Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy NYE!

Well, gentle readers, I'm back.  Back in Paris, back to blogging, back in black - you name it, I'm back to it.  And in honour of New Year's Eve, I was going to wrap up 2010 with the Totally Crap Outfits of the Year, because there are quite a few totally crap outfits which I have photographed this year, but for one reason or another, never got around to writing about.  However, I am leaving shortly for a dinner followed by a masquerade party and I don't have time to truly do these outfits justice in such a short time; trust me, they deserve my proper care and attention - I was actually laughing out loud just looking back at the photos.  So look for that tomorrow - or possibly the next day, depending on how outrageous my hangover is tomorrow...

And hopefully it will be outrageous and I will have a wonderful time tonight - last year's NYE was the worst one of my entire life (and that's including the year I had a spinal tap because doctors thought I had meningitis - which is a long story for another time, but you get the idea, yes?) so I need to take the bad mojo off it by having extra fun tonight.  And of course I wish all of you extra fun in return - Happy New Year's, everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Xmas, y'all

Well, gentle readers, Christmas is upon us and I am going to go radio silent for a couple of days (okay, fine - more so than usual.  Yeesh - you guys are a tough crowd...) to enjoy the festivities of the season.   But before I do, I just wanted to say thanks for tuning in to my little blog this year, I really appreciate it.  So, whoever you are, wherever you are in the world, and however you celebrate whatever the festive season  means to you:  best wishes from Miss K -  I hope you are with family and/or friends, that there is food (and booze, if your taste runs that way), and that you have a very happy and safe holiday season.   (Yes, even Miss K's frozen, black, Scrooge-y, Grinchy heart thaws a little at this time of year, just deal with it!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reims with the Rednecks

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Reims with Mr and Mrs Redneck.  We didn't know much about champagne (other than how to drink it, which we are all very, very good at), so where better to find out about it than in Reims, the champagne capital of France, and therefore the world?  So we set off for a day of sightseeing (Reims cathedral and the Basilica St-Remi), education (touring a champagne house), and general merriment (the drinking of many samples of champagne).  In fact, our merriment factor was cranked up so far by the end of the day that we just had to keep it up on our train journey back to Paris.  We had planned to visit the bar car, but it was closed - and there we were, with a bottle of champagne that the Rednecks had purchased.  So, since it was an emergency, naturally we popped the cork and drank the champagne straight from the bottle (much to the disgust of the French people around us on the train).  Oh yeah, you just don't get much classier than that...  Anyway, some photos from the day.  Enjoy!

Snowy fields shot from the train window

Reims - home of champagne and pink buses

Reims - looking mighty picturesque

Reims cathedral exterior detail - souls being dragged off to hell

Reims cathedral exterior detail - seriously freaky bizarro gargoyle

Reims cathedral exterior detail - is this the patron saint of beer?

Reims cathedral exterior

Reims cathedral exterior

Reims cathedral exterior detail - close up of the highest point of the previous photo

Reims cathedral exterior

Reims cathedral exterior - more of the freaky bizarro gargoyles

Reims cathedral interior

Reims cathedral interior - stained glass designed by Marc Chagall

Reims cathedral - it's ridiculously tall

Champagne tour - learning the different sizes of bottles.  I like the one on the left...

Champagne tour - GH Mumm

Champagne tour - GH Mumm vintage vault

Champagne tour - GH Mumm's vast underground tunnels

GH Mumm - first tasting of the day

Basilica St Remi

Basilica St Remi - interior detail

Basilica St Remi

More tastings at GH Martel

And at Pommery

The beautiful buildings at Pommery

The beautiful tasting at Cazenove - last stop of the day

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tales from Toronto (Part 2)

Toronto is an awesome place to live.   The weather is great in the spring, summer and autumn (okay - admittedly, winter can be a little rough), we have a lake so big you could fit a hefty chunk of Europe into it, and we have world-class theatre, opera, ballet, restaurants, bars, music, wine, sports teams (okay - admittedly that one is stretching it a bit) and so forth.  But no matter how sophisticated and cosmopolitan Toronto can be, it's still a place where someone can get on the subway with a circular saw tied to his belt and no one will give him a second look.  You don't get that on the Paris Metro...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Totally crap outfit of the week

Okay, so this is actually from last week before I left Paris, but hey, I've been a little busy.  Anyway, let's see what we have here, shall we?  

