Sunday, 29 March 2009

The PVE Guide to Cooking with Limited Resources: Part 1

Saucepan Pizza

1- Take pizza and cut into slices*

2- Put slice in saucepan

3- Put lid on saucepan

4- Leave for 5 minutes

5- Nummy num nums

Repeat process for as many other slices as you can manage

*Yeah I know,it's a big pizza,and yes,I did eat it all :)

Friday, 27 March 2009

JC Watch: Part 4

Today is an exciting day,Regulars to JC Watch- for this afternoon I do believe I saw the man himself! I was walking around at lunchtime looking for a branch of Crédit Lyonnais (my favourite bank),when I heard someone humming and thought "he sounds like JC" (I'm not sure if I've ever heard him hum before,but I that's what he'd sound like at least :) ) Then I looked up and saw the guy just about to walk past me,and thought "ooh,it is JC!" Well,I'm 98% sure it was anyway.He may have been a bit shorter than I remember,but he looked a hell of a lot like him,and he was dressed like him too.Not that I study fashion trends of Belgian-Spanish pop singers or anything :)

All in all,it was a pretty exciting event,although I'm disappointed by my reaction.Instead of doing anything remotely fan-like,I just stopped and dug around in my bag for my phone to tell Keira about it.As far as reacting to (very probably) seeing one of your all-time favourite singers goes,that's pretty rubbish.I don't even have any photographic evidence.

But stay tuned JC Watchers,I'm here for another 15 weeks!

Insert witty title here

There's been a lot going on in Paris lately.You might have seen the story about Luc Rousselet- the boss of 3M who got taken hostage by his own employees (his quote "The conditions were not so bad," made me laugh- he was locked in his own office,of course the conditions were not so bad!)

Then there's a whole thing about Sarkozy desperately trying to be President Obama's friend.There's similar reports all over the place.Apparantly Obama is coming to Paris in June,according to one of the metro papers today anyway.

And oh yes,there's the strikes and protests.It's everyone's stereotypical view (see David Cerny's brilliant bit of controversial EU art - Entropa- for more such views :) )of the French that they strike a lot and will set fire to things for the sake of setting fire to things.But it seems a pretty informed view to me.Last Thursday there was the big union strike with something like a million people protesting about economic policies blah blah blah.Basically it meant everyone who wasn't striking was thoroughly inconvenienced by disruptions to train services and things.Oh,and our canteen was shut.Shocking.Anyway,what started nicely all turned into this

Surprise surprise.

And me? Well.I've got no money again,am permanently tired and I can't get rid of an odd smell coming from my fridge.On the plus side though,I managed to cook a pizza in a saucepan last night,I rediscovered the English bookshop on Rue de Rivoli,and I've finally come up with a topic for my dissertation.A comparison of energy policies proposed and handled by France and Germany during their respective presidencies of the European Council,if you're interested :) I've been really getting into EU politics lately,so to write a 10,000 word essay about it seems a fabulous idea.Sort of.Also I'll probably get to talk about Schleswig-Holstein a lot,which I'm always good at :)

Oh,I also managed to see The Apprentice on Thursday.And Newswipe.Some nice person uploaded them both to youtube,I only hope they can do that every week.My first conclusion is that I quite like Philip.Maybe it's wrong to like someone just because they have a nice voice and accent,but whatever :) Next week's catering task should be good.The chicken wrap they showed at the end of this week's programme made me laugh :)

This weekend I plan on not doing very much.Maria and Sophie are intending to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower next weekend.I'm not quite sure yet if I can handle that.It's a bit higher than Holmenkollen after all...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Oddest video involving hot German singer and old man sport of the week?

I've been outside that very "sex Kino" at 3.10ish.That is Hamburg's lovely Reeperbahn.It's a terrifying place even in daylight.Oh,by the way I was only there because I wanted to go to the Panoptikum (wax museum).I didn't in the end though.

If it was up to you,would you let me stay?

May I take this chance to tell you how much I hate backpacks?Or rather,people with backpacks.And even more specifically,people with backpacks on public transport.In Kiel,there were these notices on the buses with a comedy picture of a backpack wearing boxing gloves with a little text saying that "in a confined space,every backpack becomes Vitali Klitschko..." and that basically they're just really annoying.Seemed to work too,I don't remember seeing anyone with one.But there are more than an annoying number of people with them on the metro here.And not just tourists either,but people who should know better.Seriously,if I get hit by someone turning around one more time,I won't be held responsible for my actions.Same with suitcases really.FFS (as they say),just get a taxi! They're surprisingly inexpensive here,even when there's quite a lot of traffic around.I can get from the Gare du Nord to my flat in Porte de Champerret (15-20 minutes) for €11.That's not bad.

