June 2004 Archives

Psycho somatic addict insane

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I have tendonitis in my left leg - it's causing an enormous amount of pain in my left knee, as well as my left shoulder, arm and hand. I have limited flexibility in my left ankle, and it's really really really annoying.

Apparently it is caused by too much computering (no surprise there), so I'm doing what I can to fix it, such as exercise, stretching, moving regularly at work, paying attention to my position as I sit at my computer. Last week the doctor gave me another round of anti-inflammatories - not ideal, but they're working miracles right now.

Just before I left the doctors office, he said, "do you have a sore tooth?"

Going bananas

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Note to self :

When making Banana Cake...

... do not get distracted by the Berry Ice Cream recipe on the following page and begin to follow that recipe instead. One tablespoon of milk, not one cup of milk.

... do not stubbornly say, "oh it'll be alright", when kind husband suggests, "perhaps we'd better start again".

... do not cry when banana cake turns into a volcano and erupts in the oven, because you couldn't easily find any bloody self raising flour in this bloody country and you used normal flour and "raising powder" instead*.

... just enjoy the crumbled morsels that you managed to scrape out of the pan and hope that you won't have to use industrial strength cleaner to clean the oven this weekend.

We're all going on a summer holiday

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We had a nice weekend, did lots of chores, saw Shrek 2 (LOVED IT! Especially Puss in Boots and "the look"), went to the market. We had heaps of stuff to do, but we got most of it done.

The only really important thing that we didn't manage to get done was finally organise where we're going for a break in August - hence we haven't booked anywhere to stay. I think this means that we'll probably end up sleeping on the side of a road somewhere. Sylvain thinks I'm exaggerating, but with the way things are going, I really wouldn't be surprised.

Material girl

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I heart my new handbag.

I finally found the perfect one at La Samaritain. It's black, small but spacious, has many delightful compartments, and is soooo soft. It's so beyoootiful and I'm so delighted that I may even sleep with it under my pillow.

I'm not normally materialistic - I'm really not. I've just been trying to find the right one for so long that it's turned into a huge drama. If I had have found this one when I went handbag shopping the first time, it would have not turned into a big deal - even my mother said, "I can't believe you can't find a handbag in Paris".

Upside down

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I'm wearing my underwear inside out today. I'm not sure how it happened - I must not have been concentrating when I got dressed this morning.

I'm not going to put them on the right way round, as this would require taking off my shoes and my jeans and that's too much fuss, especially in the tiny toilet at my work.

I'm going to spend the whole day feeling all wrong.

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego

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I was convinced that we needed to spend a week of our August holidays discovering some part of France. Then Kyren threw a spanner in the works and suggested that we could even try discovering another part of Europe. I can't believe that didn't occur to me, and that's truly thrown a spanner into the works. Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Britain, Germany and Austria are all included in our discussions.

Honestly, I'd like to stay in France this year - not to be narrow-minded, but because there really is so much of this country that I haven't seen, and I really should explore the country I'm living in.

Grumpy Grits

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This morning I have a meeting with one of the crankiest old volunteers that frequents my place of employ. I just know it's going to be a nightmare and have been dreading it ever since I found out that he's coming - I'm going to merit my afternoon off.

Alien Matter

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Enormous green bug somehow got squished against my handbag on my walk down to the station. Careful attempts to get it off resulted in a smear of greeny-white goop on my handbag.

Need new handbag.

This is becoming an obsession.

Les Soldes

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Yesterday heralded the official opening of the mid-year Sales here in Paris.

I made the fatal error of wandering into Minelli at lunchtime, and came out half an hour later, eyes glazed over, the thoughts of five different pairs of shoes dancing in my head. FIVE pairs of Italian shoes... I could probably get away with buying one pair... maybe two... if I behave myself in my handbag-buying spree, but five... oooooh the decisions.

And that was just one shop.

Gggg-genius

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Thanks to a certain kind-hearted romance-writing soul who has weird dreams about drinking tea with Kyren and myself in Paris, I am now the proud owner of a gmail account.

