Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dark Techno Oblivion: Part 2

I'm going to finish blogging about Die Höhle , because it's my blog and I can do what I like.

Also, I have so much stuff to do this afternoon that I've decided to just lie on my bed and sulk, thinking about all the things I won't get done. Somehow writing a blog feels really productive, yet is actually just an excuse to drink tea and let my mind drift back to a time when I wasn't lying on my bed, worrying and stroking my eyebrows.

So, I got up to the point where the bouncer opened the doors at the end of the candle-lit tunnel... Then he mystically disappeared into the gloom, never to be seen again, as we finally stepped inside the rave.

It looked like we were underground, in a maze of caves and tunnels. There was lighting rigged up down the middle of the ceiling, but it was so dark around the edges of the space that it looked as if there were no walls, as if there was only dark oblivion beyond where people were dancing. There were arches along the wall that led into blackness; people stepped through the arches and completely disappeared.

While us girls queued up for the loos, the boys went to find drinks. They came back with a manic look in their eyes

"There's this room..." they said, "With a strobe, but it's like... you have to see it."

I'm really trying to cut down on my swearing, but fucking hell, you should have seen this strobe. I don't even know whether to call it a strobe room really, it was more of a walk-through, in between two large spaces. I reckon the organisers had noticed that the regular lighting didn't quite reach into this walk-through, so they whacked a strobe light in there. Only, it wasn't a normal strobe light...

The room was so dark and the strobe was so bright, but that can't be the only reason it was so weird. I can't describe it. Like all strobe lights, it made anyone moving look like a series of snapshots, flashing in and out of reality, but also, when you were stood in the 'strobe room', the venue beyond looked like it was swaying to and fro. I've never seen a strobe that does that before.

It was amazing, but it was so bright that it hurt our eyes and gave me and TC a headache, so we moved through the strobe room to find where the DJ was.

There were two rooms with two DJs, but when I say 'rooms' I mean they were areas partitioned off with arches. The first 'room' was narrow and the floor sloped down to the DJ, who we couldn't see because it was so dark. The second room was larger and a bit brighter, but still the walls were invisible, making it look as though the dance floor led onto a great, dark nothing. For all I could see, we could have been dancing on the edge of the universe.

The music was great, but not the sort of great that you remember the next day and rush to find on the internet; it was the sort of great music that feels perfect for the time and place. It was the sort of techno you want to dance all night to, in the dark, with your head down, caught up in the music, forgetting that you're not alone- the venue was perfect for that.

But if it sounds like we had a slightly sinister night of shadows and techno, we didn't. We moved around a lot, chatting and having a look at everything. At one point we found a ledge in the wall that OJ and Matt rested their drinks on. They started calling it the Alpha Ledge and from there we all got heavily involved in a serious conversation about Alpha Ledge's relationship his mother, TC, and his little brother, Beta Ledge, who was sticking his little face out a few inches down the wall. Nothing like a bit of anthropomorphism to jazz up a night of raving.

When I write this stuff up, it sounds crap, but there is literally NOTHING better than meeting four strangers for the first (or second in TC and OJ's case) time and being able to participate in a surreal, group improvisation about a ledge in the wall. It's like last Saturday at Point Ephemere, when we were discussing Tony and Janice's wedding at length- at one point I went off to get food for everyone from the imaginary buffet, laden with four imaginary plates. I'm worried that when I move back to England I will assume all English people love surreal group improvisations and nobody will know what I'm on about. Except... all my friends love it too- this is why we are friends. Yey, I can live in a surreal world of cocky wall ledges and imaginary weddings forever and ever and EVER.

Towards the end of the night, we wandered back into the strobe room, but this time we embraced the bright, white light of the strobe completely. It didn't hurt our eyes or give us a headache, we just danced and watched other people dance in amazement, as they moved around in jerky flashes,disappearing every other second, then jumping back into reality.

We embraced the strobe room so much in fact, that we couldn't leave. We kept saying we would leave but somehow, the strobe light held us there, lighting us up with a blinding whiteness one second and plunging us into dark, techno oblivion the next. Maybe the strobe room wasn't a physical place, but a consciousness that we had all wandered into, nothing but techno beats and black edges, thoughts flashing into existence every second or so, like a white strobe light...

We joked that we would be stuck in there for hours. Then a guy came up to OJ and yelled over the music:
"I've been here for two hours! I can't leave!"

Perhaps the strobe did have some kind of hypnotic power... It took us about fifteen minutes to leave the strobe room after we decided to move on.

I wonder if that guy is still there?

We decided to call it a night at about 8.30am, but it felt more like 4am. Somehow, we stayed up all day drinking red wine, right until Matt and Nat had to leave for their Eurostar. I got home about midnight. I was so tired, it looked like my face had been taken off and put back on at a slightly different angle.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pariah of Paris

Do I need to tell you what happened on Saturday night, or can you guess?

It's the predictability that bores me.

This is so embarrassing, why did I have to mention it, why??


I wish I'd never said anything because now I can't get away with not telling you what happened.


(No, I didn't mean to do that big line down my dress. Yes, my hair does actually look like that.)

I just wanted to feel normal (Sex and the City has made me feel that, as a single girl living in a big city, I should be going on 'dates' twice a week, with men I meet in bars/parties/public lavatories) and to lose my nickname as the Pariah of Paris- homeless people shout it at me as I walk past, old ladies in Franprix whisper it as I queue up with my cliched singleton staples: wine and chocolate or sometimes, if I fancy a nice change, gin and gummy bears.

