Week 36: The good, the bad and the unexpected

Monday:

Monday 2nd September 2013

Monday 2nd September 2013

The Good

Spending birthday money on some new, clean notebooks. Nothing like a blank canvas to make the ink flow.

The Bad

The amount of cake we had left over from the wedding, I took a massive block with me to work and ate most of it. Oh and Seamus Heaney died. May this literary legend rest in peace.

The Unexpected

My old boss couldn’t believe that it was my younger sister that got married (I only have one). He held my arm and looked into my face and said, ‘How was that for you? That must have been really hard.’ Oh the sting of pity in the workplace.

Tuesday:

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

Tuesday 3rd September 2013

The Good

Finally starting Ketchup Clouds. My signed copy for that matter, meeting the talented Annabel Pitcher was one of the many perks of my job.

The Bad

My zumba partner is on her honeymoon.

The Unexpected

Being unnaturally tired so early in the week. Anyone would think I had a big wedding at the weekend and a one year old to look after.

Wednesday:

Wednesday 4th September 2013

Wednesday 4th September 2013

The Good

Last day of work because it’s off to PARIS tomorrow! So I treated myself to a delish lunch from abokado. Yum.

The Bad

Getting home late, followed by packing.

The Unexpected

Having to package 82 books into envelopes at work, man it was time-consuming.

Thursday:

Thursday 5th September 2013

Thursday 5th September 2013

The Good

HOLIDAAAAAAYYYY!

The Bad

Getting up at 5am in order to catch our 7am euro tunnel train. Why so early? But we had all our duvets in the car so I encased myself in them, it was like sleeping in a marshmallow. I slept all the way to France, waking only for food, ice tea and toilet stops.

The Unexpected

It’s a good job I got my beauty sleep because when we got to the campsite at Maisons-Laffitte (we were spending the week in the outskirts of Paris, in a eurocamp deluxe caravan) we were met by a sehr gorgeous campsite man (by man I mean early twenties). Our eyes met across the crowded campsite and once I’d wriggled out of my duvet cocoon we exchanged hello’s and he showed us around our lodgings. Then I realised my flip flops were on the wrong feet and we shared a hearty laugh at my idiocy. This is the sort of endearing ridiculousness that I hope will one day secure me a boyfriend.

Friday: 

Friday 6th September 2013

Friday 6th September 2013

The Good

Pottering around the gorgeous town we were staying in.

The Bad

The initial morning rain. But it brightened up into a lovely day.

The Unexpected

Discovering a deep and great love for the Almond croissant. Heavenly.

Saturday:

Saturday 7th September 2013

Saturday 7th September 2013

The Good

Heading into Paris for a much needed reunion. We started in the Place des Vosges which is in Bastille, the Latin Quarter of Paris and is where Victor Hugo (author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Mis lived for 18 years). It was absolutely beautiful there (all pictures of Paris will follow later this week in a lengthier post about the city) and we enjoyed taking in the perfectly symmetrical square, fountains and trees. The sky was a perfect blue and it was just the right temperature. We then hopped on the metro (literally hopped, your feet feel happier and lighter in Paris, believe me) and headed for Montmartre where the Sacre-Coeur is. The area around here isn’t so desirable as you’re met by lots of street gambling and run down shops, but it’s so worth the sight of the Sacre-Coeur and if you walk up the many steps, like we did, not only does it lead to the artist dominated platform of Montmartre but you also get a spectacular view of the whole or Paris. C’est magnifique. After a crepe and a gaze at the portraits and paintings, we found the metro and went to Place de la Concorde and the delightful Jardin des Tuileries. My most favourite garden in Paris. I treated my parents to a refreshing beverage in one of the many garden cafes, getting a chance to rest our weary feet. Then it was off to Montparnasse for a delicious dinner in our favourite restaurant ‘Cafe Montparnasse’ and then up the spectacular 56 storey Montparnasse tower (for the third time) to see the breathtaking scene that is Paris. This tower offers the best panoramic view of Paris, far better than going up the Eiffel Tower as when you’re up there you can’t see the main attraction seeing as you’re standing in it. And Paris doesn’t look right with Monsieur Eiffel’s design. We stayed up there for a good while, watching the sunset, snapping pics and waiting for the Eiffel Tower to sparkle on the hour which is well worth the wait let me tell you. Last time I was up Montparnasse tower I came down from the viewing terrace just as it started sparkling so I missed it; I was gutted. But not this time as we caught it in full glittery glory! We descended, happy, our cameras full and headed back to our homely caravan for much needed sleep.

The Bad

The Victor Hugo museum, although free, was not very good. At all. It felt very exclusively french which angered me as how were any tourists (who surely frequent it the most) meant to understand anything. For example they had a french speaking video with french subtitles. Huh?! It just makes zero sense.

The Unexpected

The fact that I got myself and my parents from place to place on the metro. I was proud.

Sunday:

Sunday 8th September 2013

Sunday 8th September 2013

The Good

Everything about today. We started out at the Notre Dame which is beautiful and despite having had a taken picture outside it last time I’d been, I’d never really explored the area. The area surrounding Notre Dame, is gorgeous, it’s exactly how you imagine Paris to be, laced with cafe’s, and the sound of accordions float through the air. We had a look in the actual cathedral with was quite something, then wandered through the park that it backs onto, meandering through the pretty streets. We ended up sitting on the street in a cafe enjoying a few frites and a croque monsieur. After satisfying our stomachs cries, we went in search of a bookshop. A bookshop called Shakespeare and Company, which is essential for any fan of books and literature to visit. I was speechless upon finding it, it is literally opposite the Notre Dame in a little side street called Rue de la Bucherie. It is higgledly piggledy and full to the brim with typewriters, and of course books by the bucketload. New books, old books, in between books and antiquarian books. It’s a mecca for booklovers all around the world. And the best thing was that on monday they were holding an event there, a celebration of Gatsby in fact. And the author of Careless People (the book bought and given to me by my old marketing colleagues due to my love affair with G to the atsby) Sarah Churchwell would be there talking about and reading from her new book, complete with jazz accompaniment. There was no way I could miss it. My parents left me to explore and enjoy this heavenly place, taking a seat in the nearby gardens. So there I was perusing the shelves, trying hard to decide just what to buy as the ultimate souvenir. In the end I opted for Les Miserables, it seemed fitting seeing as we were so close to Victor Hugo’s beloved Notre Dame. After a few hours staring open mouthed in awe, my Dad pulled me out of my book related reverie and literally out of the shop. We then set on our way to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a garden we’d never visited before. And oh my it was exquisite. We walked in, and were greeted by a delightful brass band playing classic french tunes, with Parisians sitting and enjoying the idyllic sunday afternoon ambiance, swaying slightly. We wandered, sat and thought for a good while, soaking in our amazing surroundings. There was a lake or large pond really, where children were putting little sailing boats out, spending their afternoon watching them sail around. It was perfect. After a while we grabbed a beverage and wandered round the streets, stopping to purchase city mugs in Starbucks, before locating  a metro station and heading home to a much needed bite to eat.

The Bad

Not getting longer in Shakespeare and Company? Really there was nothing bad about today.

The Unexpected

Whilst I was in Shakespeare and Company, craning my neck to take in all the many spines that lined the shelves, my eyes caught on a familiar face. It was only a close colleague from work! Hows about that! What are the chances? She’d gone on spontaneous and romantic trip to Paris with a prospective boyfriend and we just happened to be in the same place at the same time. It was so funny, and we had a lovely chat, laughing about the bizarre coincidence. I still can’t believe it.

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