Not Northern? I had a fucking pie for breakfast you mad bitch, fucking Coal Pie and all so don't start telling ME I don't sound Northern."

Etc, etc.

I'm an idiot. I'm a bad, bad idiot.

A Certain Someone left, the cake came out and by this point it was half three and I knew I had to go home.

"Kids, I'm gonna blow this joint."

I decided to walk home, still in my faux aggressive mood, convinced that if anyone attacked me I would batter them with my superhuman strength. One of these days I'm going to meet a sticky end, I'm telling you.

Miraculously I got myself home safely and then looked at my eyebrows in the mirror for a long time. (Brow News: I've stopped having them threaded because they were doing them too thin. Instead I've been patiently growing them and shaping them as I go along. People keep telling they've never looked better. Honestly, people have told me that. Whenever I get a compliment on my eyebrows I store it in my Brow Compliment Bank and get them out when I'm drunk and alone, looking in the mirror and stroking them like an Insane Person. I think maybe I am a little bit too obsessed with my eyebrows.)

This morning I woke up. As well as The Fear, I felt ill. My eyes were all swollen and stinging, I felt dizzy and disgusting. Somehow I dragged myself out of bed and had time for a cup of tea before starting the long journey to the little girl's tennis club. I know there must be an easier route but I always forget to research it.

The little girl announced she wasn't going to her ballet class, which meant saying goodbye to that precious hour of free time I get in the afternoon. Instead we played a very weird game with these slimey fart-making toys she has, you know that putty that you push your finger in and it makes a horrible noise like someone breaking wind.

We went from having a competition to see who could make the biggest noise, to throwing them to each other and clapping in between each throw, to choreographing an obscene dance to a shitty pop song called 'Sexy Girls' where we shake them in our hands whilst wiggling our hips, then throw them to each other in time to the music, clapping under our legs just after we throw them before finally freestyling with the slimey, gobs of goop. As we shook them, they drooped into a sausage shape and because we were flopping them back and forth, they looked like you know whats and I couldn't keep a straight face.

The eight year old started laughing as well and said "They look like a thing boy have here!" and indicated down there... Ha. By this point I felt like I was going to die.

"Do you know how to use your mum and dad's coffee machine?" I asked her.
"Yes..."
"Please can you make me a coffee? I'm so tired!"

She showed me how to use the Nespresso machine as she made me a huge coffee. Ahh I'm so glad I started drinking coffee. She asked me for a taste of it so I obliged, maybe I shouldn't have done but she spat it out anyway, so no harm done.

"It disgusting!" she screamed.

I agreed with her. I don't like the taste of coffee. But I like drinking it now. I started at Christmas when I was struggling to stay awake at a family gathering and then when I got back to France I just started drinking it. I never thought I'd drink coffee. (The thing is, I'd never openly admit this to anyone, but now I drink less tea. I have about four cups a day now, sometimes two or three... Who am I?)

After my coffee I gave her a piggy back and ran around the living room, then we played tennis on the Wii. She told me to sit down on the couch and not play because I kept making us lose.

Me and Mez were texting all morning, giving each other moral support. Ain't so full of wisecracks now are we huh? After a while she went quiet and then she texted me to say:

'I'm at home, threw up in work.'

Oh dear, Mez.

Luckily I didn't feel too bad after lunch and a coffee, but I was so relieved when I got home. As soon as I got back to mine, at abut half four, I sat on my bed and as I did I got a text from Olivia:

'Do not nap. I repeat, do not nap.'

What a good friend. I decided to fight the temptation to nap, which would inevitably turn into a five hour sleep like it does every week. I wanted to do a blog post instead but somehow I ended up snuggling under the covers, just for a second, and the next thing I knew it was 7pm. Will I ever beat the Nap Monster? he comes for me each Wednesday afternoon, turns my plans to dust and he makes me feel lethargic and guilty. Sadly I think he has already beaten me into submission.

Anyhoo, that was my Tuesday and Wednesday for you. Tomorrow my lickle brother is coming to Paris! I was supposed to meet him at the airport but I've just been persuading him on Facebook how easy it is to get the Roissy Bus... Also I don't know where he's going to sleep as I don't have an airbed. Are we too old to sleep top to toe?

Tomorrow is Fête de la Musique , but I don't know where we are going yet. Last year we went to Place de Clichy for a dubby street party and we loved it. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur is doing a DJ set at Nouveau Casino but it's sold out. ALSO, shocking news- on Friday I went out with Ruth from work and one of her friends makes his living as a 'beat maker' as he called it, making music with Ruth's boyfriend who is a rapper. Beat Maker told me that T.E.E.D used to make music with him and Ruth's boyfriend, until one day he said he wanted to do something that would make him 'loads of money' and that's when he donned a dinosaur headdress and started making tunes like this:



I saw him at... erm, KOKO, I think... a while ago and he was such a fun performer, it was amazing. But now I feel all jaded and cynical, like I've been sold something without realising it.

