Tag Archives: paris

Je suis Paris!

It’s been a week since I last posted here. First, it was because school was keeping me busy, but since Friday it’s been for different reasons.

I awoke on Saturday morning to Mr. Michie sharing what had happened in Paris with me and I cried. Since then, I’ve been glued to every shred of information I can read or watch about the #ParisAttacks.

I have started and restarted this post many times. Each time I have felt like I am scrambling in the dark – searching for the right words; desperately trying to process this terrible event.

I believe that events such as these encourage us to reflect, and while blogging can be a great way to do just that, I don’t like to use this space as a political platform. I have read other blogs over the past few days that have either been flippant about what has happened, or extremely visceral, voicing their tears and thoughts.  I couldn’t be either, I only felt silent and heavy hearted.

I first visited Paris when I was 16 and fell in love. I knew that I would return and I did! I spent a wonderful long weekend there with my sister when I was in my early 20s. We walked the streets, visited galleries, found the greatest fondue restaurant and ate our weight in pastry.

I honeymooned with Mr. Michie in Paris; we drank wine and walked along the river. It is a place we have visited many times, throughout the seasons. We have favourite stores, favourite restaurants, favourite places to stroll or just sit. A visit to Angelina’s for hot chocolate is always a must. For a while, Paris became a second home to us. It still is.

To see the violence that was thrust upon this magical place made me sick. Sick to my very core.

But Paris is resilient. It always has been.

As I’ve walked around London this week, it is clear that things have changed. Everyone is on edge. People stop and watch police cars passing by; they listen to the sirens – jerked out of autopilot; they jump at sounds and sights that no one normally pays attention too. People are on edge, but they, like me, are trying to keep with their daily lives. To go on as if nothing has changed.

Even though we may all be a little more wary, a little more cautious, we will continue to live our lives. We will continue to go out, to shop, to laugh, to see friends, to enjoy time with those we hold most dear. We will appreciate the little things even more. We will hug a little tighter, kiss a little longer, and savour every single word breathed from the lips of those we love.

We will not be made to cower; our voices will not be silenced. For there is no where we should fear to tread.

We appreciate the value of life; the value of living that life to the full. And we will continue to look for the good in people, to not let evil shake our faith in humanity, for that will mean the terrorists have won.

Je suis Paris! Vive le France!

Betty in Paris

This is just one of the sweetest films! It makes me smile every time I watch it. Mr. Michie and I both have terrible colds and sinus infections at the moment, but soldier on we must! Being sick at work makes for a long day.

We both got in late tonight from work and sitting on the couch with a cup of tea, I dreamed of Paris. This film captures the essence of Paris, the magic to it! It is a place I would gladly call home and feel when we are there, that it is a second home as we know our little areas so well and some of the shopkeepers too.

I don’t know what could be more French then a blue coat with a red hat and wee red knee-high socks. So, as I dream of Paris tonight, I thought you could come along with me!

{Film found at: olive us}

No Lipsticks for Nuns

I have long been a Seinfeld fan. Jerry Seinfeld is a comedian who has always made me laugh.  I spent many of my formative years watching him on TV. I always got the humor even when my friends didn’t.

His new “show” features him picking up his comedian friends to go out for a cup of coffee and the hilarity that ensues is filmed. The hilarity that is simply life. It is matter-of-factly and most aptly named, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”. Each episode features a different vintage car that Jerry has personally picked as a representation of his guest. I’ve yet to watch an episode that hasn’t had me laughing hysterically.

His latest episode features Gad Elmaleh and I watched it this morning over a cup of coffee and truly laughed! What better thing then to laugh with all you have got, first thing in the morning? What a way to start the day rolling.

I thought I would share this episode with you, it makes me want to go to Paris today and have a cup of coffee in one of my favorite cafes near Notre Dame, just watching life go by. Listening to the sounds of the boats going along the river, the opera singer who hides underneath the bridge so that their voice floats out as if through a microphone, the breeze making the leaves on the tree dapple the sunlight as it hits the table and the possibility that a cup of coffee turns into lunch and a lazy meander down a cobblestone street.

Screen shot 2013-07-02 at 19.05.52

{click on the image to go to the video}

Seven Years

Today, I have been married to Mr. Michie for 7 years and I am still loving every minute of it! We started off our anniversary with a bang yesterday and went into central London, to just roam where ever our feet took us.

We ate lunch, spent some time at the National Gallery, wandered through Covent Garden and picked up our tickets for an evening of Vivaldi by Candlelight at St. Martin in the Fields.

It was a wonderful day! We ate dinner at Cha Cha Moon, a new Chinese restaurant we wanted to try off Carnaby Street. It was very authentic, a lot of Chinese people were in there eating and that, to me, is always a good sign. Their dumplings were too die for!

Then we headed over to St. Martins just before they opened their doors. The Church was wonderfully cool and candles were lit everywhere, it was very romantic. The orchestra came out and and played a series of pieces in the first act, one being Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no. 3. Which is very special to us as we walked down the aisle to this piece after we were married.

My parent’s instilled a true love of all kinds of music into my sister and I. We both played with a symphony and even had the opportunity to travel through Europe playing with them as well. My sister is a star violist and I am an oboist. I find that having played an instrument, I am so much more appreciative of what the performers are going through.

The second half of the concert was the entirety of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and as night began to permeate around us the glow of the candlelight became more heightened. We had the great fortune to see the lovely Kerenza Peacock play her first concert since she injured her wrist. It was outstanding. As her bow struck the first note, I was beyond moved.

