We run this – Paris Semi-Marathon 2015

Sport

Running was always my favourite sport in school; I can’t run fast but I like to think I can run pretty far. I loved cross country because you get mega muddy and we’d miss quite a lot of school for it.

Lucie convinced me to join her and her friend Kate for the Paris Semi-Marathon a few months back so I thought ‘mehhhh why not?’. Training came pretty easily as I go running anyway. I didn’t do anything drastically different to my normal routine but made an effort to do a few longer runs; 10, 12 and 15 miles.

The night before the run I didn’t get any sleep and was sick (excuses excuses) which definitely slowed me down. I think it was the hottest day of the year in Paris and the sun was in our faces most of the way. I also didn’t account for the weaving in and out of people. There were loads of people participating; I think the official number was 43,500 runners, thats a lot of weaving. The rush for water and slices of orange was brutal. Mum was there at the 17th km to cheer me on and shortly after that there was a killer hill which saw me slip from the 2 hour pace maker.

I loved running through the streets of Paris and pretty views definitely spurred me on. Even though it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I felt a great sense of achievement at the finish line and had mixed feelings of one day completing a full marathon; the feeling was amazing and also disgustingly tiring at the same time. I will maybe wait a few months until I actually seriously consider it.

13.1 miles / 21.1km – 2 hours 8mins

Paris, March 2015

p.s. the photos are awful quality I know. But they made me laugh. Obviously loving life listening to Bey and Jay.

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I’m lovin’ this.

Au Pairing in Paris

If you’re a bit of a peace and love hippie like me then you’ve probably stumbled across ‘The Secret’ at some point. Before I bore you with the details just go and read the book.

If you can see past the cheesy American ‘live your dreams’ tone of it and have an open mind, it can honestly change your life. Anyway, it asks you to start each day by stating what you’re thankful for. If you smush up 7 days worth of gratitude into 1 post then this would be it. (Obviously I’m thankful for family, health, food, water, a job etc but here I’m just stating the material stuff. Sorry not sorry.)

What I’m lovin’ this week.

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Watching

THIS Mcdonalds advert. I hate to admit I still can’t shake the very small Maccy D’s habit as I hate everything it stands for (but it’s so convenient god damn it!) but I’m lovin’ (get it?) their new Just Another Day ad campaign. Watch the video here.


Apping

Duolingo gets so many rave reviews and it’s totally worth the hype. I think most language learners have tried it before and I’ve recently rediscovered my love for it. It’s a free language learning app that teaches you the basics of French, German, Spanish plus loads more useful languages You can do it online on a desktop, on the mobile app or on a tablet. I personally prefer it on the tablet because you can interact with other users and track your progress easier. It’s a bit addictive if you’re into repetitiveness and earning points for achievements. Download Duolingo here


Listening 

Love this song; SBTRKT ft Sampha –  temporary view

This is added to ‘the DJ better play this tonight list’ along with 7/11 and All Day. Rihanna – Better have my money

My cousin Sheri cam to visit and we ended up singing the whole weekend. We’re both awful and get dirty looks on the metro but we don’t care. Now this is stuck in my head.

And lastly, Laura Mvula – She (MJ remix).


Dancing

Saturday nights in Paris can be a huge hit or miss, especially when you’re new here so I’m always pretty happy when we find a new decent place to go out. 1979 is surprisingly now one of my favourites. Free entrance before 1am, happy hour til 1 and RnB, hip hop and soul til 6am. No ones there to pick up girls, no ones throwing up in the corner, no ones crying in the toilets; everyones just going nuts dancing. I may have told the DJ I love and respect him (hahaha so deep) a few times before.

Find it on 49 Rue Berger, really close to Chatelet Les Halles metro. Make sure you sign up to the email invitation to get free entrance and grab a Mojito for €6 before happy hour ends, they’re pretty strong. Defo catch Paris A Le Groove if you’re into dancing all night and those genres of music.

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Exercise

Running is so much better when the weathers not miserable. I hope I can fit a few more long distance runs in before I leave because I love love love the parks here. Judit and I did nearly 4 miles last night but I think I spent more time on the sofa chatting to Bethany when we got back than actual running.

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Reading 

I’ve nearly finished ‘Not that Kind of girl’, Lena Dunham’s autobiography. It’s real funny but lemme chat about that next time

Not a book but this Buzzfeed article made me cry. Buzzfeed get a lot of stick for their publishing style but I think it’s credible that they can post the most pointless but relevant magazine style posts next to interviews with Barack Obama and this heartbreaking story of a MP living with HIV.

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Random – PINK

I re-dyed my faded pink back section and added more magenta to almost my whole head after seeing the Printemps 150ans decorations… See the pics here. It looks brighter in real life but I know how quickly it will fade. Oh and I made my blog pink. Obsessed right now.