For anyone who hasn't read my previous posts detailing my thrilling affair with Mizmiz Man, basically:
I saw someone in Le Mizmiz who I fancied, then decided to chase him down the street to ask for his number. Since then we have arranged to meet up on nights out and he seems keen, but then doesn't show up. I decided to write him off and stopped replying to his text messages.

But then he left me a voicemail and I remembered what a sexy voice he has... so I decided to get in touch one last time. For once, we actually made a concrete plan, naming the day, the time and the place:

Saturday
8.30pm
Aux Folies at Belleville.

DUN DUN DUNNNN. 

The night before, Mizmiz Man asked me to go to his friend's party. I said no because I was already going to Glaz'art with B for a dub night which, by the way, was brilliant. The music was really good and we danced all night. Although, a weird thing happened...

A man in a wheelchair started chatting to me and when I tried to fob him off (because he was a lot older than me and unattractive, not because he was in a wheelchair) he grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go, which was a bit creepy. Later on he wheeled into the girls' toilets as B and I were leaving. We told him to get out but he came in anyway and kind of trapped me in the corner with his chair- I had to clamber over one of this wheels to escape. Perhaps the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me in the girls' toilets. (Apart from that girl in Le Violon Dingue who weed in a pint glass whilst stood next to me in the queue.)

I suppose we should admire him for not letting his wheelchair get in the way of his dream- his dream of sexually assaulting women.

Ok, so he probably didn't want to assault me, but if a creepy guy comes into the Ladies and traps me in the corner then, chair or no chair, I ain't sticking around out to find out what his intentions are.

I expected to feel like shit the next day at work but actually, it wasn't too bad. I had a one hour nap when I got home to try and snooze the bags away from under my eyes. I couldn't nap for any longer though, because I was so nervous. When I woke up I felt sick with nerves about meeting Mizmiz Man. It suddenly seemed like the thing I wanted to do least in the whole world.

And then he texted me saying that he had family in town and they had a new baby that he wanted to see, so could we meet later if that was ok?

I knew it. I knew then that he wouldn't end up coming. Kayt had her boyfriend and his friend visiting, so I went and met up with them instead. Mizmiz Man called about 8.30pm to say that he was having dinner with his aunt and his baby cousin, what were my plans? I told him I wasn't sure yet but that when I found out I would text him. The whole thing was pointless.

Me, Kayt, her boyfriend and his pal went to Point Ephémère (the music was unbelievably atrocious, to the point where we were asking each other 'How do you know Janice and Tony?' because it was like a shit wedding... 'Tony did my windows three years ago') and then Chez Moune. Obviously Mizmiz Man didn't come, or get in touch to say he wasn't coming.

I know it's not a big deal but in my head Mizmiz Man has come to represent every single man on the planet and therefore they have ALL rejected me.

What I don't understand is, why does he bother calling me and texting me? Was he really with his aunty and his cousin? It seemed like a weird lie.

There is no need to lie, there is no need to make up excuses, there is no need to be suspicious, shady and flaky...

Just don't contact me.

It's pretty simple, Mizmiz Man.

So. There you go readers, I told you I was going on a date and there's my sum up of the date: nothing, that came from nothing.

I hate the word 'date' anyway, I don't know why I keep using it. I feel embarrassed for myself, using the word date when I don't really know what a 'date' is.

Pffffft.

Olivia suggested that maybe Mizmiz Man was just Kayt putting on a man's voice, trying to boost my confidence. It's a credible theory, but Kayt was there when I spoke to Mizmiz Man on the phone, so I'm pretty sure he's a real person, just a very mystifying, elusive person... with a sexy voice... who clearly does not want to meet up with me, yet arranges to meet up with me on a regular basis.

So. There you go. Cheers.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Skank It Up

Going to Glaz'art tonight for some dub music from Bristol. I haven't got a ticket, hope I don't go all the way to the ghetto and get turned away at the door.

Guys, I crumbled- I texted Mizmiz Man. He really does have a sexy voice, honestly, if you would have heard the message you would have texted him too. We've arranged to go for a drink tomorrow night and I mean, we've actually arranged it this time, with a place and time.

I half want him to not show up, so I can carry on imagining him as being way better looking than he is. Also, he doesn't speak English so it could be really awkward... I haven't been speaking any French recently, apart from at the nursery and I can hardly talk to him about farm animals, can I? Last weekend I went to Abby's birthday party and I didn't speak to any of her French friends, I just chatted to Abby, Kayt and Julia, plus Julia's sister who I have met loads of times before, but for Some Reason I kept calling her 'Loire' instead of 'Laure'. Loire is French for dormouse.

Mizmiz Man actually texted me tonight, telling me about a party his friend is having. I mean he suggested that I pass through, he wasn't just casually telling me about it. I don't have time to go before Glaz'art, but also I don't want to go. I'm scared.

I better get ready, the music is going to be really good tonight and B told me that loads of people from Bristol are coming to Paris for the night. I hope they don't sell all the tickets.

Also I have to go to my au pair job tomorrow at 10.30am. Will definitely have to wait for the first metro, as Glaz'art is in the middle of nowhere. That means I might be able to get three hours sleep at the most. I am trying not to think about it.




Dark Techno Oblivion

Die Höhle was almost two weeks ago! If I don't blog about it now I never will.

