Wednesday, June 30, 2010

London calling - Part 3 (and final)

Wait - where did the last week go???  Very sorry about not posting, but quite honestly, in the past week I have been running around like the proverbial headless chicken and just haven't had any time.  One thing I had forgotten about London (or perhaps I just repressed it as a traumatic memory?) is how ridiculously big it is and how much time it takes to get from point A to point B at any given moment, particularly when one considers how notoriously unreliable the transport network can be.  But in addition to spending hours of my life on buses, overland trains and Tube trains, I also managed to fit in quite a few other things on my trip, which I am going to attempt to sum up in few words and many pictures...

Among many lovely meals I enjoyed in London, this is from a bbq hosted by fellow Canadians Mr & Mrs D - and Canadians know steak.  The phone is in the photo for perspective on the size of these things - you can't really tell that the steaks are also about 2" thick as well, but trust me.  (Apologies to any vegetarian readers, but Miss K is a carnivore who is so poor that I can rarely afford meat in Paris, so this was such a treat!)

Was it Pimms o'clock?  Of course it was!  And when out with my friends, it was also wine o'clock, beer o'clock, cocktail o'clock and occasionally champagne o'clock.  That's just one of the many excellent reasons why I love my friends...
Three words: Bon. Freakin'. Jovi.   Aieee!  My eternal love for them is still going strong and Jon is still looking oh-so-very fine.  Rock on, my friend, rock on... 


My lovely friend Miss E got married while I was in England (which was the actual reason for the trip in the first place) and it took place in the Kent countryside on the most perfect June day imaginable and was, quite possibly, the most traditional English wedding ever.  Remember Four Weddings and a Funeral?  Well, picture one of those weddings (although there was slightly less swearing at this one, which, honestly, was a little disappointing...)

Entertainment (part 2)
And the day after the wedding, I followed that up by going to a drag queen show at the roughest gay bar I have ever seen - how's that for contrast??  Okay, I might have to explain this one a bit:  I met up with a friend from Canada who was visiting London.  She's originally from Ireland and she and her sister are amazing singers, and the sister had been invited to join the drag queen (whose dress I kind of want - is that weird?) to sing a couple of duets.  Anyway, she totally wowed the crowd, and I have to give her all kinds of credit for not flinching when being hugged afterward by many, many, many large, sweaty, hairy, pierced, half-naked gay men wearing leather - that girl is a pro.
    So, gentle readers, you can see that you have been neglected in a good cause!  And if it makes you feel any better, it has taken me at least two hours of being indoors on a beautiful sunny day in Paris to write this and download these photos, so I hope you enjoy.  And now that I have caught up on all things London, tomorrow we will be back to tales of life in Paris, and my normal bitchery...

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    London calling - Part 2

    So here I am, back at the office - technically I'm not actually on holiday, I still have to put in my work hours, but from the London office, rather than the one in Paris (oooh, it's an exciting life I lead - come to London, do some filing, wheee! Good times...).  But since I am here and there's only so much filing I can do before I start looking for the nearest letter opener for gouging out my eyeballs, I thought I'd take a little break and quickly write something on here.

    London seems friendlier to me these days - perhaps it's the fact that I am now spending my days among the French (who are, for the most part, a surly bunch), but I was astonished by how helpful people have been since I got back here.  Being Canadian, I am used to the North American customer service model, which goes something like this: "Can I help you? No, we don't have that in stock, but if you can wait a minute, I will call every single store on this continent to find it for you and we'll send it to the most convenient location for you to pick up at no added cost to your fine self, and now that I have helped you with that, is there anything else I can help you with?"  It's wonderful, and oh, how I have missed that in Europe over the past decade.  But I arrived in London on Tuesday and was immediately shocked that not one but two Tube employees were extremely helpful and nice to me (and if you are a Londoner, you will be suitably disbelieving about this crazy story, but I swear it's true).  Of course, I then saw a drunk man in a suit throwing up in the street at 5:00 in the afternoon, and a drug bust happened right in front of me, so it's definitely still good old London town...

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    London calling

    Ahh, gentle readers, how I neglect you.  I do apologize, but I am back in London and my internet access is limited - the place I am staying doesn't have it, and the neighbours all lock their wireless networks (how rude!) so I can't access those.  So my choices are: going to the very scurvy internet cafe on the main road by the flat, or taking my laptop to the rather nice pub which is further away but has free wifi (not to mention alcohol of many kinds).  Or logging in from the office, which is where I am now, but I am sure you won't blame me if I don't want to spend a lot of time here!  Anyway, I don't really have much to report today, but just wanted to let you know why my posting will be a bit intermittent over the next couple of weeks while I'm here, but I will do my best...

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Totally crap outfit of the week

    Okay, seriously.  Do I even need to say anything about this one?

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Miss K goes to Hookerville (Part 2)

    Yesterday I went to my friend Miss A's place for dinner.  The meal was seriously fabulous, as was the conversation (well, we drank two bottles of lovely red wine between the two of us - we thought the conversation was great, although there's a possibility that a sober person might not have found it quite as sparkling and witty as we did), and we had beautiful weather, so were able to dine on the adorable little balcony, four stories up with a view of the Parisian rooftops.  Looks like something out of a movie, doesn't it?  Ahh, I love my flat, but I am bitterly envious of that balcony...
    Miss A doesn't live too far from me, about 30 minutes walk, but it's a bit of a different world from my terribly chic and genteel (and somewhat dull) neighbourhood.  She lives near the rue St Denis, which, as I have previously posted about (Miss K goes to Hookerville), is the street you want to go to if you are in the market for a certain type of female company.  There are lots of these ladies around that area, but I had to get a photo of this one, because I have nothing but respect for her commitment to her outfit.  I mean, really, all-white?  That's impressive, particularly considering her, erm, profession - seriously, her dry-cleaning bills must be huge.  Ooooh, it's just occurred to me that perhaps she has an "arrangement" with her dry-cleaner; and frankly, considering how expensive it is here, that's not a bad idea...

