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It’s nearly half past one in the morning and I am still getting myself organised to leave for France tomorrow. Although the trip has been pencilled in for a while, I only confirmed I was going, and the tickets were only booked, last thing yesterday, so I haven’t really got my head around the fact I am now away until next Monday.

I’m off to Paris for the Louis Vuitton show first thing. I had decided not to go to Paris this season, although it’s always tempting. But, really, it’s an enormous indulgence for me to take over a week away from my business for no good commercial reason, and additionally to go without a publication subsidising my costs, which is why very few freelancers & independents attend the shows outside of their native countries.

But when Vuitton invited me to their show, I had a change of heart. What harm would one day playing truant do? But I still wasn’t sure if I could make it work with my schedule, plus I was supposed to be going to Switzerland this weekend to attend Meriel’s baby shower. But then some meetings were cancelled, and suddenly I was free to go to Paris…Hurrah!

So I had a think about logistics, and realised that going to Paris & back in a day, and then heading off to Lausanne on Friday didn’t make such sense – that was an awful lot of wasted time in transit. Plus the feasible flights to Geneva left from Stansted or Gatwick at 7am, expensive, miles away from central London, and almost impossible to get to very early in the morning. And I would have to get a connecting train from Geneva to Lausanne.

So I am feeling rather smug at my eventual solution: I am taking the very first Eurostar out tomorrow at the barely functioning time of 0540hrs to get to the show at 10am. Then, thanks a very last minute press request to The Seven Hotel, which I have had on my to-do review list for an age, I am staying in Paris until Friday morning, when I shall catch a train to Lausanne, a lovely journey that only takes about four hours.

On the way back from Lausanne on Monday, I will break in Paris for lunch & a meeting, and then catch the evening train back to London. SO much nicer than flying – it takes a little longer, but is much less exhausting, as all I have to do is sit still, and be delivered within minutes of my ultimate destination – I live two stops on the Underground from the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras.

And now I really must go to pack…everything is still on my bed and I have zero idea what I will wear to the show tomorrow.

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40 comments

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no matter what, without fail, even if I’ve had months to plan for it I end up tearing my suitcases apart at 2 am the night before re-arranging, substituting and all around giving myself minor panic attacks, thinking that I won’t have exactly what I need when I get where I’m going. The thought that wherever that place is has pretty much the same things that I would find at home if there ever was a need for them is completely lost. Happy Travels. Enjoy Louis Vuitton, I’ve been pretty impressed with their collections of late. Look forward to reading the review.

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@brieahn j.: yes! The concept that one can actually buy things in the destination is always lost on me. I sometimes think that because I live on my own I am less organised: I suspect that if had to be considerate of someone else sleeping, I would be tucked up in bed by midnight with a freshly packed case by the front door, insteaf of faffing about till the dawn. LLGxx

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Fascinating. It’s wonderful that we can read such an in-depth analysis of your travel plans. There is one thing I notice about your blog posts, and that’s the three words you seem to use more than anything else: ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘My’. Have you ever read ‘A Cup of Jo’? She’s a lovely blogger, similar subject matter to you, who actually involves her readers in her blog and makes them feel valuable, by actually asking *them* what they’re up to, how they’re week’s going, what they like to do etc. Ever thought of giving that a go? Or is your world really just all about you?

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@Miss J: That comment saddens me. It is wrongheaded on so many levels I wouldn’t know where to start. Apart from the bleedin’ obvious (it’s a personal blog…), I struggle to understand what motivates anyone to be so gratuitously unpleasant.

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@Miss J: No shit Sherlock, it’s a personal blog. You know, a ‘weblog’, as in web log. A log of my life. MY Life. (And one that is free, and one that you don’t have to choose to read if you dislike it so much.)

Regarding this particular post: LLG started as a way to keep my family friends up to date with my life abroad, and that still remains its raison d’etre as I travel so much. Hence posting about what I am up to, and my plans. This post also served to warn friends, colleagues & partners that I may be absent from both work & blogging as I am travelling.

That being said, I do happen to think that however personal an entry, there should always be a takeaway for the reader. In this case, esp as I have lots of lovely travel-minded readers abroad, there is the suggestion of thinking about trains not planes for European travel, as well as reminding people of the inconvenience of London airports. I have also received quite a few comments & tweets from people wondering why I’m not at the shows, so this was a handy place to answer that query. You know, interacting with my much appreciated, charming readers, who I frequently thank. I also think disorganisation is something many people battle with, and I think it’s good to admit that – a problem shared, so to speak.

