Monday, May 30, 2011

I have moved

Hi team

So twitter stole my blogging mojo but you can also hear my musing on Paris life with my amigo Aidan on our podcast French Toast.

See ya there!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yay la rentrée

Its finally La Rentrée (or back to school) for me. The great thing about teaching is the long summer holidays but for me it nearly killed me! I didn't leave Paris due to budgetary restraints, so it was a LONG HOT STUFFY summer of doing not much! I'm the type of person who is better being busy, so I nearly lost my sanity!

Needless to say I'm going around with a big smile on my face now that the academic year has started. I've taken on alot of work this year, but am attacking it with gusto.

So during the break I tried and tried to work on le francais. In fact I signed up for a group French class but lasted one day. I just couldn't do it. So I switched to auto apprentissage, which meant working by myself in the library and someone checking up on me once a week. It wasn't that successful so now I'm trying a different approach. I'm trying a language exchange. I've found a mature student who studies in the area I teach who wants to learn English. So she's going to work with me on my written French and I'll work with her. This could be brilliant or a disaster but the price is right so I'm giving it a go.

Autumn has been gorgeous in Paris. Lovely warm sunny days, chilly nights. The market out my window has changed to lovely earthy fruit and veg, lots of peaches, pumpkin, artichokes etc. Due to ongoing financial embarrassment (long boring story of people not paying me and being VERY late) I've been shopping religiously in Chinatown in the 13th. I cannot stress how bloody cheap it is there. Last week I got a weeks shopping for €8, supplemented by €3 in a normal supermarket (for porridge and a small splurge on chocolate and a can of coke! Milka Daim chocolate... YUM) and it did me exactly a week. Granted I ate a lot of rice noodles and rice paper rolls, but luckily I like them and bonus they are low in calories, so I'm feeling good! I've decided not to spend any random money, so most days I spend nothing. It's weird but good. And there's certainly a lot less spontaneous junk food buying, in fact its completely stopped!

In other good news from my classroom this year I have a view of the Eiffel Tower! I'm delighted, especially as I teach til 22h one night, so I'll see the twinklies to keep me going :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Masculine or Feminine?

So I have a pretty good level of french, but its spoken french, my grammar is a disaster. One of the things that annoys me is never having a clue whether something is masculine or feminine!

Well I have been studying up and am currently flying through an intermediate grammar book. I found a chapter on masc/fem and who knew but there are RULES! Why did no one tell me this before!!

So I'm going to do a very limited sum up here for those who are interested. Anyone who's reading who has no interest in french, stop reading now!

So all words ending in:
  • age - except nage, plage, cage, page, image which are feminine
  • ment
  • eau
  • phone
  • scope
  • isme
are masculine so are le or un e.g. le fromage

All words ending in:

  • tion
  • sion
  • té - except côté, été, comité, deputé, paté which are masculine
  • ette
  • ance
  • ence - except silence which is masculine
  • ure - except mercure/cyanure which are masculine
  • ode/ade/ude
are feminine so la or une e.g. une voiture

Then theres are some lists:

un- problème, système, programme, volume, modèle, groupe, domaine

une - couleur, odeur, saveur, peur, douleur

I'm not an expert I just found this today, but I thought it was quite helpful. No doubt its in no way exhaustive but its a start!


Well summer is well and truly upon us and by that I mean that I have finished work until mid September. Now this sounds great and all and this is usually the time that parisians flee Paris for their country residences, but due my lack of country pile and a bureaucratic nightmare which has resulted in me not being paid a huge chunk of money, I will be staying in gay paree.

Luckily the weather has calmed down, as we had a run of mid 30 weather there for a while and my fair skinned Irish constitution was DYING!

Anyway my plan for my break is the 3 fs: french, fat and fun in no particular order. French is studying to get the level up as I have an exam at the end of August, fat is well obvious and a good start has been made with me and the legend Helene of manshopper fame, undertaking a 45 day bikini challenge.

Fun has been seriously lacking in my life the last few months for many reasons. But I remedied that this weekend by starting the holidays off with a bang! I took myself off to Parc Asterix, which is a theme park just north of Paris. It was a really fun day! The rollercoasters made me scream from the bottom of my stomach and the candy floss was cheap and plentiful! I was exhausted by the end of the day but it was brilliant! I think screaming like that is good for you!