Anyway, talking about Friday reminds me that I have so much to catch up on, as always. But not now, now it's time for bed.  

That's all folks.

Oh, one last thing, shout out to the person who somehow found my blog by Googling 'little girls assluts'...
You sound like a swell guy!

*I know I sometimes call it a pub and sometimes a resto, but you know I'm talking about the same place right? During the day it's more of a restaurant and at night time it's more of a bar/pub.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Drip

I was just watching the last episode of Girls (watch it if you haven't seen it!) and suddenly realised I could smell burning... for Some Reason I had left my hob on, with a toilet roll and my keys casually touching the edge of the hotplate. I managed to grab the toilet roll before it burst into flames but in my panic I threw in into the wet sink and now I have no toilet roll. My keyring and the plastic top of my door key are now melted into a weird, jagged, liquid shape. It reminds me of this bubbling alien potion thing in 'Prometheus' and I've had to hide them under a plate.

Ok I wrote that paragraph about an hour ago. Since then I have hand-washed all the silky, sequined ridiculously delicate garments that have been lying at the bottom of my washing basket for about six months. I really don't know why I bothered- none of them look any cleaner and now my room is full of wet washing. Also there are about five different pitter patter noises going on- I bet I won't be able to sleep, I'll just lie there, slowly going insane and wishing that I invested in ten items of sensible cotton clothing instead of: two red silk dresses, one black tulle skirt, one ballet pink tulle skirt, one peach, floor-length silk skirt, two sequined tops, a creamy white playsuit, a cream silk camisole and a silky black jacket, which I have now destroyed by screwing it up in the sink and then hanging it on the wrong-sized hangar.

No wonder I have never have anything to wear. I buy these clothes thinking I'll look like a magical princess, when in reality I wear them once, then I either get an unidentifiable stain on them or they stink of smoke so I hide them in my washing basket and wear the same pair of jeans (that have a hole in the crotch) with a black t-shirt every day.

The dripping noise is really pissing me off now. I hope it actually doesn't keep me up all night.

Last night I was awoken at 4am by the sound of thunder and heavy rain on my window. It was raining so much that there was water running down my fireplace and I scrabbled out of bed to move all my shoes that I keep in the grate.

(It's not a working fireplace; it must be left over from the Days of Yore, when a scrawny little servant girl called Bertha- for Some Reason she was a cockney, nobody knows what she was doing in Paris- lived in my room and she'd use the fire to dry her stockings and to make her tea every morning. Sometimes she threw Magic Herbs in the fire and cast love spells on her master, Monsieur Ananas*- a handsome widower who would never look twice at Bertha because although she was pretty in a sooty, scruffy kind of way, she was just a lowly servant... Also he was a raving homosexual, but nobody knew this except for the dapper young perfume salesman who came round every week and one day left Paris without a trace, taking with him half of Monsieur Ananas' fortune. Oh, we are all of us fools in love, especially Bertha, who lived out her years alone, cooped up on the sixth floor of this apartment building with only the pigeons for company. Don't worry Bertha, your memory lives on!)**

There was lightening as well, every few seconds. I couldn't believe it was going on for so long, with such ferocity, I kept expecting a knock on the door from King Lear.

I half-considered staying awake- I had to be up at 7am for the dreaded Théâtre en Anglais lesson- but I eventually drifted back to sleep and had a very strange dream about a millionaire who had made his fortune from selling tins of popcorn and had disappeared off the face of the earth, I found him living on a huge boat like the floating city in Waterworld. Then I had a dream that I was doing the theatre class in the dining room/sports hall (remember when you used to do P.E after dinner and you'd get peas on your feet? Who was I talking to about this recently?) and there were hundreds of students and it was going really well. Everyone in the class understood English and there were even other teachers from the school who had come in to watch my lesson, because I was such a brilliant teacher...

Then I woke up and it was 8am, meaning I was going to be very fucking late for my lesson and not in fact, the brilliant teacher I had been in my dreams.

Normally I have to leave at ten to eight, five to at the latest. As I ran through the metro station looking for my line, I got a text from the other teacher, telling me she was going to be five minutes late. Shit shit shit.

We both arrived at the same time, looking at each other with horrified expressions when we both realised the other one wasn't already in the class. The playground was empty, school had already started. We went to find the headteacher and she said all the kids had gone to their normal lessons (they get taken out especially to do our class) and that we would have to go and collect them.

When we finally rounded them all up, we found an empty classroom and decided to try that instead of the gym, to see if they behaved any better in a smaller space... They didn't, but it was easier to control them and there was nothing in the room for them to climb up, jump off or batter each other with. There's only two more lessons left anyway- YESSSS.

After the class, me and the other teacher went to see the lady who runs the theatre classes and I gave her all my receipts and stuff. She said she'll ring me this week to let me know how much she can refund. I'm not holding out much hope, I only gave her coach and Eurostar tickets worth 230 euros, so even if she refunds all of it, it's still not as much as I originally thought. I'm such an idiot! I've had all year to collect restaurant receipts that I can claim back on 'expenses' and I haven't saved a single one. Pfft.

