I've had a lovely Christmas and New Year here in Paris with Leon - it's been quiet, calm and simple, which was what we both needed after the past few months of work and general craziness (particularly Leon; his work schedule has been insane). So we relaxed - just the two of us - and bought plenty of delicious food and drink, decorated the apartment with a couple of strings of fairy lights and several candles, and downloaded lots of films from iTunes. It was my first Christmas outside of the UK, my first Christmas away from my family, and the first Christmas Leon and I have been able to spend together!
On Christmas Day we decided to get out of the house for a couple of hours in the afternoon, and so we went to the Champs Elysees, and walked through the huge Christmas market (I was really surprised that this was actually open on Christmas Day!) and the super-fancypants area that surrounds it. It was pretty chilly, with a bitterly cold wind, but I managed to snap a few pictures with my Canon camera while we were there. I thought you might like to see them too...
These pictures of the Eiffel Tower were taken from Avenue Montaigne, a really beautiful street with very expensive hotels and lots of designer stores. That's pretty nice, but what was I most interested in? You guessed it - just look at those trees! They may inspire some paintings in the not-too-distant future.
I love this little cream-coloured scooter - tres Parisien!
This little dress was displayed in a shop window - I love it. I could imagine if I ever have a little girl (which may or may not happen; you never know ;) I would definitely dress her in something like this.
And do you recognise the hotel below? You may do if (like me) you're a fan of Sex and the City. I was so excited when I first saw it - it looked, to me, a lot like the hotel Carrie stays in when she visits Paris with Aleksandr Petrovsky in Series 6. You know the part when she steps out onto the balcony after arriving and sees the Eiffel Tower in the distance? Those little balconies with the greenery are very distinctive. Anyway, I took this photo, did a bit of research when I got home, and found out that this is the Sex and the City hotel! It's called the Plaza Athénée and it's beautiful. I'd love to have a look inside...or maybe stay there when I'm rich and famous. Which, as we all know, will be soon. ;)
Some lovely waffles from the Christmas market...
One thing the French seem to do very well is street food. Waffles with a variety of toppings, crepes, and all sorts of delicious nuts seem to be available at this time of year. We bought a bag of caramelised almonds (something I've never seen in England) and they were unbelievably good.
In other news, I've been busy buying art materials and making new art, which I'll share with you soon. Thanks for reading the blog during 2012, and if you're one of the few people who leaves a comment too, thank you for that also. I love reading them, and I try to reply to a few here and there whenever I have the time. I am aiming to make the blog even more varied and (hopefully!) interesting in 2013, with more regular updates. In 2012 I deleted my Instagram account and also my personal Facebook page (I now have a Facebook page for my art only, which is updated occasionally) in an attempt to streamline my social media / internet presence, and to concentrate on the things I feel are more important - and my blog is one of these things.
I'll leave you with this - my last portrait of 2012, taken on 31st December at around 8:30pm Paris time. I felt the need to document the moment for some reason, so I snapped a quick self portrait in the bathroom mirror. Another year has passed - let's make this new year a great one!
Wishing you all a wonderful 2013!
Paris Photographs © Natasha Newton