OK,I feel a bit better about that now.Anyway.I finally finished a translation at work today.It was easier than the others as it was mostly financial and not scientific,but still annoying because despite having an A level in Business Studies and being alright at accounts and the likes,I couldn't remember what any of the concepts meant.Anyway,that's done now,so back to reading the BBC website for the next few days I suppose.I've got a big important meeting to go to soon,a whole day one,where I have to pay attention because it's me who has to write all the notes and report afterwards.I'll probably be like Frank from the Vicar of Dibley and ask everyone who says anything if they want it minuted.But it might be fun.A chance to get away from my characterless office.

On another subject altogether,how did Alexander Stenerud's MGP attempt Find My Girl pass me by this year?It's really nice.I think I love him a little bit.I'd take him back anyway :)

Monday, 23 March 2009

Little Red Riding Hood as you've never seen her before

I think I've mentioned somewhere before that my favourite music video ever is Röyksopp's Remind Me. Well the video below is currently doing the rounds on youtube,and is apparantly a school project to interpret the story of Little Red Riding Hood,and is based on the style of Remind Me.It's brilliant.I love Grandma's nutritional value and the cross-section of the VW van.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

JC Watch: Part 3

Yesterday in Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Elysées,I was a bit excited to find the DVDs of every episode ever of Un Dos Tres,the Spanish soap JC was in for one series or something.But I've seen bits of it on the internet and thought it looked a bit rubbish,so I didn't buy any.

Oh,and there was another exciting Belgian find yesterday in Monoprix.I saw this chap on some tins of biscuits like this one...

He's a copycat...stealing my sooooooul.

What next I wonder- de Toppers malt loaf? Sakis lightbulbs?

No,of course Le Chat is already famous in Belgium.Much like Tintin,who I'm developing a small obsession with.But more about that another time.

Lesson of the week

Italian food in France is BAD.

I've just made the most disgusting carbonara from Monoprix,writing off a saucepan in the process.Thank the Lord for the McDonalds near my flat.

Friday, 20 March 2009


I've decided French telly is a bit rubbish.Although at least there's less naked women and swearing on it than German telly...Anyway I've been watching loads of old BBC stuff.I'm particularly loving Alan Partridge at the minute- the first two minutes of this video brings back memories of Sounds of Europe...

Love it :)


Look what I got today...

Well,it doesn't actually look like that.My name isn't DJ Stirling for a start.But for illustration purposes it's good enough.Yes,the arrival (5 weeks late) of my bank card made me jubilant.The only thing that could have made me happier would have been coming home to find Jonatan Cerrada on my doorstep (if I had one),with a posh Cartier ring saying "I've seen what you've written about me on your various blog posts- let's get married and do lots of shopping.Oh,and by the way I've finished the third album at last,wanna listen?"So yeah,I think you can deduce that I was pretty happy :)

So I went a bit mad and spent a whole €30,getting a nice zebra print scarf,Julien Doré's album and lots of food in the process.Julien's album is still all wrapped up in my bag by the way,so don't expect any comments over on WYM anytime soon.I still haven't listened to Raphael's or Laura Pausini's yet,and I bought those weeks ago.

After a long (very) leisurely lunchbreak at St-Lazare,I had an equally leisurely afternoon in the office reading Marie Claire and listening to Charlotte Perrelli checking and correcting lots of very important documents.

Tomorrow I'm going to Forum des Halles with Sophie.I hope it's not as scary as the first time I went.

Oh,and speaking of bank cards,getting mine reminded me of this advert,which cracked me up every time when it was on telly...

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Monday, 16 March 2009

Stupid quote of the (previous) week

"God,it's so much like London here,it's unbelievable"- guy with Home Counties accent around the Eiffel Tower on Saturday night.

I don't know what it is about Paris (and especially the trip to Paris on the Eurostar) that makes people come out with such stupid quotes,but it is entertaining :)

Yesterday we did more walking.As I said,I was meant to meet Maria at Opéra,but it's a very big building,so it took us a good 10 minutes to find eachother.Well,it's not that big,but I was walking around it quite a lot trying to dodge some Italians who I'd given the wrong directions to.Anyway,when we found eachother we walked around the Boulevard des Capucines and the incredibly posh Place Vendôme with its Cartier,Dior and Chanel shops and 28 star (probably) hotels and the likes.Medway it ain't.Actually,anywhere I've been in England it ain't.It's a different world,and I love it.If only I had a lot of money...Well,it would be a start if my money wasn't all tied up at Crédit Lyonnais still,but that's another story.

