Thursday, 19 May 2011


Life in Paris is now a mixture of babysitting and sightseeing. Seeing as I take the kids to the park most days now, my job has been transformed into a particularly high-stakes game of Where's Wally?, as they run around with the other children from school and I try to allay my fears that they've been kidnapped when I can't see them for more than 2 minutes.

My Mum & Nan came to visit last week, fresh off the train from the other Metroland. On a fait les trucs classiques, alors pas grande chose Γ  vous raconter, mais regarde ce photo-lΓ  que j'ai pris Γ  Montmartre. Sympa de les voir, comme d'habitude.

Apart from that, there's been a lot time spent drinking and eating by bodies of water and in parks (have you seen how much they charge for a pint here?)

And Tiffany and I went to Versailles last Sunday, which was one of the most impressive things I've seen in my life, especially interesting after having studied Moliere and his relationship to the court of Louis XIV last year, as well as some aspects of the French Revolution. I don't know whether it was that which brought the history to life so much, but as I was in Marie Antoinette's bedroom I could really imagine the pitchfork-wielding mob running up the drive as she fled through a hidden door in her ridiculously, offensively lavish bedroom. Seriously, it looked like a bomb made entirely of gilt had gone off in there.

 All my photos are of the grounds, which were amazing. I don't think we saw even half of it. I didn't take any photos inside. In fact, I got really annoyed at the huge number of tourists snapping away at every last detail inside the Chateau. It makes me wonder who they think their 300 photos of the rooms inside Versailles are going to interest once they get home. 

The entrance gates.

Rose trellis.

A fountain through hedges.


Marie Antoinette had a model farmhouse built in the grounds of her own private palace so she could observe farmers at work. The buildings seemed unreal, like a precursor to Disneyland. It's strange to think they were doing pastiche 250 years ago. 

After all that excitement, it's been a quiet week. I need to buy a new teapot today, and then it's off to babysit.  Now I think I'm doing OK, and I've even started chatting to the other babysitters in the park, which is companionable, and gives me more opportunity to speak French. Last time they were discussing DSK, and I had nothing to add about the situation, partly because I don't know as much about his reputation as they do and partly down to boring old language problems, which was really frustrating. I just managed to nod along and say something about how terrible the whole thing was. I can't work out if I'm looking forward to being back or not. I know I'll be more confident doing everything (everything!!!) in English again. But when I do feel like I'm managing to convey myself well in French, or when I'm talking about something I'm genuinely interested in, I feel like I'm mastering an instrument, and it's wonderful. It doesn't happen as much as I'd like though, because if I spoke as much French with adults as I do with under 8s now, I'd never be at a loss for words again. Oh well. The children are quite sweet, really. It's funny to think that before working for the agency, my main experience of childcare was when one of my Sims had a baby...

A bientot, blogosphere. 

1 comment:

  1. Ineresting as always and lovely photos, love the one at the Sacre Coer of Paris rooftops. But it's so frustrating when you write in French!!