Last night, while K and I were vegging out on the couch wit Benjy, munching only a little guiltily on a box of seaweed crackers, he suddenly turned to me and kissed me.
He then waited for me to finish my very large mouthful of junk food before asking me very intensely.
“Babe – don’t you think that recently we’ve become much happier?”
I contemplated that question, ate another cracker, and said “Yeah, I actually think so too!”
And I mean it. It’s like, we’ve finally hit our stride in this marriage thing. The first half a year of our marriage was a real rollercoaster. Getting used to staying and sleeping with another person 24/7 besides the family you were born with was no mean feat.
We hammered out our preferences from issues as huge as having kids and savings plans to as minute as whose job it is to replace bristly toothbrushes and squeezed out toothpaste tubes, in the process discovering that we both only liked ultra minty tootpaste that preferably burned like hell in our mouths, only drink boiled water, and have drastically different sleeping positions.
Somewhere along the one and a half year mark, things finally quietened down, and now we’re really enjoying each other as husband and wife. It’s not been easy for sure, especially since we eschew any kind of financial or domestic help from our parents, but I think we make a good partnership. Scratch that, a great one.
Of course, romantic holidays help too!
Like those perfect Paris days, another of which I’m about to recount. (Don’t run away!)
We had very ambitious plans of walking from the Luxembourg Gardens and exploring Blvd St Germain before hitting just before the Notre Dame.
Why ambitious? Because it was That Winter Day I Decided to Venture Out With No Coat. Yeeep, no coat, in 5 degree weather. Hence..
Freezing bunny ! I foolishly thought that my super comfy oversized argyle oatmeal sweater would be warm enough for the day (sun was forecast) along with a thick undershirt, winter leggings and a scarf. It wasn’t, so I spent most of the time masochistically frozen. But it was fun!
K was a little bit smarter.
Leather jackets, despite their rather flimsy appearance, are actually an awesome defense system from chilly winds !
In any case, we were determined not to waste an otherwise beautifully sunny day, so it was off down the Blvd St Germain, which was just sleepily waking up. It was Christmas Eve and everyone had wide smiles on their faces.
And so did I, when I saw this lovely little flower shop – Au Nom De La Rose (A Rose by Any Name). Are you R&J buffs already frothing at the mouth? I was! I was like, OMG Shakespeare and K just stared at me blankly.
And I knew, I had to get flowers from this shop. I just had to. It was run by a pretty young girl with pink and purple unicorn hair.
The thing is, K doesn’t get subtle hints. It started with me tugging on his hands and commenting how pretty the flowers were. He nodded absently, already looking forward. I repeated myself, just louder. Nope, no luck.
Until I said
I LOVE THOSE FLOWERS. I WISH MY HUSBAND WOULD BUY ME THOSE.
K: “Why didn’t you just say so?”
Still, we walked away with a tiny little bouquet of an adorable mix of pale pink and creamy roses. I was completely enamoured with how lush and fat and prettily coloured they were, I couldn’t stop staring and sniffing at them all day !
^^ Happy Bunny with her flowers!
Next stop was Diptyque for candles and perfumes for K.
Their style and aesthetic are supposed to be unisex but I found it quite masculine – K loved it all – the cut glass lemongrass colored bottles, the clean, simple black and white Aesop-esque fonts and labelling, etc.
Prize find? A home candle which smells like John Galliano. Literally, the JG candle. It was too musky for us and we don’t live in a house full of rare leopard furs and wear kilts to sleep, so we had to pass.
But of course we didn’t leave empty handed. After many sneeze inducing whiffs of almost everything on display, my husband settled on a large bottle of Vetyverio, one of Diptyque’s signature scents.
Here’s it’s story:
A bird, known as the Java Sparrow, hides in the cool of the forest, amidst the trees’ dense and soothing foliage. Here and there, clearings graced with tropical flowers; the eye discerns groves of long, slender leaves of fragrant vetiver. And from this black and white, somehow perceived in color, rises an image of profuse, blooming vegetation, exquisitely aromatic, dazzling to the senses. A winged creature blessed to perch in this paradise. Let us call it “Vetyverio.”
Was it as amazing as it sounds? Quite !
At least, it wore very well on K
On him, I smelled really bright and citrusy starting notes – grapefruit, bergamot, clementine (all fruits I love) followed by jut a touch of rose and cloves. Vetiver, it’s namesake, adds a rather earthy and more masculine touch after a few hours and ended dry.
The effect to me is manly, pale, summery, and somehow, still fresh. Exactly what we’d been looking for. I have been liberally helping myself to it when he’s not looking!
To get rid of the dizzying smells still ringing around our noses and heads, we took a good bracing walk to the Pantheon, which was also all done up for Christmas, and snapped some happy couple shots !
And then, hungry, set out in search of sustenance.
St Germain is yet another impossibly hip part of Paris, and overflowing with eateries both chic and traditional, all very French, alfresco tiny tables spilling onto the sidewalks and filled with voyeuring French couples puffing away on their Gauloises, ballet-slippered feet elegantly crossed to avoid the notoriously dirty Paris sidewalks.
We were spoiled for choice and my indecision very nearly killed K.
We finally decided on a quiet little bistro nearer to the Notre Dame side of things.
Blissed out from our long walk and all ready to tuck in !
The food was gorgeous – homey, perfectly cooked, bright and fresh. K’s seared scallops in brown butter was addictively good and my bouef bourguignon, deliciousl. The beef was tender, yielding, and had completely absorbed it’s red wine-tinged rich gravy. The sides were the most impressive of all – the zucchini was so fresh it could have been just plucked and the carrots bright and summery even in the dead of winter.
In all, a thoroughly enjoyable day which ended with the pink in our cheeks and a wonderful nights’ sleep