Tag Archives: Paris

Epiphany in Paris

“I genuinely would recommend anyone going through a break-up to go on holiday as soon as they can,” I told a friend the other day. “It’s the best way to clear your head and make a proper stab at getting over everything.”

Paris was beautiful.
When I’d booked it back in January with The Bessie to coincide with the end of her first year as a teacher, I had no idea just how important it would end up being to me.
A week after I said goodbye to Him, I was on a plane to the most beautiful city in the world.

Paris had always been Our place.
The first night, myself and The Bessie sat on the steps of Palais de Chaillot as the sun began to set and waited for the Eiffel Tower lights to be turned on.
We amused ourselves by watching the rollerbladers perform stunts and tricks, in the same way I had watched skateboarders in the exact same spot with Him two years beforehand on our very first night together in Paris.
That was difficult.

However, as the sun beat down on us the next day, trips through the city to Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur started to clear some of the clouds from my brain.
As I skipped down the steep stone steps on the butte Montmartre, clutching a precious bottle of water I felt so far from my life that the pain eased and I felt positive for the first time in a long time.
Later that afternoon, I sat on the curb across from Oscar Wilde’s tomb after a walk around Pere Lachaise.
As I watched tonnes of people scramble to take a picture of the grave of a man whose work they probably never read, I thought about whether the flesh coloured tights I was wearing were too shiny or if I was getting away with faking ‘the natural look’.
Probably not what Wilde would’ve hoped for, but it was nice to be thinking about something as shallow as that after so many heavy thoughts.

A couple of days later, we travelled out to Versailles and after a gruelling walk in high temperatures that Irish people are just not made to survive in, we reached the home of Marie Antoinette – the Petit Trianon. It was possibly the most fascinating place I’ve ever seen in my life and we were both awe-struck and disgusted at how much money she pumped into creating the most unbelievable fairytale-like village.
I wanted to live there.

Every night, we visited the same restaurant I always went to with Him.
No break-up should stop you from getting the best pizza in the world.
I sat there wondering if the owners would recognise me from the other times I’d been there.
Mr Owner did not disappoint: “You’ve been here before, yes? Yes, I remember you. You look like Lily Allen.” Last summer, he told me I looked like Sophie Ellis-Bextor…neither comparisons are true, but I definitely preferred the original one.
On our last night, he presented us with large shots that tasted of Lemon Sherbet, after his wife removed our plates, chuckling at the fact I’d ordered the same pizza yet again.
“You are special,” he said to me. “You are one of the special visitors.”

I knocked it back and headed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to get one last look at the city that had stolen my heart.
Standing up there, with the wind whipping my hair in all directions, I watched the people around me – families, couples, friends, all smiling and happy.
American girls laughed as they tried to get every possible pose pictured with the Eiffel Tower behind them. I knocked into one of them as I tried to squish by their large group.
“Whoops! Sorry about that, “ I said.
“Omg, no,” she exclaimed, “that was so totally my fault”.
Smiling at her and waving off her apology, I nearly walked into the Japanese man who had walked up the long flight of stairs in front of me. He smiled apologetically and bowed.

I felt it would be nice to stay up here forever and just continue to have pleasant moments with complete strangers.
People are so lovely when they’re happy.
And that’s when it hit me.
We hadn’t been lovely to each other, because we weren’t happy.
It wasn’t the other way round.
I felt a surge of relief.
It wasn’t our fault.
We hadn’t caused it by doing something awful
We hadn’t done anything wrong.
We just didn’t make each other happy.
That was all.

I floated down the hundreds of steps and emerged from the structure feeling new and hopeful.
Everything was going to be okay.

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Filed under Daily Update.

Warm in your Dream

“Ok, it’s decided,” I announced to The Bessie, over brioche and cafe au lait at the patisserie down the road from our hotel. I’d been staring at the Arc de Triomphe and suddenly it was all clear to me.
“What?” she asked.
“My life,” I said, sipping my hot coffee. “I’ve decided what I’m going to do: I’m going to move to Paris and become a poor,struggling writer. I will compose a wondrous, but under-appreciated novel, that will become revered after my premature death and will be a beacon for generations to come.”

