According to Urban Dictionary

Boheme - Carefree lifestyle unbounded by convention.

Bohemian - Movement of artist and poets in late 19th century France, especially in Paris. Bohemians believed in living outside of the bourgeois (conventional, middle class) mainstream culture. Bohemians were against the Salon (the institution that controlled the literary and art market in France until the turn of the 20th century)and believed that art and literature should be radical. They often gathered in "cafes" and drank absinthe. Many Bohemians were politically radical, being either anarchists or members of the Commune de Paris during the Franco-Prussian war. The Bohemian movement died out at the turn of the century but had a large influence on later movements such as surrealism, the beat generation, and punk rock.
Toulouse - Lautrec depicted the romanticized life of many Bohemians, although the reality of the life-style was often very difficult and tragic.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Last Weekend.

I have been remiss with updates and I am sorry and shall try to do

better. I have decided I should at least blog what happens on my

weekends as that is when most of my adventures seem to happen.

So, I shall rewind a week and take you back to last Friday. B came

home early so after I picked the children up from school and

dropped them at home I left early for Paris where I was going

to stay with I for the weekend. However, I was two or three

hours earlier than I had planned to be so noone was home

after wandering for awhile I decided to sit in a brasserie and

have some dinner whilst looking out on the street of paris in

front of me. I then went to I's and she was going to the beach

in Belgium the next day. So we arose at six the next morning

and I prepared some food to take and then S arrived to drive

us to Belgium. After a bumpy beginning with the car not

starting for awhile we were soon on the way and me having no

idea of travel times and distances assumed we would eb there

in an hour or two. 3 1/2 hours later found us arriving in Le

Panne Belgium. It is a little beach town that is very charming

and we sat at a cafe over looking the beach and had a drink in

the sunshine enjoying the delightful beach air and beautiful weather.

Afterwards I and S did some shopping and then we went to Dunkerque for some more shopping and dinner on the beach. I know you might find this hard to believe but I didn't buy a thing all day except food and drink, perhaps I'm learning afterall.
After this we went near Calais to a friend of I's house before heading home to Paris. The next day on the Sunday I met L,G,K and M for a nice girly lunch at a beautiful restaurant in the fourteenth then we headed back to L's place for tea before I headed home to Chantilly weary but happy from a surprising weekend.

ps: I didn't mean to hyperlink the beginning text and now can not get rid of it so please forgive the weirdness.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Visit to Paris.

Last night I went to Paris to see L, I went to her apartment on the edge of the 14th/15th and we sat chatting for ages, it was good to see the apartment furnished as I had only seen it as a blank canvas before. We had dinner and some wine from Bordeaux before heading out to M's farewell drinks. We got to the bar called "Le Pin Up" around the 4th arrondisement after a short trip on the stinking hot metro (yes now I remember). T was DJing at the bar and I caught up with someother people from before when I was in Paris. Around 2 o'clock L and I took ourselves home to bed. After a late awakening and a couple of calls to Australia, we decided to go to a nearby cafe. The coffee was great and the Planche I ordered the biggest I have ever seen I love here how charcuterie is served on a wooden board it is soo rustic and French. The weather since I have arrived has been lovely and sunny though perhaps a bit warm for the kind of clothes I packed, yes thats right I packed mostly winter clothes. After lunch L went back to her house to catch up on some work and I, went for a wander down Rue des Rennes past all the closed shops and whats that an open shop having a sale, it couldn't hurt to just have a look could it? I came out awhile later with two bags, well I did need some dresses because I didn't have any clothes for the hot weather and as for the bag, well mine is broken and shedding pieces of leather wherever I go! I then continued on down towards the Seine.As I was nearing L'Eglise St Germain the sounds of a band of musician came wafting on the wind and continued to follow me as I wended my way down to the river, where I wandered along beside the booksellers and everyone else enjoying the sunshine along the Seine. I wandered as far as St Michel, said hello to Notre Dame, then took a metro back to L's to pick up my stuff before heading to Gare du Nord and then Chantilly/Gouvieux arriving there I realised it was an hour something to the next bus so walked back to the house in the middle of town exhausted but happy. Now I am writing this and thinking it will not be long before my head will hit the pillow and all the lights will go out.
Dormez Bien à Tous

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Return to France.