Now, I know that as one gets older, one can indulge in little eccentricities, and why not?  I fully approve of aging disgracefully.  Too many martinis at lunch?  Hell, yes.  Having a fling with a hot pool boy called Pedro?  Go for it.  However, I don't approve of using curtains as clothing - Scarlett O'Hara could barely pull it off, and madam, you are no Scarlett O'Hara.  This fabric was ugly hanging in the window of whatever cheap, nasty motel you swiped it from and it's still eye-wateringly ugly now...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tales from Toronto (Part 1)

For those of you who don't know much about Canadians (which, let's face it, will be pretty much anyone who isn't actually from Canada), you probably subscribe to the popular stereotype:  we're nice.  Oh, and let's not forget polite.  Yes indeedy - nice and polite, that's us.  And it's true.  We're ridiculously polite - if someone bumps into us, we say sorry to them (spending a decade in Europe has nearly beaten that trait out of me, but sometimes I still do it - grrrr!).  And that's about all anyone knows about us.  But here's the secret - we kinda like it that way.  Because it lets us be as freaky as we want without anyone ever realizing it.  What's that?  You don't believe me?  Well, you tell me the last time you put a skull at the top of your Christmas tree and then we'll talk...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pretty pictures

From my last post, you probably noticed that I'm not actually in Paris at the moment - I am back in Toronto for festive fun with family and friends until nearly the end of December.  But never fear, gentle readers, that doesn't mean I won't be blogging.  It might be every second or third day (which, admittedly, is not all that different from usual), but I will still be sharing my silly ramblings with you.  I'll write about Toronto if I see something noteworthy, or I might post some photos or talk about some past events from Paris, or I might share some crappy outfits I photographed this year and didn't get around to posting at the time.  We'll see...
But for today, some shots from the plane window as there was a rather spectacular sunset as I was leaving Paris...

If you squint, you can see the Eiffel Tower - it's the pointy thing just off-centre

That's better - my camera rocks

Clouds - although it looks like ocean

Friday, December 10, 2010

Quote of the day

After Wednesday's epic snow in Paris, I was more than a little concerned about catching my flight out of town on Thursday.  I had planned to walk to Opera and get the bus to the airport (thereby avoiding the hassles - which are many - of taking the Metro with a large suitcase), but since the roads were in complete chaos, I had to take the Metro/RER combo to get out to the airport.  The Metro was working fine, and the RER was delayed, slow, very crowded and fairly miserable, but it was worse when we got to the airport with crowds trying to get through the gates into the building.  There was a lot of very rude pushing and shoving, and from somewhere to my left, I hear this:

"The next person who pushes me, I'm gonna hit 'em with my cane!"  I look over there and see a rather large, extremely sassy, middle-aged African-American lady, who was, indeed, brandishing a cane.  I, of course, thought this was completely excellent, but she wasn't done:  "I don't want to get all American on y'all, but if I have to, I will!"  

I'm not sure words can describe my love for her at that exact moment.  Hee!  Thinking about that made me giggle my way through a 2.5 hour delay on my flight and it's still cracking me up to write about it...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jour Blanche

If you watched the news today, you will have seen the crazy weather in Paris.  Seriously, this was a bizarre day - it started snowing and just didn't stop for hours.  At one point, it was an actual, honest-to-god, proper blizzard - which I know because I was outside, doing the penguin shuffle along the slipperiest surface on the planet (snow on top of wet leaves on top of cobblestones - yikes), and trying not to fall on my arse into the disgusting, mucky slush.  And why was I doing this?  To take photos for you, gentle readers.  Enjoy...

The Louvre is in the background, but good luck seeing it.

The Tuileries looking even more ridiculously pretty than usual.

The Musee d'Orsay is in the background.  Good luck seeing that, too.

In the Tuileries.

The Tuileries - and some very unhappy-looking seagulls. I feel you, boys.

The Tuileries.

The Tuileries.  Dude, I feel your pain.

Although this lady seems to be enjoying the snow.

At the Arc du Carrousel. My "Impressionist" photo.

Arc du Carrousel - the big thing you can almost see in the background is the Louvre.

Arc du Carrousel.

The Louvre - the pointy snowy thing is the pyramid, although it's hard to see.

The Louvre.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Things you might see on the street

So, how did they come up with "Paris: City of Romance" as a slogan?  Could it possibly be because "Paris: City of Toilets Abandoned on Street Corners" somehow just didn't have quite the right tone to bring in the tourists?  Just wondering...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Parking in Paris

All right, this is a new one for me - I really thought that after a year in Paris I had seen every possible variant on weird parking, but nooooo, those wacky Parisians can still surprise me.  I know these cars are teeny tiny, but they still don't fit this way into a parking space.  Maybe if you flipped it upright?  But I'm getting ahead of myself -I'll probably see that next week...