dream hunter

You wonder if you should take a step to the unknown. She leaped. You wonder if you knew how. She taught you. You wonder if you could. She did. A friend who's always there. A source of inspiration and admiration. Courageous, beautiful and full of amazing thoughts. She's someone so annoyingly perfect you'd want to hate her. But you can't help but love her. by iiris

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Tomorrow is the first of December and till this morning I did not have an advent calendar. What a disaster.

The fact is that I am a Christmas freak. Already when I was little I would spend hours and hours planning the team for the wrapping for all my presents etc. I am not too bothered about Christmas itself and I don’t do Christmas shopping but I love waiting and preparing for the festive season.

So, this year I didn’t have a calendar. When we were little, my grandparents would always make us an advent calendar with little present in it. Every third day it would be my turn. I loved it. I would look at the next parcel and examine it without touching it (because that was not allowed) and try to guess what it had in it.

This morning I went to the post office to get a packet, not knowing what I was getting – IT WAS AN ADVENT CALENDER. My friend in Switzerland had made me 24 little present with numbers on them. I couldn’t believe it. I ran home, cleared space from the top of my little shelf and organised the little wrappings into numerical order. They look so cute. And so Christmassy.

I am so excited. And I still have to wait until tomorrow morning to open the first one. I already looked at it and tried to guess what it has inside. But it is a bit difficult. I have a hunch though.

…but I wont sleep tonight…

ps. i know my mum has sent me one with pictures - oh, i'm so lucky!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

coffee at the embassy...and some french

I have a habit of judging events according to the coffee they serve. It is really not the most scientific way but has proved to be quite efficient and easily applied. My newest finding is that the US Ambassador, here in Paris, serves really good coffee. I have to say that the breakfast itself was quite disappointing but at the same time I was maybe too tired to form an opinion objectively.

As you might have guessed I had an invitation to go for a breakfast event in the ambassadors residence. So, when my alarm went of at a ridiculous hour this morning, I jumped out of bed and got dressed in my war outfit – the black suit. It is indeed the best invention in the world because it allows you to get ready in no time AND it makes you look smart and important. I really wish I could use it more often, instead of my usual baggy jeans and trainers.

The event in itself was interesting but I think the best part was the fact that the ambassador introduced his quests in French – and he is a beginner. I mean really. I was so happy to realise that someone in his position masters the language even more poorly than I do. It gave me hope, so much hope.

After few hours of business ethics and another few cups of coffee, the event was over. On my way home I stopped at Massimo Dutti to see if I could find something nice for myself. Well I did. They had lovely suits and jerseys. And beautiful colours. So, I moved on to Decathlon and treated myself with a long sleeved t-shirt for running (apparently I am still the size of a 12yr old) and a patch of vanilla flavoured protein shake, with an improved formula, they told me.

The new suit will have to wait till next year and graduation.


Tonight(well it is almost tomorrow but still) we had wine tasting at work. This does not mean that we all got together, drank lots of wine, and had a rowdy night – quite contrary. We passed a civilised 2hours discussing and analysing the attacks, mid-pallets, colour and the smell of numerous white and red French wines. Our boss is determined that for us to do our job properly – serve the 400 wines we have on the wine list – we should know what we really are talking about.

Personally I always thought that it is enough to know whether a wine is good or bad and whether I like it or not. Who cares if the leg of the wine is pretty or not? And even if there is dried apricot and honey and also possibly a hint of pineapple in the smell of the Coteaux du Layon I like it and I like it a lot. By the way, did you know that it is, like many other (or all?)sweet wines a late harvest wine? However, despite my slight prejudices, I tried to take the evening seriously. And indeed there is a difference in the taste when a Sancerre is served chilled or at the temperature of 17C°. I did not find the liquorice from the Bourgogne but I did agree on the cherry. With the Fronsac thought – well maybe it was closed, I am not sure. But at any rate the Cairanne, which apparently had a hint of cloves (I only guessed “spicy”) in its smell was better, in my opinion.

