Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Wrap-up

This week has been a wild one! I feel like I've done all the things (but haven't, really).

So aside from enjoying much too much Bordeaux wine (oh yes!), here's what's been happening:

  • School. A little. Say, two hours/day. Brilliant. And some of those classes are science. In French. Yes!

  • Open mic night at a rock n' roll bar, supporting my fellow teacher who's decided to try his hand at the guitar. This support ends up being my friends and I drinking a lot of Belgian beer. Yum.

  • Partying in theme bars. Bordeaux is great for this! On Friday I went to a medieval monk's bar with friends, but have checked out pirate bars, wine bars, and a board game bar in the last few weeks

  • Lunching at a seafood restaurant that did not have a single dish for this poor vegetarian. Everyone raves about French cuisine, yes? On Saturday I ate bread and a boiled potato. True story.

  • Saturday's pitiful lunch was more than compensated by the AMAZING Dune du Pilat! Standing on the top of Europe's highest sand dune, with the sea on one side and forest on the other. Incredible.

  • Caught an eight hour train East through the most charming French countryside. So, so green. Lucky lady.

  • Welcomed into my friend's parents' house in Lyon and fed simple French fare. Merci.

  • I spent Monday in my own company, exploring the city and was reminded just how much I like travelling alone (and how long it's been since I've done it - 2009?). Best things included spending hours in the Parc de la tête d'Or, smelling roses, watching animals and breathing deep in the greenhouses. I also loved my easy lunch of warm chèvre and honey on thick crusty bread and a glass of Côte du Rhone. I may have also had a slice of blueberry tart. Sunset was spent in the old Roman amphitheatre at hillside Fourvière, looking out over the city. Magic.

  • The week's still not over! Tuesday I packed my bags again and caught a train out to a tiny little town, where I was picked up by a Brother and escorted to the Hermitage for a historic pilgrimage. The welcome I've received here has been most generous, and I am really appreciating the serenity of these beautiful grounds. I am looking forward to my next few days here, before heading back to Bordeaux and.... welcoming my parents to town!

Just a minute in October

Can you believe this month is over?! And that there are only two months left until the end of 2012? Smokey crispbreads!

Reading... a little, since borrowing a spread from my local library (holla Bibliothèque de poche de Bordeaux!) I really enjoyed Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City this month, amongst other titles.

Listening... to tunes incessantly in the bathroom. I'm also singing and humming when out and about too!

Wishing... the weather didn't have to change. I was so happy having a mild, sunny autumn.

I wish the nice weather would linger a little longer.

Watching... Season one of Twin Peaks (I know!) I borrowed it from my local on DVD and look forward to coming home in the evening and watching an episode. This is what happens when you don't have a TV, I guess. I'm okay with that.

Buying... all the winter gear. I spent a whole lot as a lump sum which hurt, but consequently now have: coat, hat, scarf, boots, shoes. Might have to pick up some woollen stockings but aside from that, I think I'm set. Bring it!

Wanting... air fares not to be so expensive so I can travel everywhere I want, all the time. Christmas break is coming up!

Missing... my family, of course, but also the easy Adelaide way of life. These little pangs don't last long though, as things are most wondrous where I am. Lucky.

Cooking... ricotta, pumpkin and spinach lasagna, to general acclaim. Thank you.

Old and new friends on the incredible Dune du Pilat

Making... new friends and loving it. Building my community here.

Loving... receiving parcels in the post, texting friends back home, taking a science class in French (!), all the amazing food and wine I'm sampling, going on weekend adventures, becoming a local - at the bakery where I buy my baguette and at the wine bar (oops), quiz nights, playing piano, walks through the parks, bike riding, the school canteen, exploring adorable cafés, staying up late, making friends with colleagues, seeing live music, feeling alive every day.

It's been a good month.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Daily Outfit: A Sunday Stroll

All moved in to my wonderful apartment and checked out the local neighbourhood with a delightful, rambling stroll.

Don't you love the New York skyline hand-drawn onto the wall?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Daily Outfit: Picnic with Paul

House-hunting and celebrating in style with new friends.

Yep, I do have my eyes shut.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Daily Outfit: After the plane

It feels like SO LONG AGO that I left Australia and first arrived in France (really only four weeks ago today).

Anybody who's accomplished/suffered that journey knows just how far it is. Totally the other side of the world, as I tell my students.

Still, after 30 hours in transit, a four-hour train ride from Paris to Bordeaux and a most-refreshing shower I was ready for my first dinner in France with new hostel friends. Of course, we had Japanese. Of course.

My bow tie styling mustn't be too common here as I was street style snapped while waiting at the train station! Since then I've also been gifted a wonderful black satin bow tie by my excellent housemate, Brigitte.

Five Things

Just what am I loving this week (apart from life, generally)?

1. Having a clever little iPhone that allows me to switch between English and French dictionaries easily. So convenient with predictive text.

