Thursday, 13 November 2014

Balkan Dreams

I'm back and my key isn't orking, so e could be here for a hile. 

I could copy and paste w to the front of all those words, like I'm doing now, but I think for (the admittedly small) comedy value I will leave them as they are.


There are a lot of bloody w's in the English language, aren't there? Maybe it would be quicker to type double-u instead of copying and pasting each time... It is! But double-uould that be extremely hard to read?


Yes.


Oh my god. I am such an idiot. why don't I just write the whole blog post (how many ws??) first, then go back when I've finished and add the ws? Don't expect any capital ws though...


Sigh.

Yes, I'm stalling for time.

I don't even know where to begin catching up (in my head I sounded like Audrey Hepburn then), so I will start with some notes I jotted dowwith the intention of blogging about them.

new TV- distration directly into brain

taking away everybody's fingerprints to stop identity theft

Hmm, I don't think they where things to blog about, I think they were actually just my ideas for sci-fi short stories set fifty years from now/predictions for the future that will come true. Maybe I should write them all down here so that when they come true I can wave them about and bathe in my glorious correctness. After all, I predicted the see-through toaster and the rising popularity of cloaks - I clearly have a gift for knowing which way the wind is blowing... 

Here are some other forecasts that will probably come to pass tomorrow or if not maybe next Sunday:


1) More and more western girls will sell their virginity on ebay, until a neweb site comes out called Vbay. It will become a right of passage and girls who don't save their virginity will be unable to pay their way through university. (I think we're all glad I never sat down and tried to stretch these two sentences into a short story.)


2) There will be bouncy castles with goldfish swimming in them, or maybe tropical sea creatures. (I told this to Lauren when we were about 19 and to be honest, I'm not sure I still wholeheartedly believe it will come true.)


3) There will be a Twitter for thoughts, where you publish ThoughtStreamz and people can listen to them in their heads.


4) Hipsters will start making their own chocolate in some kind of warehouse, from cocoa beans grown in the Forest of Dean.


Ok. The other things I've jotted do
wn are:


Darlington, don't want to go to Darlington - I think this is pretty self-explanatory.


Russell Brand, rich irrelevant, rich people no problems but shouldn't mess in other's affairs - I think I wrote this after reading an interviewith Russell Brand I read where he told people not to pay their mortgage or their council tax... NICE ONE DICKHEAD. 


what did he say that for?? People who don't pay their mortgage or their council tax end up in a lot of debt and a lot of trouble and on the streets. I know Russell Brand used to be a heroin addict and probably lived in scummy housing, but he doesn't anymore. It's like telling people to jump off a cliff into the sea and abseiling along next to them, safely locked in. 


I have nothing against the Super Rich, but it's not appropriate for them to become involved in the lives of the Very Poor, anymore than it is appropriate for a man from Blackpool called Mad Snookerball Gazza to receive the Iranian ambassador at Buckingham Palace - he just wouldn't know what to do, his skill set lies elsewhere.


Blog: Balkan Beats - wanted to write about this because it was the funnest night ever, but almost too fun. we actually had to leave too early as we were exhausted from throwing ourselves around like wild things. (Claire actually told me to stop dancing at one point, because she said my hair as all over the place and my eyeliner was all over my face and I was dancing like an insane person.) It as seriously the best music night I've been to for ages. They played the balkan beats verson of Hava Nagila and me Claire and Jen crossed our arms like a chair for B to sit on and then we threw her up and down like she as a Jewish bride.


I'll leave you with it now but I must warn you - it's an acquired taste. I put it on in the office last week and absolutely everyone hated it apart from one French, who asked me who the DJ was because he said it's his favourite genre of music.


Before I go, let me remind myself of what's left to talk about:

My nana is on the mend (she's allowed to eat and drink now, almost two months earlier than they originally said)...

Kate Bush...


BERLIN...


and The Best Dream I Ever Had In My Life.

They say other people's dreams are boring (not for me, I'd like to add) but this blog is, after all, just a personal record of my self-absorbed life and I need to remember that dream - all day I was mooning about it - so I might as well sum it up here, while I remember.