After two and bit hours of intelligent sniffing, the lesson was over. Two of my friends and I decided that we were starving. We finished our glasses (I had already poured out over 10 classes of perfectly good wine so was not going to waste the last one) and started racing towards the top of Belleville. Soon we were comfortably sat down in this tiny Thai restaurant that has been in the neighbourhood for over 20years, and has changed nothing since it opened. The food there is delicious. My meal cost me less than a glass of those wines that I tasted would have and afterwards I was not sure to be able to leave the table. My 0.30€ tea had maybe a slight hint of aluminium to it, but even still, it was good. And warm.

At midnight we were kicked out. Apparently the restaurant had closed an hour ago. Oh well. But what a great night! And luckily I live at the bottom of the hill so it was my bike who took me home and I could just enjoy the ride.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Last night, after work, I was dragged out to a house party. I was not sure, if this really was a good idea as a friend of mine was supposed to show up at my door 10am. I thought that preparing a presentation with no sleep will not be appreciated. However, I took my bike and headed up towards the north of Paris. In fact, I noticed that my destination was very close to the place where I once got my bike stuck to a pole (but that is yet another story).

When I arrived to the nice, typical Parisian two storeys flat, with an enormous balcony and a big back garden, the party had kicked off pretty well. The host had equipped us with live music, 63 bottles of champagne, 200 bottles of wine, 20litres of punch and I think I saw someone holding a beer. With a class filled with punch or rather the fruit from the punch, I started my tour.

An hour later, we were eating strawberries and drinking another bottle of champagne. More people kept coming in and the music became louder and louder (and the it sounded the worse and worse as empty wine bottles were removed from the area serving as a stage for the band).

Somewhere further away, two guys were having an argument. I had no idea what they were saying but from further away they looked like a double Charles Chaplin film. While hiding away from a camera I went around questions about why I had come alone. The answer is no secret, but the problem was that the questions were directly followed by other ones inquiring what I thought about the guys at the party. Luckily someone started to dance and we joined in.

Finally I decided it was time for me to retire. I wished good night to my friends, who had, at that stage attached themselves to the table filled with cakes, turned my ipod at full volume and started biking home. I climbed over the old drunk who had decided to place himself in my entry way, said no thank you to a drink of something that remotely looked like drinkable alcohol and climbed up to the sixth floor.

I set my alarm and just in case another one and hid under the duvet. What a night – yet again.

ps. it is now 15min past ten and my friend is not here - i think i go back to bed

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Just in case you do not know this vital piece of information about me – chocolate is my reason for living, almost. I live for and from it. Especially from it.

Today, I was supposed to spend a productive day in front of my computer. Well I was carefully watching my laptop the whole day but we can hardly talk about productivity in the same sentence. But for my attempt to do work I really needed chocolate. And this is where it all became just too difficult.

I had extreme difficulties in deciding what to get. The one with nuts and raisins from Cote d’Or (that is the one that has an elephant in the wrapping paper) is really nice, but it just always reminds me of the night when I had to, on my way home, go through five or six different shops (which were not really on my way) to get that particular one to my boyfriend at the time. Ok, to be quite honest, as a revenge is ate most of it, but still. Then there is Ritter sport, which isn’t too bad either. But that again has the annoying connotation of a shop owner in England who pointed out that the chocolate bar I was buying was the fourth that week so I really should watch it. So that was definitely out.

Choosing a chocolate is not only about what to take, but also how much. Obviously if I start a bar or a box of chocolate I will also have to finish it. So, I can’t buy too much and definitely not too little either, because then I would have to go to the shop for a second time and that is seriously a waste of time that could (but would not) be used for studying.

