An Englishman’s home is his castle. A Parisian’s home on the other hand, is his fanciest shoe box.
It’s no secret that property prices in Paris are eye-wateringly high and in no danger whatsoever in coming down anytime soon, but more about the plus sides of living in an apartment where it’s barely possible to swing a mouse coming in another post.
Since we’ve all got to know each other by now, I thought I’d share with you a few snapshots of my personal postage stamp of Paris, my beloved Granny Flat nestled high up in the 18th arrondissement; where crocuses are grown, cockles are warmed, and creativity flourishes. Readers, this is where the magic happens.
My compact and bijou residence is lovingly referred to as ‘the Granny Flat’ since I moved into it after its former inhabitant, a 92 year-old French lady, had moved on to a retirement community. Such a kind old lady she was, she generously left me a lot of her bits and bobs that she no longer needed, all in smashing nick, and gratefully received. But she had been living here for a while, and being surrounded by her considerate donations has given the flat a very vintage feel.
From a set of teeny tiny sherry glasses to an old-fashioned non-electronic carpet sweeper (Eddie Izzard fans will be more than familiar with these), a roll-out bidet-on-wheels and a charming chair for afternoon snoozes, I couldn’t be happier surrounded by artefacts from another Parisian experience lived, and hopefully loved. The 1960s fridge/freezer and well-worn mustard carpet might not be hanging around for too much longer, but I do appreciate their old-time charm nonetheless.
Although we all secretly dream of living in a Parisian apartment with big windows and a herringbone floor furnished with all the Ikea bounty the credit card will allow, I’m more than happy kicking around in my little pad, feeling more a part of the city and its historical fabric than I would living in luxury digs straight out of the pages of Vogue. It seems that ‘new’ always trumps ‘old’ in this hectic modern climate, but sometimes the real value is learning to love those things you’ve already got.
I hope you enjoy a glimpse of my Parisian life, as much as I do living it!