2. Bike-sharing! Bordeaux is following the lead of Paris, Lyon etc and has vélos readily accessible all around town. Perfect for zipping to work or cruising home after a night out.

3. My new haircut! I am more Amélie Poulain than ever!

4. Listening to the Joy the Baker podcast on the tram while it's raining outside. Bordeaux has had a very soggy weekend! These ladies make me chuckle in public. It's good.

5. Dressing like a French cliché. I am seriously all over the scarves, stripes and blazers right now! It's great. Bet you're looking forward to photo evidence in my outfit posts.

Heavy French focus this week (would you expect anything less from your resident Francophile?) I'd love to read about the things tickling your fancy at the moment!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Daily Outfit: Last One

I promise!

Last happy snap (of party times) before (de)parture to France.

Don't things look so much happier?! Champagne ALWAYS helps.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Daily Outfit: See you, School!

Bright colours to celebrate the end of term and the beginning of new ventures.

Too matchy-matchy? I was into it.

Daily Outfit: Visa and Flowers

In the long (and ridiculous) history of French paperwork, I had to fly all the way to Sydney to sort myself out for my new-found French vie.

Looking chipper in front of the beautiful David Jones floral window displays (and Hermès reflected, la classe!) post aggressively indifferent visa appointment.

This dress is getting lots of wear over here in France! A pity my jacket didn't fit my (well, well-stuffed) backpack. Fortunately, it hasn't been cold enough for the coat really!

Daily Outfit: Tears on my Pillow

Don't let the title fool you. Despite the prevalence of sad sack photos of late I've not been weeping into my cosy bed but rather living it up during my last few days in town and supporting my friend's cabaret show, titled above.

Perfect opportunity to dress up a bit. Remnants from my birthday bbq bash/bye bye soirée. Also, sequin jacket!

Daily Outfit: Born of Necessity

Sometimes the best outfits come together when you're not expecting them. I really loved wearing this combo of colours and patterns (like the spot motif woven throughout? Even the cardigan has spotty sequins). Also, hello being back at my parents' house!

Still not a very happy face. Wait till you see the new me!

Daily Outfit: Pass it on

Look at this face! Holy smokes. In the lead-up to becoming a Cheese Whisperer, I had an epic wardrobe cull and this dress has since been passed on to my own mother. I look forward to seeing her rock it (and maybe steal it back when/if I go home!)

(not so) Daily Outfit: Hidden Peter

Hi there, handsome folk!

I've been busy. Loving life, but busy. (all that cheese-eating takes time, know?!)

Yup, actually wore this to school (Australia). Gorilla fur vest and Peter the plastic skeleton hidden underneath. There may even be some sequin legging action going on. Who knows! Crazy days.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Daily Outfit: Autumn Dreams

Before I left Australia things were looking mighty autumnal, even though it was spring. Not being the biggest fan of cold weather I'm a bit bummed that I've transitioned straight from one winter (Australia) to another (France). Where's the summer I've been dreaming of?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Daily Outfit: Little Shop of Horrors!

My school's musical this year was Little Shop of Horrors (can you believe I hadn't seen it until now?) and I was cast as an intimidating power businesswoman. Check out those shoulder pads!

I'd like to say that this was a costume.... The true story is that everything came from my own wardrobe!

Daily Outfit: Clearing out the backlog

Sure, I did just mention that I've moved to France.

That doesn't change the fact that I have a whole term's worth of outfit photos on my hard drive to share with you. Minus quite a few days, as the lead-up to moving was manic. If we are real-life friends (hello!) you'll be quite aware of the state I was in, what with:

  • finishing up the year 12s
  • moving out of my rental house
  • heading to Sydney to procure my visa
  • band competition
  • Oh yeah, having a birthday
  • AND THEN: preparing to move
Phew! But. I survived. Thrived! And here I am (me voilà!)

Enough talk Sequin Cat. More style snaps.

Rugging up (what a sooky sicky!) for school.

Monday, October 1, 2012

French Whispers

Can you hear a little whisper? Some rustling in the trees? The observant among you may have picked up on a few clues:

Thinking about France.
Likely missing out on Australian summer.
Travel on the horizon.
Wearing French clothes (but what else is new?)

I've not been trying to be a woman of mystery (unless you'd like me to be?!) but didn't want to inadvertently spill the beans before it became public knowledge, lest my students find out (and freak out about me abandoning them).

But oui, chers amis, I have once again upped and moved to Europe. This time for who knows how long (although let's be honest: I'll probably be back mid next year as Frenchies can be a dampener on my mood). Not Parisian adventures cette fois-ci; I am living and working in the wonderful city of Bordeaux (seriously, look it up. How was that for you?!)

I headed outside for my first outfit shot today in a local square, and took a quick snap very self-consciously before the local winos came over to investigate what I was up to. Now that I have somewhere to live (I've been in France six days), I am absolutely THRILLED to share my life here with you all.

Let me know if you have any questions/requests/would like a postcard!