Sunday, 31 March 2013

Week 2 - J'adore Paris!

I've been here 2 weeks and it feels like so much longer! (In a good way). I have started to become a little bored on my course but I'll press on, I hope I pass as that would be pretty depressing to fail a teaching course after 6 years experience!  Lot's of revision needed today for a test I have next week. Eurgh! 

Anyway, for the more interesting parts of the week. Have enjoyed the people on the course still and been for lunches and dinners with them. On Friday I went to a little restaurant/cafe with Victoria and Elizabeth. I had a really nice Confit du Canard. We chatted for ages about our lives, loves, dreams etc. Sounds all philosophical and sophisticated but it really wasn't!! It was more discussing our ex boyfriends and why they're our exes. Also talking about what we want to do in the future, I mentioned I wanted to be a writer and Elizabeth suggested I blog! Of course I do but I'd love to write a book. Maybe I'll finally start trying to write one. It may turn out to be rubbish but at least I'll know if I'm any good at book writing. What do you think?

The search for a flat also continued this week. I went to see one on Wednesday, a mezzanine room that was light and airy, furnished and in a nice area. Sounded perfect, looked awful. It was in fact more of a shelf than a mezzanine room! You had to climb some awkward 'boat stairs' to get up and then, once in my 'room', you couldn't stand up. A child would have had a hard time standing up in it! Which would make getting dressed interesting  Also there was no privacy as it only had a flimsy net curtain to pull across which looked as sturdy as drunk Bambi on ice. The bed was minimalistic too, it was a mattress on the floor. So much for the furnished. As if this wasn't enough for me to decline the room the bathroom was through my flatmates bedroom and he had a curtain across his bed so I could access it. Not for me!!!

Luckily I looked round a flat yesterday as well (Saturday) and it was lovely. I was never looking for the Ritz  just a room (with a door) and fairly clean and a non murderous, creepy room-mate  Thankfully I found it! It's in a nice area, 5 minutes from my current favourite street and is in a gated square with lots of flats in it. The room is rented by the landlord who lives down the corridor. She is really friendly and nice and I'll be sharing with her 16 year old daughter who is also lovely. They both speak English but will help me with my French. The room has a futon bed, large wardrobe (yay!), dressing table, coffee table and a small padded bench/chair. It has a nice big window and purple colours. The bathroom is small but clean as is the kitchen but the girl that is moving out said that the daughter often eats at her Mums so I can have the kitchen to myself mostly. Also, if I give them notice that I'm having guests then the girl (Kenza I think) will stay at her Mums too. I move in tomorrow! It does mean leaving my countryside mansion but it also means no more long commute (my course is also a 5 minute walk away), the metros are really close as is the launderette, boulangerie, supermarket, hairdressers and loads of cafes as well.

After looking round the flat  went for a walk up to the Seine then decided to walk along it. I was going to go to Musee D'Orsay but I didn't have time. I took a few picture of the walk too. It was so cold though and almost snowed too which is why it looks so grey and dreary. The sun is out today though but it is still freezing! I'm hoping spring properly starts now though, I need some sun and a little warmth!

Notre Dame - need to go inside soon! 
The Seine

The Arch de Triomphe and the Needle from the Tuilleries. If only it was a sunny day!

Can you guess this is my favourite sight?

I think Pont Des Arts is so cute. How romantic!!?? 

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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Eiffel Tower - afternoon/evening visit

My first weekend in Paris - I just had to visit the Eiffel Tower. I even think it's mandatory. Especially if I intend on living here for a while. I can't imagine many Parisians go there often, much like I have never been to loads of the tourist attractions in London as I have lived there my whole life. 

I went Saturday afternoon and met up with a woman on the course I am doing who also is feeling a little touristy (if this is a word?). She has never been here before so I felt a little like I knew what I was doing as I have been to Paris twice before and been up the Eiffel Tower both times. This time though we took the stairs up, only do this in flats and if you have a fairly good level of fitness. I'm not exactly a gym bunny or a couch potato but it was fairly tough. We passed old people, girls in heels and ... less than active people as they stopped for a breather. The reason to do it though is that it's cheaper. It only cost me 3.50 euros for the stairs to the 1st and 2nd floor, plus another 5.50 to go to the top level. It would have been 5euros for over 24s on the stairs, 8.50 to the second floor by lift and 14 all the way to the top. Not a massive saving but I'm on a budget!