Well, I wanted to tell you about Wanderlust last Friday, and Nouveau Casino this Friday just gone, and the rest of Sam and Kat's visit, and Jen's visit... but now I'm too tired so I'm going to sit in bed and read instead.

*There are lots of people in France with the surname Ananas, honestly. It's not just that I couldn't be bothered thinking of a real French surname...
**I sense I've gone too far this time with my ridiculous fantasising.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Good Morning, Fresh Hell.

Fucking hell.

Just got a text from my French bank to tell me I am 43 euros overdrawn, with 23 euros still to come out of my account. How the hell has this happened?

Shit shit shit.

Last night I was reading some of my old blog posts (terribly egotistical of me, I know) and I found one where I'd just got the restaurant job and I said:

I hardly dare to say it for fear of jinxing myself, but if this pub job works out well, I will be able to pay off my overdraft and credit card within a few months, plus I might finally learn how to speak French!

What a fucking self-deluded idiot I am. Eight months later and I am as skint as ever and I still can't speak French. It just goes to show how terrifyingly great and all-conquering the power of Jinxing is.

I'm panicking a little bit now. A lot, actually. I need 1000 euros to take to England, realistically (800 euros of that will be for Ibiza) and I also owe a couple of people money... plus my little brother is coming to stay with me next week and he's a poor student, so I was planning on paying for him when we went out... plus there is my birthday, which I have already decreed will be a huge, hedonistic weekend of celebrations... The Birthday Monster is stirring...

And I need make-up. I need shoes. I need to cut my hair and have a wax.

I just thought I would share all this information with you, because they say a problem shared is a problem halved. Funnily enough my debt has not halved itself since I started writing this blog post.

Bright spot on the horizon- I finally paid my credit card off! So that is one less thing to worry about, I suppose.

Plus next week I am finally getting paid for the drama teaching thing. I don't know how much it will be, originally we said 700 euros but that was when I was going to teach all the lessons by myself... As I've been teaching with the two French actresses, should I assume I'm going to get 350 euros instead? Or will it be less?

Oh fuck. Why do I do this to myself?

How the hell am I going to survive next year without the restaurant job?

On the plus side, it's 10.20 am and I'm out of bed! For once I'm going to be early for work!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Tears in the Rain

Just remembered another moment from when Amy came to visit:

We were all sat in Georgie's and Georgie was doing her Osho Zen Tarot Cards for us and it was hammering with rain outside. I was sat on her windowsill, with my head leaning out into the night, black rain falling down onto slick pavements and beyond, higher than any of the apartment buildings on Georgie's street, there was La Defense rising from the dark and it felt so futuristic, it really reminded me of something but I couldn't think what...

"Blade Runner." Georgie said.

And that was it: for weeks now we've been having these insane thunder storms and it will rain and rain nonstop all through the night, and I'll stand on my bed and look out at the tops of buildings, and listen to the rain as it hammers on the roofs and drips down the gutters... and I'll see the light from the Eiffel Tower, coming round to me then disappearing again, flashing on and off like searchlights in a futuristic city, scanning the empty streets for citizens sneaking out after the government-imposed curfew.

That's what I love about cities, you can be anywhere and you can be anyone. More so when it's raining, somehow.

I don't know why it's been raining so much recently, I'm sure the weather wasn't like this last year. (Actually, just searched my blog for 'rain' and I found a post from last June, and it was indeed raining. Here's the post.)

Yesterday I fell asleep at 4pm (my Wednesday nap has become like a horrible illness that I can't fight off) and when I awoke two hours later, there was rain spraying onto my bed from my open window and then there was the deepest, angriest roll of thunder I've ever heard. I lay in bed, listening to the storm, cursing myself for not jumping out of bed and being productive.

Olivia rang me five times and on the fifth time, I picked up. I knew what she wanted me to do. She wanted me to go to Chez Gladines with her and Kayt and I couldn't afford it. I knew if I answered the phone I'd end up going. We all had the duck in Roquefort sauce, like we always do, and then we went to another bar round the corner for gin. The waiters took a dislike to us for some reason, bitching about us in French because I sat down at an empty table and they were saving it for their friends, apparently.

As if you're allowed to do that!

After that bar (Sputnik, it was called) we got the metro home but somehow me and Kayt ended up running from our metro platform to Olivia's, panicked at the thought of going home and the night being over. We went to Pause Cafe for one more drink and then we all stayed at Olivia's.

I promised myself I'd stop drinking.

I'm actually skint at the moment, but I can't stop spending money. On Sunday night we went to the cinema to see Prometheus- I'm still a little bit terrified. Aliens are real, aren't they? And one day they're going to come and do horrible things to us- and before the film we had dinner in this cute restaurant near Étienne Marcel, I can't remember what it was called but instead of a complimentary mint with the bill, you get a huge jar of sweets that you can help yourself to.