Wandering around endless Parisian streets, it seemed the only option for me.
Anything rather than go back to my dreary, crumbling life in Dublin.

How could I return to a large, cold, empty house in a country that seems to be constantly damp when I was standing in the most beautiful city in the world?

My imagination was coming alive.
I was coming alive.
So many colours, endless supplies of cafés and pastries, an abundance of picturesque avenues and life-changing events all seemed to be telling me I needed to do this.
I needed to be that crazy writer who ups and leaves her humdrum life to pursue the craziest and most fragile of her dreams.

The only problem was that I wasn’t that adventurous or crazy.
I wasn’t even a writer.

Back in Dublin a few days later, I sat eating fries in the same diner I’d been visiting for years.
My friend’s mother popped in for a second and told me she’d heard ‘what happened’ and that she was sorry.
She then proceeded to tell me that she’d been reading my blog and that  I should “write a book”.
I made my usual array of nervous jokes in the face of compliments I didn’t know how to take, but through it all her earnestness was really touching.
The urge returned and I found myself calculating how long I could survive in Paris with my measly savings, since I wouldn’t be able to get a job without having the language (which I have little chance of learning).

“You know,” I told my friend, “after the break-up, I tried to comfort myself by saying that being single would help make my blog a little more interesting. I thought I could be the next Carrie Bradshaw, writing about the complications of my newly-acquired relationships with strangers. It’s not really working out that way though. I’m not big on the random, drunk scoring of strangers and you can’t write an honest account of relations with a person you know, because they or their friends will end up reading it. It’s just mean.”

And so I’m back at Square One, although it feels like Square One-Minus-Five.
I’m living the uninspired life, because of a need to get by financially.
I’ll continue to drag myself into my dreary job, which isn’t just content with taking the 9-5 working hours, but leaves me too drained to function during the evenings.
Sure I’d love be daring like Hemingway or Fitzgerald (yes, I did go to see Midnight in Paris the other day) and experience Parisian life, while churning out great novels, but unfortunately, I’m a little lacking in their talent and so there are practicalities to consider.
But is that what makes a good writer?
Is that what it takes to write The Great Novel?
An utter belief in yourself and your ability, the daring to go for it, the willingness to live in poverty and the single-mindedness to never give up?

It does seem that way, but admittedly, a huge fortune could also help.
Maybe I’ll start doing the Lotto…

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Fantabulous Foto Friday

Hello Folks!
Hope you enjoyed the guest posts featured here over the last ten days!
Thanks again to the lovely ladies for helping me out!

My big move (ie: the reason I took the break) hasn’t happened, due to us realising what a HOLE of a place the house really was, so I’ve spent that last couple of weeks house hunting.
I’m feeling quite hopeful right now, because I think myself and The Boy may have struck gold, but I don’t want to jinx it so shhhhhhh.
😀

Anyway, May is going to be ker-ray-zay, between continuing the house hunt, actually moving, potentially welcoming two new kittens (eeeeeeee) and heading to Paris with The Bessie.

I’m going to give myself a break from blogging for the month.
I could keep trying to churn out posts, but they’d be all complete shite and you guys deserve better than that.

So I will see you all again at the start of June, when I will dazzle you with pictures and anecdotes and general hilarity.

Don’t forget me!
Love you all!
Hermia
oxox

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Filed under Daily Update., Fantabulous Foto Friday

Food Lust

I’ve spent the morning looking at hundreds of macaron recipes.
They look like tough little feckers to make, but I can’t afford to satisfy my cravings at Ladurée anymore ever.

Haven’t made desserts in a while so I may spend the next week warming up with simpler recipes like Panna Cotta.
I’m sure The Boy won’t complain about the sudden influx of pastries and pies as I practice!

