Dare I drink this entire bottle of wine tout seul? It's Bordeaux. It cost 2 euros 47. I'm drinking it out of a Belgian beer glass stolen from a pub in Vieux Lyon. When the fuck did I get this European? I come from the least European country in Europe.

Just moved to Lyon! I say just, I mean I've just come out of my PERTY month. Actually moved here at the start of May, have arsed about extensively ever since, received visitors, walked about loads and got sunburnt like a mother effer. My parents and older brother came out from Scotland last week and we had a fab time. I had to act as translator / designated French speaker for 6 days which did wonders for my confidence speaking the language like a non-retard. It's like once you tick the box of being able to 'speak', the next thing to be checked off is switching from and between English with a measure of seamlessness. Tricky as hell!

Everyone I knew here has fucked off more or less except my Parisien friend Thomas who I might be admittedly in love with but who is going out with some closet case (thought I shed my bitchy gay LJ tone but apparently not!) who to be honest is bonafide babe and sorted out free internet for me in my apartment (which is a shag -  here's the view: & - and you are of course jealous now) and basically Thomas told me their whole saga... They were neighbours, they had to hide their relationship. He made it clear their histoire involved a lot of agony but frankly it sounded hot as fuck to me. Anyway where am I going with this. Yeah so Thomas is a keeper. He's invited me to his house in Paris this summer when his parents leave. YUMMMM.

Sorting out work stuff to keep me occupied and doing uni work. Literally, pretentious as fuck. Reading the works of Annie Ernaux (this legend slag woman from Brittany who basically writes about lusting after younger men and shit, amazing) in cafes with chipper as fuck older woman serving you espresso like they're from Amélie. And then lunching with various folk (Emma and Adam who popped through from Geneva for two days) in places where I have none of the financial happiness to be frequenting.

Right I'll shut up now because I sound ridiculous. And also I do apologise for the bad words, I'm firing into this wine and I start feeling like swearing makes everything more colourful.

I need pals though. I should hit a pub instead of sitting here listening to a playlist I made on Spotify of gay 80s music. Good stuff though! Janet Jackson could never sing but Pleasure Principle's a TUUUNE.

'walking song'

(photos: tamara lichtenstein; words: kate mcgarrigle)


wouldn’t it be nice to walk together
baring our souls while wearing out the leather
we could talk shop, harmonize a song
wouldn’t it be nice to walk along

i’ll show you houses of architectural renown
some are still standing, some have fallen down
farm houses buried under Canada’s snow
spanish villas on the Boulevards of Mexico

and I’ll learn to tell the ash from the oak
and if you don’t know I won’t make no joke
we’ll climb to the top to view the world from above
or carve our initials in the trunk like teenagers in love

and when we get hungry we’ll stop to eat
gotta think of our stomachs and rest our feet
if we get thirsty we’ll have a drink or two
in a mountain top bar with a mountain top view

and when we get tired we’ll stop to rest
and if you still want to talk you can bare your breast
if it’s Winter and cold we’ll take a rooming-house room
if it’s Summer and warm we’ll sleep under the moon

and we’ll talk about the sports we played
‘bout the time you got busted or the time I got laid
we’ll talk blood and how we were bred
talk about the folks both living and dead

this song like this walk I find hard to end
be my lover or be my friend
in sneakers or boots or regulation shoes
walking beside you I’ll never get the walking blues.

ben chais pas.

My French is getting better but I just came a MAJOR cropper on this sentence over the phone:

After I've seen the apartment I'll tell you everything!

I started nobly with Après que... and then rapidly lost steam as I realised the dead end I was walking into. You fight on though. Grammar's a bitch and must not win. Après que j'ai vu... Oop, that sounds wrong. Après que je vois... Hop, sounds wrong again. Aaaah, running out of options.

Une fois que j'aurai vu l'appartement je te raconterai tout.

Fuck you French. Seriously, fuck you, you impossibly difficult piece of shit.  (Love you really.) How could I have figured that out. I shed my grammatical skin months ago and now only use the language as I hear it said. I no longer think in English, precisely why that is so far out of my reach at the moment. Toute façon, going to see this baby apartment in Lyon tomorrow afternoon. I'll say no more, 'cause I don't wanna jinx it. Mo' infomation as and when things become concrete. (Concrètement = new favourite French word. I hung out with French gays on Sat night who kept saying it. Second hottest word EVER when said by gays after justement.)


'I saw his sails unfurling Thursday dawn.'

Every year I have Joni month where I become happily reobsessed with Joni Mitchell. The rest of the year her music casts shadows over everything else but is never directly referred to. As one of the three or so great musical obsessions of my youth, all it requires is a few months' respite and a bit of patience and before long Joni month rolls around again. March is Joni month this year!

Literally OBSESSED with this album at the moment it's SICK.

Last night I slept hideously, neck pains and restless moments awake stressing the fuck out over nothing. My future keeps me awake at night. Today France exhilirates me again. School was hard today; it's not even the kids it's the fucking teachers taking the piss. In any case, I got drunk ce soir with me and Steph and some French girls. I made fun of their accents and they found it lol. Love cutting that fine line between cunt and endearing.