On Tuesday I forgot my Navigo, so had to buy metro tickets all day, then I wandered into Marks and Spencer's and bought a packet of Percy Pigs and some blueberry and oat cookies without really knowing why, and finished them all off in about five minutes.

I'm kind of fat and skint at the minute.

And my room's a mess.

And my eyes are hurting because I've been spending too much time on my laptop.

Time to go now, I think. (Ooh, also on Friday I went to that new club Wanderlust, I'll tell you about it tomozzo.)

Amy's Visit

Woah woah, I'm so behind on my blogging  I don't know where to start. Let's see if I can bash it out in one go, the last few weeks squished into one blog post... No lengthy detail, just snippets and snapshots...

Amy's visit, I never told you about Amy's visit! She came into Kayt's flat and disappeared into the bathroom with her bag, telling us she didn't want to spoil the surprise. A few minutes later she emerged, holding my CLOAK. It was just how I'd imagined, except better. It's very long and heavy, made from black velvet with a huge hood and a label inside that says 'The Lost Girls', the name Amy is going to use when she gets her own label. I think she should forget everything else and just concentrate on cloaks and she can be the go-to label for full-length, hooded cloaks and when everybody starts wearing them (which they will) she'll rake it in and I can dance about, knowing I made somebody rich with my love of cloaks...

The cloak is completely reversible, on the inside there are pale purple and blue flowers, with swirly green vines and leaves. I can wear the flower side in the summer and save the black velvet side for winter, when the snow comes and I can stomp about in big boots and my cloak, the edges caked in powdery snow, like a real magical adventurer.

I don't know how she managed to squeeze it into her bag, but she did and now I have it hanging up in my room, ready for journeys to magical lands and fighting crime. Speaking of which, there is an English boy at work and he told me the other day that a lady had her phone snatched in the street, so he chased after the thief, tackled him and held him down while he waited for the police...

Do you know what I thought as soon as he told me that story?

Here is my crime-fighting sidekick!

You see, I was a little bit worried about how I would actually fight crime in my cloak, not actually being skilled in any ancient fighting styles like all decent superheroes. My plan was to simply jump out at criminals, wearing my cloak and say "Hey. Stop that." and in my head the criminals would always stop and run away, amazed and terrified by the sight of me in my cloak.

But.

Just in case that plan doesn't work...

I kow have a sidekick who can do all the fighting for me! He has agreed, but hasn't yet thought of a costume, so we can't start crime fighting yet but when we do, I even have a cool name for him: Jack the Dagger. Together Cloak Girl and Jack the Dagger will clean up the streets of Paris, under the Superhero Team Name- Cloak and Dagger.

'Brilliant,' I can hear you saying, 'Amazing.'

Anyway, back to Amy's visit. The details are hazy now, but one night we went to Le Carmen, that bar that I said I would never go to because they had a physiognomist and I don't agree with the whole concept of allowing people into a bar based on their physical appearance. Well turns out I've got the moral fibre of a biscuit, because I dressed up in my jazzy purple trousers and went to Le Carmen, after everything I said on here about physiognomists and the places that have them.

We didn't have any problems getting in, mainly because we went so early, although we did put a bit of effort in. I think I even brushed my hair. Actually no, I don't think I did brush my hair, but I wore my high-waisted, patterned purple trousers with black shoe boots and a silky black jacket, if you were wondering. Was actually anybody wondering?

No.

It is a beautiful place, I really, really think everybody should go there once. It's all pillars and floaty curtains, velvet chairs and mirrors in gilt frames...


I sort of understand why they turn so many people away now, because it's so small inside and it wouldn't be as nice if it was crowded. My Newish Friend Ruth's boyfriend was DJing (coincidentally he's one of the rappers that I went to see on my birthday last year- it's a small world) and I seem to remember that he played chilled out hip hop, although the music wasn't really the main focus. It isn't really a place for dancing, the music was part of the ambiance really, although a few people started dancing towards the end.

The cocktails were good, but at eighteen euros a pop, you'd fucking hope so, wouldn't you?

Yep, it's expensive, but worth a try just for the experience. The staff are really lovely, the decor is beautiful and the atmosphere was really chilled and calming...

The only problem is, we weren't in the mood to be chilled and calming, so after a couple of ridiculously expensive cocktails we headed to Chez Moune, where we had eight gin and tonics each. I know, it's absolutely disgusting. We weren't even that drunk. We stayed til the end and some guys Georgie had been chatting to asked us if we wanted to go to David Lynch's bar, Silencio. But then as we left Chez Moune, a strange thing happened. The bouncer suddenly went mad at us and physically pushed us out of the club, barging me up the stairs by the shoulders so that I was spininng round and round like I was playing Blind Man's Bluff. I had no idea why he was being arsey with us, like I always say, bouncers HATE me for NO REASON. At one point I stuck my arms and legs out so that I was blocking the doorway and he had to push and push to pop me out into the street. The next day Olivia told me that she tried the same trick and he had to pop her out of the doorway as well. Ha.

