Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Commercial Secret

Did you know that Coke really created the modern image of Santa Claus?

Vintage 60's ad from paul.malon.

A weird fact I picked up and I shall not go into the "corporate commercialism" aspect - it's Christmas for goodness sake!

Well Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël, I hope you've had a cracker of a day!

Now "...have a coke and a smile and shut the f*ck up".

(Okay, I promise I'm not cursing you on Christmas, I'm actually trying to make you laugh - click on the link for an hilarious extract from Eddie Murphy "Raw").

Friday, December 25, 2009

Countdown Continued...

#4 on list of "Things I love about Christmas"

Euro Disney covered in snow, and of course the rides - esp the view of the park from the Dumbo ride!

#3 on list of "Things I love about Christmas"

French tradition of bûche de Noël (yule logs) delicious!

#2 on list of "Things I love about Christmas"

The sights of Paris in Winter... crisp, clear and beautiful.

#1 on list of "Things I love about Christmas"

The excuse to spend time with Mr., enjoying a delicious meal, some french champagne and the snow *fingers crossed*!

Joyeux Noël!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Favourite Things About Christmas #5: Lunch

Number five on my favourite things about Chrismas is; Christmas Lunch. I love sharing laughs and a love-filled meal with family and friends on Christmas day.

As I've said, my Christmas this year is with P. in Paris - a dream. Our apartment here doesn't have an oven, and as we're here for Christmas day - P. and I were stuck as to what we'd be making for our Christmas lunch. But it came to me - a lamb tagine slow cooked on the stove.

Images from Greg Robbins on Flickr.

So we're going to do a Moroccan-themed Christmas! We've convinced ourselves it's closer to the "real" roots of Christmas, Jesus of course was from hot, middle-eastern Nazareth in Jerusalem, right!?

We'll put couscous on the side, chickpeas, raisins and wash it down with some mint tea...

More importanly what's a middle-eastern dessert I could make?

What are your Christmas/Holiday plans? Where will you be/who with? And eating what?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Countdown: Five Days 'Till Christmas

The view from our apartment balcony.

Two days ago we arrived at our tres Parisienne apartment in St-Germain, Paris - and we feel so frenchy-legit!

The snow is beginning to fall, we walk down beautifully lit streets at night and today it hit me: there are only FIVE days until Christmas!

So for the next few days I'm going to be doing a countdown of my five favourite things about Christmas, like Oprah's list ... don't expect a car though.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Patty Hewes, I See You

Okay, I haven't been seen for about a fortnight now - wrapping up so many things here in Lille. Finishing my assignments, orals and exams at university in France.

But I have one thing on my Christmas list: Patty Hewes sunglasses (as seen above). Glenn Close's cut -throat character in Damages gets around in an individual corporate style, what do you think?

Anyway I'm a bit everywhere at the moment, sad to be leaving Lille, but excited to start our big trip to NYC, Washington, San Fran and Hawaii!

I must go and pay my rent, but this is a quick post to send you all bisous (kisses) and tell you that I'm back - exams are almost over and I'm ready to chat!

What have you been up to?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

C à Qui? Latest cast-crush.

Over the past few months while living here in France, I've begun to sink deeper and deeper into French culture.

Of an evening I love to watch this émission (programme) called, C à Vous. There are about six or seven regular hosts who sit around a dinner table, while a chef cooks in the background and each night they have a new guest (actor, singer, writer, politician etc...)

I love the fact that the food plays such a central part in this relaxed approach to news/current affairs.

I also am so intrigued by one of the chefs - Julie Andrieu. I think she possesses all of that french Je ne sais quoi. She has a great figure: How the? What the? She's always cooking and eating! Hello French paradox.

Actually I'm intrigued by all of them; they're my first "cast-crush".

Anyway, I'm definitely adding Andrieu to the perennial list of "Guests to Invite to Dinner", maybe she could cook.

Who are you intrigued by of late? What's your favourite T.V. show at the moment as well?

P.S. When P. and I were in a restaurant in Paris two weekends ago, one of the men who is a regular on this show was sharing the same long table as us - I was beside myself!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

To Wordpress or Not to Wordpress?

Well, I've been quite busy of late. Studying for exams, running off to London on the weekends and proceeding to eat my way around the town with P. , updating our food blog and hauling it over to wordpress...

I'd been toying with the idea of trying out Wordpress purely because I liked it's simple aesthetic; and whilst the new settings etc are proving tricky to get used to, I think it's the perfect breeding ground for our food-blog.