Anyway, here's the pictures...

Me at the end, I freaking love the Eiffel Tower!

I think it's so pretty even though it's just a chunk of metal!

I love that it 'twinkles' every hour at night!

My home! (the old one anyway)

I was pointing to the London sign

Second floor to the summit.

Looking out to the Latin Quarter - my favourite arrondisment.

Too hazy to see Sacre Couer

After an interesting moment wearing a skirt on the Eiffel Tower I opted for jeans - they're wind proof!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

First week in Paris

My first week in Paris in Pictures...
Eurostar entertainment (with some sleep thrown in.)

All ready, and tired, to go!!

I'm staying in a huge house in the countryside for now! Very cute and very big. Still flat hunting for the centre of Paris as well.

My good luck/farewell cards from my amazing family and friends! I had to set them up straight away :)

Had a cocktail party on the first night in a beautiful area and flat in the latin quarter. Bring on the red wine!

My OOTD for the first day on my course. Went for casual ish as wasn't sure what I would be doing. Of course a pretty necklace was needed though!

I got off the metro a stop before and got my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in the morning on the way to the course! I was so excited I couldn't stop smiling!

Me in front of the Louvre!!!

On my way to Sephora for my much needed nail varnish I had to get a quick snap of the Arch de Triomphe

The louvre from the Jardin Carousel. Did a really long walk one afternoon/evening and saw Notre Dame, Pompidou, Les Halles, Louvre and Champs Elysee.

Sunset and the Eiffel Tower

Another shot of 'my' huge house.
I've loved my first week, think I have also found my favourite drinking/eating place in Paris too. Rue Mouffetard is gorgeous! Spent Friday evening with course mates drinking cocktails and wine on the terrace overlooking a square. I felt so Parisian! 

I'm beginning to learn French but think that once I'm working and settled I'll take a course to get better.
A bientot!!
Maria x

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Euro Centrale OPI nail varnish set

On my first full day in Paris I realised I had forgotten to bring any of my 50 odd nail varnishes with me! Quel nightmare! Therefore I had to go straight to Champs Elysee sephora to get some. I love this shop, it has every make up brand you can think of. After a confusing exchange with the shop worker she spoke English and advised me really nicely (I am slowly learning French but it was my first day and she spoke really fast!)

Here's what I bought...

Sephora express nail varnish remover, Euro Centrale OPI set, Free Lanvin perfume sample

Worked really well, I was very impressed!

Lovely spring time colours, the gold goes over the top of the others to make them shimmery. Great names too!

The embarrassing state of my nails before I visited Sephora

Can't Find My Czechbook (Aqua) with OY-Another Polish Joke (Shimmery gold)

I loved this colour combination and I think they lasted well considering I have no top coat on them. Goes on ok, but seemed a little clumpy to begin with.

More photos of my first week in Paris to come.


Loving the You're Such a BudaPest (Periwinkle-purple) with the OY-Another Polish Joke! Got a few compliments yesterday - who doesn't love a nail compliment?

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

What I'll miss when I'm in Paris

Here I thought I would add a list of things that I'll miss when I'm in Paris. It's only 4 days away now and it's starting to hit me that I'm actually leaving. This nervous/scared/excited feeling is not changing yet!!

Anyway, here goes:

  • My family (for obvious reasons)
  • My friends, for laughs, cocktails, gossip
  • My fake nephew, he's just turned 2 and will miss him loads,
  • London cocktail bars, especially happy hour in Grace bar,
  • The national gallery, great for art and also a free clean toilet in the middle of London!
  • The Tate, love the warhols, Lichtenstein & Delaunay there,
  • Wandering along the southbank,
  • Nights out with my sisters - catching u, drinks, laughing and gossip,
  • Knowing where everything is and being able to speak and read the language

Of course there are loads of positives as well like discovering a new place, meeting new people, finding new cocktail bars and galleries and things to do. I'm too excited! Hoping to learn French as well and will try really hard. Wish me luck. Xx

Me and my friends enjoying my leaving cocktails.

View from the National Gallery overlooking Trafalgar Square

View from one of the bridges - Cloudy London

The White Tower at The Tower of London

Tower Bridge

Me and Mum

Me and my sisters

Me and my little sister doing Up at the O2

My sisters

Me and my little sister doing our very best gypsy wedding dancing!
Me and Dad

The Audrey Hepburn quote that proves I'm doing the right thing!