It was the kind of dream I would write if they invented a technology for us to program our own dream: a cross between a chase dream;  the recurring dream I have here every country in the world is in one small place along one coastline; Blade Runner; Memories of Matsuko; and a romantic costume drama. There was so much detail - the pretty futuristic city by the sea, 


I remember looking at myself dreaming from somewhere deep inside my mind and telling myself not to forget all the detail when I woke up. There were different areas of the city,with different architecture and a different atmosphere - from the crumbling old town to the slick black business district. There were flying cars and pastel buildings and towers in the sea not far from the coast, huge open windows, leading into spacious studios with conveyor belts and giant mattresses inside, everything pink and yellow... It's sounding a bit like Mr Blobby meets the Terminator but it was nothing like that...




Sorry, I know other people's dreams are boring. You can have a dance now.




PS. Guess who's shares are down by 38%? American Apparel. Their sales of offensively-advertised shit have gone down and they've "recorded the biggest loss in 4 years". Amy will be pleased to hear that, all the way in Australia! I can't remember the site I got these figures from, but that's the internet for you - untrustworthy as ever (Google it if want to see for yourself).


Friday, 17 October 2014

Foxy

Spot the difference:

Blade Runner (image from here)

La Defense


Bloody hell. This morning my eyes snapped open at 7am. I threw back the covers to discover I was fully-dressed, still wearing my jumper, jeans and socks- the lot. I'd also gone to sleep with my bedroom light on.

I was only supposed to meet Jen for a one drink after wor, then her French friend from work showed up and it turned into a few drinks. When we got out of the pub it was raining really hard and all the buildings around us were black. It really reminded me of Paris- I KNOW I KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT BUT LISTEN- that dark heavy sci-fi rain that would fall on La Defense as I looked out Georgie's window, or sat in Julia's car as she drove round the périphérique.

Jen looked at my face, "Are you crying??" she asked and I was- proper bawling my eyes out and I hadn't even noticed. It was that ridiculous drunk crying that has no rhyme or reason and I stopped as soon as I realised what I was doing. Me and Jen both got the tube to Bank and after saying goodbye to Jen and getting on my next tube, I was calm and content. I even tried to drunkenly read my book.
(I love it when you are really, really drunk and can still manage to read a book- your confused brain makes everything in the book seem crazily real.)

But when I got off the tube I started again- I got off the main road and onto an empty stretch of road and just started crying hysterically as the rain soaked me through, like I was in playing a crying girl in a cheesy comedy. 

I got home and just lay on the floor sobbing, then apparently went to bed in all my clothes. I don't remember going upstairs.

Jen gave me one of her tablets for vertigo, because I told her I've had a couple of incidents where I've been really dizzy for no reason and she said it sounds vertigo. Maybe it was the tablet that turned me into a hysterical mess. I was crying, but at least I wasn't dizzy.

I feel a bit crackers to be honest. I want to be calm and full of peace, warm and light with no room for anything else.

I have started doing yoga with my cousin Sophie- so far I have only been to two classes. The first week we went we got chased by a fox- at first we were pleasantly surprised to see a fox strutting about at half six in the evening, then it started running so we panicked and started running and it kept chasing us.

Maybe it was just running in the same direction as us, because it dove off into an alleyway before it got to us, or maybe it wanted to savage our legs and ankles and drag us back to its fox cave- you decide.

I've always wanted to do yoga. Some of the poses make me shake like an old man and some of them just make me laugh- keep holding your legs in the air and now lower them very slowly so your knees are by your ears and your feet are on the floor behind you K THEN.

The class is in a strange dance studio/workshop/flat in a warehouse. People live and work there, building their homes around them from scaffolding and recycled wood. I would quite like to live somewhere like that but I don't think they would want to live with someone who works in advertising. 

THIS REMINDS ME. My trip to Paris that I keep dragging out... I will just finish it off now, quickly. Me and Julia were walking down the street wondering what to do when she noticed boxes of vegetables in the street. We were debating whether they were there to take or not, when a man came of what we thought was an empty shop and told us to take them. He also asked us if we wanted free coffee, so we went inside and he told us they were a squat cafe community project thing.

