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Project 365 – Week 4

Am I having alternate good and bad week with this project? Sometimes I even ponder if I know what I’m doing anymore… Perhaps it was also my state of mind – I started the week with a terrible backache, which tapered off but got me more cautious about overdoing it, about going out in the cold. Booo.

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The boy

21 Jan: Ok, this is cheating. This photo was actually taken on the snowy morning of 20 Jan, when F accompanied me to the Louvre and then to Montmartre. I stayed home most of the day to rest my aching back, and as a result, this project was far from my mind until the next morning. Ooops. As compensation, well, I give you F ;) (and he doesn’t even know that he’s going to be featured here!) I have no idea what he was doing either at this very moment – adjusting his neck-protector-against-the-cold thingy, I think.

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Project 365 – Week 3

If week 2 has been a tough one, motivation-wise, week 3 of Project 365 was the opposite. Thanks to a couple of late visits to catch temporary exhibitions that were closing, I found myself allocating some extra time before hand to grab some night photos. I also discovered unlikely photography spot from the very building I work in (!!!) and of course, there was the snowy weekend to round it up prettily.

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Grand Palais by night

14 Jan: It was the final evening of Bohèmes at the Grand Palais. Really, you’d think with a Sésame+, Frédéric and I would have seen this a couple of months back. But no, we kept delaying it. Frédéric even went to see Hopper thrice in the mean time. Just before joining the queue, I hied myself over the Pont Alexandre III to see if I would get a decent photo of the Grand Palais by night. Not bad, right?

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Encore plus de neige

Paris remained magical on Sunday morning. In fact, even more so in comparison to Saturday. Throughout the day, snow continued to fall all over the city (and other parts of the country), depositing layers of powdery ice over everything as well as everyone who ventured out from their cosy apartments.

Frédéric and I went out for an impromptu date morning, but first up, after seeing Carina’s blog post, he requested if we could stopped by at the Louvre before heading up to Montmartre, my destination pick. Of course! After we wrapped ourselves well, we were out the door.

January snow in Paris

January snow in Paris

January snow in Paris

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Paris sous la neige

Overnight, Paris underwent a most magnificent transformation.

I got up really early this morning, put on layers of clothes and headed out when it was still dark outside. The plan was to get to a couple of spots within the city where snow would not be cleared away too quickly, and while they were tourist-free. I should have a good couple of hours to try to grab some photos of a Parisian winter wonderland.

January snow in Paris

January snow in Paris

January snow in Paris

January snow in Paris

January snow in Paris

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A little bit of snow

There has been much excitement towards the end of last week, when snow was forecasted to make its first appearance for the year. Everyone (I know) was waiting in gleeful anticipation on Monday when Météo-France issued the relevant alerts. Still, most part of the day was uneventful while the temperature remained chilly.

Snow in Paris

We spotted them upon our exit from the Grand Palais that evening, having fast-tracked our way in for the final evening of the exhibition of Bohèmes thanks to the card of Sésame+. We really should have gone a long time ago instead of squeezing it in last minute like this because the exhibition was completely packed!

It was fun and magical to have fat and fluffy flakes surrounding us while we ran for our bus and then on our short walk home from the bus stop. My inner child was just begging for more time outside. Unfortunately, food and beckoning warmth were too difficult to resist and after grabbing another couple of shots, we made our way indoors.

Snow in Paris

I was hoping for the snow to stick but no, shortly after we got home, it started to rain. Morning came and it was back to yet another morning of grey sky. We had a couple more short bursts of snowfall but that was it. The forecast of 5cm of snow never made it to Paris.

A new waiting game then began. The cold front will once again bring along snow – even more than earlier in the week – for the weekend and oh how everyone’s wishing it will stick this time. The collective praying seems to work – this evening, as you can see, rooftops and roads are turning into blankets of white. The lucky people who have garden/internal courtyard (sadly, not us) get to enjoy a real winter wonderland.

Snow in Paris

I am warmly wrapped up at home, looking out the window, debating whether to go out and play, or not. Alas, I will leave it for now. I’ll leave the continuous sprinkles of snow to weave its magic and be prepared to be up and out early tomorrow morning instead. Fingers crossed that this patience will be rewarded in the form of pristine winter scenes.

