When I agreed to do a guest post for the lovely Transatlantic Blonde I struggled a bit to decide what to write about. Usually I blog about my kids and my general family life. She suggested something a bit different from my usual and so I thought what better than to talk about my past life.......... before motherhood.
For those of you who don't know me personally, pre children I was a bit of a mad impulsive mover. I had numerous different houses/flats and was always up for a change. I left home at 16 and moved into a flat with a friend and went to University. Studying really wasn't for me but I finished my first two years and then went and worked in a friends bar until I decided what I wanted to do. During that time I did a bit of babysitting for some of my parents friends with young kids for extra cash. It was through one of these couples that I met a family who had a daughter in Paris who was looking for a nanny. She had just had a baby boy who was 3 weeks old and her French Husband worked between Paris and London and she wanted some fairly part time help with reasonable pay, free accommodation and obviously no bills. I met the couple once when they came to visit but spent some time with her parents with them obviously vetting me and my family/background. After 3 weeks I decided to take the job on a trial of a month and then reassess. So off I went.
I'd never flown before alone and am a very nervous flyer at the best of times but the excitement of doing something so spur of the moment took over and I managed without creating mass panic on the plane (which isn't unheard of from me).
It was hot July in Paris when I landed at Charles de Gaulle and grabbed a taxi at the airport by myself clutching a piece of paper with the address of the couples apartment. First impressions???? 'ARE YOU ALL NUTS?' These people had no highway code and drove like mad loonies. I was terrified and most relieved when I arrived at the address in one piece. It was slap bang across the road from the Eiffel Tower and I was a happy happy bunny.
I only helped out with the baby a few half days a week and the rest of the time wandered around sight seeing. I adored everything about the place, but as I speak absolutely no French whatsoever it made for some interesting shopping trips there. My favourite place to shop was Gallery Lafayette and generally I spent most of my free cash there on cute clothes and presents to send back home to my parents. I was in my element there and adored the hustle and bustle of it and people watching the stylish parisiennes.
I did a lot of exploring and loved taking a book and finding a lovely park to lie under a tree reading. My absolutely most memorable trip in those first few weeks though was going to visit the grave yard where Jim Morrison from 'The Doors' is buried. I had been a huge fan for years and even did my Higher English book report on the book 'No One Here Gets Out Alive'. So being in Paris and able to go to one of the graveside vigils was amazing.
I'll always have Paris.