We spent an afternoon there talking to the two guys about writing and art- Julia told them she was an artist and I told them I was a writer, but then I mentioned how I work in advertising and the two guys mockingly hissed and made signs of the cross against me.

Anyway. That was that. I got the coach back to London later that day and had just enough time to have a shower and get dressed before going straight to work. I wasn't sad to leave Paris at all, because it was my birthday that day and it was lovely.

That was AGES ago now. I can't believe it was over three months ago.

Enough with the past- here's something exciting. On Saturday I am going to Balkan Beats and I AM SO EXCITED and then in a few weeks I am going to Berlin.

Kimono Kaity who I have mentioned a couple of times is my secret friend, who nobody else has ever met. We were saying the other day it's quite nice to have a friend like that, almost like we are each other's imaginary friend. (I know what you're thinking and I'm pretty sure she's not my imaginary friend, I'm not that crackers.)

She left London to move to New York and now she's back and moving to Berlin, which is very exciting for her but also exciting for me because I'm going to go and stay with her at the end of this month.

In the meantime, if are dubious about the chasing fox read this article- they really do hurt people! They're not scared of humans anymore, it is literally a waiting game to see how long before they really start acting batshit crazy and tearing the city up, just because they can.

The fox that I saw with my cousin had a strangely human face as well, there was something uncanny about it.

By the way my cousin Sophie is leaving London- her and her boyfriend are moving up North. I guess most people leave eventually but I don't think I will ever leave, unless I move back to Paris. That is the last time I will mention Paris I promise (let me clarify that I absolutely do not promise). From now on it's all about Berlin, ja?









Thursday, 9 October 2014

Leaping About

Listen- in my last post, I didn't mean that if I put on weight I wouldn't be able to take my clothes off in the bedroom and leap about in front of other people*. I was just thinking about it then and realised I might sound like one of those girls who goes OH GOD I'M SO FAAAAAT when they're just a normal size.

I just meant, you know... everybody has a size they feel comfortable at and you know when you've been eating a bit too much and have gone past it and you don't particularly feel like leaping about, with or without your clothes on.

Anyway.

Last Friday I did some leaping about with my clothes on- and when I say leaping I mean disco-dancing- to Pychemagik, they're really, really fun.



*Maybe that's why nobody will come into my boudoir, because word has gotten out about all the leaping. 

Duck Fatty

It is suddenly so cold outside, blustery and dark. I just want to watch TV dramas (Glue on E4 is surprisingly good) and read my book in bed, with the rain hammering on the window (I'm reading Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel and it's soooo good- I wish Europe was as small as it was in Henry VIII's time, so I could skip to Paris, Antwerp and Venice whenever I felt like it, selling silks and sweetmeats and maybe meeting rough and ready pirates* on my travels).

I feel so autumnal, like a baked potato made of golden leaves, with a pumpkin-flavoured sausage nestled inside.

Or maybe just the sausage, to be honest.

It seems that the collective menfolk of London have voted in secret and the unanimous decision is thanks, but they would rather not see what's underneath my clothes. So I may as well fatten up for Christmas.

I bought a new bra for the first time in years the other day and I had to buy it in a bigger size means either:
a) I have been wearing the wrong bra size all this time
b) the consequence of my decision to roast vegetables in duck fat rather than olive oil has manifested itself in both (thankfully not just one of) my boobs
c) I am carrying a secret Jesus baby and my breasts are full of magic milk.

The thought of magic milk has just made me feel SICK so let's hope the answer is a) or b). If I'm honest I hope the answer is a) but who cares really. It is the time of year for eating and expanding.

All I want to eat is roast chicken and vegetables. Perhaps this is because I'm eating for two- not me and magic secret Jesus baby, but me and my nana. She can't eat anything for three months.

I went to see her last weekend- Olivia happened to be driving back to her parents' for the weekend and it seemed like a lucky coincidence, so I decided to go up and visit my nana.