Go and check it out, I'd love to hear what you think...

What have you all been up to? I know many of you must be still full from Thanksgiving!?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

These Heads Were Made for Talking

I don't really do too many posts about music but I thought I'd share with you my latest music favourite: Talking Heads.

Above: the Talking heads.

P. introduced me a while ago, and their poppy ballads, catchy lyrics and great sounding lead (David Byrne) just works for me at the moment.

Have a listen...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kitsch Retro

It's that kitsch kind of retro that just makes you laugh! (Click on image for source).

I just love this random photo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

November Update

Let's ignore that absence and promise to be friends once more? I've been a bit ill these past 2 weeks... darn winter.

But, I have many things to share with you! Last weekend P. and I celebrated being together for one year by having a lovely getaway in Paris.

It was beautiful, fun and filling! We found so many great foody places that we are, of course, preparing a post to share with you on our blog.

Also, the Christmas markets have now begun in Lille - lots of hot chocolate, pain d'epices and christmas tat!

But for now I leave you with a valid sentiment;

Friday, November 20, 2009

On a se retrouvé

So, I've been absent, but I think you know why! P. arrived from Aus and we spent all last week & weekend together... it was lovely. We've been finding eachother again, " retrouver," like my Canadian friend here explained it.

A photo I took as we were riding the "Hop-On, Hop-Off" bus, always the best way to get your bearings in a town.

But after a lovely weekend in London (settling P. in for his job there this month) "on a se retrouvé" and everything is back to normal, it doesn't even feel as if we were apart.

Thank you for your touching comments on my previous post - you're all so kind, I didn't realise how many of you had been through a similar long-distance thing.

So what have I missed in your world's this week?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

He's Here!

Image from Grinham.

... and I couldn't be happier!

We reunited at the train station like in all those movie scenes.

I was marching up and down the platform, my stomach was doing backflips and there was visible cold air pouring from my mouth.

A few minutes in and a late train announcement - I had to hold onto my butterfly-y/nauseated/excited feelings for a few more minutes!?

Then I heard it, then saw the lights and finally the train was in view. The windows streaming past my face. Then I saw him, P., behind the train window. He smiled and waved, I became a crying mess.

I peered through my leather gloves, which were covered in wet patches from me trying to hide my tears, as the train came to a hault.

After the family in front of P. had finally finished unloading their 15 suitcases of all different sizes - no joke! (This part was also like a movie, more of a comedy though), a handsome man emerged and I almost hug-tackled him right onto the tracks!

We kissed, between my relieved sobbing of course, and it was so lovely... but we didn't lie about it - it was weird for the first hour or so. The words coming out of his mouth weren't skype-delayed, it was amazing!

Now, it's just like normal, I've promised we'll never part that long again (almost 4 months).

Have any of you done the long-distance thing? How long?

How was it when you finally saw eachother again?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Date on the Milk Bottle

You know your Mr's close to arriving in France when...

Great retro milk carton pic from Neato Coolville.
  • The use-by date on the milk bottle is later than his arrival date.
  • The week's weather forecast includes the day that he'll be here.
  • The TV Guide shows what will be on once he arrives.
  • When it's quicker to give a postcard in person.
  • When you've caught a flu... and don't have enough time to be 100% healthy before he arrives.

P. is arriving into France tomorrow! I'm so excited! We've been counting down the days since I got here and tomorrow is the day, I couldn't be happier.

Although, as you read on the last dot point I've been a little sick (hence the blogging absence), but I have a feeling that by the time he steps off that train, I'll be all better!

Anything exciting coming up in your week?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"Butter. The Others Aren't Natural."

Another reason I love Switzerland; their government actually advertises butter.

Whilst other countries train stations are packed with warning adverts about "the perils of H1N1" (overhyped, but don't get me started), the Swiss are promoting the health benefits of beurre, our beloved butter!

The billboard I snapped in the Geneva train station. It reads "Butter. All the others aren't natural."

A long time advocate for butter over "low-fat, high-omega, flora, olive, chemical " spreads it was like Switzerland had just said those three special words that every girl wants to hear...

I love butter.

Now tell me, are you a butter fan?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Switzerland in Photos

Well I'm back from my Suisse trip, and what a great time I had.


Click on the collage to enlarge.

Click on the collage to enlarge.

