Friday, 17 March 2017


January is always a weird month. I always find there's a lot of pressure to make it a good month; it's the start of a new year, everyone has their new year resolutions and well, speaking for myself, they always seem to fail. You expect January to set the standard for the rest of the year, we might all laugh and roll our eyes at the 'New Year, New Me' Facebook posts but secretly we are all thinking this is the time to change everything we don't like about ourselves. It is also a sharp snap back into reality. December is always so magical, the whole month is a build up to Christmas and New Years Eve, you might be excited to spend time with your family, to open presents on Christmas morning, to have a well deserved break from University, School or work, or simply to eat so much food (specifically Christmas Dinner) that the New Year's Eve outfit you bought a few weeks before will no longer fit. Whatever it is, by January, the magical quality of December and Christmas has faded. You have to prepare for going back to work, or university (which usually means exams), the weather is always bad and you're usually poor. I probably have made it seem a bit more depressing than it actually is, but it always seems to be a bit like that.
For me, anyway.
January started with having to say goodbye to all my family and friends before boarding a flight back to Paris on the 2nd, ready to start the second half of my year abroad. I arrived back in Paris, back to my little apartment and had about eight hours sleep before my first exam at 9am the next day. Luckily my exam period only lasted for five days, but let me tell you, four exams in five days when you haven't revised nearly half as much as you should have done is not fun.
But then, one of my best friends came to visit the day my exams finished, so that made it all more bearable.
We had five days exploring Paris, well more the gothic side of Paris. It started with a shopping day, spending hours in the Sephora on the Champs Elysees, which let me tell you is the closest thing to heaven I could ever think of. Then we spent the rest of our days taking trips to the most gothic places in Paris, the Catacombs, the beautiful, extensive cemeteries, Notre Dame and the crypts in Notre Dame and the Pantheon, finishing off with a classic trip up the Eiffel Tower and to the Louvre.

At the end of Yasmin's visit, I flew back to England with her to go and visit my friends from University and my beautiful friend Sabrina who I didn't have to the chance to see over the short Christmas break I had. They all knew I was coming home, however none of my family did, so that was fun getting to surprise them all. I had six days at home, well I wasn't really at my home. I had a lovely few days visiting Sabrina in Leamington Spa then a few days in York catching up with my History of Art friends and my fave person / first year neighbour Eve. The trip was much needed, I hadn't seen them in a very long time and desperately needed at catch up! It was extremely weird being back in York (where I study in England) after so long away but seeing everyone else still there. I can't explain how it feels to be a guest in a city that you used to live in, especially because my life is so different now to what it was a year ago.

I had an amazing few days, relaxing, exploring, shopping in Leeds, but was so ready to get back to Paris, my favourite city of them all.
Back in Paris, it was Mens Fashion Week and Couture week. Obvs, I didn't attend, even though in my dreams I was there every day. The closest I got was that the Paul Smith show took place on the road that I live on and I was inside the Grand Palais at the same time as the Dior Show, even though I was at an exhibition. It's weird though being in Paris at the time of fashion week, especially living there because I feel like I know the city quite well now, so seeing all models and bloggers instagramming all pictures of Paris which are now places I recognise and go to, is very weird.
Anyway, one day I will be attending fashion week.
At the Grand Palais at this time was the Mexique exhibition, documenting the work of the Mexican artists from 1900 - 1950 including Frida Khalo, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and many another amazing artists. Mexican art is something I don't know a lot about, I've heard the names but never studied it or this period so the exhibition was incredibly interesting and eye opening for me. From the rich colours and beautiful depictions of everyday life to the political statements they created with their works, I learnt a lot and was blown away by the amount of pieces that were included in this exhibition. I would highly looking into Mexican art or if there is ever an exhibition like this near wherever you are, definitely check it out!

Saint-Germain-de-Près also got a make over during January as part of Paris Décor week. It is one of my favourite areas in Paris and luckily where I live. It's so beautiful and is full of independent art galleries, furniture shops and amazing bars and restaurant. A classic Parisian neighbourhood. But for a few weeks in January it was even more beautiful than usual.

Another amazing exhibition I attended in January was Rembrandt Intime at Musée Jacquemart André . It was a large collection of his work starting from his very early days as an artist to his last years, documenting the progression of his technique and his life through his paintings. You don't have to be interested in art to know the name Rembrandt, and even though I wouldn't say he is one of my favourite artists, the exhibition made me enjoy his work a lot more. To see so much of his work and be able to compare it to each other made it a lot more interesting to me. Especially being able to see his sketches and plans for his paintings before he started them, and to be honest, I was surprised by how long I stayed there and how much I was captivated by some of his pieces. I even bought the exhibition catalogue at the end. Also, we weren't allowed to take pics inside soz.
January finished with a birthday celebration. It was one of my friends here 21st birthday so we all went out for cocktails and then ended up having a flat party at their student residence. Overall, a great night out.

Even though a lot seemed to happen in January, I spent a lot of time feeling very depressed and anxious. I don't know really what was the cause of it, but sometimes I just have those periods, so I didn't feel that I did as much as I should've done as I spent a lot of time alone, wandering round paris or sat in my flat exploring french Netflix. But it made me realise how amazing my friends are here, especially my flatmate, her support was incredibly helpful and it made me realise even more how important it is to surround yourself with good people who will love and support you whatever happens, who will be there to listen when you need to vent and then know how to cheer you when you need it. I feel so lucky to be on this year abroad and to have met the friends that I have here. Please can I stay in Paris forever ??

Niamh. x

Merci for your visit to my blog and hope you come back for more Parisian adventures! 
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