Monday, 15 October 2012

Chic Living at Its Utmost

Amy had to cut her trip short by five days, due to an Unavoidable Tooth Drama. I promised her I'd do a blog post about her trip so she had something to cheer her up once she was back in Liverpool, lying in a bed of tooth-related agony...

So Amy and Lynn arrived two Sundays ago, I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. I think on the Sunday night we just had a cup of tea to celebrate their arrival and then me and Amy went back to mine, because I had work at 9am the next morning. When I got back from the bilingual school, me and Amy went to meet Lynn and we walked up to Opera to get Chinese for lunch, I think... all the days are blending into one. All I remember is that we spent a lot of money eating out and buying pastries in every bakery we passed.

On Monday night we went back to the Turkish restaurant that me and Georgie went to with Hip Hop M.C and his auntie, who lives in Paris, ages and ages ago... I've been meaning to go back ever since because the food was so nice and it's not too expensive either. It's called Seç and it 's in the 17th arrondissement (18 rue Jouffroy d'Abbans, metro station: Rome) and don't be put off if it looks completely empty- both times I've gone my party has been one of only two tables. I have no idea why because the food is delicious. For starters we got a vegetarian mezze to share and a couple of those spicy Turkish pizzas that I loved last time- lahmacun- and we all got some kind of meat-based dish for our main. I'm pretty sure I got the same thing I had last time- essentially a lamb kebab with mint and aubergine but that description doesn't do it justice. Mmm. 

None of us wanted dessert but they brought us a platter of fruit with sparklers in it anyway- the staff are really nice, unless it was just because we were their only customers.

I know that in my financial situation I shouldn't be sashaying out for meals every couple of hours, but I really have faith in my Money Karma Theory- the idea that our bodies are covered in 'money pores' which we have to keep open in order for 'money karma' to seep into our 'money aura'. So yes- a lot of money will flow away from us and into the pockets of bartenders and Sephora assistants, but this will result in us gaining more money in the long run... do you see?

For the cynics among you, you might wipe that unimpressed look off your face when you learn that, on Tuesday morning, I awoke to a phone call from another French mother asking me to teach her kids English for thirty euros an hour. BOOM. Money Karma Theory in action.

On Tuesday we just made dinner at Kayt's. Amy did this dish that she learnt when she lived in Paris, it's kind of like a risotto made with pasta- instead of boiling dry pasta you cook it slowly in white wine with onions and thyme. After tea we went to Le Sans Souci where I decided I fancy the half French, half Welsh barman.

Talking of fancying people... 

I realised the other day that what this blog needs more than anything else (yes, more than hundreds of followers and a competent web designer) is...


Yes, my blog needs romance. Unfortunately, the most romantic thing that happened to me recently was when I was walking to meet the girls at Seç and a toothless homeless man told me I was pretty. I wouldn't mind, but I got the feeling he was just saying it to break the tension. 

Anyway, I've decided that my blog can have more romance if we just talk about the love lives of others, namely Amy. Last time she came to Paris she met a Mexican boy on the Roissy Bus and it turned out he was going to be staying in Liverpool for a few months, using it as cheap base while he explored Europe with EasyJet flights to and from Liverpool Airport.

They enjoyed a brief love affair until he finally had to go back to Mexico... Sadly he left Liverpool a couple of days before Amy's most recent trip to Paris, but not before writing Amy a Love Song. I wanted to copy the whole thing onto my blog because I liked it immensely, but I forgot to do it while Amy was here. However, some of the lines were so good that I committed them to memory:

To Amy, a special girl
You are my British pearl
I love your beauty legs
If I could I would have sex with you twenty four hours a day, seven days a week
I love you more than the Dalai Lama loves Buddhism. 

It's fucking beautiful. I wish a Mexican would write a song in praise of my beauty legs...

As for Kayt, she found an Official Boyfriend over the summer. She stayed in a little cottage in Wales with a group of friends and they ended up sharing a room. One night they were both lying in bed, in the dark, when she suddenly said, "Come and get in here." So he got into her bed and now they're talking about moving in together when Kayt finishes her job in Paris next summer.

So, there you go, some romance for you. Now nobody can say Left Bank Manc isn't romantic.

Actually... I did have a romantic moment of my own. One day I was telling Kayt and Amy how I've been listening to that stupid fucking Bon Iver song- Skinny Love, and how I don't know why I mooch about listening to it in the rain because it just makes me depressed. I was saying how the song makes me upset and how it always makes me think of my ex-boyfriend, until I remember that I don't have an ex-boyfriend and the I feel even worse. But the song somehow makes me think that I do have an ex, so I kind of imagine one...

