In My Blogroll

Okay it’s Monday, but I’ve been playing catch-up with posts and had this one left over from last week. I know, I’ve really no excuses for my tardiness. Well, here’s the ten things that made me happy this week regardless!

1. The reopening of Shakespeare and Co: Know the way you never appreciate the luxury of having something until it’s gone? That’s exactly how I felt with Shakespeare and Co. It was closed for all of January due to renovations and, although I see absolutely no difference in the place, I’m delighted it’s new and improved and back open! I popped in yesterday to buy a copy of Ulysses because in fairness, if you’re going to buy the book it might as well be from the (modern equivalent) shop that published it!

2. The Eye of Brassi Photo Collection: The photos all over this post are samples from the Brassi Collection showcased in Hotel de Ville at the minute. It’s a free exhibition (though be prepared to queue) and it shows Paris at it’s best during the 1920s. The most remarkable thing about the exhibition, in my opinion at least, is that nothing changes in Paris bar the people. The gardens, the monuments, the streets and the elegance of the city – it all stays exactly the same despite the fact that the photos were taken almost 100 years ago. There’s something beautifully reassuring about that. I loved it.

3. Cinema Trips: We’ve still trying to make our way through the Oscars list and now I can add Wolf on Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave to the ticked list! For me 12 Years a Slave wins out – the film was brilliant. Steve McQueen excelled with this one and Chiwetel Ejiofor gives an unbelievable performance. They all deserve every bit of success they get from the film.

4. Isobel’s Birthday: My wonderful friend and Joycean partner-in-crime Isobel had her birthday celebrations this weekend! Hours were spent by Daire and Orla on perfecting lasagne for the occasion. It was delicious. We then headed out to the Oberkampf area to finish the night off on the dancefloor. We all had such a brilliant night. Now we’re celebrating her actual birthday this evening with a jazz band and a bit of poetry. Should be on next week’s Things That Made Me Happy list!

5. Our Sunday Morning Reading Group: Even though we’ve only started it, we’re thoroughly enjoying this reading group we’ve started on Sunday mornings. There’s very little that would persuade me to get up early on a Sunday morning but this is certainly worth it. The conversations over croissants and coffee in the place detract significantly from the horrors of early weekend starts.

6. Poetry Evenings: Every Monday in the basement of  the Chat Noir (yet another haunt of ours in the Oberkampf area) the Spoken Word gathering takes place where a small English speaking community gather to swap stories, poetry, songs and readings. I’m delighted to say that we’re becoming regulars. The people we’ve met there seem so lovely and I genuinely can’t think of a better thing I could be doing with Monday nights here!

7. The Market Exhibition by Mark Curren: Here in the Centre Culturel Irlandais we have a new exhibition being showcased. I went to it on Saturday and found that it gives an unusual insight into the world of stock brokering. One of the women attending the exhibition told me she knew the photos were of bankers before she even read the discriptions. She said it was all in the eyes. I’m afraid I wasn’t half as perceptive, but I enjoyed the inclusion sounds, film, desks and reports to give the installation more substance and interaction than mere photos. Well played Mr Curren.

8. Karen’s Birthday: Okay so this will have to fit in here despite the fact that it was over a week ago. I have to include it because it certainly has been a thing that made me happy and I guess it did overflow into this week in the form of recovery days. Karen had her birthday celebrations both at her house and in Alimentation Generale in town. We’ve been to the place so often that we’ve since nicknamed it Ali-G… so from here on in, that’s it’s new name forever more amen. Karen also took us to Comptoire Generale, a self-proclaimed “Ghetto museum” bar in town. I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THE PLACE AND HAVE VOWED TO BECOME A REGULAR. Yes, block caps were necessary. It was an amazing place and I really need to get my act together and do a review of it for the blog. It’s pending, I swear it’s pending.

9. Chocolate Biscuit Cake: I’ve almost lived off it for the past two days and sadly we finished the cake today. It was amazing. I need to discover a recipe for it, Isobel’s friend Ruth had made it for her birthday and thankfully there was a whole load of leftovers for us to nom on for days afterwards. I recommend all have biscuit cake on a near weekly basis. Some things are too good to be eaten in moderation.

10. Being Taught French By an 8yr Old: I babysit the cutest three girls on Wednesdays and Friday evenings and this week they spent an age showing me just how flawed my accent is when I speak French. As amusing as it was being taught to speak French by an 8 year old and her 5 year old twin sisters, it was also incredibly beneficial. I think Tess had a bluntness in her description of my accent that no French tutor would ever dare try..

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