10th March Colette Carnaval

Finally the weekend has arrived and I’ve had chance to leave the house, talk to some friends and spend some well earned money! Today I met up with a friend from my French class and we went to visit the Colette Carnaval that’s going on in the Tuileries gardens. I wanted to go along because I’d heard one of the supporting companies was Ed Banger – the French dance record label that’s home to pretty much all of my top-played music – and it sounded like it might be a good day out.

Colette is a French clothing and accessory retailer and, from what I can gather, is a little bit like Selfridges in England. This weekend they’re celebrating their 15th birthday and have put up a huge tent of activities in the centre of Paris. It’s free to get in and you can try your hand at all kinds of games and contests courtesy of all the event’s supporters.

There were lots of stalls too – including this one pictured selling macaroons in every colour and flavour – as well as countless free balloons, an enormous wall laden with black and white images waiting to be coloured in, people on stilts handing out free t-shirts and several opportunities to win yourself a toy crocodile (courtesy of Lacoste, of course) or a new handbag.

We were having fun walking around and then I spotted this sign. ‘Faites vous dessiner pour la prochaine compilation kitsune maison’ – translated roughly as ‘have your portrait drawn for the next Kitsune Maison album cover’. Kitsune Maison, as well as selling clothing, release an album every few months containing the best tracks in French dance music at the time of release. I own pretty much all of them. The covers usually consist of lots of drawings of peoples’ faces – and today, present at Colette Carnaval, was the graphic design student who creates these images. So, me and my friend sat still for 20mins and had our portraits drawn for the upcoming CD release in September. Incredible.

We then met up with another girl from our lessons and headed off to Starbucks (at the Louvre, just to make it feel a bit more French) for a good chat about our lives as au-pairs. Both the girls have recently been back to England for holidays too and had been kind enough to bring me back an armful of English magazines each. Everybody I’ve met here has been so lovely – we jeune fille au-pairs really do need to stick together!

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