In recent years I have found February to be a real struggle emotionally. It’s like, you get through the seemingly endless and depressing January, and February seems like a welcome respite. But then it turns out to be just as cold and horrible and poverty stricken as January (thanks to the winter bloody heating bill) and you’re only two months into the year and already you’re wishing your life away. This is how last year went, and I was determined not to let this February be the same. This time last year I was still upset about a horrible disappointment at work, and lacking the confidence to do anything about it, and now I am in a much better place. I have started to get serious about applying for a better job and thinking about what I want my work life to be like, as well as starting to take my personal happiness more seriously. It’s one of the reasons why I have been sewing so much this year – it makes me happy! I’m also starting to think more seriously about how I can take the things that make me happy and apply them to my working life so to that end, I’m looking into a side-line of teaching sewing workshops. I'm still sorting out some of the details, but it’s potentially an exciting development, so watch this space!
Anyway, this is a very old outfit shot – from Sunday 3rd February. I can’t even remember what we did that day – I think probably something very exciting like grocery shopping and coffee with friends.
Another Eiffel Tower dress (Simplicity 2591), blue cardigan from H&M and Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes
In a quite frankly ridiculous fit of optimism when the snow melted at the start of the month, I packed away most of my heavier winter clothes and unpacked some of my Spring clothes – this dress included. I made this last May during my me-made-May challenge and I love the fabric and the dress, but often find it difficult to wear and it’s not as flattering as some of my other handmade dresses. I do adore it though, because I am just mad about Paris-themed dresses! I think I am gearing up mentally for our holiday in Paris at the end of April (which you’re all going to be totally sick of hearing about because I am just that damn excited about it) because I can’t stop looking at Eiffel-y fabric.
ELEGANT TO THE LAST
It might sound bizarre, but one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to going back to Paris is that I’m looking forward to coming home from Paris. I know that sounds a bit like WUT, but seriously! Nic and I went to Paris in June 2010 and had an amazing time. The weather was spectacular, we were staying in a beautiful little flat in Montmartre, it was romantic and exciting and utterly perfect. But coming home was SO HARD, and not just in your usual back-from-holidays-blues kind of way. I was suffering from depression at the time, and when I think about it now, I think I was able to enjoy Paris so much because it was the perfect break from the things that were making me so miserable at the time. Being across the sea from my problems, and being on holiday and therefore able to spend most of the time sunning myself and drinking wine was just what I needed – but of course, it didn’t solve any of the problems I was having at home, and coming back was truly horrible, and the subsequent summer was probably the most unhappy I have ever been. So it might sound a bit morbid to be talking about this now, but I’m looking forward to going somewhere lovely, enjoying myself, and then coming home and being able to enjoy the memory. I’m full of gratitude that I have a happier life than I did then. The funny thing is that the only significant thing that has changed since then is me.
Me outside the Cafe Saint Jean in 2010
Anyway, I’m going to fly my tourist flag high when I’m in Paris and bust out some of my best themed garments. On Sunday 10th February, I wore another Paris dress in honour of us having found accommodation in the city of light:
The Pursuit of Love dress (modified Colette Patterns Truffle dress) pink cardigan from H&M and pink shoes from Primark
Isn’t this dress just gorgeous? The darling Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones made this for me and it has become a firm favourite in my wardrobe. It has everything – Paris, shoes and sassy pin-up ladies. It must be fairly obvious from this ‘ere blog what makes me tick! Anyway, one of the fab things about this dress is that I can wear it with any colour, so on a rainy Sunday I paired it with a pink cardigan and these hideous-fabulous pink patent Mary Janes from Primark. Nic bought me these ages ago – having spotted the one lone pair left in the shop and seeing that they were in my size, he said he’d treat me – so then it was all the better when they rang through at half the price that was on the ticket. Hurrah!
The accommodation we’ve found in Paris is another flat in Montmartre. Self-catering is a good way for two vegetarians to enjoy Paris, I think. In 2010 we stayed on Rue Lepic, and it stole my heart – in no small part because our flat was right next door to Fromagerie Lepic and almost directly opposite both a jazz bar (Autour du midi…et minuit) and Café des Deux Moulins. We booked our apartment through Airbnb and initially were tempted by one on Rue Abbesses, which was the other Montmartre street that I fell in love with. However, the flat on Abbesses had too high a security deposit, so instead we’re staying a bit closer to the Sacre Coeur, in La Goutte d’Or. I think it’s a bit more shabby than shabby chic, but I’m excited. The apartment looks wonderful, we’re still close to the Butte. The nerdy part of me is excited that we’re staying in the part of Montmartre where Zola set L’Assommoir, which I’m re-reading in preparation.
I’m going to pull this rambly mess of a blog post together with two of my favourite ever photos. On our first visit to Paris in 2008, I couldn’t stop laughing at the fact that there is a company called Darty. I guess Darty is some sort of electrical retailer, but that didn’t stop me from finding the name hilarious.
And here's me, in a classic blogger pose - in front of the Eiffel Tower with a Laduree carrier bag. SO FRAWNCH. Where are the breton stripes? What? Shut up!
Ah, MEMORIES. Au revoir, suckas!