A year ago give or take a day I returned to Australia from Paris, trying to convince myself that my French adventure was at an end and I would be making my life in Australia. Who would have thought then that within a year I would be once again winging my way back to France ready for my next big French adventure? Certainly not me, even if the only person I was fooling was myself the self deception ran deep enough for 11 months to believe that my days of living in France were at an end. However, five weeks ago I finally understood that what I really wanted was to return to France so I made a plan a plan that would see me back in Paris is about two years time. I was to learn my French better and to take a tesol course so i could get a job teaching english. As with the best laid plans it all went out the window when two weeks later my mother called and read an ad out to me for an english speaking Au Pair in a town called Chantilly about 25km from Paris, was I interested? She wanted to know. Was I interested mais bien sur, and the rest as they say is history so now I sit here typing away to the melodic sounds of a bouncing ball and un, deux, trois..... sept, huit. So begins my new French adventure as a Nou Nou to two delightful tri-lingual children whom I can only hope to speak as fluently as one day. It is so easy at that language to bounce from French to English to Ukranian and back to English. I shall try my best to keep this blog more updated than I did last time. Now I bid you a Bon Journee for the rest of the day.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

First Sunday of the month.

Today we were up at the crack of dawn (8.00) again. On the first Sunday of the month in Paris all the major museums and many minor ones are free for all. Mum had never been to the Musee d'Orsay, so we decided we would go there. To try and beat the heat and the crowds of people, we arose early and set out at nine for the gallery. When we got there the line was already large, but could have been much worse. There were guides there ensuring people kept in nice, neat lines as if herding cattle into a pen. The line snaked this way and that, looping around and fortunately was moving quite steadily, creating a sense of a ordered, but at the same time, chaotic crowd stepping forward and moving this way and that along their alotted lines. Once inside the museum, we wandered round enjoying the art works and I caused at least one man great consternation as he was evesdropping on our conversation. After saying to Mum that I didn't really like Sisley's work because I found them too flat, boring and uninspired (an opinion I stand by as my own and I'm entitled to) I noticed the man in front of us turn round and stare at me as if he couldn't believe his ears. How on earth could I not like Sisley? I could see his mind say. Not yet done in my shocking of people who clearly shouldn't be listening to me anyway; I later stated that I don't get it when people go round taking photographs of art as if to say yes I've done that museum I saw this, this and this, when really they don't see much of anything, but the lens of the camera. They are not enjoying the art; too busy taking photos to show they have been in the place. One man with a camera firmly attached to his hand gave me a strange look after this comment. We paused in the cafe for coffee and cake, before viewing the rest of the gallery. Having finished looking round the D'Orsay we then decided to go for a ride on the Seine. We bought tickets for the Batobus which is a hop on hop off boat and headed on up the Seine. Now it was us who had our cameras firmly attached to our hands. We passed Notre Dame, some passengers got off and others on and we remained; thinking we would do the whole circuit, but on the way to the next stop Jardin des Plantes, I spied a market running along the bank of the Seine. We hopped out and went for a wander in the Market ,after which we walked back towards Notre Dame stopping for lunch on a restaurant boat moored beside the Seine, before hopping back on the Batobus and resuming our journey. Now we were moving up the Seine again, this time by the right bank, before disembarking at La Tour Eiffel and walking to Bir Hakeim Metro to take line 6 to the Art Market at Edgar Quinet. Here I bought a painting from one of the Artists, before we headed home arriving back at 6 o'clock, 9 hours after leaving the house.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Montmartre, Sacre Coeur and Pigalle.

Today Mum and I explored Montmartre we took the metro from my place to Place de Clichy, then walked along Boulevarde Clichy towards the Moulin Rouge where we paused momentarily to take a photo, before starting the climb up the hill. We followed the little street near Metro Blanche up the hill past all the little specialist shops, bouchers, rotisseries, fromageries and poissoniers, not to mention lots of florist. We then stopped halfway up at a row of Cafes and entered one for lunch, where we both had a smoked salmon, prawn and avocado salad before continuing on up the hill. We past the Moulin de la Galette Restaurant and finally made it to the top and the little streets of tourist and painting shops that lead to the Place de Tertre. Here we bought an icecream before heading round the Place de Tertre looking at the art and then continuing on to Sacre Coeur. We went into Sacre Coeur, then took some photos of the view before heading down the loads of steps where we were accosted by African con artists attempting to tie bracelets on our wrists. From here we ventured into the depths of the material market, where we soon surrounded by loads upon loads of fabrics of all varieties. After this we stopped briefly in Rouchouart- Clignacourt at the bottom of the material markets for a very overpriced cool drink before catching a bus to the Tracadero. Once at the Trocadero, Mum saw the Eiffel Tower, finally having been in Paris for five days previously without catching a glimpse of it, then we trundled on home worn out from the busy day of walking. However, our day was not yet done; after a brief respite and cool down at home, we headed out again back to where we had come from to meet M at the Metro Pigalle. Having met up with M, we went down to a nice Italian restaurant called Fuxia in Pigalle, where I had dined last week with L and G. We had a very nice dinner before deciding to head home. On the way we were waylaid; after a phone call with L and decided to meet her and a friend up near Abessess Station, where we went for a drink before eventually arriving home where I am now writing this at 12.30 at night. It was a very eventful and interesting day, with a lot of walking as that is the only way of really getting around Paris. It wouldn't be so bad if not for the heat. As we were heading out again at 7 this evening we caught a glimpse of a electronic thermometer at a pharmacy which said 33 degrees. The heat is becoming unbearable and I am constantly raining; leaving me to wonder why it is that I was craving Summer having had two winters in a row.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mum in Paris.

