Friday, September 30, 2005

A day in the life...

I took a leisurely stroll from our apartment to our 'local' pub, normally this is about a 30 minute walk, but I was equipped with my old Canon AE-1, a free roll of film, a setting autumn sun and so decided to take my time.

Here we have Newcastle Terrace, a small park over looking The Park (the rich gated community we live just on the outskirts of).

The Park

I then met Henry the Cat just behind the police station. He was very friendly and stout and he had a hard time standing still to be photographed as he perfered being petted.

But then someone else became jealous and wanted their picture taken as well. How could I say no?

Regrettably it was time to leave my new feline friends and continue on my journey.

This is Derby road, full of student housing and one of our other favorite bars, Scruffy's.

Here we have Lenton Rd. and the area known as Lenton. Also many student homes.

Some shops on Lenton Rd. There's a dodgy sushi place here that I'm getting desperate enough to try soon. I am having a hard time dealing with sashimi withdrawl. No one likes to see the raw fish shakes in a girl as young and vibrant as myself. It's not pretty.

Here is a squirrel eating a piece of bread larger than his own head. He did not like having his photo taken.

This is in front of Lenton Manor, home of the hungry squirrel.

And I have now reached my destination: Our Local pub, the Johnson Arms

One of our favourite bartenders, showing off his mad skillz

Here are Colin and Stephane waiting for our taxi to take us home.

And here we are, full circle, just in front of the Newcastle Terrace where I had started my photo journey. A little slice of my life in Nottingham.

Monday's child...

Monday's Child is fair of face,
Tuesday's Child is full of grace,
Wednesday's Child is full of woe,
Thursday's Child has far to go,
Friday's Child is loving and giving,
Saturday's Child works hard for a living,
But the Child that is born on the Sabbath Day,Is witty and wise and good and gay!

I'm Wedneday's child. Rock on! That's like the worst one to be. Sunday's is a little lame too, (and not just because of the word "gay"), but its all hollier-than-thou and kind of all over the place. Pick a personality and stick with it Sunday.

Here's what this poem is really trying to say.
Monday - you're a hottie, but you don't have much to say
Tuesday - You're a socialite and everyone wants to hang out with you but you drink dirty martinis before noon on a regular basis
Wednesday - You're a depresso. You moan and whine about everything, but you're great for having bitch fests with
Thursday - You're "a little slow" to put it nicely. I'm sure you're a very nice person, but seriously, catch up with the rest of us
Friday - You let everyone walk all over you. Pushover extreme - makes a great best friend for Tuesday
Saturday - You're boring, but rich. You die with the most toys.
Sunday - You're the 6th member of Queer Eye. We all love you, but sometimes you're just a bit Over The Top

Sorry - I had to take down the link because the site doesn't seem to be working. I'll try to find another one.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Have you seen my sweater?

The perfect outfit exists only in my mind. For the past few months I have had a certain outfit in my head, it is the outfit I want to wear to a Christmas party. (I'm accepting invitations for said party btw). Full black skirt that falls just above the knee, which I'm sure will be easy enough to find, especially now that this whole gypsy skirt fad is finally waning (thank god as it made me look like a little girl dressing up in her mother's clothes from the 70's). The top however is proving to be much more difficult to find. I want a bright Kelly green cardigan sweater with capped short sleeves. I'm imagining a grown up, more girly 50's-ish version of those sweaters we wore in the early 80's as young children (often on school picture day). They were wool and itchy and had little plastic buttons in the shapes of apples and cats sewn on. Can you picture it? More importantly, can you help me find it?
My shopping sprees in Nottingham have found me empty handed, ok, well not entirely empty handed, but I certainly did not get any closer to my green sweater. Nottingham has a wide range of clothing shops, so it's not a location issue. And there are green sweaters on the mannequins in the shop windows bordering the market square, but none of them are MY green sweater. They are dull green, "autumnal" in colour, long sleeved and they certainly do not have little plastic buttons of pineapples and dogs sewn into them.