I stayed with Olivia and her mum and dad, because my dad has left Liverpool now. I kind of knew he'd left, but because I've not spoken to him for so long it didn't really seem real until I got to the hospital. My nana was surpised to see me- I hadn't told her I was coming- and there was a little Irish nun sat with her when I arrived.

The nun left when I got there- not because I am the devil but because she had other friends to visit- and then my aunty showed up, who is really nice. She said if she'd have thought before, she would have offered me a bed at her house, so that was alright.

They asked me if I was 'courting' and I said no. Then they asked me if I had my own room at Olivia's mum and dad's and I said no and I realised they probably thought I was a lesbian, so then I started telling them about Olivia's boyfriend and how they lived together at his parents' house in a really posh part of London.

("Look at you with yer Big Friends!" my nana said, but that was more to do with the fact that Olivia's mum and dad live in a posh part of Liverpool- they have a real pizza oven in their garden. You don't get bigger than that.)

I wouldn't mind my nana and my aunty thinking I was a lesbian if I was one (I refuse to say 'if I were one', so don't even ask), but I'm not. I feel that sexuality is a part of who you are and so if people don't know your sexuality- whether it's hetero or homosexual- they don't know the real you.

Anyway.

My nana seemed ok, apart from the fact she has tubes in her and can't eat for three months. Mentally she was great, but I think the boredom will set in soon. She can't cook or eat- her two favourite things to do- and there's no telly. She doesn't read fiction and she doesn't want to use the mini DVD player my aunty bought her.

She was looking forward to the Mayor of Liverpool coming in, to visit his sick sister who is in the bed opposite.

"He doesn't know me, but he knows of me." she said smugly.

Apparently she has been terrorising the Liverpool Labour party for years- she cancelled her membership and she likes to show up to public meetings to tell them why. I feel proud of my nana, but slightly sorry for the Mayor.

(If you Google him though, he doesn't look like a man that needs people to feel sorry for him.)

That was two weeks ago now, I need to stop getting so far behind in my blogging. I finally got back on my C.S Motorbike (do you remember what that is?) and the episode was not without incident... but I'm not sure I can tell you the story.

When you type my real name into Google it now links back to this blog, thanks to my brief dalliance in Google+. I'm worried people from work will Google me (because everyone- and I mean absolutely everyone on the planet- is obsessed with me and every minute they're not reading my blog is spent frantically searching the internet for more information about me) and read my blog and know that I like to eat duck fat and cry about foster cats from my past.

I HATE Google+.

But I like this:



*with secret sensitive sides, though.
**I think that nowadays, if God was real and God made somebody pregnant with his magic baby, then he probably wouldn't pick a virgin, because it would be very traumatic and alarming for the poor girl. Maybe he would choose a hardy, matronly woman, who would deliver the baby herself, still wearing her apron from the chippy she runs with her husband Nige. The miracle would be that Nige has had impotency issues for the last few years.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Early Night

I was going to blog tonight but have just found my nana is in hospital, very ill. My brother has been trying to call me but I missed his calls and so he sent a text. Now he's not answering his phone, maybe he's at work.

I know it is a bit awkward when people announce private issues on their blog, but I would feel a bit weird posting something normal, like it was a bit disrespectful.

Apparently she has been in hospital for three weeks and my dad didn't tell me and my brother because he lost his phone. I have been pissed off at him for a while now, mainly because I decided to stop contacting him, just to see if he would ever contact me, and since the last time I called him in March, I've heard nothing... apart from a cautious text two days before my birthday saying Hello how r u

I think he half-hoped I would text back and say 'Hi dad how are you? I'm very excited for my birthday on the 7th July' but I just texted him back a standard 'I'm fine' message, giving him no clues as to when my birthday was. Ha. The day after my birthday I got a text back saying, 'Happy Birthday anyway'.

I told him thanks but my birthday had been and gone.

My mum said maybe he think texts are like telegrams and they take a few days to come through.

Hmm.

I received a friend request from him on Facebook about a month ago which was a complete shock because I didn't know he a) knew what Facebook was b) had an email address c) had a computer.

There was just a grey blank silhouette where his photo should be, his name and his age. I accepted his request but he seems to have since delete his account.