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I like that I can hide it if I need to. Business when up, Party when down. Oh yeeeah


Phew, that’s everything I’m lovin’ this week.

What else should I be listening to, watching, reading, going to etc? Let me know in the comments.

Mary, x

Serial for breakfast.

Au Pairing in Paris

I swear to the lord of time that he’s doing something to speed it up these days. This week has just gone by so quickly and the weekend is almost over already. Noooooo!

This week I rediscovered my love for podcasts. Evie recommended Serialand shut the front door it was so good! I know I’m late to the party because it started in October but I got seriously hooked and listened to the whole series in about 3 days. Serial is “about the basics: love and death and justice and truth. All these big, big things.” – a podcast questioning the investigation into the 1999 Murder of Hae Min Lee, an 18-year-old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland. Everyone has their own opinion but I wish it came to a conclusive ending as my theory is that Adnan is innocent; 15 years is a long time to stick to your story. If I were in his shoes and guilty, I definitely would’ve cracked at some point!

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I used to listen to Scott Mills’ podcasts religiously but don’t enjoy them as much when I’m not in England as they’re usually discussing TV shows that I’m obviously not watching when in France. I did download Jenna and Julien’s podcasts, they just talk rubbish but some episodes are hilarious. I like how they don’t take it seriously; they’re just sat at home having a normal conversation. So yeah, I’m back on the podcast hype.

When and my friend Kevin and I went for drinks on Monday we were told we couldn’t get a drink without also getting some food, so crepes all round. Lulu, by Canal Saint-Martin, was pretty cute. Lot’s of mirrors in the toilet to make you feel uncomfortable though…

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On Wednesday I made a rule of no TV all day (am I a fun sucker?) because I wanted to be more productive with the children. J & P actually slept at nap time which was a surprise. F and I made some beaded bracelets, did some colouring in and they all danced around the living room until it was bath time. I’m very excited for the weather to improve so we can spend Wednesdays at the park or take the scooters and bikes out, at the moment it’s just too cold to go and have a nice time outside!

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I also managed to chat to one of my bestest buds from Cape Town, Thami, on Wednesday, I spoke to him on the phone for the first time since May! It was so nice to hear his voice and he enjoyed gloating about the crazy hot weather in Langa. He asked when I was coming back to see him and the kids at the kindergarden… I wish I had an answer to that

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Thami & I in Langa-hoooood

On Friday I ended up at a small dinner party, lucky me being the only English speaker amongst a close group of friends who were all quite a bit older than me. I had more crepes and ended up having a good time. Saturday was quiet and Hakim and I went for a drink in the evening while he was shocked at how many foods I don’t like or haven’t tried. ‘France has the best food in the world and you only want to eat Margherita pizza?!’ – yeah, pretty much sums up my life. I rushed back home to babysit and Carys came round for an overdue catch up, she gave me a notepad and cute pen for a belated Xmas present (n’aaaaw!) and it was lovely to see her. The children were so sleepy that when I went to put them to bed they were already half asleep whilst brushing their teeth.

FullSizeRender-3I need to go for a long run today but I’m procrastinating as I know it’s going to be so difficult as I’ve had a lazy week 😦 Life’s hard when you’re trying to be fit.

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p.s. is it weird that I love the colour of the pea soup I made?! When I say made I mean heated.

Onto I ebay I go to find a pea soup coloured jumper.

Mary

biz.

The Seventy Fifth

Au Pairing in Paris

Calling all English speakers in Paris! Plus anyone who loves creative articles, pretty illustrations, arty photographs, clever poems and generally a good read.

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The Seventy Fifth is a new zine (oh yes I have linked a definition for you out of touch folk) created by some very talented and hard working friends of mine for like minded guys and gals in Paris. It’s been put together by au pairs and expats and the first edition focuses on the theme of ‘isolation’. Definitely a state felt by all in a foreign country at some point. Anyway, I’ll shut up and you can read and judge for yourself! I hope you enjoy it, you’ll find a little illustration by me a few pages in, opposite ‘The Complexities of Expatriatism’, which is hilarious (and so relatable) by the way!

Click here to have a flick through issue 1 – then come back if you want to see more….

If you’d like to receive issue 2 (the theme is LOVE, ooh la laaaa) and help support this fun and creative project please pledge a few quid to the kickstarter page. If I happen to have any millionaire readers on this blog then a huge pledge wouldn’t be so bad 😉

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Follow the zine on;

Facebook. 

Instagram.

Twitter.

Tumblr.

Phew, that’s all for now. Big up Evie, Carys and Briana for making it look so fab.

Mary

biz.