Then, something rather unusual happened. I found 2euros from my pocket. This decided it. I would go to the Swedish shop to get some Finnish chocolate (and now my Belgian friend will be shaking his head, Finnish choco over Belgian one – luckily I already told him that in my opinion all beer tastes the same and its all bad, so I have nothing to lose) I knew that a 100g bar of Geisha is 1.90€ so I would also have enough money over for an “vanha auto”. Perfect. Besides, judging by my high school diploma, there definitely is a positive correlation between geisha and learning.

As I am very efficient in my use of time I decided to make the trip to the Affaren a part of my run of the day. It would make a nice 8km there and back and with a tiny extra loop it would be a decent run. And indeed it was. Though noticed that picked up speed on my way back…I wonder why?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the mouse...again

As I have already mentioned, my little mouse is now dead. Well, this is what happened. One night I woke up when something was climbing into my bed. The mouse had decided to come and keep me company. However, as I am quite selective with those I let into my bed – I decided that it is mouse trap time.

Tonight I was comfortably curled up under my duvet with some chocolate and amazing book when I hear something run trough the floor. There was a new one. Maybe had come to look for his friend (a friend of mine already made me think of a little mouse wedding, under a table, where the cloth served as part of the decoration…and mouse mothers in their hats that have flowers in them and a little white handkerchief for those emotional moments) but by doing this it wrote its suicide letter…it didn’t stand a chance.

Still, even if this whole episode has brought out my violent side I have tried to come up with alternative methods for getting rid of these, now, unwanted visitors. Maybe I could catch them up like bees in the summer. I could just use a pan instead of a glass. But then what? I can’t really throw them down from the balcony – even if this would keep the mouse police busy drawing white circles on the ground. Besides, I could be considered slightly mad if I ran around the flat with a pot in my hand.

So, until I find an alternative and more humane method I have to keep visiting my local store for mouse traps and some more chocolate.

Ps. Already tried to close my eyes and wish them away, especially the dead one – didn’t work.

Monday, November 20, 2006

a long lost friend

Last weekend I received an email from someone I haven’t heard from for almost eight years. She had tracked me down via my dad, whose address was by far easier to find from the labyrinth of information in the internet. The originally short message turned into numerous long stories –novels almost – that have been going back and forth for few days now.

So much has happened during these past eight years. I never realised how much of time had passed. It went so quickly. My friend is now married and has three adorable children (I saw photos) and has finished her studies at university. How did all this happen? How could I have missed all these important milestones in her life? After all, we used to be so close.

The funny thing is that though so much time has passed, it feels like the last time we were in contact was yesterday. She has changed completely but the same time she is the same girl I visited when I was 16. And also, her email could not have arrived at a better time. She found me when I most need a friend. Obviously there is no way she could have know this but even still, it is almost too weird.

There are few people like this in my life. They might live in the other end of the world and thus there is not always the possibility to pay a quick visit. And I am notoriously bad with keeping in contact so that makes the situation even more difficult. Yet, when we do meet or talk on the phone or whatever, the distance, geographical and in time just disappears. And maybe that’s why we are still friends.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

to let go...

This morning I had a nice surprise waiting for me in my mail box. There was a letter from my grandparents. Usually, the only things I receive in the form of letters are bills and occasionally also some promotional material that is as good as rubbish. However, this morning there were four long pages of hand written text, filling me up with the events of the winter wonderland.

To my surprise, one of the biggest news was that my grandparents have finally finished their course in computing and that they now have EMAIL. Not only do they have email, but they both have their own addresses and a laptop. WHAT? This simply cannot be true. Grandparents are not supposed to have email. They are not supposed to chat to you on msn or look into your life with a webcam. This is simply not right.

At the same time, it all makes sense. They too are tired of waiting for a letter that never arrives, because their grandchildren are too busy to sit down with pen and paper. They don’t want to line up in a bank, when they could be going for a nice walk in the forest (ok my grandma uses her cell phone for banking – even I don’t know how to do that). So, at the end it all makes sense.

