#5 The Clown Diaries - Neutral Mask


It's Monday morning on the 16th November. My room is currently being hounded by a very peristant and irritating wasp*.

The plan was to publish this article on Saturday, however, it's hard to attempt editing an amusing travel blog when one is still reflecting and processing the horror of what happened on Friday in the city the blog is based around. A large silent wave has washed over the city, people seem sullen and shell-shocked.

Paris as a city is so petite in size that when looking at where the attacks happened it is as if the gut of the city was stabbed. Unlike London which is so vast in size and depth, Paris is the type of city where you can walk around it all effectively within a day. It's not big at all. No matter where you were in the city on Friday, you felt the tremors of what occured and everyone feels fragile and delicate because of it.

Sunday morning a group of us from the school all met at St Basille Church in Etampes. Unlike previous weekends were the church is fairly empty, the church was rammed - many people of different religions too filled the aisles. There was a severe atmosphere of serious thought and melancholy. The priest asked everyone to join hands and pray outloud. It was a significant moment of meditation and union amongst everyone at a particularly confusing time.

After church many from the school gathered at our house for coffee, tea and baguettes. Our home has become the 'bucket of Etampes'. Everyone has been in our kitchen at some point and it's usually full of vegans. The running club are now having galettes and couscous in the kitchen and later tonight more of us will be having a roast. Later on this week we'll be having our second poker meeting. Keep calm and carry on.

Everyone at the school is working closely to deal with the shock. There is a large group of us all going to give blood on Thursday morning. Overall, it's important at times like these to unify together, stay strong, give as much love as one can and focus on the beautiful aspects of day to day life. Let not the horror of Friday tremor into our confidence and love of the city and crack it open.

Anyway, on cheerier topics, below is the blog from last week.

Elf xxx



Currently at the time of writing this Tom is in the kitchen. He is making an assortment of sweet and savoury crepes for the house. Because that is the type of amazing man he is.

Tom is my housemate and in Group A at Gaulier. We rarely work together on projects at school but we get to bond on the 'big issues' when we are home alone in our kitchen. Big issues such as 'How many macarons are too many macarons?', 'Is it too soon to bake that Camembert' and 'Who is your celebrity crush?'. I asked this particular question to Tom and he replied with 'The French Education Minister'. Because that's the type of amazing man he is.

He asked the same question to me. My reply was 'Robert Redford... but not young Robert Redford. 63 year old Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer'. Because that's the type of woman I am.

If you can't get from my writing tone, I am going insane in Etampes. It's week 5 of the course, week 7 in France, and my Englishness is battling with the classy and weird ways of the french.