About Me

Here we are, Chapter Two of Left Bank Manc.

Originally from Manchester, I moved to Liverpool for university and then to Paris for three years where I lived high up in the rooftops, in a teeny tiny Cinderella room where I could shower and cook spaghetti at the same time (in truth I only did this once and it made a soapy mess).

Then.

One last trip across the sea, from the pale skies of Paris to the streets of lovely London.

I like telling stories, cats, cakes and cloaks, rainy days, the theatre, plays, tea and tall tales, folklore and fairy tales, flowers and gardens, cities, raves and sunrises, sunsets and skies.

There aren't any photos of me on here, but this is what my Paris looks like, forever dusk, the view, the colours:



And this is what my Paris sounds like:



That was my Paris and this is my blog. Any questions, ask me on Twitter or my Au Pair Forum.

A new city, same blog, always la kiffeuse.

Thank you for reading- LBM.

33 comments:

  1. This is such a good blog and has helped me so much, so for that thank you. There needs to be more information like this out there, life would be so much easier.

    Thanks again
    Molly :)

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    1. Oh what a lovely comment, thank you! I'm really glad my blog has been helpful to you!

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  2. Hi!
    I start as an au pair in August in France and can't believe how so much of the stuff you write relates to me ha!

    It's helped me a lot, especially the advice for soon to be au pairs!

    Thanks alot :)

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    1. You're welcome, when I became an au pair nearly three years ago I was looking for advice and couldn't find anything useful- I'm so glad I could help, thanks for commenting!

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  3. Thank you for posting advice for soon-to-be au pairs. I'm going to the Netherlands soon as an au pair and I'm currently wrecking my brain trying to figure out what to pack. (I've lived on the equator all my life; the idea of not wearing the same type of clothing all year long is mind-blowing to me).

    Thanks again! Best of luck.

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    1. You're welcome! Only just seen this but like to reply to all my comments :)

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  4. Hilarious and so true, even if I am not english!) love your blog! Thanx for it!

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    1. Aw thank you for such a lovely comment, keep reading!
      -Left Bank Manc.

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  5. This blog was so lovely to read! I'm moving to Chantilly, near Paris tomorrow to Au Pair with a French family and I'm doing some last minute internet surfing to reassure my scared self!

    Your advice page for Au Pairs was so so helpful! Thanks for all the tips :)

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    1. Good! I'm so glad you found my au pair advice useful, good luck! Remember, my first au pair family were awful but I got a new family really easily and stayed in Paris for three years, so don't despair if everything doesn't go to plan- although hopefully it will!
      LBM.

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  6. You're awesome. Thank you for all the information.

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  7. I adore your blog! I'm moving to La Celle Saint Cloud, near Paris in August... I guess I'm most worried about the language barrier! I only know basic French, but the parents are fluent in English, and the kids (6 and 8) only know a few English words. Do you have any advice?!

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    1. It will be bewildering at first and you'll feel as if you'll never learn it, but the best way to learn is to only speak French! However I bet the parents will want to speak English to you and to be honest it is nice being able to communicate. Don't worry about the kids- my first au pair kids didn't speak a lot of English you just have to speak simply to them and repeat yourself a lot. Say the same phrases over and over again. The best way to learn is through playing games and playinjg with toys- kids learn so fast! If the kids get all upset and stressed out, just remember that it happens to every au pair. No kids like learning English all day every day, so be patient and don't let it upset you too much if they sometimes scream NO ENGLISH!! Have a great time! Hope this helps. LBM.

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  8. I found your beautiful blog on a whim when nervously scrolling through the internet during my search for families, thank you so much for all the information you've put up! Soon I'll be off to a family in Viroflay, just out of Paris and will be continuously returning to your blog for tips :) . One question I do have though, did you struggle to meet other Au pairs or make friends when you first started Au pairing? I'm pretty worried about this!

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    1. Join the Facebook group 'au pairs in Paris'- it's easy to make friends on there, girls post things about places they are going to and ask if anyone wants to come along. I made friends in the park with other au pairs and if you are having language lessons there will most probably be other au pairs in your classes. If you're a bit far out from Paris, ask your au pair family if they know anyone else in the area with an au pair and go and make friends them. Everybody is desperate for friends when they au pair so it's really easy to approach people. I'm so glad my blog has helped you, thanks for commenting and good luck in France, you'll love it! LBM.

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  9. So glad I found this blog! I found out yesterday that I'm moving to Frankfurt to be an au pair in September! Trying to find as much helpful advice on the internet as I can, to calm my stomach which has been doing flips for the past 24 hours!

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    1. Oh I really thought I'd replied to this comment! I hope my blog has helped calm you down- I was the same before I went, but didn't have my blog to help me then. Have an amazing time in Frankfurt, German kids can only be less spoilt than French ones...