I think i'll have to venture into the vintage shops, which I'm scared to do on my own as I always end up walking out with musty smelling clothes that look fabulous hanging in my closet; but make me look like a bloated June Cleaver after a four day bender - it's not pretty. I need a second opinion when buying second hand - because if someone else didn't want it, you have to think twice about why it's a suitable purchase for you.

So, back to the green sweater - I ask you all to be on the lookout for me. If said sweater is found, put it on hold, take a picture, send the photo to me and we'll take it from there. You are my scavengers, I am shopping alone here people, and I am calling to you for help.

Remember, we are on the look out for: bright green button down sweater (perferably cashmere) with short puffy sleeves. Odd childish buttons are NOT necessary, as I can sew those on myself, or perhaps even use some funky brooches.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Why yes those are gold sequins on my feet

At my little sister’s pre-school they used to sing a special song every time a kid came in with a new pair of shoes. I applaud this. Not only does it instil music education, but the importance of fashion to the impressionable youth.

Today I feel like singing.

“New shoes, new shoes, Lauren has new shoes. New shoes, new shoes, new shoes Yay!”

Please, join me.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a pair of shoes that did not give me blisters. They are Ked-like in their simplicity and comfort. Capable of keeping up with a busy city girl’s pavement pounding, yet they are stylish enough to accompany me to a day at the office, a cocktail party, or even a pumpkin carving festival.

They are perfect. They are mine.

And the best part was that I went into the shoe store only a few minutes before they closed, and so had four sales people at my beck and call. I traipsed around the store claiming they were like walking on air. I then dramatically looked each of them in the eye and said with a flourish, “I’ll take ‘em!”

I got rhythm, I got music

I finally broke down and downloaded coldplay's "Fix You". although terribly over played, I love that song. Everyday at work I'd hear that song in the backround of someone else's office when we were on the phone. I then decided to create another playlist on my ipod for Fall, and started listening to these old CD's I bought of classical music. A rather pathetic 101 best of classical music, for those with no knowledge or taste of their own kind of a thing that I had purchased in Portobello market in London years ago. I fell upon Handel's Hallelujah Chorus a song we sang in choir every year for Christmas in high school. I have to say I felt a great sense of pride in being able to still hold my own on the alto part some 7 years later. I miss singing. All I have left is Karaoke and humming while I cook, which just gets me scolded because "certain people" can't hear the tv while beautiful arias pour out of my chapped lips.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

...the mice will play

There's a dead rat outside of my apartment building. I got off work early (last day of temping!), had a leisurly lunch of toasted brie and bacon "provencette" at Le Petit Francais. Which is actually a panini, don't know where they got the word provencette, first time Stephane and I ate there we noticed that everything french was slightly askew. But I digress. The rat. Quite startling to see a medium sized rodent out on the street, lying on its back. I'm not even sure if it's completely dead, I could have sworn I saw its pink little hand wave at me, but I'm sure these visions are quite common when you come upon a dead furry stranger, imagining it might still be alive. I wonder if it ate posion. He's actually quite cute. Perhaps even someone's pet. If I had film I'd immortalize him with my Canon, but the best I can do is write about him in blogland.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

What ya gonna do Katie

Is the coverage of Kate Moss as big in the states as it is in the UK? Its amazing how people are not only appearing "shocked" to find out that a supermodel dating a heroine addict does cocaine, but that it is actually front page news. And not just front page news, but front and 2nd and 3rd, 4th, 5th page news...all in the same newspaper. Wow. There must really not be much going on in the world to have Kate Moss take front and centre stage. Oh wait, there's a war, a german election, evacuation in preparation for yet another hurricaine in the golf states... and we're putting photos of a model doing drugs, as if it's new(s)?

Of course she does drugs. So would I if I had all that money, lived in a world where drugs were passed around like crisps in a pub and was dating a lanky sex on a stick tragic junkie.

That's my rant for the day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

When in Doubt...