Given that this is a personal blog, all about ME ME ME, asking questions is not how I choose to party. After all, asking questions is but one way of engaging with an audience, and I also happen to think that it can be quite a contrived way of appearing interested but which is actually being used to garner comments and link love.

I interact with readers in so many ways that clearly escape you. I respond, chat and thank readers in comments, interact all day long on Twitter with readers & followers, read blogs all over the shop and comment on those blogs, especially on those belonging to readers, answer more individual emails than you can shake a stick at asking for advice on everything from careers, places to take a father for lunch in New York, interning, lipstick advice, back to work outfits after having a baby (yesterday’s mailbag alone), chat on Facebook, reply & thank on Instagram, answer questions on Formspring & Tumblr, and comment, thank and repin on Pinterest.

The absolute joy of blogging is that there are millions of blogs out there, all different, all with their own individual ways of being. Wouldn’t the blogworld be boring if we all blogged in the same way? Or only had charming, pleasant, constructive readers who never engaged in sarcasm or mean girl behaviour?

I am sorry my blog isn’t what you want it to be but, there’s the joy, it’s my blog, not yours.

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@LLG:

Cup of Jo is written for comprehension at approximately the 3rd grade reading level, so I’m sure this blog is well above your grade. Insightful blogging on that site seems to follow the below pattern:

Cup of Jo: My lovelies, have you ever hear of this fabulous innovation known as chapstick? Have you ever used chapstick (insert paid link to sponsor)?

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@Elisabeth:

Erp – not you, LLG, but Miss J! Mea culpa 🙂

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@LLG:

OMG, what part of ‘this is a personal blog’ does this person not understand?? Have just read a vicious one on my post about grief (which i have not published) apparently grieving for my father is a no no, nice!

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I hope you have a lovely trip, cant wait to see all the pics.
Jx

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@janie: Thanks Janie! My Vuitton pics were pants, so I won;t subject you all to blurry cameraphone photos, but fort Vuitton have sent me theirs, so I will post something tomorrow. (And my hotel room! OH MY! Just you wait and see! LLGxx

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A wonderful adventure–enjoy! LLG, you live life to the fullest, each and every day.

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@Suzanna: lovely S, oh how I wish that were true, but I so try to grab each opportunity that comes my way…LLGxx

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Yay that sounds lovely! I agree that train travel is soo much easier and less stressful. I miss London and Geneva and Lausanne and I think I must move back there soon. Currently I am in the US and everything feels so far away!

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@sharbet: There used to be a wonderful ad strapline that said: Let the train take the strain… it’s so apt.

I know how you feel – during my four years based in America, Europe felt painfully far away. Thank goodness for modern air travel! LLGxx

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I agree with Miss J in parts; lately, I feel that I can’t get on your bandwidth/can’t relate.

But I actually really like this post: I love detailed travel plans. 🙂

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@tracy: I’m sorry it doesn’t resonate with you – maybe you should go read A Cup of JO?! 🙂

And thank you for the post love. LLGxx

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That’s the way to do it; have a great trip and look forward to seeing the stories on pics on your return.

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@Tricia: Thank you! I’m taking the day tomorrow to catch up on my hideous email inbox and do blogging, so will be posting from Paris. LLGxx

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A last-minute, two-night stay in Paris, all at the best of the House of Vuitton… a lucky girl indeed! Je suis jalouse!

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Right, lots of things to say here.

Cup of Jo, aimed at third grade level? That’s possibly one of the most insulting things I’ve ever heard anyone say about a blog, especially as I merely commented about the lack of conventional reader interaction on this one.

Are you Brits so determinedly miserable that anyone who writes effusively and enthusiastically (FIY, the chapstick comment was tongue in cheek, obviously) about anything is ‘third grade’ to you? Cup of Jo is one of the most inspiring bloggers out there – great holiday suggestions, great lifestyle suggestions, interesting and thought-provoking content etc etc.

And I think using the excuse that its’ a personal blog is a little childish – that may have been the case when blogs FIRST started becoming popular, but now I think they’ve evolved into more of an online magazine and resource where generally the blogger has a bit more of a responsiblity to their audience than just spouting on about themselves.

A great example of a well-run blog from a woman who understands that readers are keen to interact is Miss Pickering – she posts charming, amusing, lovely anecdotes from her day and frequently poses questions to her readers at the end of her blog.