Also word on the grapevine is he has moved to Darlington. I thought about playing a trick on him and calling up to say I was outside his house in Liverpool in the rain, would he let me in?

And he would have to say sorry I've actually moved four hours away. I was going to tell you, never...

I guess I'm shit because I never sent my half-brothers a birthday card or anything, I never call or see them.

Have I said all this before? Lately I've been thinking it over and over and over again and now my nana's in hospital and I knew what to do. I feel like maybe I should go to Liverpool this weekend. I don't know. I can't ask my dad what to do because he won't know.

I spoke to my nana a few weeks ago on the phone, I called her out of the blue and we chatted for hours. She told me my dad had stopped with 'the ale and the funny ciggies' and had been showing up at her house every morning to make her breakfast.

I wonder.

I'm just ranting because I feel like I should be talking to someone in the family about nana but I can't. because I don't have anyone's numbers.

Here's a post I wrote a few days ago anyway.

I walked to the river, then down the steps and along the edge. Most of the way I was on my own, with nobody obstructing my view of the wide river bend. (I didn't break into the song from Pocahontas, but maybe I should have.)

It was quite a cold day, the weather report had said it would be raining all weekend but I decided I knew Paris better than anyone and I didn't feel like it was going to rain...

It did rain, a lot.

But it held off while I walked along the river, then back to Rue de Rivoli and down to the Marais. I met Abby outside L'as du Fallafel and it was just like I'd never left, both with the falafel shop- the same guys were working there and, excuse the cliche, the falafel tasted even better than I remembered- and with Abby.

It doesn't really matter how much time passes, with most of my friends it's like no time has passed at all every time we meet up, even we meet up every few years, that's how I know we're friends.

Cleo, my friend from my waitressing job, came to meet us too and we went and sat in Place de Vosges with our food. We sat on a bench and talked for ages. I miss how conversations with French people can quickly turn philosophical, or sharing of stories of friends the other people don't know and will never meet.

The only dampener on our joyous reunion was that when Abby bit into her fallafel, her tooth crumbled and fell out of her head, which has probably put her off fallafel for life.

When it started to rain, we went to find a bar and ended up in La Perle by accident. Julia met us from work and we had a few glasses of wine before heading back to Julia's. We were supposed to go to a rave festival thing on the outskirts of Paris, but by the time we got back to Julia's apartment it was raining really hard. Julia told me the rave was in a field, which put me off a little bit and then she told me the music was Pys-Trance, which put me off a lot.

Also, I was knackered from the coach. I know I say this every time I get the coach and I always go back on my word- but I'm never getting the coach to Paris again, especially not just for the weekend. Not only does it eat into your Paris time, but the impracticality of sleeping during the journey means that you have to waste a lot of Paris time napping too.

I slept for two hours, which I think makes me the worst house guest ever`. When I woke up it was quite late in the evening and we couldn't be bothered to go out. Also, at the moment Julia is a very, very poor art student (she said her lecturers actually advised them all to steal paint for their projects, when they asked how they were supposed to buy supplies) and I was skint. Too skint for Paris...

In a way it was good, because lately I've only been remembering how much more money I had in Paris and what a nice lifestyle I had, but it wasn't always like that. Remember when I survived on cake decorations and took my eye make-up off with an apple? (It wasn't very effective, but it was worth a try.)

Instead of going to a trance rave in the rain, we got Thai take-away and Julia's sister came round. We chatted all night and drank gin and tonic, it was really nice. Actually, it was nice just to catch up with people, I'm glad I didn't try and do too much.

I love talking to Julia and her sister, because they always have crazy conspiracy stories and scientific breakthroughs to discuss...

Julia's sister told me when she was studying in America a few months ago, she spilt boiling water down her leg and called her mum. Her mum put her on the phone to this guy who can help heal burns just by talking to you... Julia's sister is going to be a scientist- she doesn't believe in spiritual magic things- but it really helped heal her burn and she has since discovered these 'burn people' are actually employed in French hospitals! And nobody can say how it works.

