Finally, I may have got my brain to the point where I can express my thoughts in more than 140 characters, so hello again blog. (Though I’m listening to Mitchell and Webb on iPlayer, so some of their thoughts may come seeping through in this post. Which would at least mean there are some jokes.) The tiredness I was talking about a couple of weeks ago didn’t really get much better – getting the kitchen re-done was a total fricking nightmare, and I wasn’t even here for half of it. It looks lovely though, and I can finally walk through the back half of the flat without the soles of my feet getting covered in crap. But it took about a week after my parents left London to regain any sense of equilibrium.
Now, I love my parents. Obviously. Nobody who didn’t would agree to host them in their one-bedroom flat for three weeks, but they do seem to lose all common sense and ability to do things on their own when they get here. They are, in their own home, eminently sensible and capable people, yet in mine they forget that the way they stop a DVD from playing, a DVD they started themselves using a remote control, is to use the same remote control but a different button. No, they need to ask me how to do this. They also need to explain to me in stunning detail how precisely are going to cut back a little bit of ivy. Now, I’d get pissed off if they started running around my flat doing stuff without checking with me; but also, why would they start changing stuff about my flat? I don’t go to their house and rearrange the furniture or repaint the bathroom. But. Ah. They are my parents and feel the need to impose their 1950s-working-class-ingrained living standards on my home because I am their daughter and therefore they know better than me. Never mind that the implied criticism of my cleanliness / slovenliness when Dad starts washing the windows for the third time in as many weeks drives me bonkers or that the constant activity in my usually quiet and restful home exhausts me. They are just ‘being nice’ and ‘doing things’. I think I would prefer it, however, if we could just spend the time going to the British Museum or Greenwich or anything that doesn’t involve me explaining for seventh time that the telly in the kitchen needs the Freeview box also switching on for it to work properly.
At least I got to go on holiday without paying for a catsitter (though that brought its own traumas; to be relayed to you shortly). After the work day out last summer I’d thought that I’d quite like to spend several days in Paris just ambling round different areas. I feel like I’ve been to all the tourist sites I want to, but there’s so much of Paris which is beautiful and off the beaten track. I stayed in a brilliantly central little hotel (which, by the way, is a clear hop on the RER from Gare du Nord. You can now buy Metro tickets in St Pancras to avoid the hideous queues in Paris; you know, where people stand at the machines for ages and have no idea what to press and the waiting and waiting and waiting makes you want to weep, but if you don’t manage that my tip is to head to the far side of Gare du Nord, the RER side rather than the first Metro entrance you pass. There’s never anyone there, you can get to a machine almost immediately. Anyway, I was in my hotel room 30 minutes after getting off the Eurostar. That, my friends, is what is known as a fucking result) and did an awful lot of walking. See the results for yourself.
And it was perfect. Lovely sunny weather, apart from the days when I needed it to be cooler and it was. Lots of excellent food (tartiflette in France? Yes please. And an incredible vegetarian platter in a place on rue des Bucherie. Even a chocolate mousse in a bar near Madeleine was velvety gorgeousness itself), lots of peace (I know Paris well enough now to take the quieter, parallel roads, a bit like walking down Great Marlborough Street instead of Oxford Street. Infinitely pleasanter and interestinger), lots of reading. And I maintain it is utterly unfair that France gets English language films way before we do. I ambled around Odeon being intensely jealous that Up was already out and miffed that I’d missed the screening in English. As it was I avoided a stupidly hot afternoon by going to see the new Woody Allen (with Larry David) and while the film is alright-ish, I did get to develop a new crush. Henry Cavill in The Tudors? All jaw clenching and bad dialogue. Henry Cavill in modern clothing? Oh my god. Man, my laminated list now runs to several editions.
And this, is where I have been. I have a mental list of posts that are running to almost as long as my laminated list; with luck I’ll find the time to bore you all to tears with them. Hello internets; I’m back.