School wars & knee slides

Uncategorized

On Saturday night my friend Chuck and I went ice skating in front of Hotel De Ville, it wasn’t really planned so I wasn’t in the best skating attire. It was disco night we had lots of cheesy french music and a few Abba and Bee Gees classic to skate to. I’m a bit rubbish at ice skating as it is but it had been raining during the day so the whole rink was like a giant puddle; I managed to stay upright the whole time (even the professionals were falling over. oh yeah, I’m a pro) until I lost my balance and kind of fell down on one knee. While it looked like I was about to propose, I was still speeding round pretty quickly. Somehow I totally styled it out and got up without being dragged through the giant puddle.

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Pizza and a walk through Paris on Monday night.

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Last night I went to see Exodus: Gods and Kings at the cinema. We were (fashionably) late so ended up sitting in the front row right in the centre. Christian Bale was practically jumping through the screen (it was 3D) and sitting on my lap we were so close. I loved the film but it was so ridiculously dramatic; dying horses, dying crocodiles, dying fish, dying frogs, dying people. But Moses was such a G.

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beard lad

Since last weeks terror dramas, the school the kids go to has upped their security. Meaning we can’t pick the kids up from their classroom, instead all the parents wait by one tiny doorway and push and scream until they get their kid. Maybe I’m just taking a British approach when thinking ‘WHY CAN’T WE MAKE A LINE?!’. But no, that would be too simple. It’s literally like battle of the prams and handbags mixed with parents trying to squeeze their 3 year old out through the crowd with as little panic as possible. That usually ends with lots of unnecessary pandemonium (always wanted an excuse to use that word.)

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Crazy sky in Ansieres

In other news, I’ve booked a weekend home (14th – 17th February) and a few days in Spain! I’m a little bit excited for February holidays.

Aaaaand massive congratulations to my main girl (lol) Charlie who gave birth to a little boy, Alfie on Friday! Can’t wait to meet and squeeze him. Our family is growing yay

Mary x

‘I see blood!’ another fab Wednesday – 1st October 2014

Au Pairing in Paris

I’m sitting on the toilet writing this. With the seat down don’t worry, listening to P splashing around in the bath. She should of come out 10 minutes ago but she’s way too busy playing with a pink watering can and plastic cup to care about our evening schedule.

Fast forward a few hours and I’m on the sofa thinking about how dull my evening has been. I was asked to babysit tonight; usually I wouldn’t mind but Wednesdays are literally the day of the devil for me so it feels like the day has been dragging on for weeks/months/years/ I don’t even know anymore. I’m so exhausted!

This morning I helped get the kids ready again and then had 2 hours before I needed to pick them up from school (how pointless is that?! Going to school for just over 2 hours, crazyness). I fell asleep to an episode of Friends; at 10am my alarms went off and I had that mini panic attack of thinking it was first thing in the morning and I’d slept in. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.

I picked up all 3 munchkins and started the 10 minute mission of walking home without a fight or accident occurring. P wailed the whole way back because I didn’t bring a biscuit for her (lunch was on the table at home, i’m not starving her don’t worry guysies). I got some great awkward looks from snobby mothers who must think I’m torturing these kids from the way they cry so much. All was going well in the morning – I got F dressed and ready for ballet and put the twins to bed for their nap time. J said he couldn’t sleep on his own though so we had a long sleepy cuddle until he drifted off and I could tiptoe away.

When F returned from ballet we watched Bratz movie (what a classic) and then Life Size (Lohan and Tyra Banks at their finest) before waking up the little ones. Sleepy 3 years olds are my favourite kind because they’re too tired to scream, shout, kick or punch. As soon as they regained their energy though the house was filled with ‘NOOOOOOOOO, LEAVE ME ALONE’ & ‘ REALLY MARY YOU ARE NOT NICE, OUR LAST NANNY WAS A LOT NICER THAN YOU’- yay. I struggled with their out-of-no-where aggression and we ended up watching each other dance to One Direction songs. Somewhere this turned into a kicking match and I’m pretty sure F got kicked in the eye. The next thing I know, F is screaming ‘I see blood, Mary she’s bleeding!’ cool. P’s lip was bleeding (a tiny tiny dot of blood to be fair), I sent them all to their rooms and made their dinner and then dunked them all in the bath quickly and had the fun job of washing their hair.

‘Mummy’s home!’ means I’m out of the picture and luckily I’m not responsible for injuries anymore. We sat and watched Krypto the Superdog and Baby Looney Tunes before their mum disappeared again and I was in charge of bed time. The twins bedroom looked like a bomb had hit it; I’m guessing it was the aftermath of being sent to their rooms… We played ‘put the clothes on the wolf’, a very strange magnetic board game and I read a princess story to F.  They all fell asleep pretty quickly and I was stuck in the house all evening (mega bored) because I was babysitting whilst most of my friends were out celebrating the end of another stressful Wednesday.

Until next dreaded Wednesday…

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Mary  (bisous)