Archive for December, 2011

Bonne Annee: Let’s Play!

Mini grand piano

A friend gave me a set of “nanoblocks” for Christmas.

Nanoblocks are described as the world’s smallest toy building blocks. (Check it! My sunglasses next to the finished piano in the pic offer a size comparison).

I had mentioned I wanted a piano, so my friend thought this would be a good start.

My new piano amidst festive cards

He was right!

There was something infinitely pleasing about quietly fitting these micro pieces together for no other reason than it was fun (geek alert!)

I’ve decided my only new year’s resolution is to play more. Sure, goals are important and can serve as good motivators. But I’m convinced that incorporating more freeform play into my life will help me reach my goals.

Counterintuitive?

I don’t think so.

One of my collages when I went on a brief collage kick

Continue reading ‘Bonne Annee: Let’s Play!’

Unconventional Christmas

A 'green' Christmas tree made of plastic bottles

Hello friends,

I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of warmth and good cheer.

Mine was laid-back but lovely.

On Saturday I finally went to Angelina to try their famous hot chocolate. I was tickled to be a tourist in my adopted city for Christmas – what better time? Angelina has a grand dining room and the hot chocolate does not disappoint.

Next I strolled from the Tuilieres to the Marais where my friend and I grabbed a falafel.

Yes, my Christmas Eve dinner was a falafel from a Rue des Rosiers joint. As we sat eating our falafels on a stoop (classy all the way), we remarked this was the fun of being an expat, especially during the holidays: no rules. No expectations. You make it up as you go.

Continue reading ‘Unconventional Christmas’

Mon Pays et Paris

The Friday before Christmas Eve – woo-hoo!

Just thought I’d share my version of holiday music. I’m no caroler, but this puts me in a certain kind of spirit.

J’ai deux amours: mon pays et Paris, the song says. “I have two loves: my country and Paris.” Ain’t that the truth.

I do sometimes feel stretched across the great Atlantic. Family and friends gathered together back in the States; I miss them from here. But I also feel like I am home. Home in Paris. Why limit love? Love is meant to be big and generous and open-hearted and deep. How great to have two loves.

Mon pays et Paris.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Guest Post: A Tale of Two Winter Cities (London and Paris Events and Festivals)

Window Display at Galeries Lafayette

Somehow I thought staying here for the holidays would ease the tension of this time of year. I’m not not traveling during peak season. There’s no panic of last-minute Christmas shopping.

Window display at garden store Truffaut

But ease the tension? Yeah right!

I think it’s just the nature of December that elicits a certain measure of stress: days grow shorter and colder, the year is careening to its end. We’re checking our lists twice. What have we done with 2011? And are we ready for the New Year?

So yes, I’m staying put in Paris, but I feel busy just the same. That’s why I was relieved when I received an offer of a guest post this week. Yay – someone else will write the content! Gives me just a wee break.

I was also happy to see the subject pitched as Paris and London, two lively winter cities. It helps give me some perspective when all I think as I make my way through the streets is gray, rain, and cold: brrr!

Actually, it’s a beautiful time of year in both these cities, even if it is chilly. London also seems to keep popping up on my radar; I think a trip on the Eurostar may not be too far in my future.

For now, enjoy Leah’s guest post. I hope you’re staying sane as we wind up the year.

Enjoy time with family and friends!

Cheers,
Sion

"Londres" (London) window display in Paris

Continue reading ‘Guest Post: A Tale of Two Winter Cities (London and Paris Events and Festivals)’

***Giveaway!*** ‘The Discovery of Jeanne Baret’

What do we ask of a book? That it offers escape? Adventure? Teaches us something new? Transports us to a different time and place? Makes us feel wonder at the human experience?

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe promises to do all those things.

I had never heard of Jeanne Baret, the daughter of illiterate French peasants who, in 1766, disguised herself as a teenage boy in order to join the first French expedition to sail around the world.

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only one. Jeanne Baret’s accomplishments have mostly been lost to history – until now. Author Glynis Ridley played historical detective and meticulously pieced together the intriguing story of this remarkable woman.

I’m pleased as punch to be able to give away TWO FREE COPIES of this book – consider it my little holiday present to two lucky readers.

Glynis is the tenth author I’ve invited onto the blog as part of my interview series. To mark this ‘decade’ of posts, I’ve asked Glynis herself to tell us a bit about her book. (And to be honest, I hardly knew where to begin with the questions! The role of women in 18th century France? The birth of botany? The tale of disguise?)

As this is a Paris blog, I’ve asked her to give us a taste of Jeanne Baret’s experience here. I have only just started diving into Glynis’ book, but can already tell it is expertly researched and an elegant narration of a truly fascinating subject. As you can see by her guest post below, she packs in a lot of information.

As for Jeanne Baret’s full story, you’ll just have to read the book. Details about the giveaway at the end of the post!

Continue reading ‘***Giveaway!*** ‘The Discovery of Jeanne Baret’’

Quick Poll: Subway Poetry?

"Published" in the metro station

I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit by taking care of lots of administrative tasks (insert sarcasm here).

On my way to one of my errands, I got off at the Saint Ambroise metro stop and paused as I was bit surprised: I was reading the stairs.

Getting a little vertigo trying to read the poem as I walk up the steps

Living in New York and then Paris, I’ve always noticed the poems they sometimes place in the subway cars. I hadn’t gotten off at the Saint Ambroise station in awhile, though, so I’d never seen the poem “published” on the actual steps before.

Do you think this is an honor for the writer or kind of sad? I guess I like the idea, but with the graffiti and general grubby feelings I get underground, I wasn’t sure whether it was actually cool. What do you think?

Que Veux-Tu? (Most Random Video Ever?)

Granted, I don’t watch a lot of music videos anymore, but this has to be one of the most random I’ve ever seen.

Happy Monday, folks. Have a great week.

Throw off the coils of self-consciousness and dance everywhere!


paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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