Chris’ Weekend à Paris

This weekend was perhaps the first I’ve had when I’ve not felt completely homesick. I don’t want to say it was just because my boyfriend came to stay, but it’s definitely true when they say that home is where the heart is…

Chris arrived by Eurostar on Thursday evening – I met him at the station with a bottle of Orangina and a strawberry crepe and we set off for chez-moi. Well, we tried to at least. I’ve been here 8 weeks now and I’ve never had so many train problems as we experienced in that first hour. C’etait incroyable. Perhaps they sensed the arrival of an Englishman.

Anyhow, on Friday we decided to do all the usual touristy things: we got the train to Trocadero by the Eiffel Tower, took a few clichéd holiday snaps and then had our croque-monsieurs sat outside a little cafe at the bottom. We walked along the Seine, through the Tuileries gardens and finished up at Notre Dame. With the sun shining, my summer dress on and a glass of French wine, I think this was the first time I’ve felt like I’m actually on holiday myself! The world looks so much different when you’re with someone a bit special.

On Saturday I took him to my favourite cafe in Montmartre (Le Coquelicot, I blogged about it previously here) and we sat and ate our baguettes and macaroons on the steps by the Sacre Coeur. On the walk back down the hill we came across a group of runners about to begin the 10km ‘Foulées du Tertre à Montmartre’ marathon. We stood and watched as they set off and then bumped into them later on at a road at the bottom of the hill – unfortunately the old man we’d been cheering for at the start never ran past us at this location, despite Chris making me wait 20 mins in case he did…

On Sunday we decided to go on a bit of an adventure and go to Chateau de Chantilly. I’ve been wanting to visit the castle since I got here and thought that this weekend would be a lovely time to do so. We packed ourselves a picnic, made a playlist for the car, donned our sunglasses and drove the 45 min journey from the village where I live. I’m still quite proud that I managed to drive somewhere I’ve never been before, in France, on the other side of the road, and not get lost once.

We went around the castle museum and then had a long walk around the huge gardens and woods in the castle grounds. Despite it being both very sunny and the weekend, there were relatively few people around so it was nice just to relax in the peace and quiet. Plus we got an ice cream, so my life was pretty much complete right there and then.

The past couple of days I was back on school duty – and alongside too much sun and too much walking we decided just to stay at the house and spend a bit of time in the garden/ eating poulet/ watching awful French television. If Chris doesn’t have at least one French pop song in his head by now I’ll be disappointed. He got to come with me and collect the boys from school and the nanny and I think he was fairly impressed with my French skills too – my favourite moment has to be when Angus’ nanny tried to ask Chris about England and I had to explain about his lack of French comprehension! Albeit awkward, blank looks are always priceless. He also got chance to wow Edgar with his football skills in the garden on Monday afternoon whilst I pushed Angus on the swing. I think perhaps I’ve got competition for ‘au-pair of the week’.

And so our 5 days together came to an end last night, on Tuesday evening. I took Chris back to Gare du Nord to catch the Eurostar at 6 o’ clock and did my best to hold back the tears. It was so nice to be able to share my French adventures with him and I really didn’t want any of it to end! But life goes on, my French lessons start up again tomorrow and I’ve got friends to see this coming weekend. In 25 days I’ll be on my way back to England myself for an 11 day holiday at home. As much as I love France, my family and pain au chocolat, it really can’t come quick enough…

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