Sorry kids, I'm just not feeling creative nor like too much show and tell, so I give you this quiz to the rescue

You're an Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

Friday, September 16, 2005


Originally uploaded by lauren lechat.
The tea cups at Euro Disney

day dreams of a sort

I have dreams of the future. Of my future. Lazy meandering daydreams forcing their way in the crevice between consciousness and sleep hoping to bleed colourful ink onto my nocturnal visions. I imagine joining the Peace Corps, spending a year stuck deep in the lurid heat of Africa. I’ll build bridges, feed babies, set up schools, I’ll shave my head to feel the sun beating down on my bare head, skin that hasn’t seen light since the day I was born. I’ll trade jewellery with tribe women and take glorious photos of gold fields dotted with elephants at sunset. And then I’ll fly back home. And here’s the part that makes me all gooey inside. The look on my family and friends faces when they see how tan and thin I am. That’s right. I don’t want to join the Peace Corps for genuine selfless, pious, socially aware reasons; I want to use the Peace Corps as a full makeover. Lose a ton of weight, turn my pale blotchy skin into a shade of golden brown, get some killer photos that will turn me into an instant photographic success and maybe get some original funky jewellery that will inspire catwalks the world over. Does that make me terribly shallow? But I love my day dreams, I’ve been escaping to that vacation-y place in my mind ever since I was a little girl, often dreaming of running away and living in a cottage where I took care of wounded woodland creatures. One of my recent day dreams that vies for space with the peace corp dream, is quite simple and reminds me of that little imaginary cottage of my childhood. The cottage still exists, only the woodland creatures have been replaced by a certain Frenchman and two specific pets. A pug named Big Daddy and a cat named Little Boo. They are best friends. I’ve imagined Big Daddy and Little Boo so often now that I bring them up frequently in conversations, as if they already exist. Stephane will allow me Little Boo once we get the “cottage” in February – so I have plenty of time to get him to change his mind on Big Daddy. My task is simply to find a pug that has a cat as a best friend and adopt them. Who could resist that?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A full head of hair on an empty head

Sorry I haven't been writing as frequently. I just started a temp job, and while it is quite easy, it is also rather soul sucking as most temp jobs tend to be. Frankly I've been having some low morale days as of late. Three months gone by, and no real job. All I want is some creative gig with funky people that celebrates my uniqueness. Try typing that into Monster... you're not going to come up with very much. I've left my friends and my culture in Paris, I feel like a bloated american. But on a positive note, my hair is looking fabulous, although it does need a good haircut. But it is shiny and full (well, full for my thin hair) and finally back to normal since life in gray paree.

For those of you who don't know my hair fiascos, Paris stole my hair.

When I first moved there to study for a year, I started noticing after a few months that my hair was thinning. You could easily see my scalp a good few inches from my forehead to my crown, and I also started developing a bald spot. At 21. People told me it was the water, it was the pollution, it was stress, doctors put me on vitamins and made up some disease to go along with it all. Nothing worked. I went back to the states, and within a month it was back. Healthy dark brown hair, covering my entire head.

Then I go back to Paris. Old friends commented on my fabulous hair, gald to see it back. Glad to not have to stare at my unvoluntarily naked scalp. A few months passed the same hairloss happened again. The bald spot and "hair plug" effect at the front.

By the end of 2 years, it started kind of growing back again, but even after the full three years I lived in Paris, my hair was never completely back to its stateside glory.

Now that I live in the UK, the hair is back, washed and conditioned with Herbal Essences and smelling sweet.

But I know I wasn't alone in the Paris hair theft issue. I'd notice a lot of other women on the metro with bald spots and thinning hair, some of them were even under 80. I'm sure if I lived there long enough my body would eventually acclimate, and in the mean time, I can always rock the head scarves. But still. Paris has the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel tower and bald women. Who knew?

I still have balding nightmares and wake up in a cold sweat every now and then.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A trip down memory lane

You know those moments in your life when random funny episodes you had come flooding back at the most inappropriate times and you find yourself making that red faced suppressed laughter while you're standing in line at the grocery store?

Here's the memory I had that had me looking as red as the vine ripened tomatoes I was buying:

I was the star of my friend Danielle's senior film in college. We went to her borther's hipper than hip warehouse-come-loft in brooklyn to shoot most of the film over one weekend. Two kittens also lived there. Danielle and I slept a few feet apart from each other on makeshift beds. One morning I slowly woke up to a gurgly coughing sound that sounded dangerously close. The first thing that comes into view is a bobbing furry head of one of the kittens in the middle of trying to dislodge a hair ball on to MY FACE. Before I quite comprehend what is happening, I look over to see Danielle lying awake and calmly watching this feline farce without so much as a warning to me. This kitten had decided to climb up my sleeping body, perch on my chest with the sole purpose of vomitting on my head and my supposed friend didn't say a word.

I eventually removed the kitten to the floor where it threw up by my feet to the sounds of Danielle's laughter at what almost happened, no thanks to her.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How the Frenchies do it in Notts

Had a lovely little weekend with the Beau. Sun was out, skies were clear and my flu is officially gone. Granted we spent every day at our local pub, the Johnson's Arms, but it has a lovely beer garden so it's not like we were holed into some damp corner of an English pub, and anyways, that's what they do here...drink.
Here is a small glimpse of the garden.

We played a few rounds of petanque. Our pub has a small petanque terrain as well as their own set of boules. The pastis was flowing. You'd never guess that we were in Nottingham. I lost the first game.

Here I am pouting.

Stephane gloats.

But I won the next two games - so I was the champion!

Then we went home and I made the most disgusting Bangers and Mash ever. Stephane loved it.

Sunday, stephane had to work, so while he did that, I went to read at the University cafe in front of the lake. We then went back to the Johnson's Arms for some quick pints and fruit picking.

We went back home and I made the most succulent butter garlic roast chicken, a simple salad and an apple tart. Sorry, I don't have any pictures, because we ate it too quickly. The other day I made a quiche. I've been a regular Betty Crocker these past few days. Here's the quiche.

I had decided not to mention the devistation brought on by Katrina in my blog, because there are some feelings where words are not enough, what could I possibly say now? But it is weekends like these that make you appreciate what you have when you think of what others have lost. An embarrassment of riches. My prayers and thoughts are with those touched by Katrina.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My theme song

It has recently come to my attention that there are certain times in my life when I have a theme song.

It first started with my first serious boyfriend, a Brit named Simon I had met while vacationing with friends in Jamaica. We found ourselves constantly listening to Jacques Brel, specifically Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't leave me). I had previously been introduced to Jacques and his master piece in a highschool french class and fell in love with his passion, so the song already had meaning for me. Ne Me Quitte Pas soon came to be a symbolic song for my relationship with Simon. Inbetween his travels to Peru, my living in New York and then moving to France, him living in England, we were often saying goodbye. At the end of one of his visits to Paris, we had said our goodbyes at the airport. I was walking down the stairs to the train station while he was moving up the escalator to his boarding gate. He turns to look for me, hoping to catch one last glimpse before he goes. I see him straining to find me, an almost frantic look in his eyes, but he never did. Tears well up at such a heartbreaking view of my lover, searching for me in vain, when I descend onto the platform to catch my train and Jacques Brel's Ne Me Quitte Pas starts to play over the loud speakers. You've got to be kidding me. Who is writing my life?

A new theme song occured towards the end of my first year living in Paris. I had finally settled in, a true international socialite, with funky international ex-pat friends, a thriving new sex life as a bartender, living on warm bagettes, cheese and cheap wine. Whenever I would walk the streets of Paris the song from Sweet Charity would come into my head:
"If they could see me now, that little gang of mine, I'm eating fancy food and drinking fancy wine, what a step up holy cow, they'll never believe it, if my friends could see me now"

Flash forward a year, I've gone back to finish my senior year at Ithaca, went through a terrible relationship, depression, therapy and finally I am back in Paris. This time trying to do my best to survive on my own. Crashing at my friend Ammo's appartment, not finding any work. I had just dealt with a terrible interview where the woman questioned whether I was really French and told me my computer skills were crap. Coming out of the terrible interview I go into a Bar to ask for work. I get a flash of myself over a year ago singing Sweet Charity, and a new song comes into my head: Kris Kristofferson's Beat the Devil. "With a stomach full of empty and a pocket full of dreams, I left my pride and stepped inside a bar".