Who knows why he started picking on us. Olivia said maybe because we went into the toilets together, like all girls do, somebody thought we were doing drugs in the cubicle? But then why they would go and tell the bouncer, I don't know. Also, when we came out of the toilets there was a guy hammering on the door because he wanted to get in, so we told him to fuck off and then I'm sure I saw him talking to the bouncer straight after... Oh, I don't know.

Anyway, we walked for miles and miles with these guys, having a nice chat with them but wondering how much bloody further we had to walk. (The guys told us they all worked in 'music' and the next day Georgie told me that they are in a band called The Teenagers. I'd never heard of them, but a little Youtube research has revealed that they aren't my cup of tea and that's all I'll say.) I was pretty certain that we weren't going to get into Silencio- it is notorious for its exclusivity and apparently only lets people in who work in 'the media industry'. (I've just looked at the website and it is clearly a members club as well, but I'm not sure if they let non-members in after midnight.)

By the time we got to Silencio, it was half four in the morning and the bouncer told us they'd stopped letting people in, but perhaps he just didn't want to let us in. Defeated and drunk, us girls and one of the guys we were with went for croque-monsieur and chips in a bar on Grands Boulevards. The waiter was so rude to us and over-charged us, we think. Also, the guy at the next table said he recognised me and I realised that he works in the kitchen sometimes in the restaurant. At first we were chatting a little bit, but then the girl he was sat with had a face like a slapped arse and was sat with her back to us, so we tried to engage her with the conversation and she turned round and said "I'm French, sorry."

I know she speaks English because the guy she was with, who works in the kitchen, doesn't speak a word of French. She was saying it really sarcastically, as if we were automatically rude, French-hating bitches just because we were English.

So. That was one of the nights out we had when Amy was here.

I really can't remember what else we did, other than go to Le Mansart and Le Sans Souci, a lot. We kind of over-killed South Pigalle to be honest, since that weekend we've not been back. I don't know if I can ever go back to Chez Moune now either, after they so unceremoniously threw us out for No Reason. It was closing, but we were leaving. There was no need to physically drag us out of there.


Ok, I'm off to my au pair job now. Oh my god, before I forget, last night the nine year old told me her tooth fell out, so I asked her how much the tooth mouse (the tooth fairy apparently doesn't fly this far) gave her for it.

"Guess." she said.
"Erm... fifty?" I asked, not wanting to go too high in case she then felt disappointed by the actual amount she got.
"Lower." she said.
"Twenty?"
"Lower."
"Ten?"
"Yeah, ten." she said.
"Well, if you get ten cents for every tooth, you'll have-"
"Ten cents!? You think I have ten cents????? He give me ten EUROS."

She pissed herself laughing for about five minutes, occasionally spluttering in between laughs "You think I have ten cents..."

Money, money money. Must be funny, in a rich man's world...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Kat and Sam: Part 1

Last Wednesday, Kat and her sister Sam came to visit me for a couple of days.

(Also Kat came to see her boyfriend Ricky, who was working on the Roland Garros tournament, but I'm going to pretend that she mainly came to see me, because we all know I struggle to deal with the fact that, as much as my friends like me, they like their boyfriends more. Yeah, I said it. I'm a cold-hearted if not slightly autistic boyfriend-hating bitch. Et alors?)

I was so excited to see Kat but I was also a bit worried about what her and her sister would think about staying in my chambre de bonne. I mean, for me, it's perfect- it's in a nice area of Paris, it's free and I don't spend a lot of time in it... But come on, it is weird: I can cook from inside my shower and I brush my teeth in the same sink that I wash my dishes in; I'm one step away from living in a burnt-out caravan with my four ratty-haired, snotty-nosed children. All under the age of 5. Called Windsong, Aurora, Heathcliff and Bee.*

Also I couldn't find an airbed anywhere and as Kat's sister is her older sister by at least ten years and a Proper Grown Up, I didn't think she'd be happy with the top-to-toe treatment that all my other visitors get, whether they like it or not.

Luckily, Kayt very kindly said Kat and Sam could sleep at her place, which has a mezzanine and even a separate bathroom (!) so I didn't have to worry about tidying my room or doing the washing up. Poor Kayt, you're probably thinking. Well, we've been friends for over a year now, so she can't pretend she doesn't know what she signed up for.

I met Kat and Sam off the Roissybus at Opéra and I couldn't believe Kat was in Paris again! It was so long ago that I picked her and Mikee up at Gare du Nord... Ah, memories. But, always making new ones. Kat and Sam dropped their stuff off at Kayt's and then the four of us went to Les Parigots at République  for something to eat. Each time I go to Les Parigots I find that they've improved the food somehow, a little tweak here and there, constantly bettering themselves. This time we discovered that the chips that come with the amazing burgers (Kat said it was 'the best burger of her life', but then she was pretty hungry) are crispier and they serve them in paper cones. Cute. Kayt had the lamb which I had a little taste of and it was lovely and I had the duck with risotto, which is so unusually sweet but somehow works. Well, it works for me anyway because I have quite a sweet tooth, but Kayt said it reminded her of rice pudding.