I some people won't believe this, because some people are just fucking boring and don't believe anything they haven't seen with their own eyes (which is ridiculous, it's like me saying I don't believe in Croatia just because I have never been there), so here is a link to a blog post I've found, discussing the issue further.

(Basically, if you think it sounds mental, the people who really believe this therapy works liken it to when people can walk over hot coals unscathed using the power of their minds. I obviously don't think you should stand around on the phone when someone suffers a burn- you should act fact and then rush them to hospital- but what's the harm in calling the number on your way to the hospital, if you believe in that sort of stuff?)

So.

The next day we slept in quite late and then went for brunch round the corner from Julia's, with her sister and my friend Cleo. (Abby couldn't come because she was sorting her tooth out at the dentist.) Instead of the brunch, I had steak frites with blue cheese sauce, because that's what I dream about in London.

It was raining heavily, but in a nice way. The streets were pale grey and quiet, trees fresh and green above. After brunch I wanted to go on la petite ceinture, but the entrance we normally climb in round the corner from Fleche d'Or was boarded up.

And it stops there.

I'm going to drag my Paris weekend out even more, now I'm off to call my brother and see if he'll pick up his phone.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Autumn Soup

Summer definitely isn't coming back for a surprise encore- it's early evening and the sky is dark, the blackberries are finished... even the nettles are gone. My master plan this month was to live off nettle soup, due to an unfortunate decision to get rid of my monthly wages in various bars and supermarkets around London by the second week of the month; however, when my mum was here last weekend I asked her for the recipe and she said nettles are no good at this time of year.

Grass soup anyone?

Potatoes are a cheap soup ingredient but I can't use them anymore after a girl at work pointed out the leek and potato soup has the same texture as... I can't write the word. (Next time you put a spoonful in your mouth, ask yourself if you're going to spit or swallow and you'll know exactly what I mean.)

Anyway.

I haven't had much time to blog recently. I wanted to blog about the Irish pub me and B discovered, then Kate Bush, the end of my Paris trip, which- to be honest- I know I'm dragging out, but when I finish writing about it that will really be the end and now I don't know when I'll go back. If only I didn't drink alcohol or eat food or use toiletries and the tube wasn't so fucking expensive, I'd be going back and forth every weekend.

Sigh. This time of year is when I would always return to Paris, after spending three weeks in England then one week in Ibiza. It's weird that a year ago I moved back to England for good and this year, yet again, September is nearly over and I'm still not in Paris.

But.

I am sitting in my house, listening to last night's Craig Charles funk and soul radio show (it's on iPlayer) with my housemate  who is cooking us chilli and that's exactly what I imagined England would be like when I was sitting in that little room in Paris, needing a wee but listening at my front door to see if any of the neighbours were using it, cooking a chilli in the same room I slept in.

I've got so much space now, I could do a cartwheel across the living room, if I could do cartwheels. I could  definitely do a roly poly.

Is it weird that I think about Paris so much, even though I left a year ago?

In other news... I'm so happy Scotland decided to stay in the UK!!



Friday, 12 September 2014

Bush

Calm down, I'm not going to debate the issue of women's lady gardens again.

This is Bush as in Kate Bush as in Heathcliff, it's me it's Cathy I've come hooome.

There is so much I need to say- mainly that on Saturday me and B went to an 'IRA pub' (apparently it used to be) and danced to Irish pop music until 6 in the morning and didn't see anything wrong with it (I actually think the key to having a good time as a house and techno fan is to listen to house and techno in the privacy of your own home and then go out and listen to shockingly bad crap, high as a kite on Ronan Keating 'Life is a Rollercoaster' leaping about with not a care in the world- but for now I am too excited to write, I just want to dance around to Kate Bush.

It has just sunk in that I am going to see her on Saturday! (And I NEVER use exclamation marks.)

Argh I feel like a kid again. When my dad looked after me I used to make him put on mum's Kate Bush video and watch it over and over again. I wish music videos were still like this, and less full of naked girls holding goats:





Thursday, 4 September 2014

That Paris This Paris

I'm not being needy but, why have only two people written in my Au Pair forum? Why aren't au pairs flocking in their thousands to ask each other advice? Is it because I have overestimated the global market for a Left Bank Manc Au Pair Forum?