Alors.

I knew it was was going to be a night of techno, but I'd never heard of any of the DJs playing. Out of the list of names, Vincent Vidal sounded the most familiar, so I listened to him on Soundcloud for a bit before I went out. To be honest, I think I was thinking of Vidal Sassoon.

I'm glad I met up with The Commenter (TC) the night before, otherwise I would have felt really awkward turning up at her and her boyfriend's flat for pre-drinks.

By the way, TC suggested that I christen her boyfriend* with a secret blog name too, an initialed name like TC... we decided on OJ (because it's close to his actual name, not because he is particularly fond of orange juice). TC and OJ also had two friends over from London who were coming to Die Höhle- Nat and Matt.

TC, OJ, Nat and Matt- it sounds like I went raving with a gang of cartoon alley cats.

I wish I WISH I had a gang of cartoon alley cats to go raving with. Imagine raving with this:



While we drank, we played that game where everyone puts the names of five celebrities in a hat, then you have to describe the people to your teammates without saying their name. In the next round, you have to describe the celebrity in just one word and finally you're not allowed to use any words- you have to mime. TC and OJ have 'special' rounds of their own invention, a particularly difficult one being the round where you have to mime using just your hand. ( TC did a surprisingly accurate impression of Joseph Fritzl during this round.)

The rave didn't finish until noon the next day, so we weren't in any rush to head out. We finally left at about 1.30am, just in time to get the last metro. The secret location was right at the end of line 12, in the town of Aubervilliers. (It has only recently been added to the line, which freaked me out a bit because I get the Line 12 every day and it has always terminated at Porte de la Chapelle. I thought that The Universe had created a new rave venue just for us. Look at your metro map if you don't believe me.)


While we walked round deserted streets looking for the 'secret venue' (we only knew roughly where it was) we discussed whether there would be a queue or not. As it was getting on for 2am, we thought 'definitely not'. We couldn't have been more wrong- when we finally found the venue we saw that there was a really long queue, starting at the top of  a steep hill and winding down to a pair of huge, red doors.

At first the queue was moving (albeit very slooowly) and there were a few bouncers milling around. Then all of a sudden: the bouncers disappeared, people started pushing in and the queue stopped moving.

A large crowd gathered in front of the doors as newcomers and people from the back of the queue pushed in at the front. Soon it was more a scrum that a queue. Things could only get worse.

Eventually a bouncer turned up and told everybody to reform the queue, or else they would shut the doors. He did nothing to help the situation, he just stood there watching. Everyone who had remained in the original queue like good girls and boys got crushed against cars and motorbikes by the pushers-in, who were now trying to squish back into the line.

I won't bore you with anymore details of the Queue of Doom, all you need to know is that we were in that  shambles of a queue for almost TWO HOURS.

Everybody had tickets! What were we queuing for?

As promised, they shut the doors in our faces, slowly and ominously, like the gates of Mordor. I couldn't imagine ever getting inside. I thought the only beats I would be listening to would be those of fists against the huge red doors as frustrated revelers decided enough was enough, we came to rave, open the doors and let us in.

Not by the hairs on my chinny chin chin.

Everyone in the queue was grumbling, swearing that they would NEVER go to a Berlinons Paris event EVER AGAIN. Me and the Alley cats were telling ourselves that once we got into the rave, it would be so good that we would forget all about the Queue of Doom.

And then a miracle- the queue suddenly straightened itself out, the doors opened and the queue started moving again.

Matt pointed out, when we were close to the front of the queue, that sometimes the amount of pain you suffer correlates directly with the amount of pleasure you are going to experience. In other words:

shit queue = sick rave

I didn't quite believe him, but sure enough, we managed to get inside the big, red doors, miracles of miracles. The vast entrance hall looked like a converted stables or an outdoor restaurant you'd find on holiday, with  a cobbled floor and flowers painted on the wall.

'Don't tell me it's another wedding reception rave,' I thought, casting my mind back to Katapult at Seven Sisters.

We had to queue AGAIN but this time it wasn't for very long. A bouncer counted twelve of us and told us to follow him. A group had already disappeared in front of us, down a long, dark passageway.  Why was the bouncer taking off in small groups? We wondered if perhaps we had booked ourselves a historical tour by accident.

After more waiting, it was our turn. The bouncer told us to follow him. He led us down a wide, stone passageway which was completely dark except for flickering candles, places in alcoves along the wall. At one point we heard the group that was ahead of us, unseen in the dark twists and turns of the tunnel, cheer and scream.

Then we heard it, techno techno techno, creeping along the passageway ever so quietly, growing louder as we reached another pair of doors. The bouncer opened the doors and we stepped inside, finally.

This has been a very long post so I'll leave it there for now. I'll never forget when I asked Clare if she'd read my latest blog post and she said "I started it, but it was so long darling, I stopped reading."

Cheers, Clare.

If it was you Clare, I can't remember. ANYWAY. Are my posts too long? That's a genuine question, unless nobody answers, then I'll pretend it was a rhetorical question...

*I keep calling him her 'boyfriend', but I was telling Kayt about TC's engagement ring- it's so lovely, it has an opal in it- and she said, "So it's her fiance then, not her boyfriend?" 

So yes, it is her fiance, but it feels weird calling somebody's boyfriend that, like he is a soldier in WWI or something and TC is waiting at home, growing potatoes and knitting herself a wedding dress out of dried milk curd. TC doesn't even call him her fiance- she mostly calls him by his name, which I think is very sensible.

