Oh Paris! Really?

Parisians and Paris never fail to give me something to write about. I find humour, quirkiness and curious disbelievement wonderment in practically every encounter, person and situation I come across. I walk past tiny shops and enter. I breathe in the history of those who were there before me and bought what I buy, decades before.

And then I open my mouth and shatter the illusion.


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Trippy Tips for Train Travellers

Here are my fabulous tips for those who take long haul train journeys. I'd consider an hour and a half the minimum for it to be called 'long haul'. That is based on my experiences travelling a myriad of miles from cities across Europe (and the increased level of whining by children per 15 minutes of travel). The longest direct train trip I've taken was 12 hours by day from Paris to Florence via Milan. I don't have any knowledge of night travel. No wait, I have travelled Melbourne to Sydney by night train...

Don't ever do that unless you want to end up rocking back and forth in a corner sobbing your eyes out and calling for your Mummy.

Teddy anyone?

Teddy anyone?

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Ignorance is a disability – not bliss.

In an online newspaper some time ago, a person known as a ‘fitness writer, trainer and nutrition consultant’ (hereafter known as Mr D - as in, well, I'll leave it to your imagination) was quoted as saying this to inspire his clients:

'Think about people with disabilities who would give anything to have the use of your body for a day'

This advice was his way to motivate people to get off the couch and get fit. It was in fact ignorant and insulting. He completely ignored the obvious fact that if a person is overweight, unmotivated and unfit then they could be seen as disabled. Why not just tell his clients to honour the body they've been given and not treat it like crap? He made it blatantly clear he views disability in a very limited and old-fashioned way. In his view, fitness equals perfection and you can't be fit (or perfect) if you have a disability. (more…)
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Can the real Paris please raise her hand?

People often ask me - 'What's Paris really like?' I start to tell them and sometimes I see their eyes widen in surprise and their mouths drop open in shock. Oops I think. I'm telling that person about the wrong Paris. Or am I? Is there a 'real' Paris?

Did you know that one international embassy in Paris has an emergency hotline for their citizens? This vital phone number is for those who have come to Paris and been so shocked at what they've seen, and wracked with disappointment, that they need immediate counseling and emergency evacuation back home. (more…)
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