Christmas

Paris at Christmas

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Paris is always a good idea

A couple of weeks before Christmas, Mark and I took a little weekend trip to Paris with his mum. It feels as though we are so often in Paris these days, but that is certainly no bad thing and Paris at Christmas time is always particularly lovely.

I love to see the Christmas lights, and the decorations in the department stores are so stunning. This year, the decorations and window displays at Galeries Lafayette were all made from paper and so were beautiful, sparkling white. The windows told the story of a family of polar bears who made the trip from the North Pole to see Paris, and who ran amok in every department of the store taking Miu Miu shoes, Chanel No 5 and all manner of other treats.

We also popped in next door to Printemps, where we stopped for tea under the dome, next to a rather more traditional tree! Our day of Christmas shopping was rounded off with a trip to Sephora on the Champs-Elysées, where I treated myself to a bottle of Yves Saint Laurent’s new perfume ‘Mon Paris’, as well as a couple of treats from Urban Decay (eyeshadow in ‘Backfire’) and Benefit (powder blush in ‘Sugarbomb’).

As Mark’s mum was with us, we also did a few more traditional touristy things. We visited the Sacré Coeur in beautiful winter sunshine, and decided on an afternoon boat trip down the Seine. We chose an hour’s cruise on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf, which took in the Ile de la Cité to the Eiffel Tower and everything in between. We were sceptical but it was surprisingly good fun and had some unexpectedly interesting moments, including the restaurant that was used as the model for the restaurant in the film Ratatouille!

On the morning before we returned home, we walked to Père Lachaise Cemetery. The whole place was bathed in glorious early morning sunshine and it was so quiet, so peaceful. We didn’t have a lot of time, and we’ve visited most of the famous graves on previous occasions, but we eventually managed to find Jim Morrison before it was time to head back to Gare du Nord and the Eurostar home.

Paris, tu es toujours dans mon coeur. A Bientôt!

 

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Not Going Out

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The Christmas festivities are drawing to a close and it’s back to normality this week. The past week and a bit have provided a wonderful bit of space to breathe and think, relax and enjoy.

Christmas this year began in Cambridgeshire, with the log burner blazing in the farmhouse and mulled wine on the stove. A frenetic Christmas Day with Mark’s family in St Ives (is Christmas with young children ever anything but frenetic?), Mark and I making a brief escape for a quiet walk as dusk fell. Boxing Day calm, and a walk through the village.

Then it was on to Bristol for the tail end, to see my family, to hang out on Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft, relax and write.

On New Year’s Eve I taught my mum how to make sweet potato chips, we all watched Star Wars, then toasted in the New Year with Champagne and the fireworks on the television. A quiet one really, but it’s how I like it. I’m not one for going out at the best of times.

Today I am on the sofa enjoying a final few hours of peace before the new year really kicks in. 2015 was a tough one, but I’m staying optimistic for the future months…