I’ve got to stop. I’m force feeding myself and it’s disturbing. I’ll admit it, I have been eating feelings. And the past week has proved that I have a whole lot of feelings… and they’re all delicious. I don’t know whether it’s been boredom, loneliness or an “I can eat what I want!” attitude but I’m sure I’ve put on at least 2kg of pure pastry since I’ve been living in Paris, TWO WEEKS PEOPLE. That’s 1kg per week, or, you could paraphrase it like this……. disgusting.
Now that we’ve moved into our apartment Hugh and I have vowed to get into a healthy routine that involves a lot of home cooking, and not so much Boulangerie visiting. Eating-out has not been good for us. Most meals, even burgers and fries, come with a basket of baguette pieces. Hypothetically you could order a healthy meal and still end up eating a small loaf of bread with it. So with that logic it’s best to order Burrata for a starter, white wine scallops for the main, frites as a side and grab some Haagen-Dazs icecream for dessert. I have NOT been making friends with salad. Legumes is the French word for vegetables, and sadly ‘legumes’ are not as delicious as the burgers, authentic wood-fired pizzas, poached chicken, steaks, Foie gras or baguettes on offer. But give me some credit I’ve been eating frites like they’re going out of fashion, and we all know potatoes are a vegetable.
We made it! Into our apartment! It’s bloody exciting I tell you what. We moved in Thursday (was meant to be Wednesday) and so far I have spent four glorious nights in our new home. Our apartment is in the 16th which is home to the Nouveau riche (new money folk) and is a very safe area to live. Sure it’s no Collingwood, Abbotsford or Fitzroy but Prahran is just as lovable and cool and you know it! We are also a stone’s throw from the Eiffel tower, I walk past it every day when I go to get a coffee and I have this compulsion to stop and take a photo. I am racking up quite the collection. Katie suggested I create a time-lapse photo of all of the shots to show the changing season. A superb/alty/cool hispter idea but I nearly laughed in her face. The photos I’m racking up are atrocious, some of them are blurry, some I chop the side or top of, it’s not about the quality of shot it’s just this urge to take photo of it, or else, I’ll die or be hit by lightning or something equally as scary. I’m sure that soon I’ll be incredibly nonchalant about the whole thing, like this poor bloke who obviously pulled up with a flaty (day ruiner) and attempted to patch it up, totally oblivious to tourist trap behind him.
Hugh sadly had one night in the apartment before he had to leave to play Toulon in the South of France. With Hugh out of town I was able to make important home decisions based solely on my opinion. I visited ZARAHOME on Friday and wowEEE I was impressed. Loved it an awful lot, probably too much. I love cushions, and I have a new-found love for door stops. The apartment had a chair to hold back our bedroom door and so we jotted down ‘doorstop’ among other things we needed to buy for the place. I assumed a plastic or metal doorstop from IKEA, inconspicuous and there to get the job done. But check out this bad boy.
Special thank you to Esther and Chanel my beautiful buddies from home that surprised me with a voucher for a massage or treatment of my choosing at a beautician in Paris. I am going to have to Google some French phrases and I’m sure it will make an eventful lost in translation story. I am very grateful. And to Hugh’s parents who gifted me a bunch of flowers for my birthday, I actually bought a plant instead and it is beautiful so thank you very much! I’m a lucky gal and I aim to keep it alive until they come and visit. (I have killed 3 orchids so Hugh is not holding his breath).
I had my first friend date this week at Sugar plum a cafe serving cake, cake, cake! OH EM GEE I know, I was PUMPED. And I hope you’re not reading this with a sarcastic tone, because swear to god it was the best thing to happen to me since the day before where I had a Versailles picnic. I made a typo in a previous post where I mentioned that there were two kiwi wives I’d met on Saturday and who had warmly embraced me. Helen is in fact married, however Jane is engaged. I was correct when I reported that they are both pregnant, because THAT wouldn’t have gone down well. We ordered 4 slices, to share, obviously. In my head I calculated that we were eating for 5 people between us, but the logic failed when I ate a disproportionate amount, as in most of it. So I may as well make my announcement, that I am also pregnant, and my baby is a chocolate strawberry cake. Thanks, thanks, so far feeling really great. Jane and Helen shared advice on life with Paris. The main takeaways were that I should probably try to do the lion’s share of the cooking in the household, the whole ‘not working’ thing is really straightforward, enjoyably and preferable to the whole ‘working thing’. Oh and I should never be afraid to take a mid-afternoon nap. They are both such lovely super intelligent ladies, who reinforced my thoughts on how lucky I am to be in this position. They’ve both been in Paris, and out of the workforce for three years and were two of the most positive, relaxed and witty people I’ve come across, I know you’re rolling your eyes thinking NO DURRR they aren’t working! But here’s something profound, I’m realising that I’m more than a job title. As right now that title would be ‘unemployed’ so yeaaahh. Jane even gave me a birthday card which was so thoughtful. Note to self – must get more thoughtful.
