(I hope you appreciate the Friends reference here – can’t believe it’s been 20 years since the series started!)
Anyway, I’m digressing before I’ve even started…
So I have now been working in Paris for over a month. This is actually really scary, considering that my internship is only 4 months overall. I DONT WANT TO HAVE TO LEAVE PARIS. EVER.
Anyway, I think it’s finally time to write a (boring) blog post about my job, just in case people are starting to think that all I’m doing in Paris is visiting museums and eating my way around the Marais. I didn’t want to write about work earlier on because I didn’t know quite what I’d be doing, and I wanted to wait until I was a bit more settled before I started banging on about ‘the world of work’ like some kind of expert.
I am working as a journalist for a TV Production company called Ligne de Front. The company was founded in 2003 by the famous French TV presenter Bernard de la Villardière (my boss), and produces programmes for channels like M6. Bernard is well known for the programmes “Enquete Exclusive” and “Zone Interdite”, in which he broaches slightly scandalous social subjects like prostitutes and stuff.
About once a year, Bernard produces a longer documentary, usually animal-related; this time, the theme is Great Apes. So I spent my first two weeks reading up about monkeys, which was surprisinly fascinating. I watched a lot of videos about amazingly intelligent chimpanzees, and learned a huge amount about the dangers facing the orangutans of Indonesia and the Gorillas of Congo. I am quite the monkey expert now! As the English intern (and because my French isn’t very good yet), I often get put in charge of ringing the sanctuaries and charities, and correcting my colleague’s English in emails, but I also got to write a kind of ‘synopsis’/press release thing to send to centres we want to visit which was quite interesting. The programme will hopefully be filmed before Christmas, which is great for me as I’ll get to see the whole production process!
When I’m not reading up about monkey behaviour (who knew bonobos were so sexual?!), I am researching for ideas for 100% Mag. We have to come up with as many ideas as possible for 5 minute clips of current ‘trends’ or ‘tendances‘. I couldn’t quite believe it on my first day when they asked me to read the Elle UK website for inspiration! This basically means that I spend my life searching my favourite blogs, which isn’t too bad!
In the run up to the referendum I would spend a lot of time “researching for ideas” on BBC News and The Guardian, while secretely catching up on the news. Even when I get a bit bored, I am able to use my spare time productively to learn about what’s going on in the world. I am so much more informed and up-to-date on the news than I am when I’m trapped in the Oxford bubble or being lazy at home, which is definitely a good thing!
My colleague, Elodie, spends a lot of time reading French magazines for ideas. As the only English person in a French office, my ‘job’ is reading all the English and American sites. I went home to vote in the referendum, and brought back an enormous pile of British magazines and newspapers which have been keeping me going all week. It really is not a hard life!
I am currently working on a clip about ‘Fast Gym’ and High Intensity exercise, which is great because I happen to know quite a lot about this kind of thing. Even after 5 weeks at work, I am only just starting to feel confident enough to ring people up and interview them in French, so I’ve been calling up famous coaches (Kim Kardashian’s Parisian trainer has been emailing me winky faces!) and speaking to doctors about the effects that this kind of exercise can have on your body. Might sound boring to you, but I’m actually really enjoying it!
While searching for inspiration, I inevitably stumble across some really cool trends/ideas/websites etc, and so my notebook is covered in (frequently colour-coordinated) scribbles and lists. I find so many cool things which just wouldn’t suit 100% Mag, so I am constantly taking notes and saving links of things to look up later.
Because I love a list, I thought I’d jot down a few of the things I’ve discovered while “doing research”. Addmittedly, this is more for my benefit than yours, as it’s nice to collate my lists into one big document, but you might like to look some of these things up when you are bored at work yourselves!
My favourite blogs and websites I use for ideas (not really new discoveries, but places I go to when all my other resources have been exhausted):
- The Debrief (Read the reviews of the Bake Off episodes. They have made me Laugh Out Load in the office on many occasions)
- About Time Magazine. This is so my kind of blog – it’s all healthy restaurants in London and thought-provoking articles. I spent a day working on their Saturday Editorial team in April, which was great fun and actually very similar to the kind of research I am doing for 100% Mag!
- Stylist and Emerald Street are perfect for trends and ideas and interesting articles. They are also both updated regularly, so I check them whenever I need inspiration. If you don’t already, you should subscribe to the daily email from Emerald Street. It is Stylist’s younger sister and basically sends an interesting little snippet into your inbox every day. I subscribe to both the London and Scotland versions, so am constantly up to date on the fun things that are going on!
- Timeout London/Paris
- The classic magazines: Elle, Vogue, Tatler, Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmo etc.? Of course.
- Slightly more intelligent: BBC News, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent etc
- Fitness and beauty websites for London trends: Hip and Healthy, Sweaty Betty, Honestly Healthy, Get The Gloss
My favourite blogs and websites that are completely unrelated to my work but which I read when I’m boredor when I’m at home (cba to link all of these, sorry!!)
- Food blogs: Madeleine Shaw, Ottolenghi’s guardian column, Hemsley and Hemsley/ Calgary Avansino’s Vogue columns, The Whole Daily, Sarah Wilson, What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today, anything new I discover
- Inspiring blogs: Zen Habits, Tales of Endearment, Preserve (Blake Lively’s new website)
- Paris blogs: Hip Paris, Paris in Four Months, My Little Paris, Do It In Paris, Timeout, French Essence
Apps I’ve read about and want to look up/ have downloaded but then forgotten about:
- 1 Second Everyday
- Q App
- Conscious Me
- Do Some Good
- Pocket, Wunderlist, Evernote, Trello
Book-related things. I am obsessed with the Publishing industry and love reading about new publishing innovations etc
- Oyster and Scribd (like Spotify or Audible but for books. I’m definitely going to subscribe when it gets a bit bigger)
- My Independant Bookshop
- Spritz App for speed reading- here’s an article about it
- How long would it take to read Harry Potter?
- How quickly can you read?
- I really like this idea for bringing back narrative tension
Things I’ve been tweeting that have absolutely nothing to do with my job
- An article on Willpower from the Guardian Weekend Magazine
- The Changing Body of a Woman
- A review of Gatsby (cos we all love Gatsby)
- the ‘beauty’ of the recorder
- My beautiful sister modeling for Burberry
- Jameela Jamil on Sarcasm
- The return of Narrative Tension
- How popular is your name?
- The Power of Instagram
- The Language of Time
- Hemmingway, because I am obsessed with him, even though I’ve only read a couple of things by him. I have, however, just finished an incredible book called Never An End To Paris, which is inspired by Hemmingway. I have also read two books about his marriages and life in general, so I feel like I know the man pretty well.
- Why we should all love Scotland
- Because we Literally all do it
- I really really want to read this book about How to be a Parisian Woman which Sophia has just bought. She’s read me some excerpts, and we’re both obsessed already.
I was planning on putting in a bit of DeliciouslyEliza “Lunchbox Inspiration” to liven things up a bit (food always makes things more interesting à mon avis), but the photos aren’t working, and what is the point of a food post without photos?
So I’ll save the sweet potato and tahini for a later date (get excited).
Sorry for the boring post. I felt it was kind of necessary…
More interesting posts coming soon!!