Literally least eloquent entry ever.


Trying to plan my lessons for tomorrow and failing. Have no lust to start work again.

Actually use of the verb 'try' is fairly libertine as I've made no start. Drinking this rancid French tea and pretending to be thinking about it. Auchan's own brand tea with UHT milk and I only bought it because it was called 'Le Breakfast' and had little UK flags on the box. Kitsch fix!

Was in Bordeaux this week. And Lyon a bit. Both cities are so beautiful. So different, so beautiful. Photos to come, possibly.

My French is so much better than it was when I moved to France. It's sick. I actually start to sound like a French person. You get in situations though where you'll be introduced to someone French and you'll say something fairly short, a small piece of conversational French you've got down to a tee and they'll be like, 'Omg, are you French? You have no accent.' and then the explanation you offer to follow this is the immediate undoing of the illusion.

Only six weeks of teaching left, aka six weeks left in Saint Etienne. Then I move to Lyon, mon petit Paris à moi. Already kind of looking for a fit little studio somewhere. My friend Thomas who's actually from Paris (love him) stays in this fucking hyper chic lil bedsit just off Rue de la République (main street). 2eme arrondissement is fit as fuck. Although the Croix-Rousse, which is split over the 1er and 4eme arrondissements is like the Kreuzberg/Chelsea of Lyon... art squats and ramshackle bars and like, secret passages between buildings and shit. I enjoy this.

My current plan is that I'm going to move to Lyon and find work either in a bar OR giving private English lessons (less difficult than it sounds) OR babysitting OR volunteer work OR a medley of all of the above. Once I get half my rent back from the French government (they pay half your rent for you if you're young and a low-earner... absolute win) that should cover my rent over the summer. I know this sounds sketchy as fuck and like I have no idea what I'm doing. That's kind of true but at the same time that's basically how I operate, you know. In any case, the goal is to stay in France until mid-September by which point my French will hopefully be somewhere in the ballpark of my estimation of amazing.

Zara and Gemma are coming on Thursday. Hangout times in Saint-E, then Lyon, then Paris. Until then I just have to assemble the courage to face the working week!

comme des enfants.

alors, tu vois comment tout se mêle
et du cœur à tes lèvres, je deviens un casse-tête
ton rire me crie de te lâcher
avant de perdre prise, et d'abandonner
car je ne t'en demanderai jamais autant
déjà que tu me traites, comme un grand enfant
et nous n'avons plus rien, à risquer
a part nos vies qu'on laisse, de côté

et il m'aime encore, et moi je t'aime un peu plus fort
mais il m'aime encore, et moi je t'aime un peu plus fort



Quixotic quixotic baaaad open eyes be more practical about matters. Apt to be deluded.

Il faut être optimiste quand même.

I'm 22 now. Gah. For the +tive though: I'm talking online to a French boy called Thomas. I might go meet him in Lyon tomorrow for coffee.



Cet après-midi il y avait une femme qui est venue au lycée pour donner aux élèves de terminale et prépa quelques renseignements sur la traduction... c'est-à-dire, la technique, la pratique... tout à propos de la traduction comme métier. QU'EST-CE QUE C'EST COMPLIQUÉ! Et du coup pour moi c'était assez difficile à suivre, et pas seulement parce que c'était plutôt technique comme sujet. La femme, elle était impressionante, intimidante... d'une for-mi-dable intelligence! Et voilà je l'ai écoutée mais franchement j'avais du mal (plus que d'habitude) à tenir le français dans la tête, à ne pas être en traduisant constamment les phrases à l'anglais. Mais tant pis. Il y a toujours des difficultés, il faut pas m'en vouloir. De toute façon ça m'a fait très plaisir d'entendre le français parlé correctement, de façon soutenu, avec l'emploi de toutes les règles grammatique que l'on apprend et que personne n'utilise dans le français courant. Par exemple, l'imparfait du subjonctif... c'était vraiment la première fois dans ma vie que je l'ai entendu. Comme c'était marrant (au moins... pour moi, language-geek)!

Il y a une compétition littéraire auquelle je pense à participer. Il s'agit des langues vivantes en Grand Bretagne, leur popularités comme matières scholaires, et tout ça. J'aimerais bien écrire qqch de convaincant... quelques mots en persuadant les jeunes de les apprendre. Qqch d'amusant, plein d'esprit, assez charmant... Il faut qu'il soit en anglais, du coup... pas difficile pour moi, enfant génie. Lol.

Je me casse. Bisous.


RIP Kate McGarrigle. Total legend. 'Kate & Anna McGarrigle' is just complete comfort music. Will always be one of my favourites. &hearts

Some say a heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it, you can't mend it
And my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart is like that ship out in mid ocean

They say that death is a tragedy
It comes once and it's over
But my only wish is for that deep dark abyss
'Cause what's the use of living with no true lover

And it's only love, and it's only love
That can wreck a human being and turn him inside out
That can wreck a human being and turn him inside out

When harm is done no love can be won
I know this happens frequently
What I can't understand
Oh please God hold my hand
Is why it should have happened to me

And it's only love and it's only love
And it's only love and it's only love
Only love, only love
Only love, only love