Goodbye to cutestmidget @ hotmail . com

Hello to cutesmidget @ gmail . com !

I'm so one of the cool kids now.

Session of Soul

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One of my colleagues, knowing that I enjoy all sorts of different music, brought me a copy of Joss Stone, "The Soul Sessions", to listen to whilst I work today.

I lurve it. It's really nice background music for work - totally unintrusive, relaxing, smooth, sounds good even when it's on a really low volume. I can pause for a moment, focus on the music, then pull myself back to work without being distracted for too long. The perfect type of "work music".

Mr Postman

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Lying in a bubble bath reading Bridget Jones Diary, after eating a delicious seafood lasagne accompanied by a fresh salad and a glass of Bordeaux.

The only thing that would make my life better in this half an hour of my existance would be a hug from my sis ... or a Gmail account.

Why can't I have one toooooo?

Decisions, decisions

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Since I'm forced to take three weeks of holidays in August, Sylvain is going to do so also. We're trying to think about what we're going to do.

It would actually be a great opportunity to spend some time discovering a part of France that I have not yet been to. We could take our bikes with us, and spend a week or so scooting around the countryside, as well as spending a week with Sylvains parents, maybe even go into the Alps with them for a couple of days, which leaves a few days either side to stay in Paris.

Men at Work

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HOORAH!

I think it says a lot for the wonderful tolerance and acceptance levels of this nation that a "gay couple" were able to win a show like Le Chantier (the French version of The Block).

You wouldn't see that happening in every country in the world - that the most deserving couple won, no matter their age, race or lifestyle choices.

HOORAH!

Flied Lice

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Note to self :
Always turn on the timer when cooking rice. Do not get distracted by blog writing and Neopetting for 3/4 hour whilst rice is boiling on the stove.

The DaVinci Code

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It's been a month since I've read anything in English. I have been reading entirely in French - the daily newspapers & Sylvains comic books. I have even started doing logic puzzles in French.

I started to get a little homesick over the weekend, and can't seem to shake it off completely, so I decided that the best way to deal with it was to throw myself into some books and force the English part of my brain into activity.

Yesterday I finally bought a copy of Dan Browns "The DaVinci Code" - 24 hours later, and I have already finished it. I started reading on the train last night, then read as I walked up the hill to our apartment, read as I waited for Sylvain to come home, read as I ate my dinner, read in bed, read as I walked down the hill to the train station this morning, read on the train to work, sat in the little garden beside Saint-S?verin during my lunch hour and soaked up every word. I finally finished it at home this evening.

Crime, adventure, excitement, adrenalin, history, mystery - this book was a pure pleasure to read. Given how good it was, I'm even thinking of getting his other ones and really treating myself. (Mum, dad, if you guys haven't read this book, you must get yourself a copy - I know you'd enjoy it.)

I love reading in English, and however much good it has done my French to be totally submerged as I have been, I shall never do a self-imposed "starvation" like that again.

Call me Carmen Miranda

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Yesterday we went to the market in Versailles, and picked up several kilos of fruit - strawberries, cherries, apples, apricots. We also got a whole heap of other fresh vegetables, and on the way home, the car was filled with the scents of different fruits and the fresh baguettes that we'd picked up at the patisserie.

All that fruit is so good for you, but knowing that there is a kilo of cherries sitting on the lounge room table? Pure decadence!

He's not in today or tomorrow, but I am going to chat to my boss on Wednesday. I'm going to take the offer of a no-end contract (what the heck is the word for a CDI in English anyway - I just can't think of it) and the pay rise. 30% is too much for me to say no to.

Of course, it means I am currently being paid like shit, and the pay rise puts me into a far more acceptable range, but at least this gives me a chance to keep improving my French in a familiar environment. It's also an opportunity to do some more interesting things, as they will be expanding the type of work that I do. Working in print design is different to what I initially wanted to do here, but the experience that I am getting can be directly associated with any online work I want to do later. So... I guess that's that.

Bag lady

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I.need.a.handbag.