No.

No, that can't be it. I suppose you are all just thinking up really good questions to ask.

Sigh. Now's as good a time as any to finish talking about my return to Paris.

So, after walking in the warm rain and the morning quiet, and after reaching Julia's lovely apartment, built around a courtyard with a fig tree growing in it, I had a quick shower and went to the au pair family's house for breakfast.

Back on the metro- that strange staring at the door handle again and feeling like it was anchoring me between all my lives, that Paris and this Paris, me Then and me Now. Then the same walk from the metro station to the family's house that I used to do twice a day, shockingly familiar, like blasting myself into the past.

I know I keep going on about it, but I thought maybe I'd somehow found myself in an old self and was looking through old eyes at my old life. Maybe I was really sat on the couch in London, vividly remembering scooting round the crowds outside Monoprix, people stopping to look at the market stalls outside the entrance, then the narrow pavement and the fruit and veg shop on my right, glancing at the raspberries that always caught my eye as I walked past.

Then walking up to their blue front door, ringing the bell...

It was exactly the same. We fell into old patterns quickly- at first I ate croissants and chatted with the mum, but soon I was back on the living room floor, playing a ball game with the ten year old (now eleven) and the toddler (now a four year old, I think).

Me and the ten year old plaited each other's hair and discussed the never-ending saga of her tempestuous friendship triangle (the latest: the other two were spending the summer flitting between each other's country houses in France and Mallorca, they didn't invite my girl- bitches).

The four year old kept showing me a photo on the iPad of him and his dad on holiday, taken from the back as they both have a wee. In the photo they are both naked. The mum pretended not to notice, which made it even more awkward.

I love how I can teach the little boy English phrases in about five minutes- I'm not just saying this because I looked after him, but he is so clever. During the ball game me and his sister would shout 'Who wants the ball?' 'Me!' 'You?' 'Get the ball!' and after twenty minutes he'd understand what we were saying and he'd start saying the same phrases as us.

I suspect the parents think I'm a bit touched, because after making awkward conversation with them for five minutes, I wondered off to talk about lions and dancing with the kids, just like I used to when I worked for them.

(They looked at me a bit weirdly and said I looked different... when I saw myself in the mirror later on, I realised that my pupils looked like two fucking moons- shouldn't have taken that Valium so close to Paris.)

The parents disappeared upstairs and without thinking, I helped myself to a glass of water like I used to and stood in the kitchen doorway, watching the kids playing. The dad came downstairs and laughed when he saw me- I forgot I haven't worked for them for a year. I was acting like it was just another night at work.

After I'd said goodbye (thinking I'd see them again one day, but who knows if I will), it only took me half a second to decide what to do next. I wasn't meeting Abby for a couple of hours, so I got the metro back to Saint-Philippe du Roule- my old metro stop.

I went to look at my old front door and as I got there, it opened. A little dog trotted out that I recognised- my old enemy- and then its owner, my old neighbour, stepped out and glanced at me across the street. I don't know if he recognised me or not. I felt like a ghost, observing a life that used to be mine.

I know, I know... I can't quite grasp the fact that things change and time moves on, but god it was so weird. I took the shortcut to Place du Concorde- the same way I would walk twice a week when I came home from my morning class in the nursery- and it felt like I was walking through ghost-versions of me, all our eyes on the trees, all our feet on the pavement, all of us/me walking simultaneously, around everywhere, blurry and almost invisible and then all concentrated in me, in that moment.

Ok I'm freaking myself out now.

Also my housemate is on her way back from kickboxing with some McDonald's for our tea.

Before I go...

TC and OJ and everyone in their disco circle went to Wilderness Festival this summer and I couldn't go due to the fact that I got back from Spain the day before (really it was because I'd spent all my money on alcohol and kimonos). When they got back everyone kept telling me about Greg Wilson's set on the Saturday night and he's put it on Soundcloud.

It's SOOOO GOOOD.

This is the reason I have been having private discos in my living room: