Bookworm in Paris: Books, Picasso and Endometriosis

Hi all my bookworms!

It’s Monday again I hope you know what that means. Time for another wrap up from my last week in Paris.

Just a reminder, but my name is Chiara and I am a Bookworm.

I’m trying something different this week by not numbering my week and instead giving you a summary of what you might find within.

First of all I just want to give a quick shout out to everyone who followed me on here and on twitter this weekend. You pushed me over 200 followers on here and I’m almost up to 250 followers on Twitter. You guys are amazing! And for all my longtime followers. You guys are amazing too! If you left a link on my twitter post I will get round to all of you but there were soooooooooo many of you that it’s going to take some time. Thank you once again for all the love and support.

But down to my past week.

Monday night I cooked for my au pair family. Well, let me clarify. I cook for the family every night but often I cooks soup or I follow a recipe that the family has given me but for the first time I used my own recipe. The family are completely vegetarian and coming from a non-vegetarian background it has been a bit difficult for me to find simple vegetarian recipes. I ended up cooking vegetarian “meat”balls which were made with courgette instead of meat. The kids and the parents loved it. The mum was scraping the bottom of the dish in an attempt to get some more. People loving your food is always brilliant.

The rest of the week with the kids was relatively normal. Tuesday I met up with my friend Kay at the Hoxton and treated ourselves to truffle fries. They are amazing! i have been friends with Kay since I was last in Paris. She has a great instagram page which is well worth checking out. We went for a walk round the area afterward and ended up in the street that has all the really expensive jewellers in Paris. I’m talking Tiffany and Cartier. Some of the pieces they had on display were amazing. Something I learned about jewellers. You can tall the expensive ones because they don’t put a price next to their display items.

Friday I decided I need from fresh air and I want to walk down to WHSmiths (248 Rue de Rivoli). From my apartment it is about 40 minutes walk but well worth it. I walked through the Tuileries Gardens next to the louvre with offers a great view right through the Place de Concorde, down the Champs Élysée to the Arc de Triomphe.

This isn’t a great picture but you get what I mean. Like usual it rained slightly as I walked. Whenever I go out for a walk it seems to decide to rain. I can’t wait for spring to really arrive.

The WHSmiths was almost exactly like a WHSmiths back at home. Downstairs there is a selection of sandwiches and drinks as well as fiction and some non-fiction books relating to Paris. They have a wide selection of English magazines and newspapers.

Upstairs is the children’s section, the rest of their non-fiction work and a cafe with specialises in English food. The store is predominantly aimed at tourists and expats who miss a slice of home. But if at all possible I would, like most English bookshops in Paris, avoid buying my books there because of how expensive they are and they don’t have a second hand section which I think they are missing out on. I will, however, recommend the little corner that I found after some exploring that has a selection of ‘English’ foods. I found digestive biscuits, ginger hobnobs, P G Tips tea and Marmite. And also Vegemite for any Australians living in Paris. While there I found many ideas for my next ‘books I didn’t haul’ post.

By the way, I treated myself to some milk chocolate digestive biscuits which I am munching on as I write this.

Saturday I decided that I wanted to go and visit one of my old favourite museums. The Picasso museum. The museum is located in the heart of the Marais, a quite trendy (and expensive) area to live in, and housed in the the old Hôtel Salé. The building is over 350 years old but as you walk around it becomes quite easy forget its age. It is, in my opinion, a perfect blend between the old and the new with Picassos work in between.

Unfortunately two floors of the museum were closed when I visited as the were re-hanging art ready for new exhibition opening some time this spring. I wish I had known that in advance as I would left visiting this museum till another day. However I did enjoy my visit and found myself a new favourite painting by Picasso.

Beautiful, isn’t she?

Part of the museum I did get to see was all about Picasso as a reader and how reading and books was a strong influence in his work.

I shall leave a link to the museum website here and I recommend as visit the next time that you are in Paris.

And about this point is usually where I start summing up because Sunday is usually a quite day for me. I walk to Church in the afternoon. I meet up with friends afterwards for a few drinks and then I head home for a quiet evening. And that is that.

But yesterday after church I got chatting with a friend and she said she was going to a meeting about endometriosis. Now I am really not the person to ask when it comes to endometriosis. I know a bit about it and I suspect that I may have it but diagnosing it is very difficult and I am still going through that stage. My friend, who has endometriosis, and knows what I suspect about myself invited me along. I don’t know if it was planned but I thought it very fortuitous that this talk landed on International Women’s Day.

The talk was very informative and I found out a lot not just about how endometriosis is formed, its treatment and how it affects a woman’s life but about how difficult it is to get funding for the research of the condition. I will leave the information link that they gave us however this is in french and I doubt many of you will understand it. For any my UK readers I recommend Endometriosis UK. For everyone else this website is great for information about endometriosis but it talks a lot about how to get treatment it with the UK system. I also found this website that has links to different endometriosis organisations across the world.

And that is pretty much it for today and my events in the last week. I just want to leave you with one last image that was used a lot at the talk.

The writing says: “Periods are normal. Pain is not.” And the underneath “Painful periods can be a symptom of endometriosis, the leading cause of infertility.”

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