This week has been tough. It’s my first week back in Paris, yet it feels a lot longer than that (the holidays in the Alps seem a long time ago). In an effort to set my body-clock from holiday-mode to work-mode, I have forced myself out of bed earlier each day.
Friday was an epic day. I was looking at job vacancies and checking emails by 7:30. The Frog and I were co-ordinating logistics for shopping and cooking for dinner at our apartment Friday evening. I was really wondering how I would fit everything into my day. After the sun rose, and the sky looked non-threatening enough, I got myself out for a run. It was tough. It was my third run for the week, and it’s been a while since I’ve gone so frequently. This is something else I’m working on this year. Getting healthier, which means more exercise and better food (more on, that another time).
After the run, I was horrified to see how late it had gotten. I got organised, and headed for the supermarket. I wizzed about throwing stuff into my basket, then commenced doing laps around the store, looking for rosmary, mascapone, and salt. I admitted defeat on the rosmary after lap 10.
Then it was home for the first round of cooking. It is my belief that our flat has the most poorly designed kitchen, (possibly) ever. Poor placement of lighting, poor placement of power supply, practically zero workspace and a tiny fridge. It makes cooking for more than the two of us, a tactical nightmare, let alone appetizers, entree, mains and dessert for four.
After my Raspberry Tiramisu was complete, I headed out for the next round of shopping, coming back to off-load, and re-evaluate where I might find the remaining ingredients. It was at about this point that my thoughts turned to Five on Friday. I seriously considered just skipping it this week (and calling into play my emergency purchase from the Alps), but where’s the fun in that? In the war-zone that was the kitchen, with a list of groceries in hand, I decided to up the stress, and go on the hunt. I considered going local to be a wise move. I set off, at a brisk walk, ready to bulldoze anyone who slowed me down. I passed by Old Faithful (my local bargain store, which is not actually called Old Faithful), and soon found myself on Rue du Commerce. I love this street. It is packed with shops. I decided to start at the other end of the street, and work my way back.
I started with Zara. Normally, I’d not even bother with Zara, but since the second markdowns have started I figured it was worth a shot. No such luck, and I even sussed out the kids section. I skipped H&M seeing as I have already called upon them a few times already. I checked out Pimkie, and very nearly stopped the search there. What stopped me? The thought that the T-shirt I was poised to buy, ressembled all too much a previous Five. I called in at Nice Day Nice Things, which as the name suggests has nice things, but left pretty quickly as the prices were not even close to the budget.
The time was ticking by, and I was running out of street. The sun was going down, the light was disappearing from the sky and I was starting to have that sinking feeling that I had failed. It just didn’t feel possible during the sales. I was starting to believe I’d end up in Old Faithful anyway. And then I came across Etam. It was worth a final shot. I dashed in and darted straight for the big, bright soldes signs. It wasn’t looking good. Plain tees were going at about €7, and all looking a tad short in the body for me. I moved to another section advertising -70%, thinking this sounded promising, but everything was just over the limit. I even contemplated buying something and telling you all it was a close shave, but then that’s not playing by the rules of the game.
About halfway along a clothing rail, my hands glided across a slightly softer cotton, and curiosity had me pushing apart the surrounding clothes to investigate. I liked what I saw, only the price tag read €5.98 (like almost everything else in this section). I liked it so much, I decided it was something I’d buy anyway… and why pass up a decent tee because it costs more than €5. I threw the t-shirt over my arm, and I continued to rummage. I was like a robot programmed for speed and bargains. After another few minutes, I discovered another colour in the same tee, and my lack of decisiveness came into play. Cream or black? Determined to prove I have a wider colour palatte than black and grey, I was leaning towards the cream. I even prefer it in cream. The detail is more visible… but, black is such a staple for me I figured it was worth this minor investment.
Even though these were above the Five budget, I locked my radar on the cash-desk and pulled out the plastic. Standing in the queue, I was mentally running through my shopping list, and wondering if I still had time to stop at Old Faithful. It seemed I’d have to. It was my turn. The assistant took off the security tags, and started running my items through the register. It was then that I stayed praying to the Shopping Gods, “Please let there be a miracle, please let there be a further discount, please, please, please! I don’t have time to stop anywhere else, please please, please!” The Shopping Gods, they deliver fast. I was stunned back to reality by the sales assistant asking for €9.56 (a supplementary 20% off). Score!!! I could not believe it. That was €4.78 per tee. I’ll let you decide which colour can be this weeks Five.
I was then able to move straight on the the supermarket to finish the food shopping. I soon made up my debt to the Shopping Gods by standing in-line at the check-out for over half and hour, (they like prompt repayment too it seems).
The lead up to our guests arriving was tight, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen our kitchen in such a state. I continued to make like a robot and chopped, fried and baked at high speed. It was all worth it. We had a great night, very relaxed, and my Raspberry Tiramisu was a total success!