Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day

Now this isn’t some kind of a soppy post about how cute my day has been. But then again it isn’t one complaining about being single in one of the most traditionally romantic cities. I probably bought into all of the soppy romantic Valentine’s propaganda at some point in time, been conditioned into thinking that being alone on Valentine’s Day was some kind atrocity that no one could live through happily. This just isn’t true. I’m not going to have all of the card companies and chocolate and perfume companies try to tell me how to feel about my life. I’m perfectly content. Why should I be any different today than on any other day?
It really shocked me when I was at work how miserable L was that she was single for Valentine’s. Why should it matter? Surely it is better to not care about the consumerist spiel that gets dragged out every February. Why should people want to visit Paris too of all places? Because they have been told that it is a city of love. But is it? I see hundreds of homeless people on the streets who don’t get given a second glance. Is that love?
If you want to show your undying love for someone, why take them to a place that is so clich├ęd. Do they really not mean anything to you for you to take them to somewhere so unimaginative? Why not take them somewhere they might actually enjoy or somewhere they’ve always wanted to go? Why not take them anytime of the year? Do you have to be prompted into doing something romantic because the card shops have started putting up their posters? Is the 14th February really any different from any other day?
But if you’re single don’t moan about the fact you’re single- why does it matter? Don’t feel depressed about not having someone in your life right now. If you feel so bad about that then go out and change it. Or maybe it is a time for self-reflection? Isn’t being happy in yourself what you should strive for and not having a potentially meaningless relationship so that you can fit in on one day of the year? I know I started feeling a lot better about myself when I realised that just being me was the best thing to be. You wobble every now and again but that’s life.

Love to me is when J holds my hand of her own free will when we walk home from school. It’s having fun with friends. It’s doing something for yourself whether that’s eating something completely superb or listening to songs that make you feel good and singing your heart out in the shower. 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Educating Paris

As many of you might have guessed by now most of my entertaining anecdotes come from the two girls I look after as they are truly quite hilarious and no one really wants to hear about me deciding what kind of lentils to buy or how good at Pointless I am especially when a round about Paris come up.

Teaching English to two French kids might sound boring and hideously annoying which it can be but it also has some gems. Recently I have had some absolute classic “lessons” with them. It was interesting explaining to L that because the UK is an island I do live quite close to the beach. This absolutely shocked her and she thought that I was “on holiday all of the time” because I could go to the beach, I didn’t like to shatter her dreams and tell her West Kirby wasn’t exactly all fine white sand and surfing but rather more underage drinking and Calippos.

She also wasn’t particularly strong on her UK geography, so we had to get a map of Great Britain as she wasn’t 100% sure where Wales was….

We also had to clear up that HARRY POTTER, was BRITISH not AMERICAN. I almost went into full on nerd-mode but tried to stop myself from scaring her too much because she currently thinks I’m cool because we sit and she asks me about me about what kind of food I like and we chat about cake.

So far the girls haven’t necessarily learnt a whole lot of English from me but I feel like we need to work on basic British cultural knowledge, next on the cards eating Fish and Chips and talking about the weather..

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

My Wonderful Girls

L and J are truly hilarious. I’ve just got in from work and it was just too cute not to document. Their mum asked me whether I could babysit them on Friday night. I said I could but that there was something at university (can’t miss ULIP does Take Me Out, now can I?!) so the girls started trying to convince their mum to let me “go and live my life” and that they could look after themselves perfectly as long as they were given the code for the iPad. I think it is safe to say that I have allies in those two even if they are only 12 and 8!

When I was babysitting on Sunday night they had saved some of the crepes they made especially for me and we made menus for what kind of toppings we wanted to have on them. I think J might be the next Heston Blumenthal with her Comte, Tomato, Capers and Mint concoction! She seemed to like it even if I thought it was truly bizarre. I somehow managed to help L with her German homework on the same evening, who knew I could still remember all of the adjective endings? Certainly not me!