I've spent my first week in Paris, slowly settling in to my new house and getting to know the family I'm living with. I feel like I have totally landed on my feet. The parents are so so nice and helpful and generous and have made me feel completely welcome. The two girls are equally great and seem to have accepted me into the house as though I'd always been there. Of course there are times when they can be frustrating but generally they are very well behaved and sweet girls. Mila has the most fantastic imagination and while she's running around the house being the brave Princess and protecting her subjects, Saskia and I are snuggling in my bed waiting to be rescued.
Today I met a new friend Anna, another au pair from Bristol who lives quite near by. We had an explore round Montmatre, the district of Paris immortalised in Amelie. It's a beautiful, quaint, cobbled street village like place and while one minute you can be by the Moulin Rouge and all the sex shops of Pigalle, the next you can be wandering through tranquil, dreamlike streets with boulangeries, cafes and trendy shops side by side. One of the first place we saw was the Cafe des Deux Moulins which is were Amelie waitressed in the film, but surprisingly it wasn't too busy, and has still retained some its original 50's charm. We also found some good vintage shops in and amongst the beautiful designer shops. The best shop we found was a 50's style underwear shop where everything was handmade. The most beautiful underwear I have ever seen (follow this link girls, http://www.leboudoirdemarie.com/) and she even tailor makes corsets for individuals at a mere 350 euros. Something to save up for 'ey?
As we walked further through Montmatre we saw some men performing street 'magic' tricks - guess which black circle has the white spot under it. After watching for a while and getting it right every time Anna decided to bet money on it - 50 euros a time and you could win a further 50 euros if you got it right. Unbelievably we lost this time and then in an attempt to win the 50 euros back, Anna bet again....and lost!! She's trying to see the funny side, after all what's 100 euros in the grand scheme of things....
Place du Tertre
And then of course we found our way to the Sacre Coeur which is at the top of the Butte, the highest point in Paris. There are the most fantastic views over Paris from this spot and luckily for us it was a beautiful and sunny day with clear views all over. A must see spot for any visitor to Paris.
So if you do ever find yourself in Montmatre, enjoy it's splendour but be wary of those pesky street men.