Monday, 1 July 2013

The Beginning of the End

Yey, it's a Monday morning and I'm not in the nursery! Friday was my last day. I actually thought I'd be finishing this week, but when I turned up last Friday with nothing planned, wondering if I could make the Okie Kokie last thirty minutes (You put your little toe on your left foot in, you put your little toe on your left foot out...); the other teacher told me it was the last day for a lot of the kids and that we'd just be playing games and eating cake. Phew.

I never explained why the nursery kids had a 'photo shoot' at A.P.C. (A.P.C is an upmarket clothes line, if you didn't know, v.hipster at the moment.) It was their school photo, just casually taken in the A.P.C design studio. I've no idea why it was such a ridiculously cool location, but it was weird settling the toddlers down in front of a white backdrop while a model and a photographer waited at the back of the room, looking slightly horrified.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be in the photo or not, so I didn't to put make-up on or wear nice clothes in case the other teachers thought that I thought I was going to be in the photo. I backed away once we'd finished sitting the kids down in front of the camera... and the other teachers told me to get in the photo- typical. It's weird to think that in fifteen years or so, an achingly hip Parisian teenager could be looking through their old school photos and my face will be there and they'll have no idea who I am. And they'll wonder why I looked so shit when I clearly knew I was going to be in the school photo.

Anyway. I have a few things to tell you.

First of all, I wrote a piece for a website called Essential Travel, about how being an au pair could make a good a career break. If you've got a minute, read it here.

Secondly, after Kayt sent Clare photos of 'Fluffy' (Clare's beloved piece of dead animal) placed on her crotch and sitting on the end of her chin like an Abraham Lincoln beard, she has now sent Clare a photo of 'Fluffy' draped across her bare breasts. Clare was furious.

This weekend was Kayt's last weekend in Paris, she's leaving earlier than planned because she has a job interview in England. It's so weird. This really is the end.

Last Thursday was our last Supper Club as well, we went to the 404. I've wanted to eat there for about two years but have never gotten round to it. I fell a bit out of love with the bar next door- Andy Wahloo, owned by the same person as the 404 (it's the guy that has Sketch and Momo in London)- after they refused us entry on Cece's birthday last summer, but to be fair there was about twenty five of us and it's a really small bar. Look, I'm not one to hold a grudge...

The decor in Andy Wahloo is really fun- think retro, Moroccan cocktail bar with low stools and couches, good (and expensive) drinks- but the 404 is beautiful, it's so much more than I was expecting. My first impressions of the place were that it was dark and small, but in cosy way- dark wooden beams, dark wooden pillars and dark wooden tables crammed close together. It looks as if it could have been a 16th Century banqueting hall, apart from the North African decor- lamps, silver tea sets and candles that sit on shelves set into the brick wall- that is infinitely more elegant and exotic than they would have had in 16th Century Northern Europe*.

We all ordered a tagine, apart from Holly who got the wild pigeon pastilla, which is kind of like a huge pasty. The tagines arrived in clay pots, still bubbling away and so hot that the waiting staff had to try several times to remove the lids with a cloth. I had the chicken, lemon and olive tagine which was really nice- it had a whole peeled and cooked lemon in there, which I put into my mouth thinking it was a potato- but I was bit jealous of the people with lamb tagines. I didn't order lamb because I always order lamb, but we all had a taste of each other's food and my favourite was the lamb, raisin and prune tagine. For ten main courses and two bottles of wine (we tried one of the red, Moroccan wines) the bill came to just under 24 euros per person.

I'm so glad we went, but now I really want to try their other restaurant in Paris, Derrière. It's next door to the 404 and is supposed to be amazing- TC and OJ have been and they said it's really expensive but fun- it's set out like a house and you can choose which room you eat in.

Photo from the Derrière website.

Thursday night's Supper Club was also the last time I saw Ruth before she went back to England for the summer. She's staying in Paris but has a job in a summer school for the holidays. We were running to get the metro and so we didn't really get to say goodbye. Hopefully we'll see each other in London at some point in August.

I know I'm leaving Paris but I don't think I am. It feels different to every other summer in Paris, when I thought I was leaving Paris but deep down I knew I wasn't...

I have to go now, because Kayt's boyfriend was here this weekend and he's very kindly agreed to take a suitcase back to England for me. I'm supposed to be meeting him with it before he gets on the bus to the airport.

Also I need to sort my room out because B is being kicked out of her chambre de bonne today and as we are going to the ballet together next week, I've made her stay in Paris so she'll be staying with me in my Cinderella room for a bit. The longest anyone has ever stayed is Amy and we slept top-to-toe in my single bed every night for two weeks and even had naps together.

Before I get, me and Kayt got our hair cut on Friday morning by a really nice Scottish guy called Dean. He used to work for Toni and Guy in England and has now moved to Paris, he comes to you. If you're looking for a good, English-speaking hairdresser go on his Facebook page- Bad Rabbits.

*This may sound like something I have just Made Up but actually, I'm a very good authority on 16th Century Northern European decor because- and not a lot of people know this- I was born and raised in 16th Century Northern Europe.  I miss ruffs and pottage and fairies, I don't miss the plague.


  1. I can't believe you're leaving either! I'm sure you'll have just as many adventures (as my mum would say - slash has said) in London though!

    1. Thank you Gwan! I really, really can't believe I'm leaving Paris.

  2. The end of an era...I really hope you keep blogging though!

    Great article on Essential Travel, btw ;)

    1. Cheers, I'm sure I will... I can't believe you didn't win the expat blog competition by the way. Also I can't believe what the gynecologist said to you about having kids!!