Kat wanted a cheese plate afterwards and I made her get the large one which was completely unnessecary but we did finish it all. Below is a picture of said cheese plate, taken by Kat. For some reason Kayt has her hand placed over my hand which I don't remember and normally I remember people touching me. You know, being a cold-hearted bitch and all. Every human touch sends an icy shudder down my stiffened back.


With two bottles of wine, four mains, a large cheese plate and a tirimasu, the bill came to about thirty euros each I think, which is really reasonable considering the food is so nice. It's lovely atmosphere as well and apparently, according to Georgie, they do an amazing buffet-style brunch on Sundays. My only qualm with Les Parigots is that every time I go, they bring all the dishes out at the same time apart from one, so someone has to wait ages for their food which is a ballache. (Also I can't take Olivia there because one night the waiters did a lock-in with her and her friend Helen and she can't remember if she did anything embarrassing or not, only that she lost her iPhone and was really, really drunk.)


The next day I wasn't working in the resto (yey) so we had the whole day together until 6pm when I had to go to my au pair job. In the morning we went to the Daniel Buren exhibition- 'Monumenta'- at the Grand Palais. The girls all went a few weeks ago when it was Museum Night or whatever it's called, and loads of  museums stayed open all night, for free and unfortunately I was working, so I missed out. The girls said the 'Monumenta' exhibition was amazing and Kat also really wanted to go to the Grand Palais, as last time she visited we were all really skint and couldn't afford the entrance fee.


I think the reason the girls were so impressed with the exhibition is because they went at night time- I can imagine how all the lights looked under a black sky (there is a glass roof)... in the day time, however, it wasn't that momentous. It was engaging though, there were some cool mirrors on the floor that reflected the amazing ceiling and it was fun to walk around under all the different coloured lights. We played at being Serious Arty Types for a bit, discussing how each colour made us feel etc etc, but after half an hour we felt as if we'd looked at coloured lights and monochromatic poles for as long as could and left. Here's a photo Kat took:




After the Grand Palais, we walked along the river until I suggested we go to the Marais for lunch. When we got off the metro is was chucking it down, so we ran into the nearest restaurant, one of those expensive ones right near the carousel. The one we chose was a bit pricey, but the food was nice (me and Sam had salad and Kat had risotto with prawns) and we got talking to a nice old lady on the next table who had been brought up half in Paris, half in London.


The rain really fucked up our day. None of us had umbrellas so we had to wait for the downpour to stop before venturing back onto the metro. In a moment of madness, me and Sam suggested that we walk through the Marais, because the rain seemed to be stopping, but as soon as we got too far from the metro to go back, the rain got heavier and heavier until we were completely soaked. 

We jumped on the metro at Bastille and went to the Louvre, because Amy told me there was a Marc Jacobs exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs, which is a little museum inside the Louvre. Well, that's what Amy told me anyway. I have to make a little confession here, I've never been to the Louvre. No, that's not right, I've been to the Louvre many times, but I've never been inside it, because I don't know where the entrance is and there's always so many people spazzing around with rucksacks and maps that I can't be arsed sticking around.

We got off the metro and wandered around the nightmare that is the Carrousel du Louvre (the underground bit with shops and restaurants in) for about fifteen minutes, looking for this fucking museum. I don't know what went wrong but we just couldn't find it, even though Amy gave me quite clear instructions. We'd arranged to meet Caitlin, who is the girlfriend of one of Ricky's friends and is coming to Ibiza with us in August with us, for a coffee, so when she rang to say she was at the Louvre we decided to sack the whole thing off and go for a drink.

By now it had stopped raining, thankfully. I was panicking that Kat and Sam were having the worst trip of their lives- so far I'd gotten them soaked to the bone and then taken them for a tour around an underground shopping centre, full of tourists stocking up on crystal Eiffel Towers and bumbags with 'I LOVE PARIS' emblazoned on them in fluorescent bubble writing. Blergh.

Walking through Tuileries in the sunshine was gorgeous- we found an outdoor cafe next to a beautiful pond I've never noticed before- it has statues surrounding it and long reeds trailing into the water and it's surrounded by trees. We found a dry chair and had a beer, then before long it was time for me to go to work.

For the evening, we'd arranged to meet Ricky for drinks somewhere and Kat and Sam wanted to get dressed up, but I really didn't know where to take them. I know that sounds ridiculous, but when I have visitors my mind goes blank and I feel as if I've never even visited Paris before, never mind lived here for almost two years.

In the end I decided on Pause Cafe, my new favourite restaurant/bar, because it's cheap but nice and it's not far from Rue de Lappe or 'Costa del Paris' as I now call it, so I knew Ricky would be able to find it.

