Monday, 30 September 2013

{Merci: Enduring Love}


Merci to the book Enduring Love (by Ian McEwan), bought in a bookshop in Le Marais this weekend. I have limited internet access, but this novel kept me preoccupied as I consumed it greedily over the weekend. It's a psychological thriller about Erotomania - a delusion that makes people believe that a stranger is in love with them. Nothing is ever as it seems with Ian McEwan though, which is what makes Enduring Love such a page-turner. A big recommend!


It reminded me of one of my favourite Audrey Tautou films: He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not. A seriously creepy but thrilling film where once again everything is not as it seems. And so refreshing to see Audrey Tautou outside of her usual cutesy, Amelie-style role - although of course I love that too!





I also watched the trailer of Enduring Love featuring Rhys Ifans and Daniel Craig (what a dreamy cast) - it looks like a great watch. Perhaps not something to watch alone in my studio though!


Can any recommend some good books/films to keep me company on 3G-less nights?

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

{A Sunday Stroll Through Auteuil}

This afternoon, before the heavens opened over Paris, I popped out for a stroll around my neighbourhood. I must stick out like a sore thumb, always pausing and looking up at the tall, Parisian buildings.. but they are so beautifully grand, I can't help but stare.



This one sort of reminded me of the house in the children's book Madeline. You can just imagine the twelve little girls (in two straight lines) marching out of this house for their morning walk.




I caught this French lady (bottom right) reading the paper amongst the roses in a little park, whiling away her Sunday afternoon. It struck me as a very French scene, so I had to capture it.


There are various forms of transport popular in the neighbourhood. The strangest thing I've observed since being here is that grown men (often in suits) use an old-fashioned scooter to get to work... much like this little girl's - except theirs aren't pink, usually. Not sure if we'll see this catching on in London!


If a pink scooter isn't your thing, how about a blue one...


Or a (pair of) Minis Cooper(s)?


Perhaps a classic beetle is more your style...


But it's probably best to stick with the safe option - a Ferrari. The only way to trump your neighbour (mine is Nicolas Sarkozy) in the 16th!





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Saturday, 28 September 2013

{A Saturday in Paris}

Today was my first properly free day - a day to explore my new hometown! Of course I leapt out of bed at 7.00 to take advantage of this..... just kidding. Last night was a bit of a debacle, as I found myself locked out of my studio at 8.30pm. Although I considered (OK, I may even have tried) climbing over some railings and along a ledge to my open window, fortunately my landlord's babysitter produced a spare set of keys. So of course, un grand merci to her for saving me from a night on a park bench! 

After sleeping in late to recover from my personal trauma, I managed to catch the local market before it finished for the morning. 



It's a charming set-up and very popular - the world and his wife like to do their shopping there. Apparently you have to be there at 8.30am to get the best products - maybe a bit of a stretch for me.


I only stopped in for some breakfast, in the form of pastry - what else?! I went for a pastel de nata - which is actually from Portugal. So far, it's the best tart I've had in Paris. Filled with custard and sprinkled with cinnamon, it certainly woke me up!


Running on pure custard, I hopped on a Metro and headed to Le Marais - somewhere I'd never been before but heard plenty about. On the way there I passed by the Hôtel de Ville, where there was an exhibition on along its outside walls. It's called 'Les Parisiens,' and features artwork by the Japanese artist Kanako from cult website My Little Paris. The prints are wry little observations about Parisians illustrated with beautiful drawings. A must see. 




There was also a market on at Hôtel de Ville - which makes me think it is the Parisian's favourite pastime.. 





Finally I arrived in the little streets of Le Marais, and I certainly wasn't disappointed. This is definitely the Brooklyn or Shoreditch of Paris - with beards and artists on every street. I loved the name of this restaurant and street: 'The Bad Boys'...



I spent the day exploring the beautiful shop windows and cafés, stopping at the busiest falafel place for a quick refill. There's plenty of vintage shops in Le Marais, interspersed with luxe clothing shops like The Kooples. All this makes for plenty to look at and photograph. 







Just a man, playing saxophone, in the middle of the street.. Only in Paris!



I loved this shop - it seemed to sell only books and wine. What more do you need in life?




A great day spent in Le Marais, I returned wearily to my little studio to get ready for a special reunion this evening...

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

{Merci: Journey Home}

A big MERCI to Paris for providing the backdrop to my journey home from work. It provides so many charming details that I'm always entertained.

As my bus takes me over the Pont Mirabeau, the Eiffel Tower looms into view - grand and assuming, but always beautiful. 



I pass a high school and see two teenagers embracing each other in a way I thought existed only in French films en noir et blanc. I love their lack of inhibition. 


The stroll down to my studio brings me past the Pizzeria d'Auteuil, one of the best in Paris according to Coralie, my boss (and neighbour!). She's prepped me about the attractive, flirty waiters - and sure enough, as I walk past the window I catch one in the act of changing for his evening shift. He shows no sign of embarrassment, instead he flashes a cheeky grin and carries on removing his clothes.
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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

{Merci}

Today, on my way home from a super fun day at work, I spotted an Italian deli across my street that looked totally authentic and perfect for tonight's supper (yes, I know I'm in Paris but who am I to resist proper Italian delicacies?!)



I stepped into this traditional Italian wonderland with mouth agape, and was met by a friendly, slightly rotund man with an excellent moustache. As I wandered around the teeny deli, crammed full of every Italian specialty you could wish for, this charming man asked me how I was. When I returned the favour, he declared (in French): 

'Well, now we've seen each other, everything is just great, 
don't you think?'

What a charmer! I almost bought everything in the shop just like that. Of course I blushed and turned away smiling, to choose what to serve up for my little meal-for-one this evening. This is what I went for in the end...


A good choice no? My new favourite friend bagged everything up for me and even popped a little packet of breadsticks in 'for the journey.' I didn't have the heart to tell him I lived just opposite!


I practically flew up the seven flights of stairs to my little home (OK, I didn't quite fly - they are a real workout), thanks to this lovely man. He inspired me to start a new series on the blog, where I say MERCI to someone or something that has made my day. After all, it's the little things in life! 



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Tuesday, 24 September 2013

{Bonjour, Paris!}

On Saturday I moved to Paris to start a new chapter of my life. For three months I will be working as a stagiaire (intern) at this super cool company


Four days in and I'm already in love with my new city, and have to pinch myself every time the eiffel tower comes into view.



On my street is a Chanel - which makes me feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman as I gaze longingly at the windows!



Everywhere I turn there's a selection of mouthwatering cakes and pastries. In my neighbourhood there's also the local cheese shop, bread shop and flower shop - enough visual stimuli to while away many afternoons.




 I spent the weekend exploring my neighbourhood (Auteuil in the 16th arrondissement - très chic) and gazing in wonderment at all the glamourous ladies - aged from 8 to 80. I saw a teeny little girl with a chignon and beautiful moccasins, and then an older lady in a hot pink minidress with enviable brown legs. It's so true what they say about French women - they have that 'je ne sais quoi'



All photos are taken from my Paris Pinterest page - hopefully this weekend I'll be able to take some of my own!

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