Friday, July 29, 2011

Do over, getting on with it, letting stuff go

Just a little update ... well, not to say that I haven't actually been blogging.  I have. I just haven't felt like sharing outloud.  Having the desire to write and the urge to put it out there come from two entirely different places.  I guess the superstars of blogging, which I am most obviously not, have the consistent urge to do both.

BUT, I at least did want to POST once more before the month is over to say unequivocally "NO, I have not  forgotten or even ignored my blog or you or whatever".  I have thought about posting what I consider to be relatively interesting thoughts, experiences and pictures, but was feeling a little reclusive.   A touch possessive of my life.  Hell ya might even say, snobbish. AND, in truth, the month of July has been a little overwhelming.  We had THREE guests here - in a row.  Four days, six days and five days. 

After the extra toothbrushes left, I sort-of had to recover my space.  I have been on a reorganizing and decorating bender.  A superior blogger would have captured each room in gorgeous lighting as each space evolved to something suitable for Apartment Therapy.  I have a few shots though and so when it is all said and done, I might be able to make some sort of a montage.  But I can assure you, this gray weather (city of light MY ASS!) the lighting will be hideous.  But here is one before/after of Sabine's room as it is now called.  More to come.

So, beyond just wanting to repaint the living room (after more than two years of living with this stark white room), I am blabbing on about it endlessly to Hicham to convince him that this needs to happen and soon.   Sometimes, (a hem) I have ideas that come and go, but when I continue to be charged up for a sustainable amount of time, he will get behind it.  Thing is, painting is a hassle and painting a rental apartment that has to be repainted again before leaving is a fool's errand.  Thing is though, I have always embraced the title of the fool with glee.  Hell, I painted the bedroom red and orange, the bathroom vanilla (though unfortunately it is more yellow than creamy white).  So what why not go whole hog and just keep going? Sage green?  Mauve? Taupe?  Oh we shall see.

We are also slowly but surely ridding ourselves of furniture that Hicham's family generously gave us before I got here.  So, of course, because it was here and we didn't have any money (renting apartments in France is cost prohibitively high), we just used it.  Then became complacent as it worked, even if it was sort-of ugly.   This would also be the time to pontificate on how obtaining furniture is (of course) more complicated in France.  Note, I didn't say more difficult, I said more complicated.  I guess that should be a given since my French abilities make even the most mundane thing often times mind bogglingly complicated.  But, I am not going to.  I won't also now enumerate on how French standards of time or service or enthusiasm levels often clash with the American in me.  I just don't feel like it.  (See, I am becoming French).

But I will say, that I have been giving away stuff stuff stuff.  Even stuff I like and want to keep, but know that making a less cluttered environment will be good for us all.  That philosophy is keeping the momentum going.  Two solid oak wooden chairs, free and gone.  One solid wood Ryder toddler bike, free and gone.  One red, velvet gorgeous red sofa, 100 euros and gone.  lamps, clothes, toys, desks, books, linens, gone gone gone.  I am not at the minimalist living stage yet, but closer to never asking, "Do you know where my ____is?" ever again. 

Finally, I have been nurturing some local friendships.  For a while there, after watching cool friends come and go (y'all know who you are), I took a bit of a friendship making hiatus.  Recently though, I have been hanging out with other "lifer mamas".  These are women who fit a similar profile to me: English speaking ex-pat married to a Frenchie with a toddler.  Of course, one is leading the pack by being pregnant with baby number two.  And you know what they say about pregnancy: it is an epidemic.  That is not to say that a few of my friends have no children or more than two already (y'all know who you are too).

Oh yeah, and speaking of being a mom.  Yeah, I fucking love it.  Sabine is awesome.  More on that next time.

on the bus.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Solidays Music Festival review and pictures

How five days has passed is NOT beyond me!  Life has been exciting and harried at the same time.  Where to start?   What to say?  Well, okay, first we will start with the best weekend ever!  In fact, I think last weekend just deserves it's own post and certainly it's own title.  I will have to do separate posts for the other stuff.  In a word: SOLIDAYS.  In two: SOLIDAYS ROCKS!

Jon Butler trio (heart)

really cool guy at show

HIV and AIDS infomercials before the shows. 

My first artsy shot

There were five stages, this one was the biggest.  That is Morcheeba (maybe)

Artsy shot number 2

Hicham loving Italian Ice cream

me... looking a little greasy from shaking my groove thing

Hard to fathom just how big this disco ball really was

Non-profits area

The famous WWF panda following Sabine

Sabine hanging at the kid zone for a couple hours, ear protection

Solidays is a three day and ALL night long music festival PLUS.  Many hundreds camp there.  Our apt is about a 15 minute walk to the place, so we got to sleep in our bed but still felt like we were out of town because we were always at the festival or at home.  Let's just begin with the obvious appeal first.  They include: John Butler Trio, Israel Vibration, Moby, Morcheeba, Stromae, Alice Russell, Alpha Blondy, Raggasonic, Yael Naim, Asian Dub Foundation, Charles Bradley, Seun Kuti, Aloe Blacc and many, many more. 

It is also a huge fundraiser to help people living with HIV in Africa.  It is to help them live, not to do research.  There was a lot of awareness raising at the festival as well.

There is just so much more to say about Solidays, but I am going to at least post the pictures, which hopefully will tell a thousand words... and go to bed.  It was really an amazing festival, super well-organized, great vibes, great energy and well, the music was wonderful!