Bonjour! Je voudrais un pain au chocolat. Ou est la piscine? Ooh la la!
I am back from Paris, and as you can see from the paragraph above, my knowledge of the beautiful French language remains extremely slim. I do voudrais un pain au chocolat, though. Like, always.
I had such a lovely time. We had a great, conveniently located apartment (see above), and armed with two lovely ladies, an array of floral dresses, some very comfy boots and my trusty Nikon D40, I managed to take in a hell of a lot in three and a half days, as the whopping 1700 photos I came back with can attest to! I'll be posting my highlights over the next couple of weeks, which I hope doesn't get terribly boring. It really is a beautiful city, and there was so much to photograph, I couldn't control myself.
My favourite part of the trip, apart from the company, the amazing food and all the gorgeous sights was probably the sheer Frenchness of it all. I saw many Parisians wearing stripy t-shirts, berets, and yes - even wandering down the street eating baguettes. Sadly, though, none of them were wearing garlands of onions or garlic around their necks. Disappointing!
Happy Mother's Day to all the mums reading this! What did you do for your mum this year? My sister and I took over the kitchen - she made a yummy green thai curry, and I took the opportunity to finally make the chocolate and hazelnut cupcakes from my trusty Hummingbird book. They were yummy, although soooo rich.
On 21st March - next week, pretty much - I will be hopping on the Eurostar and zooming off to a place which holds chocolate, wine, cheese, cake and pastries in very high regard. My spiritual home, perhaps.
I'm not sure I've ever been to Paris, which is sort of a bizarre statement to make. But I'm sure I'm not alone in the fact that I spent spells of childhood on holidays and coach trips and random school trips, and they all sort of merge into one. As far as I recall, I've never been. I haven't actually been to France since I was 16. There's so much I want to see and do. I'm so excited about taking lots of beautiful photos, too.
And - AND! - I actually am French, as I love to tell people. Mostly because I only figured it out a few years ago. And because as far back as I know, my family is boring and English. But yes - je suis francais! (I know, the grammar in that sentence is almost definitely wrong) My father's surname is Vernon, and my mother's is Duncombe, and apparently, both these names are French, and therefore French = moi. Also, I look great in berets. And I love cheese. And wine! FRENCH.
Anyway. I am desperate for suggestions of things to do! I know that the sights and sounds and the food and the drink and the food will keep me busy (did I mention the food? I'm really quite excited about the food.) but I'd hate to come back and find out that I missed out on something amazing.
To start you off, here's my list so far...
THEY ARE SO PRETTY. And, I hear, tasty! If I make it to London on Saturday, I may be checking out the shop in Harrods, in advance.
The Eiffel Tower
Because you cannot go to Paris without seeing it, APPARENTLY. Also, apparently, you can see it from every windows. Because movies NEVER LIE.
Inside, secretly, I am a morbid, gothy little freak. I ♥ creepy. But it's a secret. Hush.
We will stare at the Mona Lisa and we will smile. ENIGMATICALLY.
CHEESE AND WINE AND PASTRIES OH MY.
Because I'd gone at least half an entry without mentioning them. Honestly, this is the part I'm most excited about. Well, after seeing two of my lovely friends who I haven't seen in absolutely ages.
I'm totally printing out this list and taking it with me. I would love to go to the Moulin Rouge, but I fear my budget will not stretch to it. But never mind.
I read today that my all-time girlcrush and hairspiration, Zooey Deschanel, is going to be the new face of Rimmel (along with some other people that I don't really care about).
I ♥ Zooey. Not only is she enviably stunning, with awesome hair and great dress sense, she also seems to select her projects really well - okay, let's ignore The Happening and Failure to Launch there. 500 Days of Summer was adorbs, though! Plus, she's married to someone from the awesome Death Cab for Cutie AND released the fantastic Volume One as She & Him. She's also pretty much the sole reason why I got a fringe. GIRL. CRUSH.