"What's your imaginary ex-boyfriend called?" Kayt asked.
"Rod." I said, without thinking, "He was a Canadian, skinny with longish dark hair, not my usual type, but he was really charismatic. We met at the Pop-In, he was doing open mic night."

Before I knew it, I was telling Amy and Kayt all about Rod. 

"Remember his funny mate, Little John, who came over from Canada with him?"

They did.

We reminisced over Little John's funny stories.

"Remember the one about the car, when he was at school? They were funny because they weren't even that funny and he knew it, but that somehow made them funnier."

Oh, we laughed. Little John and Rod. We were one big, happy gang. It was shame it didn't work out.

"He just didn't love me." I eventually said, trying to smile through my tears, "So how could it ever work?"

I didn't tell the girls, but once he said to me, 'How can I love someone who doesn't know if they believe in love?'

I often wonder if I'd just... maybe if I'd... Oh, Rod. You hurt me so much, but I'd take you back in a heartbeat. I would. 

"He's moving back to Canada though, so that's that."

As I dried my tears, Amy and Kayt nodded sympathetically. Time to move on.

Also time to stop improvising imaginary ex-boyfriends, perhaps.

Enough nonsense, what day was next? Ah, Wednesday, you old rogue.

Wednesday was Amy's birthday and sadly Lynn was going home that day, so me, Kayt and Amy just had spag bol at mine. I know it sounds like we're terrible friends but Amy said that she really didn't want a fuss. Anyway, I texted Amy and told her to buy a bottle of champagne for herself and said that I would give her the money, so nobody can say I didn't make an effort. (I told her to keep it under twenty euros as well. What a horrible pute I am.) In the end we decided that it was a waste to drink champagne with spag bol, so we had red instead and saved the fizzy stuff for another, hopefully more glamorous, night.

Thursday was Curry Night at Kayt's, Laura (as in Louvre Laura, not Glasgow Laura) came as well and Amy bought extravagant cakes from the bakery. I know what you're thinking and yes, I have put on about sixty stone in the last couple of weeks.

On Friday we met up with Liz, an English friend of Georgie's who is really nice but we never see her, and it turns out she is getting married in a couple of weeks! (I swear everyone I know has decided that is the year to get engaged or married. If only Rod hadn't been such a Commitment-Phobe.) Then me and Kayt took Amy to our favourite Drunk Burger Restaurant at Pigalle, where they serve the burgers raw and the service is surly. A weird, pervy man kept waving at us through the window and then he came in the restaurant and walked over to our table. Out of nowhere, a deep-baritone boomed NON MONSIEUR and we looked up to see a very large bouncer balanced on a stool, looming above us. We decided to call him Big Dave and chatted to him for a bit about which was the most beautiful city, Paris or Rome. There's a lot more to Big Dave than people think.

After our Drunken Burger, we decided (perhaps strongly influenced by me) to go to le Sans Souci. We haven't been out in South Pigalle for months, not since we killed it last year by going to Le Mansart nearly every night of the week, but I feel as though I'm ready for it again. The Barman I've decided to develop a pointless, girlish crush on asked me if I was being served in French.

"Yeah, I'm alright thanks, I'm being served." 

I thought that perhaps this brilliant opener could be spark off a flirty conversation, leading to sticky eyes across the bar and finally a night of drunken passion, followed by a few free drinks over the coming weeks until our brief fling would end one quiet Tuesday night, when I would say "Why would do we never go to your place?" and he would be forced to admit that he lived with his girlfriend. I'd get no more free drinks and I'd never be able to go into Le Sans Souci ever again. 

It's probably for the best then, that the flirty conversation I anticipated went more like this:


When the other bartender put my drinks on the bar, he understood and went on to serve somebody else. I looked at Kayt.

"Has he ever told us he's half-Welsh?"
"No" she said, "You told me."

So. I may or may not have made up the fact that he is half-Welsh. But why would I do that? Have I finally cracked? As well as making up imaginary ex-boyfriends and back stories for 19th Century maids who might have inhabited my Cinderella Room before me (anyone remember Bertha?), it would appear that I now make up dual-nationalities for barmen I take a shine to.

On that note, we went home. 

The next day was Nuit Blanche and we planned to go to an art exposition in Republique (the artist was a friend of Louvre Laura). In the end we fannyed around for so long in my room drinking champagne and taking dickheady photos of ourselves (our excuse was that we have been friends for over two years now and we have about six photos of us together- nobody takes photos in Paris) that we missed the exposition. But guess what! We sent Amy to my corner shop to buy champagne with the twenty euros we had between us and the only champagne they had was 26 euros, so Amy said she'd just leave it... Then the shop keeper said she could have it for twenty euros! Things like that never happen in Paris. Six euros off a bottle of champagne, not a bad start to the evening.

