Hi there guys!!!! Have any of you seen the film "Paris, je t'aime"? I would recommend it. Via the medium of Twitter, i recently stumbled upon the blog of an American student in Paris...and i found this quote which just really gave me goosebumps (oh my gosh, that just reminded me of those books i used to read as a youngster!)
“Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I’d never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn’t know what. Maybe it was something I’d forgotten or something I’ve been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me.”
I'm not quite sure that Paris has fallen in love with me, nor have i fallen in love with Paris! But i can confidently say that Paris likes me. And i most certainly like Paris back. It will be 3 years in May/June this year that i have been here. I do not feel French and I do not feel Parisian. Some days, and i think i would feel the same regardless of which big city i inhabited, the city and the Parisian ways get on my nerves no end. The daily routine of metro, work, gym, sleep is not so glamorous... but people, I am ok with that. What has changed, what i have shaken off is that feeling of being an outsider. That has allowed me to enjoy Paris more. Fact - I am British, with a British sense of humour (and a serious love of sarcasm) that will never go away. But i am happy here in Paris. I LOVE getting to live in a beautiful city where the people speak another language.
But i really understood that combined emotion of joy and sadness mentioned in the quote...i'm sure i'm not the only one out there who has experienced that. You see i've never felt like i particularly had roots anywhere in England. I don't really have a home there, even Bristol (where i went to university) was out of the question when it came to settling down because by the time i was leaving, i was 100% ready to leave it behind! And no offense, because Bristol has a lot going for it. Yorkshire, obviously not much of a real connection there...despite it being my birthplace and as beautiful as it is! It took a while for me to feel within me that Paris was home. Now it is happening, slowly but surely, and it's a nice feeling. However sometimes i wonder what it would be like to have a stronger sense of my roots, more specifically a feeling of belonging somewhere... and yet, not to sound smug or rub anything in anybody's face here, but i sit back and take a look at the wonderful life i am building for myself with JB, here in Paris and my potential loss completely evaporates! If you look at this all from another angle, i have no constraints, i'm free as a bird and can move where i want, when i want, if i so choose (well, I suppose JB would have to be ok to come along for the ride!!)
I definitely feel ready to take Jon to Yorkshire for a long weekend this year. You will obviously read about that here...when it happens. On the itinerary will definitely be a catch up with my Yorkshire friend, Samantha, who is an absolute GEM.
A big moment happened last weekend. A French couple (the guy is a friend of JB) came over for dinner to our apartment. An entrée of goat's cheese and walnut pastry puff thing, a main course of moussaka, and caramel ice-cream with hot apple crumble for dessert (all délicieux and all cooked by JB who had the day off - i did the crumble!) and Lou managing to survive an evening of intense French - although i have made the observation that when i drink alcohol and become slightly wasted/completely obliterated, that i become a proficient speaker of Franglais! Dinner was a success, i even got some adorable presents. Followed by drinks. With the French people (aka, JB's friends). More presents, and more importantly, people just got together and had a good time (but were ultimately there for me, good feeling considering how long it has taken with this group of Parisian people.) Good things come to those who wait...
Some things i have recently seen/read/heard about, that you may like to check out:
My Little Box - if you know about My Little Paris, then you should discover My Little Box! It is a thoughtful present idea for a girlfriend, female friend, sister etc based in France!
Annie Lennox: 'The world has become more sexualised' - an article sent to me by a very good female friend of mine. Respect. I like how she articulates herself on the subject of feminism.
"How to be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran - Moran is laugh out loud funny, she writes honestly and is appropriately level-headed at the right moment. I am only half way through the book, but highly recommend it nonetheless!
Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord's Resistance Army. I found it incredible how the video went viral so quickly. It is pretty easy to find extensive press coverage on this issuse, including the controversy surrounding Invisible Children, the charity behind the video transmission.
YogaLab - i have heard some good feedback about this Yoga centre in Paris. Click here to discover more about them on their Facebook page. I shall be checking them out myself once Spring is officially here (not long to go now i don't think!!!)
Back to work i go, hope the week has got off to a good start for all of you!!!