It's becoming an international crisis. I'm getting tired of my ticket being magnetised by the clasps on my current one every third day.

I am hopeless at making decisions as well. I'm going to con Sylvain into coming into the City and helping me choose this weekend, with the promise of seeing Shrek 2 and an Italian dinner when we're done. Sounds like a plan.

Scrumptious

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I jumped on Neopets this morning to check my stuff before I go to work (addicted? me? never!), and, amongst other things, in the News they talked about the introduction of a new item : CRUMPETS. Now Neopets can eat crumpets!

The only problem is that I want a darn crumpet now too. Just hot out of the toaster, that delicious golden crumpet smell...

Dang nabbit.

Perhaps we need to make a short trip across the channel so that I can get me some crumpets.

Blogging choices

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I'm all cranky because my host still hasn't uploaded my database of blogging from my old website. Thankfully I have all of the pages as html, so if I really wanted to, and had a day or two to waste, I could copy and paste each one into this new database. Hmph, we'll see about that.

In related news, I will be upgrading to MovableType 3.0 when the normal edition is released. I will be sticking with the Free version for this site, because there is only one author (me!) and only one blog. I would have liked to go with the paid version (just because I wanted to actually support Six Apart in their work), but I also use MovableType for The Neo Commentary, and with what I need, it looks like I'll have to fork out $99 USD for the licence. I'm not planning on paying an additional $69 USD for this blog.

Erk.

Crunch

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I've eaten six apples today.

SIX.

There must be something wrong with me.

I love summer fruit.

My place of employ had no water today. All day.

Coffee and tea made with Evian.

No hand-washing.

No functional toilet.

When we went out at lunch time, we were like a relay team, taking turns to go to the toilet. I made sure I didn't drink too much bottled water during the day... just in case...

She drives me crazy

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Sylvain often brings car prototypes home from work. The other day he took me for a ride in one - it's a car which has recently been put on the market, but they're still relatively uncommon, and this particular one was quite a "souped up" version.

Sylvain grins, the speedometre rising rapidly : "See how smooth the ride is? Isn't it great!?"
Katia, white as a sheet : "Uhhh... do you have to go quite this fast?"
Sylvain : "But the car is made to go fast. It can't go at slow speeds - honestly..."
Katia : "Yes, well, you're the one who may have to clean the vomit out of the car at the end of it all."
Sylvain eases his foot off the accelerator.

I'm such a spoilsport...

Help Wanted

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I actually finished work on time today. I am feeling mighty proud of myself. I sent a big project to the printer yesterday, and although I still have others I'm working on, it's a relief to get that one out of the way.

I really need to figure out what I want to do when my contract expires. There are a couple of options really... I can stay at my place of employ, try to exploit it as a good creative experience (which it could be) and make the best of it. I can stay at my place of employ and pretend to be there for the long term, but look for another job and dump them when I find one. Not very honest, but... tempting... The last option is that I could just leave them altogether and wallow in unemployment for a month or two, whilst I spend all my free time trying to find another job. Sylvain is a fan of the latter option, but July/August are not good months to be job hunting here, as most companies close for some time during the summer months.

Unaccompanied baggage

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I tried very hard to get a handbag last night. I went to Boulevard Haussmann and wandered around Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette, but the problem is that there are so many beautiful bags that I can't even begin to narrow it down.

It's got to be black, of good quality, something that I can take to work every day. I'm looking for something classic, something that will last. I figure that a girl needs a whole bunch of fun bags (and I fell in love with about a hundred different ones of that sort last night too!), but she needs at least one "old faithful".

Bag me one

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Tonight we're having dinner with Sylvains father in the city. We're meeting him at around 7:30, so it's not really viable for me to go home after work, then come back into the city again - this also gives me a good excuse to wander around the shops for a few hours ;)

I'm actually on a mission - I'm searching for a new handbag.

The train tickets here are easily "magnetised" - most frequently by mobile phones that are kept nearby, in the same handbag. Whilst the vendors have to exchange a magnetised ticket, they grumble and get quite cranky, and it's a pain in the butt to do every few days.

