5th March Hotel de Ville

Today is day 1/5 of the school holidays. The plan for today is: leave them alone this morning, make lunch, ship them off to their tennis lesson whilst the youngest has a nap, and then get them to help me make biscuits when they return. I feel a bit bad just sitting here on my computer, but I don’t have to be entertaining them every minute…do I? Having some time just to sit has also made me think further about all the bizarre things going on around me. I’ve compiled them into a little list for your amusement.

1. Graffiti and Wall Art. Wherever you walk in Paris you come across an awful lot of graffiti – some of it more artistic than others. Mario seems to be a popular character, this one here is made entirely out of tiles. I do wonder who it is that puts them there, and when they have them time to do it!

2. Car Parking. French drivers seem to have no skills when it comes to parking their cars. Either that or there aren’t any laws over here. The station is the best example – people will park up the kerb, on the grass, in the middle of the road, right in front of your car so that you can’t get out… if the space is bigger than a matchbox then you’re guaranteed to find a car there.

3. Roundabouts. Not only do I have to drive around them the wrong way, but there also seems to be no ‘exiting etiquette’ in France. You have to give way to your left, but when trying to leave the roundabout cars will suddenly turn off whether they’re driving around the centre or the outside. It also seems to be a rule that you should indicate whenever you feel like it, even if you’re not planning on driving the direction your lights are suggesting. I’ve got so used to cars pulling out in front of me I’ve started to do it myself. And don’t even get me started on consecutive roundabouts…

4. The Man Who Gave Me His Magazine On The Train. What a lovely chap. Proof that some French people are indeed, génial.

5. British Aeroplanes. As if I wasn’t already homesick enough, living near Charles de Gaulle airport means I am guaranteed to see an Easyjet/ Jet 2/ British Airways plane pretty much every day. It really would be that easy to just go home.

6. Toast. My family don’t even own a toaster. What’s that all about?

7. Sick Children. Since I arrived my children have had more illnesses than I think I’ve had in a lifetime. The best one was when Angus got a cold – his little French accent with a blocked up nose was more than adorable. The kisses before he left to go to the creche, however, were not.

8. Receiving Post. We have a letterbox outside the house that I go and check everyday in hope that I’ll receive another letter or postcard from one of you lovely people back home. It really does make my day! I got a letter from my grandma the other day and it made me cry it was so lovely. Vous me manquez!

9. The Vintage Store. Whilst out and about in Paris yesterday I stumbled across a vintage clothes shop on Rue de Temple near Hotel de Ville (see photo above). Everything they sold was between €6-10. If this was England these ‘retro’ garments would probably cost me my week in wages. I’ll be returning there shortly.

10. The Week Ahead. I used to love school holidays. I think by the end of this week I will have made so many miniature crafts and felt animals I’ll be able to open a zoo. And I’ll hopefully be fluent in child-friendly French too! Souhaitez-moi bonne chance…

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