Soon after I have my own apartment, and a real 9 to 5 job. And then I met Stephane. Enter theme song #3
At the beginning Stephane was a bit of a tough nut to crack. As arrogant as this will sound, I've never had to "work" at getting a man, until I met this little sweet natured French scientist who not only had "commitment" issues, but had also started to win my heart. 3 months went on of back and forth highschool style dating. Why hasn't he called, it's been 2 days, why hasn't he called it's been 4 days, why hasn't he called it's been 2 WEEKS kind of a thing. I had to deal with terrible phrases like "It's not that I don't want to be with you, I just don't want to be with anybody right now". I couldn't believe I actually had to actively pursue a man, I was practically wooing him. Normally men just fell into my lap. Not necessarily great catches, but still, I never had to lift a finger.

And so, in my frustration I developped a theme song: The Tide is High. After putting my friend's baby to sleep I would sink into a long relaxing bubble bath and tearfully sing "I'm gonna be your number one. I'm not the kind of girl who gives up just like thaaayat, oh no oh oh ohhh" . But now the Boy is Mine. If it's not worth working for....

So now as I am embarking on a new life in England, still no job and no cat, I am awaiting my next theme song. Something to march in time to on the cobbled streets of the land of Robin Hood to my next fabulous career move.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Nothing new since Sliced Bread

As I'm walking home from my latest interview, I start thinking about lunch. I have the perfect ingredients for a fabulous sandwich, and my mouth is watering as I trek up the 50 some odd (steep) steps to get to my apartment. As soon as I'm in the house, I've already got my head stuck in the fridge.

Thick white bread, smothered in mayo and mustard, perfectly ripe slices of tomato, sharp white cheddar, and wafer thin pieces of chicken. I'm just about to put it all together when I look at the two pieces of bread left over in the bag, and notice something dark green: mold. My heart sinks. The evil mold monsters are trying to sabotage my lunch! I try to pick off all the mold on my half-way made delicious sandwich, but decide it is just not salvageable. I almost wish I had just not noticed the mold and blissfully ate my sandwich in complete ignorance. Alas, I had to make-do with stale tortilla wraps instead, sloughing all the perfectly placed ingredients of my lunch onto this pathetic flattened excuse for bread. Boo.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Paris - lite

If you don't want to read the long post about my few days in paris, here are the highlights, but to see pictures you'll need to scroll down the previous post:

- Watching a dubbed in french german made for TV movie about becoming a pop star via reality televistion. Pure Eurotrash gold.

- Finally admitting that Paris is no longer home, and be able to give my appartment key back to Ammo

- Fighting back tears while holding my friend's newborn baby

- Kittens falling from the sky

- realizing how fabulous my boyfriend is when compared to the stories of men refusing to buy their girlfriends a simple pint of cider, men who always seemed as sweet as pie cheating on their girlfriend for the last five years of their seven year relationship, men who won't recognize their own child

- drunkinly writing a letter to Kylie about why she should give us money "technically it is not soley your fault that I am broke. But the main point is that I am, and you're not."

- the orgasmic sensation of raw tuna sliding down my throat, first japanese i've had since June

- writing to BBC prime to put back Eastenders in their daytime program. "I am now watching a melodramatic Mariah Carey on VH1. I blame you"

- Coming to grips with the fact that my friend is on the other side of the bar. While it used to be cool to sing with the bartender, we are now just a bunch of loud women forcing our music upon everyone else and losing our voices in a massive sing-a-long in a bar that none of us work in anymore.

Obnoxious inside joke of the month: I'm sorry, can you repeat what you said? I must still have rice in my ears, CHILD.