Suisse - Cultural Observations;
  • The Swiss have a better level of street and town cleanliness than France do.
  • The Swiss people are more laid back than the French.
  • Most people who live in Geneva drive lovely cars; it's like a European car showroom on the street! (Porsches, BMW's, Mercedes etc...)
  • Prices for most things are a bit more expensive in Switzerland.
  • Their chocolate is yummy as are their cheeses (truffle cream brie, delicious!)
  • Their landscapes are breathtaking and untouched (Interlaken).
  • It isn't too cold during the day, their sun is strong, clear and beautiful.
  • It's really green in the countryside (Interlaken, Berne etc).
  • Their trains are very efficient.
  • The German they speak in some parts is different from "normal" German (they most commonly say "Merci" instead of "Danke").
  • I love it there and am planning my next trip as a skiing one when the Interlaken snow fields open up!
Tell me, how was your week & weekend? Have you started planning your next holiday? Share...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tagged: 9 Bizarre Facts About Me

Lovely Janis (who has a most fabulous up-and-coming blog) was kind enough to point the "tag" torch in my direction; I am very flattered.

So readers, here are 9 things about me that I hope you will find surprising:

Me and my guide flying over Interlaken, Switzerland (I really want to learn how to Para-glyde by myself!)
  1. I flew (para-glyded) over a beautiful town named Interlaken yesterday afternoon - it was amazing and I didn't get scared one bit.
  2. I lived in Singapore for the first five years of my life (but was born in Australia).
  3. I cannot have an evening without a pot of tea; incidentally I can't start the morning with anything else.
  4. I fall in love with pretty much each place I go to in the world. The exciting strangeness of all things new excites me.
  5. I just had a dinner of; chocolate, german biscuits, sesame biscuits and two apples - yes I have a mega sweet-tooth.
  6. I have many ambitions in life, sometimes I get so overwhelmed by them that I just think perhaps I'd be just as happy in life opening up a cute tea and cake cafe somewhere in the world...
  7. I really respect Marilyn Monroe, mostly because I love how she flaunted her curvaceous body. I really hate today's annorexic and overly adrodgynous female figure projected by the fashion world.
  8. I love TV! And I'm not ashamed to say so - I think people who don't own a TV and proudly declare this fact think they're too good for the real world.
  9. Around this time last year I was afraid to be in a "real" relationship - for fear of losing my independence. Now? I love being with "P." - and have not lost a shred of "me" but uncovered so much about my amazing Mr.
Now that's enough egoism for me - I'd love you all to tell me something about you, even if it's just one bizarre fact.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Part 2: What an Adventure!

Now I'm going to tell you the; What an adventure! side of the story.

Well I woke this morning at 5:40 am to catch my 6:43 am train to Lyon (then Lyon to Geneva).

Running down my street at 6:20 am I had a sinking feeling that the metro I was about to catch wouldn't get me to the train station on time.

My gut was right. So after missing my train and then rescheduling for 8 am (to Paris then Geneva) I was tired and cranky.

When I got to Gare de Lyon in Paris I took myself off for a lovely cup of tea and a few macaroons.... and the beautiful elixer and sugary-bliss restored my happiness.

Beautiful tea café I found near le Gare de Lyon; "Le Palais des Thés".

Then boom! Another glitch.

A few minutes before getting on my train for Geneva I looked down at my ticket. In the section where my seat number should've been printed it read "Place selon disponibilite". What the what!?

With a few minutes to clarify I went to the info box and asked the man if it really said what I thought it said...

Yes. It said seat available if any free - so basically I was standing with the bags until a seat came up.

I was annoyed, but for some reason just so grateful to be on the train to Switzerland that I really just thought it was funny.

A beautiful, sunny Autumn morning at le Gare de Lyon, Paris.

So the trip was eventful - I sat with others who'd last-minute booked their tickets too, on a pull down seat near the bags for the first half and in a real seat for the last part (which was the best part - such beautiful views pulling into this country!)

Now I'm in my room, using the hotel's free wifi (bless!), having a cup of vanilla tea and some madeleines. Faith once again restored. Will be great when I meet my friend tonight.

I felt instantly better when I walked down the street and saw this breath-taking view of the Jet D'Eau.

That was the first major train I've ever missed; and I'll don't think it will ever happen again.

What's the biggest mess-up you've had on a trip? With a little perspective were you able to laugh?

I already am! What an up and down day!

Copyright Disclaimer:

This blog is a tracking of my ramblings - however sporadic and "un-meaning" my works may be they are still mine (unless otherwise expressed), not yours! No works may be copied from this blog. All works on this blog; writings, photos and recipes must be referenced back to me.