Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Hey everyone,

I knocked up this video for Christmas. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Let's hope 2007 has good things in store for us all.

James

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Panorama from Sacre Coeur over Paris - Winter

Luke and Kath hit Paris

It was great to have Luke and Kath to stay with us this week. Luke was stopping off after his internship in New York and Kath after having spent some time sussing out the life of a Washington foreign correspondent for the abc.
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We managed to sneak in some outdoor ice skating in front of the Hôtel de ville, some Chinese food (a very traditional French meal), a walk around montmatre (obligatory), a beer in the Marais, some really nice home cooked dinner conversations, shopping at Z(th)ara and a trip to the Rodin Museum. More than the things we did however, I can say that for my part, it was just great to have some friends here with whom I have already shared a past and to whom I could show my present.
When you're in a foreign society, I find you have no real sense of perspective, no "standards" to compare yourself and everyone else to. Everything is new, so you have to take it all at face value. You can't judge or stereotype people because all the stereotypes that you have grown up with ( your key indicators "What school did you go to? What are you studying? Where do you live? Phillip Ruddock is cool - Discuss") no longer exist, or at the very least, are different. Having Luke and Kath here gave me, for the first time, something to compare myself to, that is, the me that I was with them in Sydney. Having them here made me realise that I have "changed", or perhaps less melodramatically, "adapted" to my life in Paris since leaving Sydney.
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On the way to Charles de Gaulle airport to pick Kath I remember thinking that 10 years ago I met Kath during rehearsals for the school musical Oliver! and now we were meeting up in Paris for a few days. That's the great thing about old friends. You grow together through a shared history. Bring on the future and many more such friendships.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

NEWSFLASH: Walabies' problems answered!

Finally managed to convince Cecile to come along and take some photos of me playing rugby. As you can see, it wasn't the best day to convince a girlfriend to come and stand on the sideline and watch her boyfriend run around in the mud. Having said that, we did have a cheer squad of "Assoiffantes".The team is called Les Assoiffés which roughly translates to "the thirsty ones". It's a french team, which is great. I really enjoy it. There's a great atmosphere in the team because we train and play hard, but at the end of the day, everyone is having fun. If you looking for me in the photos, I'm wearing white headgear and am playing second row. You should be able to make me out in the lineout. We're the team in red and green.

I've been playing with Les Assoiffés since I got here. Best moment so far would have to be me, ball in hand, driving over the try line and, not realising where I was, forgetting to ground the ball, instead presenting the ball to the halfback like any diligent forward, only to have the ref call "held up". Funnily enough the guys in the team haven't yet let me forget that incident.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cecile's Christmas Party

Last Friday night Cecile had a chirstmas party at here parent's apartment. Her reindeer ears were possibly the most popular thing on the night. She wore them with pride. More photos were taken of the party later on in the night but they probably shouldn't be posted if I intend to have any sort of future career...

No, in all seriousness, I'm pretty sure I had everything under control.... and that's exactly what I told the policeman who arrested me trying to climb the eiffel tower.

(The above joke, commonly known as the "turned out, I was!" or the "in and away" or "Warney's tap dance" is copyrighted by Tom Gleisner and every single Warrick Todd book he has ever written. Seriously. Every... single... page.)

My Favourite Song #2


Yo everyone.

Was watching an episode of Grey's Anatomy the other day and heard this eerily beautiful guitar riff. I looked up the song on itunes... Unfortunately I can't post it here due to copyright. So can only give you the name. But it's well worth a listen. An oldie but a goodie.

Live and Learn - The Cardigans

What are you listening to at the moment?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Songs that fit the mood... sort of


Some sad news for the Pender family in the last few days. This song by 78 Saab has been on constant repeat on my ipod.

"Did you get too much to wallow in?
Did you get too much...
We'll all get by."

Yeah.

A felt compelled to write something...



Well... great title James! Way to inspire people. Been a while. Sorry for the lag in posts. What I've basically been doing recently has invoved a lot of french classes, a lot of walking around paris, and a lot of "thinking about the future".

It's strange how when we are occupied, when we have littl time to do the things we want to do, all we can think about is that if we had more time we would be able to take those guitar lessons, learn to salsa, study the stock exchange harder (what? I'm trying to cater to everyone's needs here). But when it comes down to having time, or perhaps a little too much time, I have been finding myself a little guilty, as if I should be doing something with my life... strange to say that coming from a guy learning french in paris while living with his girlfriend. Why are we never satisfied?

I was talking with a french mate here, Nicola, who was heading off to Bolivia for a month with his girlfriend. I flippently said to him, "wow, a month in Bolivia, now that's exciting!" He looked at me calmly and said, "shjames, you're in Paris! That's exciting!" I was a little ashamed to appear to be such a spoilt brat. But I guess it was a sign that, a city that two months ago was wholly daunting, foreign and undiscovered, is slowly becoming less so. I'm starting to feel more at home.

I feel I have discovered some great things about living Paris. A wonderful cafe called Fuxar nearby with wireless internet and great view over a quiant little church, the knowledge that around any corner you are likely to find a street you've never been down with a shop/museum/bar/park you never knew about, Mrs Bordes' cooking, sunday morning croissants in bed in front of a dvd, random vegetable and meat produce market streets, an efficient public transport system, art exhibitions, friday night freebies for under 26yr olds at the louvre, the joy of wearing a coat when it's really cold, the joy of seeing the sun when you have forgotton what it looked like, and lastly the satisfacion that comes from communicating with someone in their native language...
Top: I have no idea why I posted these photos.

Above: I was taken to this cafe on top of the le Centre Pompidou modern art museum/library building by a friend of Cecile's. It was great. And yes, it does look like I'm having a date with myself. I didn't quite understand the roses... but the view more than made up for it. Get ready Lukie.

Below: I took this photo about two streets from our place. That's the sacre coeur in the background.