Monday, 21 January 2013

You Can Either...

The weekend got off to a cracking start on Friday evening, when a homeless man whacked me with his crutch on my way home from work. He'd been shouting and swearing at me throughout the whole metro journey- telling me he was going to fuck me up the arse, calling me a bitch and a whore etc etc- and while all the other passengers stared at him in silence, I completely ignored him, managing to keep a serene smile plastered onto my otherwise expressionless face as I pretended to read my book.

He was quite an old guy and he seemed harmless. Also, I thought it would be embarrassing to get up and move; to then have him yelling after me, causing a big scene while everyone else in the metro carriage looked on in fascinated horror.

Just before my stop, an English couple got on the metro and tried to sit next to the homeless man. He pushed the woman away from him and started shouting at her. They didn't say much, but I know they were English because when the homeless man pushed the woman, she said "Sorry, sorry!"  Besides the fact that she was speaking in English, there aren't many other nationalities that would automatically apologise after being physically assaulted by a homeless man.

Well, maybe 'physically assaulted' is a bit strong, but pushing a stranger, unprovoked, is a quite a violent thing to do.

As I stood up to get off the metro, I realised his crutch was blocking my way to the doors, so I stepped over it, knocking it a little bit with my foot.  The homeless man roared with indignation, picked up the crutch and tried to hit me with it. Luckily I was moving quite fast, so it just caught the back of my coat.

Imagine if he'd managed to hit me on the back of the head with it? Or if he'd done it earlier and had got me across the face?

Maybe he meant to just hit the back of my coat, maybe he didn't really want to hurt me. He probably felt affronted: Look at her, ignoring me, pretending I don't exist. Reading her book while I yell at her, like I'm a ghost. I'm a person, I'm a person, I'M A PERSON! 

WHACK

There's no doubting the existence of somebody when they strike out at you with a crutch.

Maybe he was a clairvoyant, and he could see that just ten minutes after descend-ing the metro, I would be sat in a brightly-lit McDonald's, stuffing my face with hot, salty chips and slurping a coke that I didn't even want.

He would have been in for a cold night, it's been snowing these past four days. The snow brings a quiet, white stillness to this city which you can either marvel at or be frightened of, depending on whether there's a roof over your head or not, I guess.


Anybody want ice?

On Friday night I was supposed to meet Ruth and her friends for cocktails at Le Glass- a new bar in South Pigalle. I've been using this word a lot recently but I guess you could call it 'hipster'- there's no name on the door and they sell hot dogs. (American food = cool in Paris at the moment, which I find so, so weird.)

I spent a long time faffing about in my room trying to choose an outfit that would keep me warm without making me look like a fat nana from Bolton, and then when I got off the metro at Pigalle it took me ages to find the street because a) Le Glass is so 'secret' that there's no fucking street sign, so I walked past the street three times and b) I had to shuffle along really slowly so as not to slip on the ice and die a slushy death.

South Pigalle might have plenty of 'hipster' bars but it's also full of scallies and on Friday night they were having a mass snowball fight in the middle of the street, so I had to keep stopping and hiding behind lamp posts...

By the time I got to Le Glass (typically they have a bouncer on the door whose job it is to stop anyone actually getting in, I just had to be brave and tell him that I was going inside so could he let me pass, please) Ruth and her friends were leaving. I was in there for about five minutes so I can't really comment, but it looked nice and cosy and the cocktails looked impressive. (About eleven euros a pop, though.)

Kayt was getting ready, having just finished babysitting and B was coming but hadn't left yet... Thankfully, Ruth had a kir with me in a cheap bar by the metro so I didn't have to wait in Le Glass on my own. When B and Kayt arrived, we decided to go to Chez Moune. I've not been since the night we got thrown out for Some Reason and the bouncers had to literally pop me and Olivia out of the door frames because we were clinging on like defiant starfish.

The music is a bit hit and miss- sometimes it's amazing and other times you feel like you've walked into the end of a five day, opium-fueled squat party- but it was free to get in so we thought we'd give it a go.

We got lucky- the music was surprisingly good. They played a bit of techno, a bit of house and all of it was a bit trippy, although that might just be because Chez Moune is so incredibly dark that if they played The Spice Girls you'd feel a bit tripped out.

Seriously, I can't tell you how dark it was in there. They had one red light flashing, so every five seconds you could get a brief look at people's faces. For that reason I'm not sure if there were many attractive men in there, or not, but we found a few good looking ones (they looked ok by the light of the red flash anyway). What I love about Chez Moune is that, because it's so small, you always get chatting to people. We weren't trying to chat men up, but after Kayt left (she was knackered), B and I decided that it was a good night to meet eligible men. As soon as we had decided this,we noticed that ALL THE ELIGIBLE MEN HAD DISAPPEARED.

One minute we were surrounded by men and the next- it was just us and a small pervert we nicknamed Pedro, who kept jumping in between us and stroking our backs. Euw. Where had all the attractive, nice, normal men gone that we were chatting to at the bar and in the queue for the (unisex) toilets?

B concluded that they must have all pulled early and gone home...

Look. We all know that you don't meet nice men in clubs. Also, I don't want to meet anyone anyway- I'm happy being alone and I'm quite looking forward to getting my first cat and starting what will eventually become an insanely large collection. I'm thinking Bluebell for a girl, Rain Cloud for a boy.

