I Love Paris

I have three countries I adore: Britain (birthplace) Canada (current home) and Paris. I love Paris and have done so ever since I was old enough to remember. When I was six months old my family moved to Paris to start a new chapter in life and we remained there for nearly 6 years. I started kindergarten there, had school friends and spoke fluent Frenglish – if I didn’t know a word in either French or English I would use the other.  Paris smells wonderful, it’s full of life and love, beauty and history, not to mention fabulous cheese and wine. Paris has it’s light and it’s dark side and unfortunately the dark side won on Friday, but only for a brief moment in time.

News stations across the world are now using every spare moment of air time to analyze and debate every aspect of the horror that sent France reeling into panic and shock, while at the same time trying to understand what drives someone to be so cold and murderous. We’ve all seen this before in other countries and although it’s hard to imagine now, by Christmas time this event will have been buried by the press and some other news event will have taken it’s place.

France has declared war. War on who exactly, the terrorists? Sure, go ahead and make them have even more reason to do what they did on Friday. I am sure Francois Hollande wants to show the world his country will not stand idle while it’s people are murdered but surely there is a better way to strike back? Threats are flying like migrating geese but at the end of the day where do we stand – no better off than the people who take pleasure in killing others. I can say this because I am a bystander, not a grieving mother who is dealing with having to bury their child. If the role was different I know I would want blood for blood.

I don’t know what the answer is but if I did I would march up to Justin Trudeau and tell him, however it seems as though so many of these radicalized youths are in desperate need of help from their countries. They come from poor neighbourhoods with not a lot going for them and not much more to lose: perfect candidates for being drowned in horrific propaganda and lies. What if countries put as much effort in helping communities in need as they do in their air strikes? Why drop bombs worth $100, 000 or more when that money could be used towards education. Give these youths real food for thought, a real chance to make their lives useful and positive. Kids don’t have a bloody clue about what life is about, hell I still don’t and I’m 35! But I know life is worth living for, it’s worth sharing with loved ones, it’s worth experiencing and loving. I want the same for my children and the idea of their freedoms being infringed on by lunatics make my heart ache.

Having listened to various theories and ideas it seems as though the same train of thought pops up about where these ‘terrorists’ originate from and the words ‘poor neighborhood’ crop up quite a bit. Seeing as there is a big push for helping refugees from Syria, will they also be put into these areas only to be forgotten and expected to just be happy? As one listener pointed out, it’s all very well bringing refugees over but what about afterwards? Will they be given the right access to education and work? Can countries really give them everything they need when they already have neighbourhoods in need of help? Who knows; we are just the bystanders.

For now, we watch as a country gets back on its feet after being momentarily knocked down and we help her through the darkness and back into the light while also remembering there are other countries suffering the same pain. Maybe someday the madness will end but for now we can try to educate our young, show them a better way and lead them towards a brighter future where knowledge is power and freedom is a given. To the parents of all those killed, the wives, the husbands and the kids left behind, the world has you in their hearts.

It’s official – I may have a planner supply addiction!

When it's all stored away, my addiction doesn't look so bad...
...Yeah, even I was surprised once it was all out!
…Yeah, even I was surprised once it was all out!

Instagram, I blame YOU!

A year ago I didn’t have this problem but now it’s a completely different story and I think it’s official – I may have a planner supply addiction without realizing it! For those who follow my rambling blog you will know I ditched Facebook a while ago and I haven’t looked back; however I think Instagram has replaced that and I place 98% blame on my enjoyment of the app for starting my journey into the world of washi tape and planner mania! The more I searched for stuff, the more wonderful photos I found of stores and self-proclaimed ‘Planner Geeks’ that showcased beautifully laid out diary pages and filofax collections.

My very modest collection of Filofaxes and my striped Websters Pages Planner alongside my amassed 'collection' of stationery!
My very modest collection of Filofaxes and my striped Websters Pages Planner alongside my amassed ‘collection’ of stationery!

I am not, thanks goodness, a ‘Planner Addict’; by that I mean I don’t feel the need to purchase over 15 Filofaxes! My addiction is the stationery side of things – the paper, stickers, tape, pens…you name it, I love it! Walking into a paper store or art store has always excited me so that aspect isn’t new, but the kawaii/japanese washi tape side of things is new and that’s my downfall. The colors, the patterns, those darn cute little bits and pieces just ignite my passion for creating something that I’ll enjoy looking at everyday. I like looking at my diary/Filofax/planner pages and seeing my week planned out with important dates highlighted by a silly little smiling cat or a weekend expedition made more eye catching by a beautiful washi tape border. This month, being October, sees my organizer pages dotted with little Halloween stickers and I love it!

October Pages, complete with Halloween stcikers!
October Pages, complete with Halloween stcikers!

I know many people choose to turn their passions into a business venture but I honestly don’t think I could do that – all that wonderful ‘stuff’ would probably see me, and my daughter, hoarding everything and driving my husband bonkers with all the little bits everywhere (Potting Shed!) For now though I will enjoy my new found hobby and try very hard not to go overboard whenever I visit The Paper Place or Etsy.

Ever since I was a child, stickers have been a weakness....and growing up has done NOTHING to stop that!
Ever since I was a child, stickers have been a weakness….and growing up has done NOTHING to stop that!