What a sight to behold. Music that has been played for centuries to Kings and Queens and we had the opportunity to see it played within the hallowed walls of St. Martins in the Fields by an outstanding orchestra. The entire audience was on the edge of their seats, there was a true electricity in the air and I found that more than once I was holding my breath. How lucky we are to have had the opportunity to see and hear this!

We finished off the evening with a few little surprises from Laduree. They have opened a new store in Covent Garden and since I can’t go to Paris at the moment, at least one of my favorite things from Paris can come to me!

So, Mr. Michie, here’s to seven more years on the roller-coaster of marriage and may they be as wonderful as the first seven!

Stop the Clocks

I tweeted this post out: “Paris Flat Unopened for 70 Years”, a few weeks ago and kept the article in my Instapaper account to read over again. I re-read it this morning and I am still as intrigued as I was the first time.

The flat was owned by Mrs. de Florian, who left it and moved to the South of France before the outbreak of WWII. She recently passed away at the age of 91 and her estate came into the public eye when experts were asked to inventory her possessions.  It was through this research that the treasures in her abandoned flat were discovered.

I could not imagine having a place I never returned too. I wonder why she never did? Was it the memories that it held? Was it the memories that it didn’t? Maybe she simply had no ties there. Stepping through the door and in to that world must have been like stepping through the looking glass.

Other than the dust and cobwebs strewn about the flat, it looked as though the inhabitants had just run out to pick up something from a shop.  One of the most startling discoveries was a painting, by the artist Boldini, who’s muse was Mrs. de Florian’s grandmother. Which has been auctioned off for €2.1 million, a record sale for the artist.

What I love most about this article, is that today, even with all the technology we have, there are still some discoveries left to be found, hidden worlds yet to be opened.

Je reve en Francaise

Je reve en Francaise, or I dream in French. I was starting a little Christmas shopping this morning and as I was looking at French General’s website, I saw these stickers and they made me smile! We pretended to be French last night and made Julia Child’s “Chicken with mushrooms” for dinner with garlic whipped potatoes and steamed green beans.

It was the most wonderful comfort food for a cold day and it made me long for Paris. I wanted to wash the dishes, grab our coats and scarfs and head out to one of our cafes along the river, for a glass of wine and a little jazz.

One of our favorites is a little place called, Le Petit Pont. They give you baskets of hot salty popcorn to munch on while you imbibe and there is usually a good jazz singer at the piano. It is wonderful sitting outside under the toasty warm lamps and just taking in Paris.

I dream in French, I dream of France; especially this time of year when the weather has turned and the Christmas markets will soon be up. The joy of Christmas shopping in Paris, where your gifts are beautifully wrapped and stopping at Angelina’s for a hot chocolate is a must in the frosty weather.

But, Paris is not in the cards at the moment, so I will just have to continue to reve en Francaise.

Visit French General’s website if you have not before. Kaari Meng’s books are so beautiful , I have given them many times as gifts, they are a treasure to go back to again and again.If for nothing else than to just stare at the sumptuous images.Click on the Image above to go to French General’s website.

(All Images copyright French General)

Julie & Julia

My husband surprised me and took me to the movies on this cloudy fall day we are having here. We saw “Julie & Julia” and we laughed, cried, and left feeling the great need to run for the station and get on the first Eurostar to Paris, so we could be eating in on of our favorite hangouts before midnight.

Alas, we have settled for delicious pan fried bread overflowing with a fresh tomato and basil salad we came home and whipped up, all inspired by this sumptuous movie! If you have not seen it, you must, what an absolute treat! Meryl Streep has Julia Child pegged!

I have always been a fan of Julia Child, her humor and passion for food was a delight to see onscreen. I used to watch her cooking show with Jacques Pepin when I was in College, that was the highlight of my Saturday morning.

She inspired so many people and in cooking with her you seem to aspire to great things as well, Paris comes alive in your kitchen and before you know it you can imagine bustling down the Rue Mouffetard and stuffing your basket with bread and vegetables, inhaling the scent of chickens roasting and the scrumptious potatoes underneath them being cooked in the dripping chicken fat. In France it is so easy to live off the markets, you hardly ever need to step inside a grocery store.

The markets are so tangible and alive the best of Paris at your feet and fingertips. I must stop talking of food as I am getting hungry again for the taste of baguettes and warm oozing Brie with apricots spilling over the top, a candlelit table, a glass of good wine and more importantly, good company, what more could you want? Bon Appetit!

To see Julie Powell’s original Blog click below:
http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/2002/08/25.html

Home is Where the Heart Is

Embrace where you are right now is a concept I try to live up to everyday. I am an American living in the London suburbs and married to an adorable redheaded Brit. I am surprised by how many Americans I know living here who only associate with other Americans. You are somewhere out of your comfort zone and that is the best time to search out a new experience. I live in a very sweet cottage behind a “racing green” colored door. The only yard I have is what I can grow in my flower pots in front of the house, as we live on a side street. But it is just right for us.

Living here I feel like a pioneer woman, the “Laura Ingalls Wilder” of London and her family in their first little sod home on the prairie. Not everything is as convenient as it is at home and so you learn to adapt. You adapt in many ways, your way of life, how you cook something. It is easy to make certain recipes at home with the ease in which you can gather your ingredients, usually half-way done on their journey to finish your dish, yet here, I find that I will have to often start from scratch and even though the process takes longer the finished product is something I have pride in, my hands have touched every step along the way.

I love to travel, especially to Paris, we don’t get to go to France as often as I would like but as the French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar said, “To stay in one place and watch the seasons come and go is tantamount to constant travel: one is travelling with the earth,” and that is what I am being, a gypsy in my newfound hometown.