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  10. Heeey! Your advice is sooo helpful, so thank you very much! I live in Glasgow and am heading to Paris in 30 days… eek! How long does it take to settle in? Also, is it that easy to find a hot French guy on a scooter? Hahaha. Thanks again, love Josie x

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    1. I was there for three years Josie and I never found a hot on a scooter... but for everybody else they seemed to fall out of the bloody sky so it's hard to say. It took me a long time to settle in- I hated my first job and moved after two months, then it took me a few months to properly settle into my new job. As for friends, I made loads of friends really quickly but it wasn't until after about five months that I found a group of friends who became as close to me as my best friends at home and we're still close now. Good luck and keep reading!

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  11. Hi there!

    I'm searching the internet to find some new blogs to read and talk about something... I see you're talking about being an au pair etc., so I decided to show you something :).

    I'm an au pair in the US and I also have my own blog. I see the way people treat their kids and I don't like most of their ways of talking to them, of being with them. Few days ago I decided to post first post of my series about this. I create this with Nathan, a dad of my host kid, who showed me a different way that I loved and I can't imagine my life without it. So, if you're interested to look at kids from a different point, check it out - http://aga-usa.blogspot.com/2014/07/why-do-kids-lose-their-trust-in-parents.html and feel free to leave your opinion! Also, I'd be very glad if you wanted to share it with others.

    It's not that I'm looking for new readers... All of my other posts are in Polish anyway. Only this series will be published in English as well so more people can read.

    If you want, I'll leave you my e-mail address, just in case :) - gusiek.w@gmail.com

    Take care!
    Aga

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    1. Thanks for commenting I'll have a look at your blog!

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  12. I am becoming an au pair this October for a Spanish family. I am scared but excited. It is quite a traditional city in the South that I'm going to- does anyone have any tips for culture shock? I don't want to be a little Englander and hating not being able to understand things for ages (i will enrol at a language class but it will surely take months before my understanding takes off!)

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    1. Hi, I have created a forum for au pairs to ask advice( not surprisingly, it's called the Au Pair Forum page and you can find the link to it at the top of my blog). I've started a topic on Southern Spain so let's see if anyone replies... Hope you find some tips!

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  13. Hi,

    I am the editor of The Local France news website (www.thelocal.fr).

    You may or may not have heard from us, but we are an English language site based in Paris covering the news in France.

    Our readers are mainly Anglo expats based in France or Francophiles living in the UK or the United States and other European countries.

    We get around one million page views a month and are a part of Europe-wide network of sites that gets over 4 million unique visitors a month.

    In recent months we have been working with some France-based bloggers to promote their content about life in France or their views on all things French and also bring some new voices to our site.

    A couple of examples are below:

    http://www.thelocal.fr/20141007/breast-is-definitely-not-best-in-france

    http://www.thelocal.fr/20131023/British-cuisine-French-France-fish-chips-Paris-British-food-bashing

    If you write a blog post on anything related to life in France and want to share it with our readers then please get in touch.

    The more original the better.

    Just as in the examples above, we'll include links to your blog and a little information about it.

    If you have any further questions, send me an e-mail:

    ben(dot)mcpartland(at)thelocal(dot)com

    Thanks,

    Ben McPartland

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    1. Thanks! I'll have a look at the examples.

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  14. your advice on being an au pair is spot on and really funny! hope you're well!

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    1. Aw thank you. Just had a look your blog too, hope you have fun being an au pair and that you manage to update your blog!

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  15. Hello,

    I just discovered your website and I love it very much, it is very rich and you give a lot of interesting information about being aupair in Paris! Very useful!!

    With my two colleagues we are French teachers who give Online French lessons and write a blog to help students know how they can take advantage of Online Resources to learn French.

    Like a lot of our visitors are interested in reading about the France, French habits and things like that, we would like to create a cooperative link between your site and the ours:
    https://apprendrefrancaisviaskype.wordpress.com

    Mainly we are thinking of sharing the link of your site on our blog (and we would ask you to do the same) but if you are open to publishing an article about our activity, it would be really a pleasure for us!


    Thank you in advance for your answer at lili.prof@frenchfromanywhere.com

    Best regards,


    Lili
    professeur de français

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    1. HI Lili,

      Thanks for your comment. I don't really blog very often - I have now moved to London and it's not as exciting as Paris - so I don't think I would be able to write an article for you.

      I would however be happy to put a link to your site on my blog. I've had a look at your site and I think Skype lessons are a great idea for improving French vocabulary. Thanks for reading!

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  16. Hi LBM, nice job on your blog. Lot's of good advice and insight there. Thank you too for mentioning FUSAC. Would you be so kind as to update your post and link in the section "Thinking of Being an Au Pair?"? ...
    FUSAC
    This is how I found my second job. It’s a free magazine for English-speaking expats in Paris. A good way to find a job if you are already in Paris.
    www.fusac.fr

    As your probably know we are not a paper magazine anymore, but all online and the link is http://ads.fusac.fr (the link you have currently referenced in the html goes to an old page that is no longer showing). Thanks! Best wishes in London

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    1. Hi Lisa.

      I didn't know FUSAC was now online-only, I'm so out of the loop! I haven't been blogging for a while so have only just seen this comment, but I'll update the link now. Thanks for letting me know!

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  17. Hi

    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.
     
    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say :)
     
    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website. 
    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

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