I went to the opera in holey jeans…

…or, storming the Bastille, take two. I am not an expert in opera. My mother attempted to teach me a bit of culture when I was young, (and maybe convince herself that the bizarre contortions I came home practising after the weekly trek to the deep dark depths of Middleton did in fact bear some […]

Ten things in Paris… that I’ve mysteriously had to dodge around

Paris is a city where straight lines don’t exist: not only do none of the roads go in quite the directions you imagine, you also spend your time weaving around mysterious objects, lost people, blocked streets, road works, scaffolding and other mysterious obstacles. And so, here is a list of my favourites. 10. The doorman […]

Ten things in Paris… that make me think I’m turning French

After nearly two months here (and four in France! That’s two Oxford terms!) I fear/ hope/ believe I may be going native. 10. People ask me for directions in the street. I respond in French even when I can tell that theirs is very wobbly (and they’re clearly Anglophone), and wait for them to capitulate […]

Just another Paris lunchtime

The silence is heavy, dusty, the stillness of a room neither intended for nor accustomed to being empty, silent. She is waiting for noon, waiting for the bang of the door and the cheery voice that will call out a greeting. As punctual as the church clock back in her hometown, he has become part […]

10 things in Paris… that remain mysteries to me…

After yesterday morning when I calmly stepped outside to cycle for half an hour, only to discover it was pouring with rain: where did that come from? 10. The positioning of cycle lanes. Who designed them? Completely at random, they may be on the left or the right of main traffic, on the pavement, separated […]

Monet and me

The first in what will hopefully be a new weekly series, in which I will attempt to explain my interest in a particular artist, writer, historical or political figure or other cultural icon. To kick us off: the good old Monster… Monet and I go back a long way. Not literally, you understand, since our […]

Ten things in Paris… that are clichés but you have to do them anyway!

Considering myself a ‘real Parisian’, yet frequently still needing a map to get around, I think I’m the perfect person to compile this list! 10. Visiting the Louvre. Yes, there’s a queue half a mile long (don’t go on a Saturday morning then!) and a mass of people six feet thick putting their elbow in […]

Ten things in Paris… that make me smile

For this sunny Monday morning (the weather hasn’t yet realised that it’s October!) 10. People with ludicrously small dogs on the Métro. So small that they have to carry them in case they get trampled on. (Note: this only applies when I’m in a good mood and not in a rush, when their yapping really […]