I have decided to ‘thug up’ my shoe game. Nike Roshe are the comfiest pair of shoes I own however I thought it was time to get a bit gangsta with some air max. Okay, the real reason? I’ve developed blisters from a lot of Paris pavement pounding (I have delicate hooves) and this particular pair feel as though I have cushions wrapped around my feet. Not to mention they are badass. Walking home on Saturday night I could feel my toes and heels singing a joyful song. It felt like a nod to my past, the early 2000’s rocking baggy jeans white Etnies with grey laces on one shoe and white on the other (TRENDY) and feeling like a boss. I’m all for the look of skinny jeans and heels but I definitely think our generation had it made with those comfy shoes and pants that had a bit of space for ‘growth’ and covered all sins if you know what I mean. Skinny jeans can be painfully honest. I will be moonwalking all over Paris in these, just joking.. but not. P.s. Hugh has banned me from saying the phrase ‘shoe game’ as in “look at my fierce shoe game” so I’m going to be using it a lot in my writing.
More apartment snaps… starting with the bedroom, or should I say moody boudoir…
Saturday Katie and I visited the Markets on my street (Marché Président Wilson) and she helped me with the unpacking and settling in. It was very exciting to wake up and look out the window to see the strip in the middle of the road for parking transformed to a Marché selling fresh seafood, vegetables, bread, soap, oils, flowers and more. This Marché is not going to help with my healthy eating attempts. Because who in their right mind would stop at the vegetable stand and then turn around and go home?! (A person with self-control that’s who.. i.e. not moi).
And it was only right to purchase one of the aforementioned cakes, named Merveilleux and created by the master Frédéric Vaucamp a pastry wizard who i hope to meet one day and marry (sorry Hugh). What you’ll see Katie and I devouring below is the Wonder; meringue, whipped cream, chocolate coated finished with dark chocolate chips. If you are ever in Paris you must stand at the window like I did, and then purchase one of these delicacies. The brioche bread is also off the chain.
How laughable that I started this post declaring I was going to start eating better….. ah well
Saturday night we met with Katie’s friend Michelle, who is a California native – hilarious and a very attractive gal. She actually, in real life, no word of a lie, used this sentence “When I was like nine years old and I was at cheer squad practise…” She moved to France for love and is studying French and teaching English in her spare time. We picnicked by the Eiffel tower, met some French boys who told me that I MUST learn French and thought I was serious when I said they had to pay me 10 euros for each plastic cup they used. Sarcasm and the language barrier do not mix well. Feeling full and happy. I walked home, had a fight with the front door for 20mins before I managed to open it and head straight, face first, to bed.
Hugh arrived back on Sunday a victor, after his team bet Toulon at home. This is very important news as Toulon won the TOP14 competition last year. The game was played at 9pm which is crazy for Hugh and the other Australian players to wrap their head/bodies around. After a 5 hour train ride the previous day it makes the win even better for the team. I noticed how happy and relaxed Hugh was when he returned from his trip and I have decided that winning is really nice. We had our first dinner at home together featuring fresh pasta from the market and I even did the dishes as I could see Hugh was exhausted. Today I am meeting Hugh at his work so that we can visit the supermarket next store. It is HUGE, palatial in size. There’s everything from kettles, sheets, fresh sushi, a bakery, every beauty product you could want or need and not to mention an absurd array of supermarket products. It’s an exciting place to be and I’m really looking forward to it. seriously…
This week we get wifi (pronounced weefee in france), it’s Hugh’s birthday on Sunday, and we are going to plan our first Euro get away as Hugh has a week off in November. We are thinking Malta or Canary Islands – just anywhere warm, we will be well jel of the Melbourne summer by then. My gal pal Kate is coming to visit on Friday – because she can! I told her I was having a few lonely days and next thing she’s booked a flight over which made me fizz with happiness. It pays to have dads in high places (high, as in high in the sky). In my next life I am coming back as the daughter of a pilot. I have pre-purchased a bottle of Verve and asked Hugh whether it would be ok to have a surprise champagne shower in the apartment on Kate’s arrival? He said I could only conduct a champagne shower in the bathroom (fun police) which is definitely not the right backdrop for a champagne shower video. Luckily Hugh’s away in Montpellier this weekend.. so lounge room showers with Iggy’s ‘fancy’ backing track it is!
I have been flipping touched by each kind-hearted soul who has sent me a message to say that 1) they’ve read my blog and 2) actually comprehended it and enjoyed it. It means the world to me and is a gentle reminder that I can create my own purpose in this foreign land. I’ve experienced moments where ‘Real-talk Celia’ pipes up to say, “Sheash why the hang are you sharing this stuff?! No.One.Cares about your mundane life! Who do you think you are? Some kind-a superstar? (SG’s reference). And then ‘Super-sensi Celia’ is, (no surprises) crushed, and replies with “wow that was a really mean thing to say to me/you but maybe it’s true? You are by nature an over-sharer? Lets delete this blog straight away and go back to bed with a box of biscuits… or French Macroons”
It’s one of your messages, or a comment on a post, that makes me realise that my peeps get it, they even like it, and they don’t judge! They’re sitting there reading my posts and they’re saying “YOU GO GIRLFRAAAND; EAT THAT PASTRY! FALL OFF YOUR SHOE, BUY THAT DREEEESSS!”
To those reading this, whether you hate it, love it, or think the underdog is on top? Ok sorry I’ll stop with the lyrics; I say THANK YOU, I APPLAUD YOU, and I think I may even love you…
Talk soon x
p.s sorry for calling you ‘my peeps’ you’re your own peep and I shouldn’t have claimed ownership over you. My apologies peep.