I got home at 6.30am and tried not to think too much about the fact that I had work at 10.30 the next day. On my way home from Chez Moune, I saw there was a woman opening up Franprix. On my way to work later on in the morning, I saw the same woman still sat on the check-out. That made me feel better about going to work, because I knew all I would be doing was playing with the toddler and eating Haribo.

Talking of work... I have to be up at 8am tomorrow, which seems like the crack of dawn to me (If there is anybody reading this who has to wake up at 5am for work everyday... I bet you hate me) so I must get myself to bed.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Commenter

So last weekend...

You may remember that I was supposed to go to a techno night with The Commenter- someone who always comments on my blog with tips for raves, but we've never actually gotten round to meeting up...

Before Christmas she told me about BP 'Die Höhle'- she said it would be a really good night and promised me that, unlike some raves I could mention (Katapult), the secret location would definitely not turn out to be a wedding reception/ bar mitzvah venue. I promptly got myself a ticket, but by the the time I mentioned it to my many hundreds of Paris Raving Buddies (just Julia, B and Kayt, then), the tickets were sold out. I still really wanted to go and The Commenter (who shall henceforth be known by the initials T.C) said it was fine for me to tag along with her and her friends, but I wasn't sure if she was secretly thinking: 'I didn't mean come on your own, you friendless freak.'

T.C added me on Facebook to prove that she wasn't a gang of sinister rave-groomers or Techno Viking and suggested that we go for a drink before Saturday night, to get over the initial awkwardness.

I hate waiting for people you've never met before at metro exits. Even when you've had a good look at them on Facebook, you can't help staring at every twenty-something female that approaches, your hopeful eyes searching their faces, silently asking: 'Are you my new friend?'

When T.C arrived I did that awkward hug/kiss/hug/kiss/pull away in horror thing that I seem to do with every English person I meet in Paris. I'd already done it earlier in the week with B's friend Holly and had vowed to never do it again. (The embarrassment had lingered in the air for about ten minutes and the more I tried to make a joke out of it, my voice getting higher and more hysterical, the more Holly had backed away from me looking horrified.)

Well I did it again, didn't I? T.C went in for a hug, but I thought she was going in for the French cheek-kissing thing and as soon as I realised it was a hug I tried to pull away from her, which made her pull away from me, then, realising my mistake, I tried to go back in for a hug, by which point T.C had also decided to go in for a French air kiss...

Thankfully, we managed to escape an eternal loop of awkward greeting (I bet there are hundreds of English girls out there right now, who met months and months ago and have been trapped in a cycle of hug/kiss/pull away/hug/kiss ever since) and got ourselves to Les Rendez Vous des Amies in Montmartre.

We ordered a bottle of wine and chatted, a lot. Mostly about Paris and London, also a little bit about the Middle East:

"I'M JUST SO INTERESTED IN THE MIDDLE EAST! I don't really know much about it but I am just SO INTERESTED.'

B and Kayt had said that they might come and join us, but in the end Kayt didn't finish babysitting until really late and B had a visitor who only liked places where she could 'do some serious fist pumping'. I was a bit worried that T.C would think I didn't actually have any friends and that all the characters in my blog are just figments of my wild, sinister imagination..

Originally T.C had said that she could only pop out for a bit because her boyfriend had a guest staying, but with all the chatting and wine drinking, we ended up staying at Les Rendez Vous des Amies for a couple of hours.


Perhaps we would have stayed there for longer, but around midnight- the witching hour, a time for goblins and ghouls- two very hideous, strange men approached us because they wanted to practice their English. I'm not being mean, but one them really looked like a squashy-faced goblin. After ten minutes of politely indulging their shockingly bad English and realising that they were never going to leave us alone, we decided it was time to move on for one last glass of wine somewhere else.

Except, instead of a glass of wine, we got another bottle... I realised that T.C possesses the quality I admire in people above all others- the insatiable desire to keep drinking copious amounts of alcohol, when all common sense says you should stop drinking and go home.

The waiter couldn't believe that a) we wanted another bottle and b) we only wanted two glasses. He brought us a carafe of water as well and told us that we should probably drink it.

The scariest thing about meeting people from my blog is that they are going to judge my eyebrows because I write about them so much. But the thing is, I don't have amazing eyebrows, I am just very, very obsessed with them. T.C shares my obsession and we spent about forty minutes discussing our eyebrows, not surprising really when you consider that T.C first stumbled across my blog by searching for 'eyebrow threading Paris'.

Oh, it was so good to meet someone else who likes talking about eyebrows as much as I do! I told her all about having a Brow Guru (I don't have one, but I need one, I NEED one) and HD Brows (my friend Claire says they are actually rubbish) and we lamented over the fact that threading leaves your brows so neat and perfect and yet, one week later, you realise that you have the eyebrows of an evil cartoon queen and immediately have to start growing them out again...

If you're not into eyebrows very much, then I guess all this brow talk is probably making you feel sick with boredom. Also, if I type the word 'brow' out one more time it will have officially lost all meaning.

ANYWAY. The bar was shutting and the waiter poured our wine into paper cups for us. He also told us to be careful...

T.C walked me to the metro and I suddenly really, really needed a wee, to the point where I thought my bladder would explode on the metro in a glittery shower of white wine if I didn't go RIGHT NOW. T.C didn't live too far away, so I asked her if I could use her loo and then I'd get a taxi, because I would miss the last metro.

