Full Of The Joys of @Spring, Restaurant – solo dining

 

 

Sartre was right – hell is other people!

Alas my full time passion of writing and and film criticism doesn’t currently pay the bills.  I’m back temping in a “proper job”  to pays all the bills plus a little fun and frolics. I hope whoever devised open plan working is living out their days miserable as sin. Open plan working is like experiencing hell ever day. There is nowhere to hide! Those flirty texts need to kept to a minimum and other people’s conversations funny for the first time but when you’ve overheard the same story  ten times and seen pictures of their puppies, babies push one to the proverbial edge. I now just put my headphones and whack up the music although I have no desire to become deaf. So now I just put them on, bop along to non existent music and people leave me alone. Result! All that means is I cannot wait until I work for myself and remove myself from the crazies although somedays I do wonder who’s crazier. Lunch is supposed to be peaceful but not at your desk and sometimes you need to Spring into action. At these times I take myself off to a ritzy place. Afterwards, I return to the office hot and flustered as if I’ve done something naughty.  We all need a little decadent, naughty fun in our lives, even just in a lunch hour, more so when you’re daily existence is open plan! View Post

Southern Living on the Rive Gauche @13-a baker’s dozen, Paris

It isn’t all rosy living overseas sometimes you get really fed up, not so much homesick, but just fed up and think what is all this B-S about. Those are the times when I want a good bitch – the kind of session that is chased by a couple bottles of wine and then drinks turns into dinner. That is when I miss London and friends. You can make new friends when you go overseas but it’s “your people” back home – the ones who saw you when life wasn’t glamorous (ha!), the long nights of crying over undesirable men, watching the same programme on tv whilst on the phone to each other and the exchange of looks that let you know you are both thinking the same thing – are the ones you crave the most.  Even the fantastic newer friends you make and meet can’t ever truly replace “your people”.  I was feeling particularly in need to some good old fashioned raise me up and I wanted to do it somewhere where they truly spoke my language – English. Tucked away on the Rive Gauche was  a place I had heard of brimming with Southern hospitality (I do love reading Southern Living and Garden and Gun magazines)  and a welcome to blast away the darkest of clouds hanging over one’s head. What is this paradise called I hear you say well 13-a baker’s dozen owned and run by Laurel! View Post

A bacalhau good time @Paris-Lisboa, Paris

Paris is the city of love, light and walkers.

To really see Paris you need to walk the streets and get lost, as I do often, being GPS challenged even with a blue flashing dot on the map I manage to often go in the wrong direction. You could take the metro and have the metro ticket rejected because it got demagnetised in your bag next to phone or have the pleasure – did I say pleasure – of someone push up against your backside, with not so much as an introduction, as they barrier hop. Yes, a very Parisian sport is fare dodging and riding the metro for free.  Then if that wasn’t enough there is the dank stench of perspiration so strong that the back of your throat itches. View Post

Can you kir me coming @ Le Select, Paris

Forget what others think and just do it!

When I first came to Paris back in May 2010 to live and work I used to walk past various brasseries’ terraces and stare at the couples enveloping each other in midst of smoke and no doubt talking about something intelligent like Proust. I, on the other hand, was too afraid to even sit at a table and so that summer past with me walking sometimes seriously dehydrated past all these tables afraid and missing out on an essential part of French life – people watching! View Post

Eating fancy rice Korean style @ Jules et Shim restaurant, Paris

Did you know that for 6 months of the year I work for the French government?

No, I hear you say.

Neither did I, it came as a great shock to me too so let me explain.

August is the month of summer holidays. It is also the month in which the French tax man sends you your tax bill, it appears that some people in France work during August. Welcome to socialism because we’re all in this together! I returned from two weeks in idyllic Greece and her islands to see this year’s tax bill for nearly €4,000 having hoped the projection I had seen in June was wrong. There is tax at source in France and then there is extra tax, everyone has to submit an annual tax declaration to see what extra tax they will have to pay,  what does the latter mean and moreover how is it calculated nobody seems to know or more importantly understand but lots of people spend days if not weeks calculating how to pay less of it. View Post