I had found plastic champagne flutes in my cupboard but unfortunately the stems and bases were missing. This is the ingenious solution I came up with:

Left Bank Manc's Guide to Being Chic TOP TIP:
If you can't find the base to your plastic champagne flutes, simply wedge them in a bog roll! Cheers.

Also, I think Saturday night is the night that I had a shower while Amy was using the hob. Chic living at its utmost. It's not as weird as it sounds, because the shower doors are frosted in the middle, or all your rude bits are hidden. It's still a little bit weird though, talking to your mate while she makes tarragon chicken fricassee two inches away from you. (It was delicious, by the way.)

We finally made it out about midnight and met up with Ruth in Belleville for drinks. Above the bar next to us there seemed to be some sort of rave occurring, so we went to investigate and it was proper old school dubstep. Then they dropped a really shit, commercial song, I can't remember what it was, but we suddenly felt a bit embarrassed so we left. We said goodbye to Ruth, then got the metro back to Kayt's. Then we walked for about an hour in search of the only kebab place we knew would be open- the all night bakery near Pigalle.

Look, I'm running out of time now. I can't keep describing everything in such detail or I'll never finish before my lesson at 5pm and I still need to plan the lesson. For Amy's sake I'm just going to sum everything up:

On Sunday we went for a stroll by the canal which ended with wine at Chez Prune.

On Monday my FUCKING ALARM didn't go off and I was late for my job at the school. I have no idea why it didn't go off which made me panic it would happen again... In the afternoon Amy and I went shopping and that evening we watched Marie Antoinette at Kayt's. 

We got amazing Greek sandwiches for lunch on Tuesday and in the evening me and Amy went to the cinema while Kayt was babysitting. It was such horrible weather that the cinema was the only thing we fancied doing. They were showing the English version on a tiny screen and there was only six of us in the whole cinema. You HAVE to go and see Lawless and not just because Tom Hardy is in it playing a rugged, moody outlaw.

Then on the Wednesday Olivia arrived! She was back for a few days for a function hosted by the media company she worked for over the summer. As Olivia helped to organise it, they offered to pay for her to come back for the party. The party wasn't until Thursday night, so on the Wednesday night we all went to... where else, but good old Chez Gladines.

Amy decided not to get the duck in roquefort sauce. I'm still reeling.

We went to Sputnik afterwards, the bar down the road, and it happened to be Ladies Night, so a glass of champagne was really cheap. Amy was a bit miserable because she said her tooth had started hurting, so her and Kayt went home. Me and Olivia stayed out for a bit and then had a sleepover at Cece's, just like the Good Old Days. BUT! Shock Horror! While we were out, I received a message from Amy to say that she had changed her flight back to England, because her tooth was hurting her so much, meaning she was cutting her trip short by FIVE DAYS.

It was sad.

But, when she got back to England, the dentist told her that she had a baby tooth hidden in her gum which was infected and was slowly poisoning her whole mouth, so I guess she needed to go home early. I saw her one last time on Thursday afternoon before she had to get her plane. It's a shame she had to go home early but she promised to try and come back before Christmas.

Also, if Clare is reading this, I know she'll be fuming because I haven't mentioned her once and she was supposed to come to Paris with Amy. But in the end her new job had to come first, so don't be upset Clare, come back when Amy comes and we can go to the Christmas market and drink vin chaud, ok?

Ok. Now I really have to go and plan this lesson. When I get home from work this evening, I have another big blog post to do so I hope y'all are ready.


  1. There was definitely a half Welsh bartender in there! Maybe it was a different one... xxx

    1. That's when we were talking to him- when me, you, Amy and Sasha wen t out for Elle's birthday drinks in our first year here!! x

  2. You and I have spoken to him as well, in the past 6 months.
    He's definitely half Welsh/half French, we were speaking to him whilst the top knot guy was working.

    Hey I like your top knot...

    Love Olivia x

    1. I knew there was a reason I thought he was half Welsh! I wonder why he didn't understand me then? Porkward. Hey, I like your top knot... knot. xx

  3. A Welsh friend of mine sat next to the bartenders dad on a plane from Cardiff to Paris and he told her to visit Le Sans Souci. We went and he gave us free shots, a (not so) interesting fact of the evening for you!

    1. No way! I love random coincidence stories like that. Was this before or after you read this blog post... you didn't mention it did you?

    2. Haha no, it was like 2 years ago.