Today was the finish of the Tour de France and I went to the Champs Elysees to watch it. I am big Tour fan so I bought a big yellow tshirt and cheered everyone (apart from maybe Contador!) on like a mad thing!

Tonight was Inception at the movies... I think I need some time to digest that one!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Naked girls in Paris

So in the last few weeks I've been looking at a lot of naked girls in Paris.

First up a friend asked me to a works 'pot'.. a leaving drinks for one of his buddies. It started off well in one of those space age towers in la defense. I was a bit late so all that was left was whiskey... and so the evening began! We bounced round a few places and then it was suggested that we head to a club on the Champs Elysee. I thought yes Queen and hopped on the back of one of the guy's motorbikes (obviously one who was on the red bull not the whiskey!) and we headed into town. However we didn't arrive at Queen but at Pink Paradise, David Guetta's upmarket girlie dancing club. I just went with the flow as someone else was paying my entry and I'm going through a big David Guetta phase!

So yes there were naked girls everywhere and they mostly all had fake boobs and brilliant bodies. Granted they are probably all the right side of 25 but I certainly envied their thighs. There were other women there and it wasnt sleazy at all and the best part was having lovely clean (a mean feat in Paris) toilet practically all to myself! And the music was BRILLIANT! I had a great time bopping around drinking champagne and admiring the girls (in a purely ooo how did they just do that in 5 inch heels and a tutu sort of way!)

My next foray into nakedness was at the Crazy Horse Saloon, which is a 'cabaret' but here too the girls wear next to nothing. It was my second time going there. The venue is fab, like a 50s club, you have your own little table and very retro looking bottles of champagne. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists and its all very sedate. The first time I went I was a bit underwhelmed, I didn't really get it, there was very little 'wow' to proceedings. Of course again I appreciated the dancers, their amazing bodies and what they could do with them but that was it! After that though I googled it and read all about the show being a combination of the dancers, light, music and mirrors and then I started to get it. So the second time I really enjoyed it much more. Its amazing the tricks the do with lights, so in fact the dancers don't seem naked at all, and there is a great mirrored routine that I still can't work out how they do it! There is also a great strip tease based around the stock market and I want to know how the stockings work! They come off with her shoes still on... I must investigate this more!

The french are well very french about naked women, so both of these places were not sleazy at all, and I would recommend either for women. I even went to the crazy horse with my dad, so thats showing you the level we are at there! And I came away from both with great admiration for these beautiful women and their talent.

Hmmm maybe its time for a detox day.. and then a run!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I'm alive...

Finally after 6 weeks in the internet wilderness, I'm back!

Well as previously reported finding a new place to live in France and sealing the deal is an absolute nightmare. I've been now in for 6 weeks and I love my new apartment, but I still don't have some of my paperwork! I managed to finally get in to the place on an undertaking that I would furnish the documents within 2 months... needless to say time is ticking!

My location is superb, right beside lots of great cafes, restos and shops. My gym is 3 minutes away and the metro 4! One upside/downside is that I have a brilliant street market just outside my front door. Upside, fresh cheap fruit and veg down my stairs, very important when I have a watermelon craving at 7am (which can happen!). Downside they start setting up just before 5am. Normally this doesnt bother me as I'm a morning type of person but twice I've had a hangover and it has been a nightmare!

My other big news is that I got a kitten, Charlie! So now I am officially a crazy old spinster with a cat! I have had her one week and its been a steep learning curve for me. She was 7 weeks when I got her, the cutest cutest thing ever. But I've never had a pet before (a goldfish age 7 doesnt really count) so I've been learning on the go, with lots of help from my twitter buddies :)

Anyway hopefully I'll be back to blogging regularly now... ahhhh it feels so good to be online.. now where is that maniac cat?!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Normal service suspended!

Since that last post 18 days ago my life has been on hold! I found a great apartment and have since been involved in the very expensive bureaucratic nightmare that is trying to get an apartment in Paris. There will be a full report shortly if I ever get the keys.

However the place is great, location amazing and its bright and airy and tres expensive but feck it.

...I'll be back...

(thats my kitchen 'area'!)