Total eclipse of a cloud

Au Pairing in Paris

   IMG_0034I remember the 1999 eclipse really clearly. I was 4, we were up the Eiffel Tower, funny glasses on our tiny faces ready to see the sky go dark. Fast forward 15 years and by weird coincidence I’m in Paris again; we’re (Carys, Frankie, Evie) on the steps to the Sacre Couer, there’s a thick fog over the city and its cold as ever. We eat our pain au chocolats while we wait patiently. As I left the house I’d grabbed my sunglasses and a pair of 3D glasses in excitement, not that they had any purpose in this situation.

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Nothing happened anyway because it was too foggy and cloudy but at least we made the effort, that’s counts towards something right? After discussing our weekend plans and walking down the hill we bidded au revoir to Evie and headed to mega-tack paradise Tati. I was looking for hair dye (bored of this caramel/brown messy dip dye/subtle ombré thing) but we left with patchouli candles and mango incense. Standard.
 
I couldn’t think where to get my bright hair dye, Frankie suggested Chateau D’eau because it’s full of crazy black hairdressers who sometimes stock crazy colours. I got harassed by the black men outside the metro who wanted to lead me to a hairdressers and actually went with one and repeatedly asked for ‘colouers fou!’, I was sent in the direction of MGC and the genuinely friendly shop assistants kitted me out with peroxide, a brush and a bright magenta dye and even helped me chose between the colours. I wanted a silvery purple they had on display but they didn’t have any in stock 😦 next time.
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So that was my eclipse morning. Zero success with the sun and the moon but so ready to go home, do my hair and watch a tacky movie.
 
Aside from today I’ve had a pretty good week (with zero pictures to show for it). I met Lucie and a few of her friends at ‘Coolin’ an Irish bar on Rue Clement for St Patrick’s day. We queued for a lifetime to get a bottle of wine which is totally unirish of us but shows we’re really accepting the French culture. I went for a drive along the Champs Elysee listening to heavy Indian pop music, don’t ask. Enjoyed the rare sunny day on Wednesday and took the kids to the park on their bikes. J chose to walk and carry his rugby ball the whole way (almost half his size) but not actually play with it at the park. And yesterday I saw sophy and Chris who are on a little birthday break for a few days. We went to a bar with bargain price beers and Desparados and had a little catch up. I found my cat friend on the way home, our late night cuddles are becoming a bit of a ritual now. But you can’t hug every cat.
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Maz x

First week in Paris – 8th September 2014

Au Pairing in Paris

I can’t believe I’ve only been in Paris for 8 days. I feel like I’ve settled in so quickly, met loads of lovely people and seen some cool stuff and can’t believe I’ve got pretty much a whole year to explore this amazing city.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Au Pairing is a completely different world and it’s been a bit strange to fit into my role but I’ve found meeting up with other Au Pairs has been really helpful. Last Sunday I went to my first ‘meet up event’ in Paris; a big picnic organised for international students and au pairs in Champ De Mars, a park directly in front of the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t know anyone there so just sat down with the first group I saw and discovered a few English girls. We all chatted for hours over baguette and some amazing (my new trademark!) Blanc Peche wine. It might be Paris’ version of Lambrini (cheap and sweet) but I don’t care as it’s so yummy. I was so happy I plucked up the courage to go as I met some awesome people who I’ve already seen a few times again since then.

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My actual ‘work’ has been enjoyable, I’m learning a lot about the children and they seem to be getting used to me as their new helper/playmate/friend.

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One of the biggest challenges here is managing my time and motivating myself to work. Some of you know that I’m studying a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course at the moment and I’ve completed the classroom courses so now the rest is online. It’s 120 hours split into about 7 different units; you learn each unit then have a review at the end to test your understanding. I’m in the early stages of it; it’s interesting but difficult to find the right time to do it. I’m also trying to re learn some french using the duolingo app and website, which are both fab. On top of these i’m supposed to be applying for french lessons at a language school for 1 day a week. I obviously want to learn more french whilst here but the cost of these language schools are a bit crazy so I’ll maybe do some more research before booking. So this is my ‘workload’ but there’s a ridiculous amount of other stuff I want to get done this year;

– I’d love to do some dance teaching as I hate coming completely out of the dance bubble

– I need to get my exercise on and stop being so lazy, the plan is to join a netball club

– More photography. I haven’t touched my DSLR in weeks (I always use my mini panasonic but actually setting up a photo is painful for me now) and that needs to change ASAP

– More diary writing as I love that feeling of reading back over great / average / crappy times, months or years later

– More fashion show, events, gigs, parties, meet ups etc!

– Less time worrying about not fitting it all in. And just doing it.

Mary 

x

today's view from lunch

today’s view from lunch