Anyway,we walked down the Rue de Rivoli,a street I'm very familiar with after last year,found a big massive church (somewhere else that is,not the Rue de Rivoli) that we've never seen before and a nice park full of people doing summery things.Maria was surprised that they had wifi in the park- I however,remembered it being a source of amusement last year in the Place des Vosges :) It was a bit boring after that though,so we just got lunch and sat in the Tuileries gardens for a while.The flowers haven't started growing there yet,but apparantly it's very nice indeed when they do.

When kids came and spoiled our peace (again),we went to the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre.I'm starting to really like shopping here.Or at least,making mental lists of things I can buy when I have some money (*cough* send me my pissing bank card,you've had nearly 5 weeks! *cough*).Oh yeah,by the way,if you have to live in France anytime soon (or want to for that matter),don't bank with Crédit Lyonnais.It's not worth it.Anyway,Carrousel de Louvre.Yes,there are some nice shops there,and the whole thing just isn't as scary as the Forum des Halles.No one follows you.Although there was one guy who was whistling Nessun Dorma very loudly and pushed past us and told one of us that we were beautiful.But that's typical Paris from my experience (not the Nessun Dorma bit).I seem to be quite popular with middle aged Frenchmen.Lucky me.

I did actually buy something yesterday.Stupidly expensive eyeshadow from Sephora.That's 3 different Sephora shops I've been in in 3 days now,I think it's gonna be the new Cubus.

Oh,also this weekend I started watching M6's new soap- Paris 16ème.It's all about posh people doing posh things in the 16th arrondissement.It only started 2 weeks ago and is on the M6 Replay website if there are any vaguely interested Francophones out there.It's alright I suppose.A bit over the top in places,and the acting is sometimes pretty poor,but that all makes it quite funny.Sometimes.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Lesson of the day

It's hard to take pictures of fish.They're too fast for cameras.Although this was my one successful attempt...

2 Nemos!

Cineaqua was quite interesting.Not sure if I really got €15,50 worth of entertainment out of it,but it was a nice afternoon.Apart from all the kids.They were everywhere.Ugh.

Afterwards we went down to Sentier to find a posh chocolate shop that Maria wanted to go to.You know a chocolate shop is posh when it sells basil and thyme chocolates.Anyway,I thought I knew the area around Sentier quite well- I spent one of the best evenings of my life there last year after all- but it seems I'd somehow missed the main shopping area there.It's a nice street with lots of little ones coming off of it Italian style,and it's a really lively place.Oh,and there's a really really nice posh pasta shop there.Methinks I'll be going down there a lot more from now on.It's on my metro line after all,therefore perfect for someone lazy.

After that we went to the Champs Elysées for dinner.This sounds more glamorous than it was- we went to Quick,the French version of McDonalds.Quick it certainly ain't,and their sandwiches are too small and overpriced.So I don't think I'll go there again.Even if it was quite nice.

I got excited afterwards at all the Nici and Diddl stuff in Virgin Megastores (the floor didn't vibrate like it did last year),because it reminded me of Germany,got excited by all the colourful eyeshadows in Sephora and broke my personal record for the most expensive can of Pepsi I've ever bought.My current record being £1 from a fayre in Cambridge,I smashed this completely by paying €2,25.God knows what a bottle would have cost.

Anyway,then we had a big long walk and spoke about Guildford quite a lot,watched the Eiffel Tower do its sparkly thing,saw people running up the Eiffel Tower (turns out they were doing the Ecotrail- an 80k run from St-Quentin and ending on the first level of the tower),had a very expensive crêpe,and came home.We'd been out for 9 hours and sat down for about half an hour of that.I haven't been that tired for a long time.

And today we're doing more walking,around Opéra and all the posh parts.It's a very nice day indeed and I certainly won't need a coat.C'est beau,la vie :)

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Yesterday afternoon my train got stuck at Liège for about 20 minutes because of a power failure due to a "passenger accident on the line".Hmm,wonder what could have possibly happened there?That was the most exciting,out of the ordinary thing that happened all day.Work is more boring than ever,although I'm doing a translation at the minute which would actually be pretty interesting if my knowledge of nuclear physics was about 350% better than it is.