Wonder if I’ll ever master my all-time favourites, Rose Macarons….

PS: I know of some job openings right now in Dublin for people who speak English and a second language!
It really is a great company to work for and if I was even remotely capable of speaking another language, I’d be all over it!
Mention in a comment here if you’re interested or email me if you’re worried about privacy (email on Contact page).

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Filed under Food

A Weekend in Paris: Attempt Number 1

I can’t remember the last time I procrastinated this much to avoid writing a post.
I don’t think I actually ever have.
My thesis holds my Longest Ever Proscrastinationing record, but this is definitely the Post Procrastination winner.
Dunno why…I’m just not super enthusiastic about writing about the Paris mini-break at the moment.
Because it was so shit…

….is what you are now thinking.
Ha ha ha, see what I did there!?
I crack me up!
*wipes tear*

Anyway the writer’s block is no reflection on the trip.
My brain is just in overdrive at the moment with all the moving stuff and planning for future kittens and coming up with decorating ideas and work stuff and everything…
*deeeeeeeep breaths*

Anyway it was a really nice weekend.
Even if it was raining quite a bit.
Although it wasn’t really a holiday to be honest.
It was a “The Boy has to see his sick granny” trip.
So there was no sight-seeing.
Or trips to our favourite restaurant for the best pizza in the world.
Or afternoon naps because we’re too warm and lazy to function.
Or getting lost.
Or buying Parisian souveniers.
Or hunting down carousels.

It was strange for us to be in Paris and not spend our entire time trying to fit in as many touristy sights as possible, but it was definitely the most French trip I have ever had to France.

*35mins later*
Yup………nothing’s happening.
Well there was a bit of writing, but I don’t have the energy to do the weekend justice right now.
So instead of forcing it, I’ll give it a shot again tomorrow.
Stay tuned for Take 2!

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Filed under Daily Update.

Fantabulous Foto Friday

First of all, I’m REALLY sorry for neglecting all you lovely people who have left comments on the blog over the last week.
I pride myself on visiting your blogs when you comment and also returning those comments, so I’m a little angry with myself right now.
It wouldn’t be a proper Chick Named Hermia post if I wasn’t over-dramatic.
*begins the self-flogging and hand-wringing*

Anyway, with being up in Belfast last weekend for the IBAs, viewing potential houses every evening and The Boy’s granny being in hospital, time has been scarce.
Actually thank you so much for all the well-wishing tweets and texts for his granny…she’s making nothing short of a miraculous recovery right now, so fingers crossed she keeps going in that direction.
I’m heading to Paris for the next few days to visit The Boy’s French granny, who is also sick right now so I’ll be MIA until next Tuesday.
And then I’ll be busy preparing for the big move into mine and The Boy’s first (rented) house.
Three bedrooms and a big garden: we won’t know what to do with ourselves!
I’m really excited!
When we moved into our apartment, it was perfectly decorated so we never got to do anything to make it really feel like home.
This new place looks like it belongs in the seventies though, so we’ll be shopping for paint and carpet and all sorts of home-making goodies.
I’m desperately in need of a creative project.
Plus, The Boy has bestowed one of the bedrooms on me so I can have my own little office.
*excited squeal*
This is in return for me allowing us to get a few sports channels.
Sweet compromise.

We haven’t signed anything yet, so hopefully nothing mental happens between now and next weekend when we had over the deposit that makes the landlady stop loving us…and by ‘us’, I mean The Boy…

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Filed under Daily Update., Fantabulous Foto Friday

Fantabulous Foto…

…Mondays!
For this week only, seeing as the Irish Blog Awards announcement took over Friday’s slot!
Plus prepare yourselves for three days of posts inspired by my spontaneous Solo Drinking on Saturday night!
😀
What’s on my mind today?
Macarons!
Roll on, Paris….I’ve missed you terribly…

10 Comments

Filed under Fantabulous Foto Friday, Food