We were really, really quiet because T.C thought that her boyfriend would be asleep, but when we got into their apartment, T.C's boyfriend was casually strolling around in a dinosaur onesie, still up and drinking with his friend. Somehow, me getting a taxi home turned into me having a few more drinks with everyone and then suddenly it was 5am and T.C was making a bed up for me on the floor.

So, a successful first meeting, I think, although I've wittered on in such minute detail that now I don't have time to actually tell you about the techno rave. I need to tidy my room up because Kayt is coming round for tea after work and what she doesn't know is that I have invited her round to a Pit of Doom because after being so, SO good for weeks and weeks my room has somehow slid back into chaos and depravity. It makes my heart sad just looking at it.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Mizmiz Man, The Taliban and My Impromptu Haircut

Mizmiz Man called me today. He called me from an unknown number which could have potentially been a phone box (clearly he still can't afford phone credit- grim on him.) I didn't pick up because I was in the middle of singing 'Five Little Speckled Frogs' to a five year old I teach, but he left me a message. Amazingly, the message did not say this:

Hi! It's Mizmiz Man here. Listen, I'm so sorry for not getting around to meeting up with you, I've actually been held hostage by the Taliban for the past two months and every time I arranged to meet you for a drink, it was because I thought I was going to be released, but at the last minute they changed their minds- those guys are so volatile! (Loads of fun, though.) Anyway, I've been released now and am back in Paris. If you're free tomorrow night, can I come and pick you up on my scooter? I don't want to sound presumptuous, but I've already bought a pink helmet for you to wear! I know a really nice restaurant we could go to, then we could go to the opera, I have a box there. By the way, the reason I always call you from phone boxes isn't because I'm too ghetto to top my phone up, but because it makes me feel like we are in the film Amélie. Let me know about tomorrow, can't wait to see you!

No, amazingly, it was more along the lines of this:

Salut, c'est Mizmiz Man, de Le Mizmiz. Bleurghbleurghdebleurgh. Ben... fin... Bleurghbleughdebleurgh. Fin... Ben... Ben... Fin... Appelle moi. Bisous.

Obviously I am going to ignore him. It is painfully obvious that he arranges drinks with loads of girls so that he has options in case the one he really wants to meet up with bails on him. Prick.

He does have a sexy voice, though...

No, stop it.

I actually had many, many things I wanted to tell you about the weekend but now I'm not really sure where to start.

Oh my God, Laura has just put the photos up from NYE, I'm going to see if there are any of Olivia's cousin cutting my hair off...

I've managed to crop my drunken face out of every photo. I'm not really sure why you need to see proof that I am in fact as idiotic as I claim to be, but here you go- here are the photos of my impromptu haircut that  resulted from an arguement that nobody can remember the root of:




The point is...

I WON.

I think last weekend deserves a post all to itself, so I'll leave it there for now.

Shit. Just seen about two seconds ago that an Islamist terrorist group has taken some hostages in Algeria. So... don't anybody take offense at my imaginary voicemail from Mizmiz Man saying that he has been taken hostage by the Taliban, ok? I can't always take the real world into account when CHATTING SHIT.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Snipers and Skin Shedding

The disappearance of Jesus Prawn (suspected name: Houdini Prawn) was a false alarm- yesterday I discovered him crouching in a corner again, looking like a two-headed, twelve-legged freak. As a certified Prawn Expert I now recognise when Jesus Prawn is shedding his skin. It is a painfully slow process. I watched him for about ten minutes until the nine year old started shaking me: 'Stop looking to my prawn and play with me! Stop looking to my prawwwn!'

Why does he need to shed his skin so often? Why does he always do it after a suspicious absence?

Jesus Prawn is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma... surrounded by an old layer of skin.

Euw.

I keep trying to take a photo of Jesus Prawn (to silence the non-believers who, at this very moment, are gathering in the streets and renouncing the crustacean messiah) but the camera on my Blackberry is shit- it only manages to capture his beady little eyes poking out of a grey, bubbly blur.

Enough about Jesus Prawn. I'm going to tell you something that I have been withholding from you, for fear that the au pair family had discovered my blog and were sneakily reading it, preying on the innermost thoughts of their odd au pair without her knowledge.

Well, if they have discovered my blog, they're pretending that they haven't, so I'll pretend as well. (I don't have any basis for thinking they have found my blog, by the way, apart from the fact that the dad sang Mr Bombastic at me last summer, after I said on here that it was my favourite song...)

What I'm about to tell you happened a couple of months ago and it was so outrageous that I can't believe I haven't told you.

One night, just as I was about to go home, I was saying goodbye to the nine year old and her dad when the eleven year old walked past. The dad called her over because he wanted 'to see something.' He told the two of us to stand back to back, then he laughed and said that the eleven year old was taller than me.

I hammed it up for the girls, making them laugh by pulling an over-the-top sulky face, but secretly I was actually a bit gutted- I've never thought of myself as being 'short' and yet this eleven year old, who I wouldn't describe as being above the average height for her age, is taller than me.

The dad joined in the laughter and said:
"My eleven year old daughter is the same height as you!"

Then, like a sniper in the night, he quipped:
"She has the same size boobs, too."

BANG. Cut down by a bullet you never saw coming.

The girls laughed so I laughed too. I made a lame joke about leaving and then I actually turned around and left, because I'd been about to leave anyway.

