Paris: Remembering the good times

Like many people I woke to hear the news of how the shocking events in Paris unfurled and was saddened by them. And I'm certain I'm not alone in that and right now it's not something I want to focus on, so I'm remembering the good times.

Paris was the first trip abroad together for MOH and I back in 2000 and we have been back and to other parts of France many times since then. In fact at one stage MOH did put in a special request to the Holiday Committee to visit somewhere other than France for a change. It seems four or so consecutive trips was a little too much...

Remembering that first trip with MOH my first memories are of the running around that happened before we went. That was for an emergency appointment at the vets for Bob who needed a steroid injection for her hips to make her mobile again and clearly to ease her pain. With her settled there was the dash for the train, but we got there and that evening walked around Paris on foot marvelling at the "sparkling" Eiffel Tower.

It was on that trip that we discovered what still is one of our favourite restaurants, anywhere. It's Le Montparnasse 1900, and since then we've been back to the Art Deco restaurant many times on our own and with friends. And it's always the place we recommend to people who are visiting Paris. As its website says it continues to transport diners to the Belle Époque and it's a beautiful setting to have a fantastic meal.

On another trip we stayed in the small but still cosy Hotel des Arts in the Montmartre district and explored that area more than we had before. That was the trip that MOH got food poisoning from mussels which made the journey back quite horrendous and meant a cab home was essential. More recently we've popped over for an overnight stay to meet up with friends for dinner in, yes in our favourite restaurant. 

And as I thought through all of our trips and the fun we'd had, I thought I must have some photos... And I do.

These photos are from our trip in January 2010 and as you can see from the shot below it was particularly grey, as January can be but I think Paris was no less beautiful for that. We hope to be back for another visit soon.




It was on that trip that I got to re-visit the Palace of Versailles which I'd first visited as a teenager on a school trip many years before, and it was just as beautiful as I'd remembered. So I'll leave you with photos from there.


Nous sommes solidaires avec vous. Nous sommes tous ensemble. We are with you. United

Upcycling an old picture frame

One of the (many) things we discovered when we cleared under our bed as we emptied our bedroom to redecorate was a stack of old pictures that we'd never hung in our house, for whatever reason. But looking at them again years later there was one that could be hung in our top bedroom, but it needed some work first as the reddy-wood frame didn't match the room.

So armed with a pot of paint, some newspaper and some cardboard I set about changing that one afternoon.  As I dismantled the picture a scrap of Jim Carrey Ace Ventura notepaper flew out but more on that later, left only with the wooden frame I set up my impromptu painting workbench in the conservatory. Before painting though I wiped the frame so that it was clean - and found that one of those furniture wet wipes did just the job.  


I used eggshell paint similar to Farrow and Ball's Skimming Stone colour as I wanted to tone down the redness of the wood. I decided to go with a solid colour, rather than a paint wash mainly because it looked much better that way. The cardboard from a recent online shopping delivery came in handy to rest the painted frame on so it wasn't in contact with the newspaper. 


After the second coat was dry I was ready to reframe the picture, which I'd bought during a long stopover at Singapore airport in the late 1990s as I travelled back from a trip to Australia. 

The Jim Carrey Ace Ventura slip of paper that fluttered out explains the picture which is supposed to be my name - Stephanie. I hope it is my name and not something rude or offensive and I discover after all these years that I've been had! 

Anyway the symbols and their meanings according to Jim Carrey are:  

  • Birds:  happiness 
  • Bamboo:  progress 
  • Butterfly:  blessings
  • Fish:  wealth
  • Flower:  success 

 Which all make for a very pretty and colourful picture, which looks great in its new frame. 


And we've even got it on the wall in the top bedroom, between the elephant picture we brought back from India and the salmon picture from Canada. The frames are fixed top and bottom as they're on a sloping wall as this room is in our roof where more normal straight walls are a rarity! 


I'm quite pleased with my impromptu painting session, and the addition to the travel pictures in this room. And it's another job I can tick off my list!