It's been a good, good week with a few answers, small changes but significant ones, encouraging me to move forward in the direction I'm going in.
Pic, left: Juan Rojas
I had my very first meeting with my immigration lawyer this week in the basement of The American Church in Paris; for some reason it's painted all in millennial pink as below.
Before, waiting in the hallway for my appointment with the lawyer. After, very happy face.
Going in, I was a little scared as to what he would say to me in regards to my case. I basically was about to give this lawyer my biggest, most fragile dream to hold in his hands and examine and I could only see visions of him crushing it into dust and pieces. But he didn't. The girl in line before me looked even more nervous than me going in, from behind the closed door of his office I could hear her crying after a few minutes, this wasn't helping me feel any better and I wondered if that would be me in a few minutes' time. I'd put off this appointment for many months, I could have taken it months ago. I think I put it off because I didn't want to hear the final word of what a lawyer would think of my situation here in France.
But I went in and told him all about my case, my work and my dream, and he presented me a new option for a visa, one I knew almost nothing about before, that made all my worries from the last few months, all the worries I was about to carry with me for the next few months too, disappear. He told me I could build an immigration case based on my self-employment and that this was a visa I was very likely to be granted. I left the meeting ecstatic and light, especially knowing I'll now be able to spend the obligatory three months next year in Australia waiting for my visa with a much greater chance of actually getting it. Thank you visa gods. Thank you angel lawyer.
Sunny winter days along the Seine
On the suggestion of my friend Juan, I went along to an independent photo book publishing fair last week with him, Polycopies and fell in love with every book I saw or picked up. I've always loved that independent publishers have the opportunity to explore more abstract or niche ideas, in pictures and words often so open to the interpretation of the reader. They're not so tied down to making things that will sell a million copies to the mass market, they're more able to experiment, make something deeper, thoughtful, completely new and unique. This visit made me remember my kind-of forgotten dream to self-publish beautiful books, it was the reason I started this blog, to publish my own travel guides. I even got to meet one of my favourite indie publishing houses, Hoxton Mini Press, and ask them all of my millions of questions. Always on the lookout for signs, I kind of took this glee I felt being in this space as a sign I should pick up this publishing dream again.
The very next day, I went to work at Bliss Studio and the owner, Hanna, announced we'd be doing a Christmas market downstairs in the gallery space where I held my exhibition in August. The first thought that popped into my head was to use this opportunity as a push to create my first publishing project. I'm working on the idea, fast, the piece will have to be printed and ready by mid-December so I'm thinking more zine style. Here are a few of my inspiration images below. I'm thinking I'll print some extra copies of whatever I create to sell online too, more details to come as I figure them out...
Images above via Pinterest
Winter is here and it's really tights under jeans weather now, scarf and beanie weather, all layers on at all times, eating warm croissants to warm up. The light has changed, I can see it and my friends confirm it, the light is softer in winter here. I've not had many winter months over the last four or so years of travel, always trying to chase the sun and the summer across hemispheres. But I know there's value in this season too, the season of staying in, resting, cooking, dreaming up ideas, working with your head down or just doing nothing and knowing the time will come again for more activity. I have until January when I go back to Australia for my next visa application so I'm trying to enjoy the cold and the dark and everything it prompts me to do while I have it.
This is weather for staying in more, sleeping in too long (I'm rarely getting out of bed before 8) and eating too much. One of my housemates has a projector so we can watch films in our living room together, this is a trend, I'm noticing lots of my friends have this projector set-up for dark winter nights in Paris. All my housemates and I are cooking more now the lure of the late summer sun is no longer there to tempt us out to the cafes and bars so much. I'm cooking my standard green mung daal, pumpkin soup and vegan zucchini carbonara plenty of times a week.
Winter mornings in Paris
I had a meeting this week with my friend at Tokela Travel, a French travel company organising very cool tours in places like Africa, India and South-East Asia with a focus on sustainable, responsible tourism, taking you to do hyper-local, down-to-earth activities in far-flung locales you'd never have access to on your own. This is a company I could see myself working with and we've got ideas to collaborate on some trips in the future which I'm pretty excited about. I'm thinking India part two, who's in?
Pic, right: Ula Blocksage
Friday night saw us go to Tokela's regular travel blogger meet-up drinks (I'll post details on the next one on my Stories again) at CitizenM Paris with the view over the city lights and the Eiffel Tower shining her light in the distance. Afterwards, we all piled into a big Uber and bussed out to the suburbs of Paris for an epic house party that reminded me of the first party I ever went to in Paris, back when I was on exchange in the suburbs as a teenager, foreign, exciting, knowing no one and feeling happy for that.
Monday afternoon with Haleigh ❤ I admired this girl and her heartfelt, honest but beautiful blog and photographs from afar for many years from Australia and on my travels. One December when I was here in Paris, I got a tweet from her saying we should hang out, someone had sent her my blog it seemed and we've been friends ever since. Life can't help but pull us all towards one another I guess.
Paris' metro stations always capture my attention, I think they're very beautiful, maybe because I always have my headphones in when I'm travelling between them, so they always have a soundtrack. I'm planning a Paris metro shoot with my friend Juan for the coming weeks so I can put a proper love letter to the stations up on this site soon.
I'll write again next week ❤
p.s. listening to...