What is the normal reaction to a thing like that?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Deely Boppers

HA! Just bought two tickets (this time I'll make sure at least one person comes with me) to see SBTRKT at Social Club next month, buzzing like a bee in deely boppers...

Oh my God.

Don't tell me you don't know what deely boppers are.

They're those headbands with two springs attached like antennae and there's normally something fluffy bouncing about on the end on each spring. Well imagine someone bopping about in a pair of those, and on one of the fluffy balls/furry shamrocks/flashing plastic hearts, a little bumble bee is perched and he's going bzzzz bzzzzz bzzzzz.

That's me, that is.

It's just a DJ set but still, I'm so happy they're not playing at Showcase, or 'Choc Ice' as it shall hence be known. Kayt just reminded me of the time me, Olivia, Kayt and Julia went to Wanderlust and afterwards one of the DJ's girlfriends kept asking us if we wanted a choc ice... turns out she was saying 'Showcase'. Obviously none of us wanted to go to... It's a shame because we were all quite up for choc ices.

Shiiiiit- I was just going to mention how Kat's boyfriend Ricky uses the word 'choc ice' to mean a dickhead and how it is a very appropriate name for a club like Showcase... but I have just seen on the internet that ages ago Rio Ferdinand got in trouble for branding Ashley Cole a 'choc ice'- apparently people thought he was saying that Ashley Cole was 'black' on the outside and 'white' on the inside, or something... Am I being naive or was everyone else being a bit racist, reading into an innocent slang word. I don't understand what people mean when they say that black people are acting like white people and vice versa, because People Of The Same Race Do Not All Act The Same.

In other news...

Jesus Prawn has escaped the tank: either he has ascended to heaven over the New Year; or he was really just Houdini Prawn all along, pretending to be the messiah as part of some sick publicity stunt. Seriously, it's a small tank and I've squished my face against every wall- he ain't in there.

Also, today I looked through all of my Facebook profile pictures like a vain, boring idiot. My punishment for shamelessly looking through so many photos of myself? Realising that my nose is wider than my mouth.

Still, I'm glad to be back in Paris, even if I was crying about it before I left England, as per usual. I had such a lovely holiday- I managed to escape the countryside and actually see people this time. (Once again I was amazed at how cheap everything is- you can get three Jägerbombs for ten quid in Manchester! In Paris you couldn't even get one for that price.)

Saying that, I did spend an awful lot of time lying on the sofa as well, one hand on the remote and the other rummaging through a bowl of Christmas treats... suddenly I would became aware that my hand was grasping at empty wrappers and I'd realise that I'd finished yet another box of chocolates/tin of biscuits/block of cheese. I ate so many that I couldn't distinguish a Caramel Praline from a Whiskey Truffle. Chocolate has lost all meaning.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Raves

Shit.

I was just trawling the internet for upcoming events and now I'm in a sulk because the best nights this month- Cocoon Heroes, Paris-London Express (with Dusky) and Real Tone Club (with Maya Jane Coles)- are all at Showcase- Club of Death. I will not go to Showcase, I will not.

It's only round the corner as well. It's such a shame that the place is a badly-organised deathtrap, with bouncers who force you through cattle grids before shoving you inside a crammed-dungeon that is packed to the brim with dickheads who don't seem interested in the music, only in causing dangerous crushes in the tunnel that leads from the bar to the toilets oh and the same tunnel also takes people from the main doors to the cloakroom. Great idea, guys.

Then I stumbled across 'Die Höhle' (Berlinons Paris)- a twelve hour techno rave that The Commenter told me about a few weeks ago. I bought myself a ticket before they sold out and meant to get B, Kayt and Julia on it as well... only I completely forgot all about it and now they are no more tickets available.

It will be fine. I'll tag along with The Commenter and it will be fine. I'll be fine. I can be good with new people. It will be fine!

I'll stop saying fine now.

If you're not sure who I'm talking about, The Commenter is someone who has been commenting on my blog  for a while now, with really good recommendations for raves and electro nights. When I asked her how she found out about all these events she said that her and her boyfriend went to Cabaret Sauvage after reading about it on my blog (smug smirk from me) and met a group of cool people there who like good music.

I never expected to meet so many people from my blog. Before the holidays, somebody else who follows my Twitter account messaged me about a Warp Records event and offered to put me on guestlist. In the end I couldn't go because B and her friends had already decided to go to the Electro Swing night, but how nice is that?

Sometimes I feel that Paris is a small pond for an English girl who is interested in 'good music' and I mean that in a good way.

Sigh.

I just want to enjoy my last six months in this city, I'm sick of trying to plan for next year. But if I don't plan, I will end up staying another year and then I'll spend the whole of that year worrying about the year after that...

The drama school idea is potentially ridiculous. People keep telling me I am more of a writer but I've been out of uni for two and a half years yet and I haven't done much writing. Also- shit. Kayt just buzzed on my door and I have to break the news that for our 'Kayt's Finished Her Essay Celebration Night Out' on Saturday, I will in fact be celebrating at a techno rave and erm, she can't come.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Sugar Mice, My Dream Life

I'm eating a little sugar mouse that Father Christmas left in my stocking.