I finished work about 9pm, rushed home to get ready and then... utterly, miserably failed. I couldn't find one clean thing to wear. Kayt texted me asking me where I was and I freaked out. I knew I had to hurry because Kat and Sam were waiting for me but I couldn't find one single thing to wear. All my clothes were lying on the floor, either dirty or creased up. I was being so mental that I couldn't even remember what I'd been wearing that day before I ripped it off in a blind panic, so I just lay face-down on my bed in my underwear, crying hysterically. I seriously think all this going out has fucked with my head and I can't function as a normal person anymore. I ended up meeting Kat, Ricky and Sam at Pause Cafe an hour and a half late, wearing jeans and the one clean top I could find, with flat boots and no eyeliner on.

Kat and Sam looked gorgeous and I felt so shit- I'd ruined their Paris trip by being a scruffy bitch. After half an hour Kayt joined us and we went somewhere else which turned out to be rubbish- a strange little bar that we were enticed into because they were playing reggae and it sounded fun, then as soon as we sat down they started playing shit chart music, whilst the TV hoisted high up close to the ceiling showed a music channel that seemed to be dedicated to urban Jamaican music, although as it was on mute we guessed the genre of the music videos by watching round-bottomed girls shaking their jelly in tiny bikinis, silently gyrating around a Sean Paul-lookalike who was sat on a throne decorated with palm leaves.

We soon called it a night, it was one of those nights that seems to dwindle down to nothing the longer you stay out. I felt bad putting Kat and Sam in a taxi home so early and I wondered if they would look back on their Paris trip as two days of failures. Me and Kayt got to the metro platform only to be told by a man putting up posters that we'd missed the last one by a few seconds. Merde.

Wow, I'm really tired all of a sudden so I'll have to leave it there, more tomorrow.

Good night Windsong!

Good night Aurora!

Good night Heathcliff!

Good night Bee!

Ooh, we're just like The Waltons!

*In all seriousness, if anyone ever accidentally impregnated me four times (imagine if it was the same person each time... what a dickhead) I would actually call my kids those names. They are perfect because I like the wind, I like songs, I like sunsets and sunrises, I love Wuthering Heights and I fucking love bees- they give us honey and candles. In other words, they make life sweet and light. Also they help make beautiful flowers. Also they are furry like teddy bears. Also I like to think fairies keep them in tree-top stables like tiny, airborne horses, but I have no actual proof of this.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Moaning Minnie

We have a lot to talk about.

I hate going backwards, filling you in on things that happened weeks ago that I can now barely remember, but I feel uneasy and incomplete if I miss too many things out. I worry people think I only do things that I write about on my blog, because I mostly write about napping and breaking things and I do get up to more (vaguely) more interesting things, I promise.

Well, I don't promise...

Today I am knackered, the last few weeks have been threatening to catch up with me all weekend and finally today they dropped on my head all at once, like a sandbag of misery. I had to teach the drama class on my own this morning and it was fucking terrible. I know teachers are supposed to teach classes on their own, but then again kids are supposed to listen when I tell them to stop squishing each under huge gym mattresses and they're supposed to stop running around holding chairs above their heads when I tell them to and they're supposed to keep their shoes on their feet, as opposed to taking them off so they can shimmy up the walls and then cry when someone else in the class hides their shoes in the toilet.

All of those things happened today and I was one metaphorical thread away from losing complete control of the class. I felt like I was trying to hold on to a gigantic ship that was tossing on a stormy sea and I was slowly being dragged along into the tempest, praying that the frayed rope wouldn't break, hoping that I could pull the ship back into shore...

Well I couldn't. At one point I managed to get them all to sit down and listen while I explained the exercise, and then this fucking grey-haired teacher in a suit burst in to get chairs and tables for something. Then, towards the end of the lesson, three of the kids were performing on the stage (while the other four were loudly building a fort out of gym mats in the corner and arguing over who got to go inside it) and the same teacher came back in, this time armed with twenty of his own students, to get the rest of the tables and chairs. The three kids on stage were using a table in their performance and I had to watch as two clumsy twelve year old boys invaded the stage and carried the table away and with it any semblance of a lesson I had left.

After that the P.E teacher walked in to prepare the gym for his lesson, so I gave up and told the kids to tidy everything up. Obviously they all clambered up to the top of a dangerously high pile of gym mats and proceeded to push each other off it as I alternated between yelling at them to get down and struggling to lift up the huge gym mattresses. The P.E teacher comes in early every week and it's always embarrassing when the kids are being crazy because it makes me look like a dickhead who can't teach.

(Ok, so I am a bit of a dickhead and I clearly can't teach, but I don't want anyone else to know this.)

I always expect him to start shouting at the kids but he never does, which is nice I suppose because it means he's not overriding my 'authority' (as if I have any) but today he yelled at one of them to get off the mats. The boy in question is really, really difficult- the other two women I teach the class with had a word with the school's headmistress because he kept saying that he was going to kill himself, which is kind of terrifying to hear from a ten year old. He's also really violent with the other kids, particularly this other boy who is the biggest fucking ten year old I've ever seen. One week I really struggled to physically pull them both apart and my biggest nightmare is that one day three of them will get in a fight at the same time and I won't be able to restrain them all.