If you haven't checked out She & Him by now, you really should.
I can't wait to see her work with Rimmel. I generally really like their ads (except their Lily Cole ones, which is bizarre as I LOVE her, but they just seemed to style her really strangely. And ugh, she looked WRONG in the fake tan shots. No. Redheads = pale.) and they seem to choose their models quite carefully. Zooey seems to have fun with makeup, so I think she'll be a great choice. Plus, girlcrush.
Also, this will hopefully raise her profile in the UK, which can't be a bad thing, as LOOK magazine have, at least twice, featured pictures of her with the caption 'Katy Perry'. Boo.
I'm so sick of being cold all the time. Sure, I'll never stop loving opaque black tights, and having an excuse to wear berets all the time, but seriously now. It's March. The clocks are about to change (I can never remember if it's back or forward. Forward. It's forward.) Bring on the summer.
Summer is, without a doubt, my favourite time of year. There's always so much to look forward to. Despite being a grownup now and not getting school holidays, and despite the fact that summer is our busiest period at work, it doesn't matter. The long days, the warmth... beer gardens... oh, it just puts everyone in a better mood. I'm cold blooded, anyway, so too much frostyness makes me grumpy. I need some sunshine.
Here's what I'm especially looking forward to this year.
Eeee! So, in July, I'm planning to move into a house with my sister (and niece). We're going to create a gorgeous, girlie haven. I've never got to indulge my inner interior designer before and I'm so full of ideas. It's so incredibly exciting! I can't wait to show you our progress. But more importantly, I can't wait to start SHOPPING.
The toilets are hideous. You have to sleep on the ground. Outside. There's no access to hair straighteners (hairdryers, even). Yet despite feeling hideous and filthy for the best part of a week, I wouldn't change a thing (okay, I might make it less rainy and muddy and the beds a bit more comfortable). It's just AMAZING. I nearly missed out on getting a ticket this year, and the idea of not getting to go while my friends skipped off with their tents was simply devastating. Oh, Glastonbury. I love you.
If I won the lottery I would move to Edinburgh for the entirety of August. There's always so much to see and it's impossible to fit it all in. There's such a great atmosphere. It's a gorgeous city anyway, and when it's teeming with comedians, it's even better. Realising you're sharing a train platform with Frankie Boyle or shouldering James Bachman out of the way at the bar or giving Simon Amstell your last toffee eclair or bumping into Russell Brand in a public bathroom... well, it never gets old. And the shows are awesome, too. (Okay, to be fair, the Simon and Russell stories actually happened in Islington. But they did happen!)
Ben & Jerry's Summer Sundae!
This mini-festival in the centre of London is one of my favourite summer events. It's normally sunny, the music is nice and chilled out... oh, and did I mention that your reasonably priced ticket entitles you to AS MUCH ICE CREAM AS YOU CAN EAT?! Also, it tends to fall on or around my birthday. Perfect timing, really.
Oh yeah, and that brings me to... MY BIRTHDAY!
Not that I like the idea of getting older (my twenties are rapidly dwindling and it upsets me), but I will never stop loving my birthdays. It's at the perfect time of year - the end of July, nearly always warm (and, when it counted, right at the start of the school holidays), and not near any other major events like Christmas or Easter. I don't even have any friends with July birthdays so I basically get ownership of the whole month. Plus, presents, cake... oh, and almost always, cocktails and dancing. It's the best.
The last thing I did before going to sleep last night was to flick through the latest ASOS magazine. I cooed over this spread, excitedly noting that I get to go to Laduree next month and experience gorgeous macarons in the flesh.
And then I fell asleep, and dreamed of that beautiful pale blueish nail polish in the picture.
I only have one Essie polish, and it chips like crazy, but god, I need Lilacism in my life. I am seriously coveting their whole Spring collection, in fact.
I have neither the skin tone or figure to let pastels feature in my everyday wardrobe, but on my nails, I can't get enough of them. So. Lush.