Walking down towards the public library on a cold crisp winter morning was not what I planned on a Saturday. The fifteenth arrondissement was still sleeping and no sound could be heard, just the chitter chatter of my two boys and their dad as he pushed the pram on the cold dirty pavement of west Paris.
As I walked down towards and on Rue Emeriau, I sighed at the hugely urban towers and juxtaposed Parisian architecture. Paris has ugly urban places and this to me is one of them, but somehow it has something else, not charm or enticement, maybe interest, no, I think character is the word.
I questioned the design of these tall concrete strange buildings that don’t just merely serve as a place of living! I studied human geography, so it’s second nature to me to quickly delve into social economic theories and questioning, my analytical as well as creative self begins to construct random thoughts and stories about how this urban jungle emerged and what lies in it. I get lost in these thoughts for a few minutes.
Seeing how little time the boys spend with their father and that my morning headache is not leaving me I decided that they should have bonding time as I have some Starbucks time! Totally not planned as we stepped out of our two bedroom flat! I know I am in the capital of Cafés and it is shameful (as my french husband argues) that I don’t support local / independent cafés (which I do as you can see from this blog) but honestly for me, sometimes a Starbucks is just what I need.
So I excitedly waved them off as they ran to return their storybooks and I head towards Beaugrenelle Paris shopping centre on Rue Linois. The winter sun warming my left check and a thankful smile on my face I hurry my steps.
I like Beaugrenelle because it has the shops like (Zara, H&M, Fnac, Masions du Monde, Nature & Decouvertes, Promod and Sephora. But mainly a big Marks & Spencer so a little taste of home is always there with the added extra Euro pricing! I must admit I am rather partial to purchasing packet of scones and clotted cream (How English!) as I wonder through the food court looking at meal deals and known offers I used to know by heart as I would rush in during my lunch break to grab a bite to eat before a start of a meeting or team updates before motherhood.
I sit patiently waiting for my boys in a small Starbucks above Monoprix (a high end supermarket) behind a decorated Christmas tree sipping a sweet caramel coffee latté and making birthday messages with Snapchat filers to my best friend back in London. I feel happy and blessed. I was given 40min of pure me time during the morning hours (best hours for me) to sit and prepare for another crazy weekend with my beautiful family.
Did I go to M&S I hear you wondering? Nop, I went straight to Uniqlo (adore this Japanese clothing brand) for a creamy bubble hat to keep my head warm. Because despite wearing a hijab the frosty air manages to freeze my ears.
I sure trust what will keep my warm inside and give me a sip of happy this winter…. thank you long haired mermaid lady with a crown !