Macaron madness!

Image from stardustandsequins

The last few days have been a nightmare. Ever since posting my latest blog about Paris, my mind has not been resting one moment. I keep thinking about going to Paris, going back to the Sacre Coeur, going to see all these fabulous places, and the worst of all: macarons!

Now, luckily, I know you can buy them online. Fortnum & Mason do them, they say (haven’t been able to find them online yet though), as do Laduree in Harrods, both in owning shops London. Then there’s the continental chip in the market, but I have so far been able to prevent myself from having a look there. It’s a macaron madness inside my head! The bright colours, the mouth watering flavours, the pretty boxes, and also, the exclusive price; thinking of every aspect of these gorgeous little rounds makes me want them more and more!

And the funny thing? I don’t think I’ve ever had one. Ever. The thought alone does the trick. My friend from work suggested to find a recipe and try and make them myself, but I don’t know what they’re supposed to taste like, or feel like! I can only recite what I’ve read. What they say they’re like.

So I’ve also been browsing trips and hotels for the Easter season. I think I’ve found a pretty nice looking hotel in the 18th arrondissement, pretty close to the Gare du Nord, pretty close to Montmartre. Sad little me has already checked the booking availabilities, the metro routes, and made a little plan to fill the days. My screensaver is the Eiffel Tower by night, the background of my phone is my picture of the Sacre Coeur, my ringtone the music from Amelie.

Unfortunately there’s only a few solutions: go to Paris. go to London (to get some macarons). watch Amelie. But I don’t think any of these options will make this feeling any less..

Oh I can’t wait for Easter!

xx Chrisje

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My Paris

“Une femme sans amour, c’est comme une fleur sans soleil, ça dépérit.” -from Amelie

I was 15 years old when I took this picture. My first time in Paris, I was scared of the metro, scared of the people, scared of the smells. I had had 2 years of French classes at that point, and I could make myself clear when the need would arise, but this was different. I had seen other sight-seeing attractions, but they seemed to not make an impact whatsoever.

Then, when I walked through this little dark alley, taking in the merchant’s stands, the Jewish shops, the chitter chatter, this massive white shape arose, and seemed to push away the darkness. I was astounded. I couldn’t believe that everyone shrugged at this, for lack of words, beast of a building, this beauty, taking it for granted!

I took this picture, hoping it would capture a piece of myself. That, when I would look at it later in life, I would remember what it felt like to first lay eyes on the Sacre Coeur. Even though I have never been back to see it, after that one time, it is still my favourite building, my favourite place in the world.

Many more pictures I took that day. I have pictures where she stands out between the green grass, the flowers in bloom, a blue spotless sky. I bought drawings, postcards, photographs, anything I could lay my hands on. But this picture has captured the essence of that first visit for me. This is what made me fall in love with Paris, with life.

I hope to return soon, something I’ve been saying for years, just to take some pictures, to stroll around carelessly. Until then, I’ll just have to make do with Amelie 🙂

xx Chrisje

A beautiful winter’s day

This picture, taken on a bridge in Witham, is the main reason I’ve started this new blog. The beauty, the serenity, the simplicity, together they took my breath away. Now, ever since I moved here [to Witham], people have tried to convince me that this town is ‘a sh*thole’, ‘a stain on a map’, ‘not worth it’s space’, but to be quite honest with you: I love it. Witham, to me, is synonymous to peace and quiet, to safety, to weekend, to calm.

A short introduction. As you could have probably guessed by my name, I am not an English national. I was born in the Netherlands, in a city in the county of Brabant, in the mid-south of Holland. I grew up in an unconventional yet loving family of four: my mum, my older brother, myself and my younger sister. My mum’s side of the family is rather large, with one aunty, four uncles, and their spouses and children.

I remember my mum being a lawyer and a writer. Therefore it should come as no surprise that I was brought up to respect the elderly, respect your superiors, but to never give respect to those who demand it. Another lesson learned very young in life, is to always speak my mind. My mum used to do this by actively contributing to the local newspapers by writing in, engaging in politics and reading up in encyclopidia.

Feeling very mature and confident in my abilities, I swapped my home country for England, to spread my wings, to make it big, to prove myself, to find a meaning in life. A year and a half on, I’m slightly surprised to find myself settled, not in London, where I thought I would find it all, but in Essex. It is here where I have been given a chance to prove myself, to find my way.

Every single day I find myself in situations, places, conversations I’ve never found myself in. Situations, to keep it short, that make my blood boil in anger, or make tears well up in my eyes from happiness. And everything in between. For a very long time, I have put this down as (inter)cultural differences, but with every new situation, it makes me see it is down to pure ignorance, stupidity, bias on one end, and heroism, bravery and intelligence on the other.

Apart from my daily struggle to make sense of [British] culture, my hobbies include reading, history, the arts, photography, cookery and travelling. These are the subjects I’d like to write about, obviously not limiting myself just to these.

That will be all for today, then. Thank you!

xx Chrisje