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Normal life

    Well, here I am, back to normal life in Paris - or rather, what passes for normal in a place as quirky as Paris.  Anyway, I don't really have much to report - just wanted to let you know that tomorrow is Miss K's birthday and Miss K is planning to party, so I am afraid that I will be neglecting you then as I won't have time to post while I get everything ready.  I may also be neglecting you on Thursday as well, depending on how many brain cells I have left by then - I am hoping that I will act my age and be somewhat sensible, but seeing as how my last party carried on until after 5am (you know your party has been a success when people can catch the metro in the morning), I have my doubts about that!

    But since I am going to neglect you, I thought I would leave you with a nice colourful little shot of Mediterranean awesomeness.  Enjoy, and try not to miss me too much!

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Try not to hate me - Part 4 (and final!)

    All right, gentle readers, I am leaving tomorrow, so this is the last time I have to caution you to try not to hate me too much.  Well, more than you already hate me for living in Paris (which I suspect is rather a lot), but let's just move on from that, shall we?  

    Below is a photo from Plage Mala, the beach at Cap d'Ail where I am staying (and please excuse Miss K's toe showing up bottom centre, I took this on my camera phone and, due to the glare, couldn't actually see what I was shooting).  And yes, it LOOKS awesome, as indeed it was, but as this whole place is completely vertical (as mentioned in previous posts), I hope it will cheer you up to know that I had to climb down about 8000 steps every day to get here, and, yes, the same 8000 steps back up again- exhausting!  Does that help?

    If not, I have a bribe for you - I was staying in a self-catering villa by myself and having bought a random assortment of things to eat, I had a random assortment of things to use up before leaving tomorrow, and as a result, I think I may have accidentally invented the best sandwich ever and I share the recipe with you now:    baguette, Boursin cheese, slices of prosciutto, slices of cantaloupe.  Try it now, thank me later... 

    Try not to hate me - Part 3

    Okay, so here's the thing. Cap d'Ail is kind of a sleepy little hamlet, it must be said.  The kind of place that, in the evening, is as "dead as heaven on a Saturday night" to quote from Closing Time (one of the best songs ever, in Miss K's humble opinion - then again, I might have spent too much time in bars not to appreciate it) by the eternally awesome Leonard Cohen, a good Canadian boy if ever there was one - and is it wrong that in his 70s I still think he's pretty hot?

    Ahem.  But I digress - rather a lot.  ANYWAY, what I meant to say was that even though Cap d'Ail is a quiet place, it is so ridiculously full of beauty that this spectacular park, which in any other place, at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon would be jammed with people (picnicking; having their wedding photos taken; even shagging, for god's sake) was totally, completely, 100% deserted.  The whole time it took me to walk down the path through the park and again when I walked back up it (which I have to admit took a little longer, this place is totally freakin' vertical), it was EMPTY.  Because everyone else was scattered along the beaches, which are even more spectacular.  Seriously.  This place is just unbelievably gorgeous...

    Saturday, June 5, 2010

    Try not to hate me - Part 2

    Okay, below is the view from my private terrace at the villa.  Yes, I am fully aware of the hate you are sending in my direction and I accept it with all good grace in the knowledge that if I was looking at this photo and not lucky enough to be here in person, I would be the one doing the hating.  So go ahead and hate with my blessing...

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Try not to hate me

    Gentle readers, prepare yourselves - I am about to be so smug that you're going to want to slap the pretty right off my face, and I can't help but agree with you on that.  In brief, my day: flight to Nice (well, that should make you feel better - ahhh, the glamour of economy travel on a low-cost airline), train to Monaco, afternoon spent sipping champagne by the harbour in Monte Carlo (not my fault, the guy with the keys to the villa wasn't going to be around until later, what else should I have done to while away the time??), evening - got settled into the beautiful villa, got groceries, went to the beach for sunset, and have had an evening so chilled out that I am practically comatose.  It's amazing I can even make my fingers type, but of course I wouldn't neglect you, my cherubs.

    So, remember how I mentioned that I went to get groceries?  Well, as I was walking back, I happened to notice the view (this is the part where you're going to want to do the aforementioned slapping). Not too shabby, eh?  And do you see that building in the background, by the sea?  Well, that's where I'm staying.  Okay, gotta go now, bye!!!

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Luck of the Irish

    Okay, here's something you don't know about Miss K.  I am unlucky, or at least, I have been for the past few years.  But my luck finally seems to be changing - last week I got £1000 refunded back on my UK taxes (thank you, Your Majesty) and I sold a few things in the UK that will net me another couple of hundred quid.  So far, so good for a very very broke person like me, right?  Well, you haven't even heard the best part yet - in a truly spectacular piece of luck, some Canadian friends had pre-paid for a villa in a very glam area of the south of France but couldn't actually take the trip, so they (in a remarkable act of kindness) offered it to their starving writer friend Miss K for free.  Can you believe that?  How awesome are they?  Thank you, Mr D and Miss N!!! So tomorrow I am off to Cap d'Ail - the villa is equipped with wifi, so I will still be posting while I am away, and I am keen to report on somewhere new, so stay tuned.

    So doesn't this sound like things are on the upswing for me?  I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I kissed an Irishman a couple of weeks ago - perhaps I somehow stole his luck?  Poor guy, he's probably been walking around falling into manholes and tripping over his shoes and wondering where the hell his luck has gone.  Well, too bad - it's mine now and I'm not giving it back!