This little piggy went to market

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I love sandal season. As soon as I start wearing sandals, I don't go back to covered shoes until the season really changes again and my toes are freezing off. My socks lie untouched and gathering dust in my sock drawer.

The only problem with wearing sandals in the city is that ones feet become so darn filthy - taking the Metro, walking the streets, the general city dust makes for very unpretty feet when one returns home of an evening. If I didn't take a shower in the evening, I would be forced to wash my poor little dusty footsies anyway.

Growing up on the farm, my sister and I both went shoeless almost all of the time. The sort of grime that eventuated from that was ok - earthy, dusty, arches. grass stains on our heels, dried mud between our toes.

Move your arse

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There's one thing that I really can't stand about train stations - people who stop in the middle of the stairs. Everyone behind them stops abruptly, in order to avoid a collision, swerves and tries to overtake.

Peak hour in Paris, this is a nightmare.

Everyone is in a hurry, cranky, tired (whether it is morning or night), working on autopilot. Someone stopping in the middle of the stairs throws everyone out.

You can wait until you're at the bottom of the stairs to answer your mobile phone, buddy.

Syrup-y goodness

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As Sylvain was leafing through my Australian cookbook, one of the recipes that particularly caught his eye was "Caramel Slice". I'm a big fan of Caramel Slice, and as we talked about it, we thought that it would be fun to each bring a batch in to work one day. (As an aside, the picture of that Black Forest cake on the link has me drooling. LOL.)

Reading through the recipe, however, I came across something that may be difficult to find here in France : Golden Syrup.

Sylvain looked at me and said, "what is Golden Syrup?"

I looked down at the book and scrunched up my forehead, "umm. It's a sort of syrup... that's golden..."

He rolled his eyes.

Carpetbags and Lamingtons

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When I first decided to come to France, a family friend gave me a book called the "Little Aussie Cookbook", which is a Family Circle publication (number 10 on the link).

The only thing that I've tried out of there is the Barbecue Prawns recipe, because whilst it contains such things as "Balmain Bugs with Mango Sauce", "Kangaroo Steaks with Red Wine Sauce" and "Carpetbag Steak", quite a few of the ingredients simply aren't available here and we don't really cook like that on an everyday basis anyway ;) My favourite recipe title is "Roast Chook with Baked Vegetables" (although I think if it was to be a truly authentic Australian cookbook, the recipe title would have been "Roast Chook with Vegies" - heh).

It's really only a tiny little book, and given that I hadn't really used it much before, Sylvain didn't know we had it. He picked it up last night and started leafing through it - "Carbetbag Steak?!" he said incredulously, and examined the image closely. "What's that stuffed inside the steak? Are they oysters?! You Australians are weird".

I rolled my eyes. He turned the pages over, finally arriving at desserts...

The story of Esteban and co.

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Zia! Don't go! That was your father back there!

Man, this is a classic. Sylvain has been riveted for the last week.

*returns to the television to continue watching the Mysterious Cities of Gold*

A long and weary journey

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I successfully managed to get away from work at lunchtime today. There is still heaps of work to do... My boss is shitty with me for going, even though I'm not supposed to be working this afternoon by law, and I gave them the last Friday afternoon I was supposed to have off. It's not as if I'm not working my arse off every other minute that I'm there.

If I didn't go to the Prefecture today, it would have been really bad, because I actually need my Titre de Sejour to legally work here. Vicious circle.

I'm so darn cranky about it all.

Anyway. The Prefecture is done.

I now have a Titre de Sejour valid for one year, up to the date of our wedding anniversary, when I'll have to go back to the Prefecture and go through the whole process of applying for another one again. But it will be worth it.

Playing with their minds

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My efforts yesterday to go to work early and leave on time were dashed. I left at 7pm, making an 11 hour day. I'm happy to do that, but I'm not being paid enough to do that on a regular basis, and the worst thing is that it's not even recognised by the people who matter. I don't expect to be told, "Oh it's wonderful that you're doing this", but it would be nice to hear, "thanks". Instead, because I've set a precedent, I'm expected to do this regularly.

It's also hard because in a previous place of employ, these sorts of things were not the norm, so when one did make an extra effort and put in extra hours, it was recognised with a pat on the back and a thanks. It's far easier to do these things when it's actually appreciated.

It is my Friday afternoon off (with the 35 hour work week here) - I lost my last one because I decided to stay and get some more work done. Today I have to go to the Prefecture to pick up my Titre de Sejour, so I'm not staying.

Sylvain thinks the trick is not to get them used to regular behaviour - if they get used to seeing me there at 8am or leaving at 6pm, they'll start to expect it to happen. Apparently I should play with their minds.

He's not stupid, this husband 'o mine.

Can you hear me?

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My current obsession is with my ears.

The other day I saw someone pull his walkman earphones out of his ears - there waere blobs of earwax all over them. I nearly gagged.

He simply got a hanky out of his pocket and wiped them (they were the type that has an extra rubber bit that actually sticks inside the ear), then he rolled his hanky up into a tight little wad, stuck it in his ear and proceeded to clean his ears.

Lollypop lollypop oh lolly lollypop

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At the school crossing on my way to the station this morning, there was a lollypop man in training.

He was taking the whole process very seriously, frowning and waving his white-gloved hands theatrically at the cars and children and parents.

"Walk, don't run", he gently admonished a tiny tot as she skipped across the crossing. She looked up at him and grinned sheepishly. You could visibly see his heart melt.

I don't know what happened to the elderly man that used to do the school crossing. Every day he would greet me with, "good morning, madame" and a small smile - I hope just gone to another school to help other little children cross the road.

Who's got the power!?

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*hugs her ADSL connection and all the wonderful things she's gotten restocking on Neopets*

Now, I just need to figure out how I can use my Neopets-playing talents in real life and I'll be cruising.

Why don't you like them?

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In rapid conversation, I simply cannot pronounce the difference between "onglets" (tabs down the side of a page, or on the top of a page) and "anglais" (English). It's making life very difficult, especially given that I work in a publishing house!

I can do it when I pronounce the words seperately, when I concentrate and practice, but in a professional situation, when I am in the middle of talking, I am thinking more about what I say, not how I say it.

It has made for several interesting conversations.

The latest version (according to me) was :
Katia : "I don't like the tabs here."
Colleague : "Ummm... ok."
Katia : "They are stupid!"
Colleague : "But what do you have against tabs?"
Katia : "Basically, I don't think that we need them here." (in this publication)
Colleague : "Katia! You can't talk like that!"
Katia : "What?"

Karma

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Last night the train was quite empty when I got on. There was a girl in her early twenties sprawled out on one of the six person train seats (three people facing three people), her legs stretched out on the seat in front of her, her bags everywhere.

The train filled up very quickly over the next few stations, and two people asked her to move her feet so they could sit down. She complied, with a roll of her eyes, and once they passed, she slid down in her seat again so that her knees touched the seat in front of her. It was quite an unelegant look.

The train got more and more crowded as the stations passed, and a mentally handicapped man eventually came and wanted to sit down directly in front of her. She let him do so with a scowl, and the three seats facing her were now full.

She then had the nerve to slide her butt down again so that her knees were nestling between the legs of the handicapped man in front of her and the woman sitting directly beside him. The woman was extremely put out, but the handicapped man was in such a nervous state that he started muttering to himself and trying to push the girls legs away. She refused to move and just stared at him, a small half-smile on her face.

For the next six stations, she had a psychological duel with a handicapped man. Pathetic.

The early bird gets the worm

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This mornings theory is to go into work an hour early, and get out on time tonight, instead of staying an hour after my normal finishing time.

I always get way more work done when I go in an hour early than when I stay an hour late, because barely anyone is there in the early morning. The hour between 5:30 and 6:30 is just too unproductive for me, with too many people running around wanting to chat.

We'll see what happens. I'm not being paid enough to voluntarily do ten hour days anyway.

Last night Sylvain declared my French "fluent". We talk mostly English at home, so it's only when we interact with others here that he really sees my progress. I rang his mother last night, and we chatted on the phone for half an hour or so, then she put me on the speakerphone so that I could speak to both of my parents-in-law for a little while.

I hung up and turned to a grinning Sylvain. He hugged me and said, "I can't believe you can just chat on the phone like that. You're doing marvellously!"

I don't feel like I'm "fluent", as I'm still constantly making errors of conjugation and particularly of accordance (why oh why do things have to have a gender!!!), but I can get along in everyday life without too many problems. Written French? That's a different story altogether. The things I get away with in spoken French cannot be hidden in the written word.

A few weeks ago we visited Sylvains parents, Jacques and Roseline, and I chattered like a kookaburra all weekend*.

When I get home from work tonight, I've got some blogging to upload from the last few days, but I couldn't resist doing this now. I linked to it over a year ago (can't give the permalink because my host still hasn't uploaded the backup of my old database - *begins to panic about losing over a years worth of blogging*), but I thought it was high time I posted it again.

Check out the Paris Webcams site (click on webcams on the left). On the "Quai de Seine 2" webcam, my place of employ is somewhere off to the right, after the second bridge in the picture.

Breathe with me

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Here's a big difference between Australia and France. Australia deals with hot weather for a far longer period of time, so the vast majority of workplaces have airconditioning. A lot of private homes do too. Here - airconditioning is the exception rather than the norm. Trains don't have it, but buses do. Last night after the horribly stuffy train ride, I fled to the local supermarket for a little respite.

I think that one of the things that makes it worse here, even though it's not as hot as it is back home, is the pollution. The air smells horrible, hanging in the back of your throat.

Birds of a feather

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Yesterday I had lunch with an Australian lady to whom one of my aunts had given my phone number and email address. I had spoken to her over the phone last week, and we got along quite well, so we decided to meet up for lunch.

She's been living in Paris for a month (has been back and forth a little between here and Australia for the last few months), and is dealing with all of those funny feelings that expats always seem to have about their adopted country. I don't think that she even realises that her reactions to certain behaviour is actually a sort of culture shock.

I need some breathing room

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Train company employees striking in the winter? No complaints from me, buddies.

But striking in the summer - this is just horrible. The trains are hot and stuffy and it's impossible to move, everyone is cranky, scowling.

I hate strike days.

Sunday morning grocery shopping

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Near our apartment is an area in which there are a lot of people of African and Middle Eastern descent. There are some excellent Halaal butchers and a wonderful little supermarket that is even open on Sunday mornings.

It won't matter how long I live here, the fact that I cannot go to the supermarket on a Sunday will piss me off. I know that it would take another revolution in this country for them to put in place 24 hour supermarkets and Sunday supermarket shopping, but... erk... It's frustrating.

So the "Oriental Supermaket" near our apartment is a blessing - they don't have everything, but they do have a nice, fresh selection of fruit and vegetables (including lots of varieties that one cannot get in an ordinary French supermarket), and their butcher is always open. There are so many spices with smells that I can't identify and names that I can't pronounce, labels on canned food that I can't read. I pick up the cans, examine the picture, and hope the contents will be what I think they are.

Home is where the heart is

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Today is my first sandal-wearing day of the year. Not counting when we were in Australia, of course. But the weather here is stunning today.

As my train descends into the city, I can see a sort of a haze across the clear blue skyline, all of the buildings, the Eiffel Tower, Montmarte, La Defense - it's all obscureed by this vague haze. This city, my city now, is at its best at this time of the day...

There are stone-laden boats cruising down the Seine - this is still the best way to carry materials through the city. No tourist boats yet, just these mining boats gliding through the water.

Bike Riding in Marly-le-Roi

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A few weeks ago I bought a book, "52 Balades ? Velo en Ile-de-France", and we've decided to try a few of them over the next few months. The tours range from 30km-80km, from flat to extremely hilly, but I think we're going to be taking it slow to begin with... heh.

Yesterday we threw the bikes into the back of the car (after I managed to drag Sylvain away from the Mysterious Cities of Gold - mental note : if I want to do anything on the weekend, do not give husband a DVD boxed set of his favourite cartoon on Friday night) and headed out to Marly-le-Roi.

I successfully managed not to get us lost on the way there (although Sylvain has decided that a GPS is a must in our next car - bah), but the first leg of the course was totally uphill, and I'm just a great big wuss when it comes to biking uphill. The worst thing was that we got lost at the top of the hill, then came back down again, and realised that we had to go back up the hill again.

It's your birthday

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It's my lovely husbands birthday today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SYLVAIN!

I got him
two beautiful ceramic bowls with built-in chopstick holders
(from a wonderful Asian ceramic shop in the 5th Arrondissment called "Le Chat Huant"), the latest Joe Bar Team BD, and a complete boxed DVD set of the Mysterious Cities of Gold (in French, of course, given it was originally done in French!).

I got some enormous prawns from the local supermarket, have made some fresh pasta, and made a quick trip to our local patisserie for a delicious selection of little cakes. There is a bottle of light white wine from Alsace chilling in the fridge.

After all, there is no excuse not to celebrate ones birthday in style.

Loonies in the Loire Valley

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Last weekend we decided that we wanted to go riding in the countryside - but we didn't know exactly where to go. Sylvain grew up in Southern and South-Eastern France, and doesn't really know the external Parisian region very well, so on Friday night I jumped onto the internet to do some research, and found heaps of fantastic information on the French Tourism Office website.

I am really hopeless when it comes to geography, and have always wanted to go exploring in the Loire Valley, so after I looked up a map of France in our enormous Larousse dictionary, finding out that it's only a couple of hours from Paris, I pointed my research in that direction, finding a whole lot of addresses and phone numbers for tourism offices in little towns in the region.

On Saturday morning, I was bubbling over with excitement at our prospective adventure, and we threw the bikes into the boot of the car and set off on the autoroute. I should have known that things were not going to end up pretty when the (normally unruffled) Sylvain started growling at all of the other cars on the road.

Biking and other bits

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We've been doing so much in the last few weeks that it's hard to know where to begin. A month ago, we bought bikes. We went riding in the forest near our apartment, and three weeks ago we threw the bikes into the back of the car and went to the forest of Rambouillet. It's a 45 minute drive from our apartment, and is the most wonderful way of escaping from Paris.

Forest, lacy trees letting in patches of bright sunlight, streams, gnarled roots that give me a sore bum as I go over them, detours, fields of canola, tiny french country villages, eating lunch (rilette and m?che in fresh baguettes) whilst sitting on a crumbling stone wall, butterflies... magical.

We were enchanted by the area - there are over one hundred kilometres of dedicated bike trails, it's fairly flat and easy to ride. We're going to be visiting this little corner of the world a lot more often. I was cursing for not having brought my camera with me.

Back it up

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It's been ages since I last blogged, because my old domain expired. I only had a weeks notice, but didn't realise and I thought that I had a months notice, so I didn't have a chance to back up all of my actual blogging (in the MT friendly exportation format). I am in negotiation with the host, they're apparently going to try to back it up on their end. Thankfully, if all else fails, I have the actual internet pages with all my blogging - they're just not in the database and easily printable. We'll see what happens and touch wood, I guess.

In other internet-related news, last weekend I also royally fluffed up my other website. Royally fluffed up = I deleted all of the databases and the MT files. There were tears and many curses flying around our apartment last weekend. It took me 24 hours to fix it all up again, but it seems to be running smoothly now. I was just so thankful that I had done the proper backups before I did the damage.

If nothing else, this whole experience has encouraged me to backup my databases regularly. I'm going to make it into a routine - every Friday night = backup.

Testing

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*pinches herself*

Yes! I'm alive!

Now I just need to get some help from the hosting company to try and salvage all of my old blogging. I hope hope hope that it can be saved, otherwise I'm going to be devestated.

All my love to you, Alexis - hold in there, hon.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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