Too skint to enjoy a lunch at Les Deux Magots, Jeanne and I crossed the road in search of a cheaper alternative. We found a cute place around the corner, where for the price of a single sandwich in the first café, we were able to buy a pizza and a carafe of wine. I don’t know whether it’s the northerner in me or the millennial or just basic stinginess, but I get a giddy thrill from finding a good deal.Continue reading
Last Saturday I woke up at 4.30am, took a shower and packed a bag, and at 8am I left London on the Eurostar.Continue reading
The train from Marseille to Avignon was a pleasant 90 minutes. The south of France looks like Spain, and reminds me of family holidays when I was a kid – walking along in flip flops and baggy shirts down to the beachfront restaurants for an evening meal, the night air warm, crickets chirping in the bushes.
I met Seth at the station. I’d been running late, and when I found him outside he was leaning on a railing, shaven-headed, grinning at me through a pair of dark sunglasses.
“Hello mate,” he said, when I came in for a hug.
It’s always nice to be back.Continue reading
I’m on a train rocketing across the south of France, and from the window I can see the ocean and hills and a rusty abandoned car with lime green paint. Daniel Bedingfield has come on shuffle somehow, and it’s making me feel like a wide-eyed young girl on a 1990’s road trip.Continue reading
I’m bald, I’m bruised and I’m swollen; I look like a kiwi left behind in a lunchbox in the ruins of Chernobyl.Continue reading
I look like a toad. I look like a sack of flour that’s been hung from a butcher’s hook and thumped until it burst. I look like an unkempt ballbag, recoiling in the sunlight for the first time after a long winter bundled up inside a pair of long johns.Continue reading
It’s been five and a half months in Strasbourg. This blows my mind. Half a year here, and still life feels like a waiting room; waiting for my French to improve, waiting for solid friendships to form, waiting for our money to stop fluctuating quite so madly.Continue reading
Strasbourg is quilted with snow. We were supposed to go hiking in the mountains yesterday, and we got up early to dress ourselves in layer upon layer of old ski gear. When we got to the train station, however, we found our train cancelled due to some trees having collapsed onto the tracks.Continue reading
I’m acquiring a lot of physical possessions in France, which is scaring me a bit. On my desk I have a sepia French globe (a gift from Jeanne), a harmonica (a gift from me to myself; extremely ill-advised), and a strange glass ornament containing sand and water and bubbles, the three of which drip over one another to form little orange pyramids whenever I shake the thing, which is every thirty seconds because I have the attention span of a hummingbird.Continue reading
France’s version of the Job Centre is called Pôle Emploi. It’s pronounced ‘poll ump-LAH’, or something like that. It seems to change every time a French person says it. It certainly changes every time I say it.Continue reading