Three exciting things happened this week though.I got initiated into the kissing thing everyone does here by mistake the other day.Normally,because I'm not French,everyone at work just shakes my hand (we didn't even bother saying hello to eachother in Germany),but the other day,a guy just came up very close to me and I had to go along with it.Which was a bit uncomfortable for someone who doesn't like physicalities.Anyway,also that day,I found New Look in the Forum des Halles,which is the weirdest,most depressing shopping centre I've ever been in (and I've been to Bluewater).Everything is literally double the price it is in British New Looks,which makes it pretty expensive indeed,but still,it's good to know it's there.Also,I've been eating steak in the canteen.Steak here seems to be as much a staple as bread.But it's very very nice indeed.And a massive plate of (subsidised) steak and chips only costs €3,which is pretty good.

Today I'm going to Cinéaqua with Maria.Apparantly it's a massive aquarium but also has cinema screens showing,well,I don't really know what actually.But I love sealife,so I'm sure I'll like it.I think we're also going to try and find this rather nice looking chocolate shop down by the Sentier at some point this weekend,and tomorrow,well we might be going to Disney Village.It's good having things to do :)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


It's been a pretty rubbish few days.On Sunday I came back to an awful internet connection which cut off practically every time I opened a page.This was quite upsetting actually- I hate feeling cut off from the rest of the world :( It's not been so bad this evening,but I still don't trust it and am trying not to do too much at once.My computer is getting on a bit now and it overheats and freaks out at the smallest thing these days.So I'd like a new one pretty soon,but then that means I need one of these portable hard drive things to move all my music and videos and pictures.Aaagh.

And today was just annoying.I had to get to work in St Denis early to wait for a technician to sort my work computer out.Which he attempted to do via telephone and was unsuccessful anyway.Great.Then I had to quickly rush back to Paris to get to the bank just to be told that no,I haven't been paid and no they haven't heard anything about my card and when it will turn up.Seems they were happy enough to take the money out for my insurance policy this month though.Hmmmm.Anyway,it's a long trip back to St Denis when you're angry.And it's even worse when you get there and everyone's at lunch and you can't moan to them.Actually it seems my French is a lot better when I'm angry,and I had a big rant at my boss,who probably thought I was accusing him but I wasn't really.I think he quite liked it actually,I'm showing good French spirit in not settling for crap treatment by banks.Anyway.I think it should be sorted by next week.I should have some money to actually do things.

It's not all bad though,I got my Navigo pass today :) So happy.And I have a tiny metro map so I don't need to carry my massive one around with me,not that I actually did that...I also discovered that my work neighbour who I go for coffee with nearly every day,is half Italian and his family are from the south in Puglia.That was cool.He doesn't speak Italian either,although he does look a bit southern,which I'm a bit jealous of.

I'm thinking about the weekend already and am determined to go to Rouen on Saturday.Rouen,Liège and Brussels are the 3 places I really want to go while I'm here,but seeing as Normandy is closest to Paris,and I have no money,Rouen wins.It looks a really nice place,with lots of gothic type architecture,and a metro system,which is always good.But there's also a "big clock" apparantly.Being a geek for time measuring instruments and the history of such things,I'm quite excited about that :/ Anyway,this is all subject to weather.So we'll see.

JC Watch: Part 2

JC was on telly last night and I missed it.Typical.

It gets boring after 4 minutes when they cut back to the studio.Not that I listened to any of the words anyway...

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Why is it that the only day I get a good picture on M6 (yes,good- more than decent!) is when they're showing the original,Swedish version of Wallander and I forget it's on?! So annoying...It's not even on M6 replay on the internet :(

Anyway,am going back to Royaume-Uni after work tomorrow,and will be back on Sunday probably with not very much to talk about.Bon weekend!

It's an overload in a disco fantasy

I feel like a complete fat minger lately.I saw my back in the mirror yesterday and was horrified by all the fat.Is it even possible to have a fat back?! I wouldn't mind that much but apart from the odd McDonalds,I've been living really healthily.I have salad every day at work (because I don't have to pay for it),I have my 152 steps to go up every day plus a few more at St Lazare,I'm even drinking sodding water! Oh and I seem to have put weight on my fingers too.I haven't taken my ring from Flensburg off since for more than 5 minutes since I bought it nearly 4 months ago.But I discovered on Sunday that it had got completely stuck on my middle finger,and after much pulling about,I noticed it left a scar.Now that's serious.Now I have to wear it on my ring finger,and that's just annoying.


Hungary is definitely one of the countries I'll be supporting in Eurovision this year.I can't think why though...

Oh that's Zoltan,the Hungarian singer by the way.

I've written about (most) of this year's ESC songs over on Work Your Magic,but in case youtube links don't work on your medieval computer,watch this.And love it.