March 2009 Archives

With the sun comes...


With the sun comes...

Two weeks ago there was a lot of sun in Paris. We almost hit the 20°C mark, which after a long and cold winter was very exciting, for a while.

I was delighted to be able to open my windows at work - I love the fresh air and the feeling that I just might be able to skip outside at any moment (even though I feel a little like I'm chained to my desk these days).

The only problem with opening the windows is that I can hear someone in one of these buildings playing "I will always love you" every day. On repeat. At least 20 times a day. Very very very loudly. And the sound echoes around and around around the courtyard.

The grey skies came back last week and I wasn't able to open my windows. I am hoping that this week, as the weather gets nicer again, the mystery person will be over that song and will have moved on to something else. After all, it can't get worse than "I will always love you" over and over again, can it?

Please tell me it can't.

Playing games


At the moment, our days at work seem to be getting longer and longer, and not in that good way that comes with the arrival of spring and more daylight hours. During the week it's really too easy to come home, collapse on the couch and turn into a zombie in front of the tv, to not talk to each other, to zone out.

So we try to find ways to get out of that headspace that long days at work can put us in, to changer les idées. We play a lot of board games in our house, mostly eurogames like Carcassonne. And cards, like Canasta or 500 (even though for some reason Sylvain seems to get some perverse pleasure out of making me score).

I wanted to add a couple of new games to our repertoire this week. When searching for information on good 2-player games online, I kept coming across intriguing lists entitled "Perfect Games For Couples", with games and descriptions like "really non-confrontational" or "guaranteed to not cause conflict between you and your partner".

So. Um. Yeah. What I want to know is, where is the fun in "non-confrontational"? When that dice gets thrown, when the cards are set out, when the tiles are shaken up, that's when it gets interesting. Heated. Competitive. And we call each other "bitch". But that's when we end up rolling around on the floor laughing.

Not to mention that it's a good way of ensuring that we don't turn into zombies. Because that's just icky. And I really don't want to have to eat brains.






This particular march stretched right up Boulevard Saint-Germain. There was a guy in front of the group, just out of frame, carrying a vivid flare that made it look like he was about to torch a car or something.

I have to confess that I giggled a little at the tourists who screamed and huddled together for support.

In a country where the common man and the manifestation go hand in hand, they all blur together after a while.

Rescue me



I like to think that if I discovered a worm, I would carefully pluck him out and put him in one of the potplants on the windowsill.

But all our potplants have spiderwebs on them (we're planning on replanting... soon... eventually...) and you would have to pay me to put my fingers near them. And, anyway, if I discovered a worm, I would probably squeal and throw the apple in the bin. I certainly wouldn't be able to eat around the worm.

I still have to disassemble freshly picked wild raspberries before eating them (discretely, because my father-in-law would laugh at me and Sylvain would just roll his eyes), just in case there is some sort of bug party happening inside. I am haunted by stories of a neighbour on the farm gleefully popping a gigantic mulberry in his mouth, only to spit it out seconds later in horror because it was full of ants.

But I still like to think that I would rescue the worm.

Smoked mussels on toast

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When I was growing up, one of the most wonderful treats we had - birthdays, mothers day, fathers day, at christmas - was smoked mussels on toast.

Mushed, squished, spread on the toast. Munched down as quickly as possible, of course, whilst the toast was still hot.

It's not without its stigma. Lots of people consider it rather gross, especially for breakfast. At the boarding house I was yelled at because they do have a distinct smell. And in my house at uni, the boys were always complaining about finding half-empty tins of the stuff in the fridge.

I have never found smoked mussels in France (although I always look, just in case), and we always bring tins back from Australia with us. Care packages sent from Oz inevitably contain a couple of tins too, nestled amidst bags of Caramello Koalas and Cherry Ripes. We always pick some up when we're in the UK, and Sylvain brought a few tins back from his last trip to Sweden.

I'm so far away, in distance and years, but one single bite and I'm transported back to the farm of my childhood, my sister and I sitting on my parents bed (a backdrop of psychadelic 70's wallpaper), spreading crumbs all over the blankets.

My ultimate comfort food.

Smoked mussels on toast

Giggle fits and secret sounds

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You know what it's like, sometimes, when something makes you laugh and laugh and laugh until you can't breathe and you're hyperventilating and tears are pouring down your face and you snort a little as you try to catch your breath? And someone else is there with you, laughing hysterically over the same thing, which only makes you laugh even harder?

And sometimes it's the stupidest thing... Something which wouldn't necessarily be all that funny, but after a long day of work, it just falls well?

And days later, when you come across it again, it makes you laugh so hard that even the cat looks at you in surprise?

Kyliemac may kill me for this, but if you've got a few minutes, go over to k&k learn french #59 : ça tombe bien. Listen to the whole thing, then go back and listen carefully from minute 4:37 to 4:52. Just after the maniacal "youpis" of Kylie and Frog, and just before my "No one messes with...", you'll hear this really weird sound. A REALLY weird sound. Which had us in hysterical fits of laughter as Kylie edited the episode on Saturday.

It may not be as funny to everyone else (maybe you had to be there?), but it's a REALLY weird sound. And we can't figure out what it is. Do YOU have a theory?

And every time I listen to it again, my stomach clenches in anticipation of the giggles, and just as it comes along, I burst out laughing.

Every time.

Which is what I need this week.

It falls well.



She has many names. Depending on whether she's being naughty or nice and what mood we're in.

Missy Moo
Minnie Moo
Young Lady
Pot de colle (glue-pot)
Cuddle Whore
Kitten Mitten
Furry McPurry
Purry McFurry
Stinky McStinkerson

She has been running through the apartment like a crazy thing, pausing occasionally to miaow at me = Cacophony
She ate some "wet food" and came to give me kisses as soon as she finished = Stinky McStinkerson
Sylvain is still in Sweden so I'm the "single parent", which means she is a serious "pot de colle".
We'll go to bed soon, where she'll sit on my chest, smoosh her face against mine, and purr until we both fall asleep = Purry McFurry.

Minnie moo

Dear #5,842

Dear creepy guy on the train, 

With only 5 people in this carriage and therefore HEAPS of places to sit, WHY do you have to sit in my space, et en plus, sit facing backwards and stare at everyone.

Sadly, my passive-agressive strategies (mastered by Parisians) of sighing heavily through my nose, wriggling uncomfortably and curling my top lip don't seem to phase you (in fact, I suspect I look like I need to visit the bathroom - I need to keep working on this). 

You're creeping me out. 

Love Katia

The Good Fairies of New York

I walked up the hill, book in hand. I strained to make out the words in the street lights.

There were twenty pages to go.

I couldn't wait five more minutes to get home, so I stopped, on the corner, and finished my book in the light of the supermarket.


I walked home, hoping to spy a drunken fairy under a hedge.

But I didn't.

Doesn't mean I won't keep looking, though.


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This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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