Without this, it seems to me that bloggers are simply elevating their own sense of celebrity and self importance.

One more thing, for the record – if you put something out in the public domain, i.e. a blog, you’re putting it out there to a HUGE variety of people from all over the world who have different opinions. Some will love it, some might not, some could just have one simple gripe with it like I have in this one – but the right to have and voice an opinion does not make me a bad person who should automatically become the target of vilification from other readers – it just means I am expressing my opinion.

Bloggers get to air their gripes constantly – why shouldn’t their readers have the right to do the same???

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@Miss J:
You seem to have missed the point, LLG IS all about her and her life, not about fashion or make up (or chapstick) except as how those things fit into her life. You have the ‘right’ to voice an opinion, but she and others equally have the ‘right’ to shoot you down in flames. Or is the right to an opinion only yours??

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@Miss J: ok – we get it. You don’t like the way that LLG blogs and there are others you prefer. And? You may not feel LLG deserves her (unsought) success but as you rightly say, your opinion is just one amongst so many who thoroughly enjoy this blog, & aren’t so insecure that they need to have their egos massaged by faux questioning in posts. (Which as LLG rightly points out is often there just to elicit comments, rather than from genuine interest.)

You also make no sense whatsoever. On one hand you argue that blogging has evolved and should be treated as a web resource, and on the other you want hand stroking and reader interaction. Those are two directly contradictory requirements.

So please respect others and leave the thousands of us who enjoy this blog in peace.

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@Miss J: Goodness, you really are quite nasty aren’t you? So I’m childish and ‘just spout on about’ myself’? I am “simply elevating (my) own sense of celebrity and self importance”?

Woweee.

I presume you really don’t read my blog, do you? Theatre reviews, ballet performances, guest blogs, disability rights campaigning, digital & tech info, recipes, and a lovely vibrant & active comments section, all leavened with my diary and life….

*sighs. Thanks GOD for right-minded readers*

LLG

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@Miss J: Miss J

You obviously don’t like the blog so why waste time reading it? Let LLG write the blog of her choice and you can go away and read a blog that you actually enjoy. This doesn’t make me ‘determinedly miserable,’ just stating the bleedin’ obvious! I enjoy reading this blog very much. That’s why I read it. The blogs I don’t get on with, I stop reading. It really is that simple.

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This makes me furious, “If you put something out in the public domain”…. then the public have a choice to read it or not, clearly you have chosen to read this blog so if you have a problem with it or the content then why invest your own time in following it. You call yourself a reader? In that case I’m guessing you visit the blog often? If you didn’t take enjoyment from it then why? Or maybe your enjoyment is to leave ill informed comments like this? In that case you have far too much spare time. From personal experience I know that LLG is far from the self centred person your portraying, and in fact devotes a lot of time to responding to her readers.

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@Miss J: Missed the boat a bit on this one, but almost choked on my coffee reading what you presumably think are ‘helpful’ pearls of wisdom (but actually just come across as snide attacks..).
Can you not see that your comments are akin to someone walking into an exhibition and berating the artist for their lack of skill, poor choice of subject matter and failure to engage with their audience and move with the times? Probably not given your amazing ability to overlook the obvious.

And I suspect that the irony of dismissing us Brits as ‘miserable’ whilst showing yourself to be boorish in the extreme is also lost on you.

Just my opinion of course…

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I totally agree with your v firm reposte to Miss J. The joy of writing a blog is that you can write about what the hell you like. If someone doesn’t like the type of blog you write then they don’t have to read it. As a journalist, I love writing a blog where I can choose the subjects that I want to cover – rather than having a news or features editor telling me what THEY want. I think LLG is a fabulous blog, the first one I turn to. So don’t take any notice of Miss J!

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@Emma Lee-Potter: Thank you Emma. That’s pretty much how I feel too…there is a huge difference between neutral reporting in journalism and the licence afforded to us when we blog.

I’ve always believed that blogging was defined by a strong identity and a defined point of view. Without that it’s pointless.

Because essentially the ENTIRE point of LLG is to record the world through the lens of my opinion. Without that opinion there really would be no reason to blog

Plus, I think that the really good blogs that I enjoy enormously do give a window into their author’s world. And I have to say I don’t see very many blogs at all asking questions. Even the ones cited by Miss Trollbottom above only ask questions occasionally. And of course, she missed the point by a country mile that I interact with readers all over the shop.

LLGxx

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