Well, what a great three weeks I had. I wish I could be on permanent holiday. I don't think I would get bored, especially if I lived in Paris. The first week here with my family was great. We were so so lucky with the weather. It suddenly turned beautiful they day they arrived and stayed clear and sunny until we left. What a wonderful way to explore Paris. Then with two weeks spent back in the UK seeing friends and family I felt (almost) ready to come back. The big news really from the 2 weeks is that I got myself a 4 week internship with a publishing company in Bristol. Tellement contente. It will hopefully put me on the road to bigger and better things!
I arrived back in time for the start of the school holidays. Yes the girls have got 5 weeks holiday, lucky things. Because I don't work Mondays I spent the afternoon relaxing in Parc Buttes Chaumont with Anna. It is the best park I've been to so far with a temple on top of a mount in the middle of the lake. Beautiful. As it was 25 degrees I thought it was hot enough to wear shorts, a strappy top and a cardigan (note the cardigan) but as I got onto the Metro at Opera, a young lady said to me 'Oh, c'est très extreme mademoiselle!' What! In the UK no matter what temperature it is if there's a little bit of sunshine, suddenly the flip flops and bikinis are out. I didn't think it was too extreme considering what I have seen some people in the UK wear. Anyway I then noticed that lots of people were wearing jeans with a shirt , jumper and a big coat. Apparently there is a saying in France en avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil which means don't go out without a jumper in April as the sun can be deceptive (that's not a literal translation). So I guess they stick to this very strictly and include a big thick coat too. Even if it is 25 degrees. Oh well, I'm a Brit. But I was till wearing a cardigan.
After the park Anna took me back to see her new house which she said was amazing. It was. It was a beautiful, arty type building with a terrace in the sun and tons of space. But it was in one of the dodgiest areas I've ever been to. Just outside the periphery of Paris it's just before the banlieue (remember from La Haine?) On the walk to her house form the metro we past numerous cafes which were full of men. Just men. Men only clubs. Then in the park there were more men. Just men. Sitting on benches looking for their prey. Us. Girls. Seriously, their eyes followed us everywhere, they looked ready to pounce. So you know, pros and cons.
Looking after the girls has been fun, we've spent the days with their bestest ever friend and her dad which has made it a lot easier and a lot more fun. We've been to an adventure centre in the trees, cycled round a lake, seen a big brown bear (real), and been on lots of merry-go-rounds. One more day then first week of the holidays down. Plus Franny is coming to stay this weekend which I know will be a delight. What a nice way to break up the 2 weeks.