In my Dream Life, I would only ever eat sugar mice and rose petals and I would only drink flowering tea. I would layer up every tulle, chiffon and satin skirt I own with a gold, sequined leotard underneath and I would wear my cloak over the top and a thin golden crown on my head but not a tacky crown, it would be an authentic, ancient-looking, thin gold band with swirly, twirly lattice things that I would twine harebells around and peacock-blue butterflies would flutter all around me as I skipped and danced through the enchanted forest that I reigned over as FAIRY QUEEN, or even FAIRY COURTESAN- I wouldn't mind as long as I had wings and was the size of a foxglove and lived in a palace made of tree bark covered in gold leaf.

It's so sad that I will probably never get to live my Dream Life.

I can't remember what I was going to say.

Oh, my dad was made up with his sardines! I saw him yesterday. I also saw my nana, she made me a money belt and made me put it on under my tights, then today in the bank I had to lift my dress up because I wanted to pay some money in. Jen was there, she will testify that I lifted up my dress to get money out of it and nobody battered an eyelid. I met Jen today in London for lunch before I got the Eurostar. It's weird to think that this morning I woke up at my dad's house in Liverpool. My littlest half brother, who is four, made me a crown out of red crepe paper. He was suggesting loads of other things I could turn it into- a tie, a bracelet, a necklace etc- and then he said:

"You could put it on your breast."

It was so weird hearing a tiny child saying the word 'breast', but I took it in my stride, holding the piece of red crepe paper across my dress and saying:

"Yeah! Like a bikini!"

He nodded in approval.

Later on I told my dad's girlfriend that her youngest child had suggested I put a piece of red crepe paper on my breast. She laughed for ages but then she had a thought:

"Are you sure he didn't say dress?"

Of course he did, thank God. (He's a little bit deaf and he's got a speech impediment, which makes him sound very cute but it obviously needs sorting out, otherwise he will get himself into some tricky situations when he's older, complimenting people on their 'pretty pink party breasts' etc.)

I don't really know what to say, just felt like doing a blog because it's been a while...

Erm...

Oh yeah, New Year's Eve was really good!

Olivia's mum and dad had a joint 60th birthday party and they Personally Invited me. (Me! I've always been paranoid that my friends' parents disliked me for no real reason.) I know a 60th birthday party doesn't sound very ravey but LISTEN- you weren't there, you don't know that it wasn't ravey but ALSO- I've had a few ravey New Year's Eves but I've never had one where I was served blinis with smoked salmon and caviar, or Rose and Lychee Martini jellies, or pistachio crème brûlée, or mini yorkshire puddings topped with horseradish sauce and two bites of steak balancing on the top...

Everything was homemade. Most of the cooking was done by the time I arrived, although I did have to 'help' with the blinis- Olivia put me in charge of adding the smoked salmon but I spent so long looking for a knife and fork that she did it herself. And she didn't use a knife and fork.

Olivia's friends Laura, Rachel and Jane also came and we had a very merry time making the most of the endless supply of champagne. We didn't get too drunk, considering there was so much alcohol on offer, although I did force Olivia's second cousin- the only eligible bachelor at the party and unfortunately, five years too young for any of us- to cut my hair off. 

It was to prove a point, but I honestly can't remember what the point was. All I know is that I was adamant he was going to cut my hair, because then I would win the arguement, even though I couldn't tell anybody what the aruguement was about. Thankfully none of the 'adults' saw us (you know what I mean, the people not in their twenties)- we carried out the whole seedy business in the kitchen, with just Olivia and her friends watching.

Olivia's friends tried to dissuade me, but all I would say was:

"If he cuts my hair, I win the arguement."

Also, he was wearing some sort of woolen collar and the deal was that he had to cut my hair and then take the collar off... I can vaguely understand what angle I was coming from but I still can't remember the exact details of the arguement. I just knew I had to win and to do that he had to cut my hair.

I was holding a chunk of my hair and waving it about in front of his face for a while, then Olivia gave him the scissors ("To be honest LBM," she said, "I think you could do with the haircut.") and he snipped it off, just like that. 

He only cut a few inches off but it's the PRINCIPLE that matters. I won the arguement, nobody can ever say I didn't. And my hair really did need lobbing off. I keep meaning to go to the hairdressers but it's just so awkward and boring. It's much more fun bullying random teenagers at family parties to cut it for you.

Laura photographed the whole thing and I don't think my face is in all of the photos, so I'll be able to put up the photographic evidence soon.

I've got a new haircut and I'm full of sugar- I'm ready for 2013.

Also, for those of you who have been reading my posts RELIGIOUSLY (just Olivia and Amy then), I have sad news about Mizmiz Man- yep, I'm sure you can guess what happened. It's so sad that we never got to go out for that drink, but I'm sure he's happy wherever he is, texting girls, then not meeting them, to his heart's content...

Hold on, I'm not finished. 

While I was home I caught the latest adaptation of Wuthering Heights on Channel 4. I loved it so much I thought my chest was going to explode. I don't know if that's just because I love the book so much though- I also love that version with Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes, one day I made my uni friends watch it and they laughed all the way through.

A lot of people moaned about the latest adaptation, saying it was nothing like the book but I think if you didn't like the latest adaptation because you thought it was too different from the book, then you didn't get it. So there.

I watched it on my own, really late at night, looking out of the window at the dark hills, the mist rising from the earth just visible in the moonlight. While the credits rolled, accompanied by the perfect song and then, right at the end, by the sound of the wind, I just sat there, still bewitched by the story. I imagined myself jumping up and running to the kitchen, flinging the back door open and the wind rushing in off the hills, then I'd go out to the darkness, I'd clamber over the damp stone wall and I'd be off, over the moors...