Project 365 – Week 2

This has been a tough week to be motivated to go out and play photographer. For the most part of the week, I was battling a horrible cold and cough (which includes a couple of “home arrest” days to try to get better) while staring out the window at what looked like the most dull weather for the longest time.

At the rate things are going, I may have to do something drastic, like buying new dresses and scarves in multiple bright colours? Anyway, without further ado, here are the photos of this week.

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Galettes des rois

7 Jan: Truth be told – I completely forgot about Project 365 today, but by mere coincidence, I have one photo in my camera and two in my smartphone – all of the same thing: galette des rois. I’m sure you don’t need me to go into details as to why would I possibly want to take so many photos of galette des rois… Even then, my mind was not on task, thus capturing mere out of focus images. I was eager to put down the cameras and eat!

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Gaga over galettes des rois

I am, as the French would say, accro.

Hook, line and sinker. This is what I look forward to in grey and dreary January in France. My little slice of sunshine and happiness. It is not les soldes, but that flaky puff pastry with frangipane filling (or other delicious almond-based fillings) called galette des rois.

Galettes des rois

Frédéric thus summed it on his FB:

Définition du mois de janvier pour Lilian : une galette des rois chaque jour.
J’ai tenté de la convaincre qu’il n’existe aucune loi qui nous oblige à en manger tous les jours, mais sans succès…

(Definition of the month of January for Lilian: a galette des rois per day. I tried to convince her that there isn’t a law dictating the obligation to eat one daily, but without success…)

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Project 365 – Week 1

In 2012, I took a break from Project 365 after running it for a couple of years – that of 2010 as a personal project known to a handful few friends, and that of 2011 hosted on this very blog itself. During the break, I found myself spending significantly less time exploring parts of Paris which I don’t yet know well, which is a shame really.

It’s time to be more pro-active again, and hopefully with Project 365, I’ll get that extra dose of motivation to be out and about, particularly when it is dark/wet/dull outside and certain neighbourhoods lie just a little far/inconvenient to reach from where I am. Instead of updating photo daily, I will do so as a weekly photo blog post. Enjoy!

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Tour Eiffel from Centre Pompidou

30 Dec: Nico was visiting us and we took the opportunity to hit Dalí retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. We took advantage of late night opening hours to avoid long queues, and while waiting to enter, we were treated to the beautiful view of Paris by night. Eiffel Tower quite easily dominated the skyline.

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Free visits on Sunday

Museums are teeming with all thing curious, interesting, beautiful, ugly, etc that I could spend an entire day in a large one or hop from a small one to another, and would most likely happily repeat the same the next day. (I even own a couple of museum cards so I have unlimited access all year round to these museums without having to queue for ticket each time). Monuments, on the other hand, showcase history through architecture and events that occur on these sites. No less fascinating on their own.

Interior of Versailles Palace

Cue: free museums and monuments Sunday

In Paris-talk, this Sunday refers to the first Sunday of the month. Free entry to check out something different and informative each month – sweet deal!

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Navigo à prix unique? Not for now.

One of the things I aim to focus on in 2013 is to work on improving my French. To that end, not only will I try to revise my knowledge of grammatical aspect of the language, I need to correct the way I speak (sounding “cute” just doesn’t cut it) and to also read more in French. In particular, I should be reading more newspaper/news article online.

For good reasons too, since I’ve somehow along the way missed the memo on changes to the use of public transport system in the last few weeks.

Metro station at Chatelet

You may recall I wrote last year on dézonage of Navigo at weekends and on public holidays, and based on information available then, New Year’s Day should see a new implementation where there is a fixed-price for Navigo for all zones. The price for Navigo zones 1-2 should see a small increase but otherwise it should be beneficial for all.

Well, that’s not happening anymore.

Not for now anyway.

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On welcoming 2013

Sunset in Paris

If there is one certainty in life, it is that life is uncertain.

This time three years ago – 2010, that is – I was at the brink of finishing my thesis and completely ignorant of how the year would unfold. In my stressed-out mind, there was only one thing to focus on: hand in the thesis already! I figured once that was out of the way, I can take a deep breath, have a much-needed break, start job-hunting, and we’d see how things would go.

That would be too simple, wouldn’t it?

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