Monday, August 22, 2011

Paris Je T'aime… But Ca M'énerve!

I can't believe I got back from Paris nearly a week ago .
There's something about that city that still pulses inside me even 16 years after I first landed.
Truthfully, when I'm there in August ...
ie: the weather's balmy, 

there are no traffic jams, 

(Champs Elysées, one Friday night in August)

there is almost no doggie doodoo in the streets 
and we can grab a park anywhere, 
even on la rue Royale for a quick afternoon tea at my favourite salon de thé

and the service staff are all friendly and smiling!   
When I re-discover the artists at la Place du Tertre 

in Montmartre

and the Tour Eiffel sparkles above, 
waving her magic wand like a benevolent good fairy over her subjects

I am once again filled with wonder and nostalgia 
for Paris the magnificent city of lights.

But then I remember the gruesome reality of carrying tonnes of (take your pick) food shopping/suitcases, sleeping children up long flights of stairs several times per week (seriously, they used to call me the bag lady and not for my Louis Vuitton!!!), turning for hours to find a parking spot in front of the apartment at 3am or 3pm for that matter (HORROR after finally getting back from holidays and having to lug a whole family and car full of STUFF without waking the building), Beaker always missing the first part of any opera or theatre production because he'd only allowed 1h30 to do the 15k trip into La Bastille from the outskirts and not 2h and WORST OF ALL - constantly forbidding the messies to run in the grass because of all the dog poop.

Funnily enough, those memories don't seem quite so bad now. I could almost move back there… Almost...
Helmut Fritz however (below) has a new take on what annoys him about Paris and we giggled away singing this song all the way up there and back ( a mere 7 hour drive each way).
It's in French, and quintessentially Parisian, but you might be able to find a translation…
It appears that you'll also have to click on the link to see it on You Tube.

As Helmut says, "How annoying all those people who queue outside Ladurée just for some macarons….(I remember saying that to Beaker early on in our marriage, 'I am so NOT queueing outside in the cold just to eat a BISCUIT!!' one winter's evening. But I did, and although they only made the fabulous 'DIVA' from Banyuls and spices that year to my knowledge, I never regretted it!)
Helmut - they really ARE good!"

However, my friends, I still prefer my haven in the south-west countryside. Besides - I bought the Ladurée cookbook (in English) so I no longer have to salivate every time I think of Paris any more ;-)
You can get the recipe book too - from HERE
Looking forward to catching up with you all next week. 
Off to bed for me!
 I have a 6.00am bike ride to compensate for all the sugar ;-)
Much love
PS. you can click on my facebook page for more Paris colour


  1. ca m'enerve, indeed. It's not only in Paris!
    (Does this fellow remind you of Dustin Hoffman?)

  2. Fantastic photos Ange!!! We are heading up to Paris on Friday for the weekend before returning to the UK on Sunday. A mother and daughter trip...I am even more excited after seeing your photos.:) Merci Beaucoup!
    My girls ( 17 and 20 yrs old) want to go to a market on Saturday morning...any suggestions? There seem to be so many option...

    Many thanks for all your hearing from you :)

    Jeanne xxx

  3. Welcome back! What a great post - I've been smiling since the beginning and I still am ;) We're taking the girls to Paris in September, so I've made a note of your Laduree suggestion. Every year when my hubby and I go it's for work and I haven't gone to the Eiffel Tower or Montmartre for over a decade... we'll be tourists this year and I'm so looking forward to it :) Thanks for the great pick-me-up :) Kx

  4. I really have to get there, Ang - and maybe in August, as you suggest! I only visited once, when I was 16, and a walking magnet for dog mess... That and the 'Solidarity' posters on all the lamp posts are my abiding memories! So it's time to go back.

  5. OmG, what is it with the French and dog poop, ugh!! It is everywhere here in the beautiful Cote d'Azur, my children can't believe it!! We noticed that they have added free poo sacks to our favourite Coastal walk round to Cap - it doesn't seem to have one bit of difference!!

    I just read "Sarah's Key" the other day...the American journalist in it is aware that even after 20 or so years in Paris she is never truly accepted. I found her descriptions of Paris, the Parisians and their ways to be right on the money!!

    Loved seeing all your Paris trip photos, so fun to visit I bet - you have the best of both worllds :) X

  6. Did you go to Angelina's for their famous hot chocolate too?

    A lovely set of piccies, but I'm glad I don't live in Paris. Life in the big city is not for me any more. Never was really.

  7. A 6am bike ride seems suitable punishment for such lovely excesses. Your photos are so great Ange, and I bet you had such a fabulous trip. I really would love to take my girls to Paris - maybe next year! I just need to persuade Brunnel.

  8. Great track - I too am going to singing that all day. Glad you had a fab time there xxx

  9. I must, must pop over to your FB page for more photos. I'm sorry to say I would totally be one of those sad tourists lining up outside Laduree for a macaron. Sounds like you've had a wonderful time with your lovely ones. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. Meredy xo

  10. I need to save up and get back over there soon! How lucky you are to be able to get to Paris whenever you want.

    Hope you are well. Is it getting cooler there yet? Spring has sprung here and I am now counting down to our holiday at Mooloolaba in couple of weeks!

    Take care and best wishes for a fabulous week.

  11. There's one thing I LOVE about the States: everyone cleans up after their dog pooped. In certain cities, if they don't, they are fined!


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