Ah Bordeaux, comme t'es bonne
Updated: May 27, 2019
Bordeaux, as it's getting towards summer, is becoming evermore beautiful and hot. It's sunny with blue skies almost every day, even though April is supposed to be the month with the greatest rainfall. I don't believe it has rained once in the whole month (though, saying that, it's forecast to rain tomorrow). I really am spoiled for good weather out here, and it will be something of a shock when I return to the UK.
I've been spending a lot of my time after work and at week ends by the river, which is a lovely pedestrianised area in the centre of the city, and in fact makes up a large part of my route to work. I now cycle every day, which totals an hour of exercise (500 calories, not that I'm obsessional). It's a good start to the day, although it does restrict the kind of skirts I can wear to work. Bordeaux is great for cyclists: almost every road has a cycle lane and the cars are generally fairly patient with cyclists.
Bordeaux is one of the few places in the world where I could imagine settling down at some point. There are plenty of cities in the world where I would love to live for a short while - for 6 months or so in my twenties - but so far only Bordeaux and Bristol fit the requirements for long-term living. Here, the people are friendly, it's close to the sea, the bars are fab, there is always some cultural event going on, the old buildings are gorgeous and well-maintained, and, what's more, there will soon be a 2 hour train to Paris. Unfortunately, that means we'll have to put up with the Parisians, and the prices that they will inevitably bring with them, but it does mean I could potentially pop up for the day to see Van Gogh's self-portrait if I so wished.
The only real drawback of living in Bordeaux - and this applies even more so to Paris - is the street harassment. I can't think off the top of my head of a place I have not had something sexually aggressive said to me at some point. A simple, nice comment directed at me is a confidence boost, but the vast majority of the time street harassment does not take this form and it is incredibly irritating; for example, while waiting in a queue to buy herbs, or even cycling to a doctor's appointment with a massive throbbing headache. I really don't see what these men think they will gain from shouting at women from across the other side of the street. Street harassment is so bad that even Parisian male YouTube bloggers acknowledge it (Normanfaitdesvideos and Paul Taylor's show What the Fuck France). It's not obvious how one ought to go about combatting it; French women take a standoffish approach to contact they have with men they don't know, but I refuse to see the worst in people before they've even opened their mouths. I'd like to think that the world is full of good people, but sadly this often is not the case.
Recently, I've been getting into the vintage scene here in Bordeaux and I've been somewhat splashing out on patterned shirts (of which one can never have too many), though my favourite is still a purple shirt I bought when I was in Brussels. I've been discovering new hidden-away boutiques and shopping destinations. My next blog post will probably be dedicated to the vintage stores in Bordeaux, and by that time I'll hopefully have a phone with a better camera, and will be able to provide a proper guide to Bordeaux's vintage stores and second-hand shops.
Last weekend was Easter, so I went with my dad, step-mum, and step-brother to our house in Spain. It was a lovely four days of sleep, sun, and tranquility. We did some mountain biking, climbed a mountain higher than Ben Nevis, and went to see some houses. My parents' project to buy another house in Spain and turn it into a BnB is slowly becoming a reality. The house they originally had their hearts set on has had various complications due to it being owned by various different members of a family. My parents have now moved on to a larger house with more land, although this one requires a swimming pool being built. It's absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to help with its construction when they move out there next year.