Little bastards.

Anyway... P.E teacher helped me lift the heavy mats up and he asked me if I was all right, in a really caring way that made my ovaries quiver a little bit with excitement. (And my ovaries never get excited- two years of working with kids and they've gone completely underground, hiding silently in the shadows, trying not to draw attention to themselves in case I call upon them to spawn devil rat children.) Ever since I started teaching there I've been wondering if I fancy P.E teacher or not (the answer varies from week to week, depending on how well I'm coping with my Mass Boy Hysteria) and today I was so relieved that he was there that I could have thrown him on the gym mats and then- actually no, I wanted him to throw me on the gym mats. But obviously he didn't as things like that don't happen in real life. If they do it's normally called rape. Woah. Didn't mean to start talking about rape. Moving on swiftly...

I'm having doubts as to whether I'll be able to cope next year with my own class. It will be different kids I suppose. And I will definitely make sure I'm not teaching in the gym, as the kids can't stay away from the mats and the gym horses and the wooden bar things that you pull out from the wall to climb on... what are they called?

Climbing walls. Oh yeah.

After the lesson I stopped at the bakery for my weekly Monday Croissant (I need a tasty pastry treat after an hour yelling 'IT'S MY PHONE NOW! AND I'LL THROW IT IN THE BIN IN A MINUTE!') and then had a forty minute nap before my resto job. After eating the croissant, obviously.

I had a coffee after work with my Newish Friend Ruth and we were talking about how knackered we are at the moment and how in turn we're becoming really homesick and getting fed up with Paris. I've been thinking recently that is was a huge mistake to tell the au pair family that I'm staying for another year, but after my chat today with Ruth I've realised that I'm just missing everyone because I haven't been home for a while, and I'm tired out from working too much and going out too much. Also, I think all the alcohol is having a really serious effect on my mood, I'm going to try my hardest to stop drinking from now until my birthday.

Pffft. I could do with a nap now, but I have only have twenty minutes before I have to leave for my au pair job. Tonight I'm going to stay in and blog about when Jen, Amy and Kat and her sister came to stay. And THEN I will be up to date and THEN I can relax.

P.S I have now have 50 followers. Yey! Thank you everyone who follows me! My goal is to get to a 100 followers by the time I leave Paris...

Monday, 4 June 2012

Hummingbird

I'm excited. Just found out Seth Troxler and Maya Jane Coles are playing in Paris on my birthday for the second night of the 'We Love Art' Reverie festival... Julia told me about it ages ago but I didn't know who was playing... On my birthday as well! Excellent. I've just bought two tickets. I don't even know if anyone else will want to come yet but I don't care. I'm going to be there. It will make up for not being able to see Damian Lazarus at Cabaret Sauvage- my favourite venue EVER- on the 30th June and then Soul Clap, at the same venue, the next night... that weekend I have to go away with the au pair family.

So that's shit.

I'm stressing out wondering how I'm going to get the time off work at the restaurant. I'll have to book my birthday weekend off work too, as I foresee a lot of messiness... Speaking of which...

Jen went home yesterday, after three nights of... going out? Merriment? Revelry? I don't know what the noun would be but the adjective would be 'excessive'.

Before she arrived I kept thinking: 'We won't be as bad this weekend because Rosie and Rachel aren't coming.' But I forgot that Jen is the Main Instigator. She is the worst one out of all of us. As soon as I picked her up (from a pub she had found just off the Champs Elysees, while she waited for me to finish work), we got into one of those cycles were you egg each other on all night, then convince yourselves you have to 'get back on it' as soon as possible, forcing beer down for breakfast when neither of you knows why, all you know is that you can't back down. You have to keep going. You have to keep being ridiculous. You can't stop, you can't go home, you can't refuse a shot, you can't say no to anything. It's not even peer pressure, it's more like Mutual Escalation, going so high until there's only one way things can go and...

You Come Down.

I feel fucking terrible today, not even physically, I'm just emotionally drained. Since yesterday afternoon my mood has been swinging between 'hysterical crying for no apparent reason' and 'dead inside'. I listened to this song yesterday on repeat for about twenty five minutes, crying and crying until I had to walk to the metro, still crying:



By the time I got to the little girl's birthday party I looked like I'd been sat up all night smoking weed and rubbing cat litter into my eyes. Yep, I had to go to a children's birthday party. After three nights of Jen.

It was a BRILLIANT weekend though, I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, We Love Art have said there will be 500 tickets available for Bal Blanc tomorrow, at 3pm. I finish work at 3pm so I won't be able to get tickets. I'm beginning to think I should sack the whole thing off and have a pagan Summer Equinox party, dancing around a fire somewhere grassy, wearing hideous sandals whilst eating magic mushrooms and painting flowers all over myself. Using the blood of a sacrificial lamb.

Sorry, I went too far didn't I? Forget the hideous sandals.