On Saturday I picked Mum up from the airport and we made the hour or so trek back to my house. After a break we got lunch from my local boulanger and then went for a wander through my area and to the Monoprix so I could do some food shopping. Then, on Sunday morning, up at the crack of dawn for me, lol 8.00 in the morning; we headed out into Paris getting off the metro at St Michel and wandering along the Rive Gauche of the Seine, stopping to look at some of the books from the booksellers and to take photos here and there. We then went to a cafe on Rue du Bac for an early lunch, before heading across the river through the Louvre Courtyard stopping to look at the Pyramid which wasn't there the last time Mum was in Paris; before catching the metro to 'Bois de Vincennes' for my Sunday soccer game. Played soccer in the blistering heat and got the red shoulders, back and chest to prove it, before heading back to my place for a shower, a quick rest, an early dinner and then out again to see a friends band "Misleadin" play. When we got to the venue it turned out to be a club on a boat moored to the Rive Gauche of the Seine. It was a very cool venue although the sound technician could have been better. After the band was finished we had a coffee in a cafe and returned home exhausted from a long day of walking. Monday morning began more slowly, with us doing things around the house before heading out to the Marais for lunch. We took the metro to Chatelet where a nice band was busking and there delightful strains were wafting through the metro trying to brighten the lives of the busy Parisians who hurried on by with their usual permanent frowns intact. After pausing for a little to enjoy the music, we headed out in to the awful crush of people on Rue de Rivoli that is the neverending saga of Chatelet. We headed up past the stone tower and past Hotel de Ville and into the Marais, where we stopped at a cafe for lunch. We both had amazing salads and some ok Rose before continuing through the Marais to witness the amazingly historical quartier that it is and walking for kilometers again on already tired feet. After which, exhausted, we headed for home to have a sit down and then some dinner, then more sitting and finally after weeks, some blogging.


Wow, it's been nearly two months since I posted. I knew it was a long time, but hadn't realised it was that long. Now I have lots of catching up to do. One of the main things I did in these two months was to go to Giverny with M one Saturday to walk in the Gardens of Inspiration, originally planted by Claude Monet, when he lived there. There are two gardens; a Japanese inspired garden with ponds and bridges and water lillies, which are prolific throughout Monet's works and a more formal neatly laid garden in front of the house (which is now a museum). Monet was very much into the orient and had many Japanese art prints which inspired his Waterlilly Garden. Many of these prints, or similar styled prints, are still in his house today and you can see them when you wander through it. At the time that he built his garden in the 19th Century, the villagers were very wary of all the strange plants he was putting into his garden and the ponds; and they worried that they would infect the town's water supply. After Monet's death, the grounds fell into disrepair, but in the 80's they were resurrected and replanted according to the way he had originally planted the garden and it was turned into the museum that is there today.
Now, finished with the history lesson; so back to the story! M and I set off early in the morning from Gare St Lazare and took a train to Vernon, the closest town to Giverny. From Vernon we then caught a shuttle to Giverny, which stops in a carpark at the side of a grassy wood that has a river running through it. We set off on the trail through the wood and followed a sign to see a bust of Monet. We then meandered back along the river, across the river, under the road, beside the road and left down a laneway and into a gate. We had already bought tickets from FNAC so therefore didn't have to queue. We were straight in the gate and through to the Waterlilly Garden where we wandered along in the morning sunlight, enjoying the flowers of all kinds and the waterlillies which were just beginning to bloom. From the Japanese garden we made our way through to the Formal Garden that is splayed out in front of the house and strolled up and down the lanes before making our way into the house. Afterwards, we had lunch in the garden of a hotel amidst more flowers and green hills and paddocks. We then made our way through the town and came across a field of poppies spread out before us on a slight incline. We walked the paths between the poppies before lying in the shade beside the poppies for an hour or so. Then we went to see Monet's grave before heading back to Paris. It was so nice to be out in the countryside for the day before returning to the pandemonium of the city.