Why, then, is it so hard for us to let go of something that used to be? Why do we rather hold on to things that we used to have and know? Doesn’t it make so much more sense to let go of the past and not hang on to it? I am not saying that we should forget, but it is possible to go on and still remember, right?

Maybe I should try to be more like my grandparents and go along with the change. It can’t be that difficult, can it?

Besides, with email, I don’t have to run down six flights of steps to get hold of their news.

Ps. I demousified my flat. It is time for me to learn to live alone.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

its raining men..literally

Imagine this – you live on the 6th floor, that being the number of floors in the building. From your windows you can see chimneys, roof tops – an urban jungle. The one morning, when you are coming out from the shower, a man falls down on to your balcony.

This happened to me today.

For a second I thought I was dreaming. I closed my eyes but when I opened them again, he was still there. Strange. But at the same time comforting – at least I had not gone mad. At least not yet.

I turned around and disappeared back into the bathroom to get some clothes on. At the same time I collected enough courage to go out to find out what was happening.

Well as it turns out, this very handsome guy and his friend work for a building company who has been hired to fix the roof and the chimney that is next to my balcony. He also kindly apologised if he had scared me. Rather than scared, I was slightly surprised.

So, at the end, rather than Christmas coming early, there was a logical explanation to this, rather unusual, incident. However, as it is quite gloomy at the moment, I might offer this young gentleman some coffee tomorrow. Just to make sure that all this wasn’t thanks to Santa after all.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


There is a mouse in my flat. I have no heating, as the heater is still lying on my floor waiting to me attached to the wall - its rightful place. But I do have a mouse.

It was maybe a week ago when I noticed something moving in my kitchen. Then it stopped and I noticed a little, tiny mouse in the middle of the floor. It looked at me and I looked at it and there we were, staring at each other for several minutes. Then it ran away.

I went on holiday for few days and when I came back I found myself alone in the flat. No more mice, no nothing. Nothing until last night – my friend was back. I woke up in the middle of the night and heard something making a scuffing noise in the kitchen. I smiled, turned around and went back to sleep.

Today I was being good and organising my notes from school. This could be also seen as trying to something totally irrelevant and time consuming but in my mind things will certainly be clearer, if I have my papers in order. I am not quite sure how the link works, but it is there. Suddenly I noticed something at the door – and there it was, my little friend. It is getting pretty brave, coming close and being all curious. I know that I really should be buying a mouse trap but I just can’t get myself to do that. My flat is quite small, but somehow I think it will be big enough for me and the mouse, who doesn’t even stay here permanently.

Maybe it is due to my inherent need for company or the fact that I really do not like to be alone and even a small sign of life makes me feel more comfortable. Who knows? However, this little creature has made me like Paris a bit more again so it can’t be all that bad.

Though still, if I in 30min, once sat down at the cinema, will find my little friend from my pocket, I might change my mind about this whole scene.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Queen of Procrastination

It must have been a small eternity since I created this blog. I decided to write my first post on my birthday – this didn’t happen. Then it was supposed to be when I move into my new flat – as you can guess, this didn’t happen either, now did I post something on the first day of school.

Today is no special day really. I have no lectures, as we are in theory on holiday for a week. I haven’t done much this morning, unless a lazy run around Buttes Chaumont counts. I suppose the biggest reason for writing is to procrastinate a while longer, before getting back to studying, which I by the way haven’t even started yet.

I seem to have this strange ability to do everything else but the things I should be doing at the moment. My little flat is almost shining due to my cleaning frenzy yesterday. I am almost up to date with my emails and can’t complain that am suffering from sleep deprivation. I have also been shopping for plane tickets so that all my credit cards are out of breath.

And to add to my list of useless and random things to do, I have started to search for series etc on line. As I do not own a TV, nor could I fit one into my flat, I have decided to remind myself of the benefits of internet and downloading. However, this will have to wait until I have paid a visit to my banker – or I will no longer have my little flat.