The inspiration and idea behind this ‘Project Paris’ was to get my mind off things and in particular ‘him’ and it has been reasonably successful so far except for the odd melt down as I have been calling them.I likened myself to a spider I saw in the bathroom the other day while I was having a shower. I stood there brushing my teeth and watching him trying to scramble up the wall, he would only get so far and then because of the condensation, he would slip back.He reminded me of myself. R says I will take three steps forward and then two steps back – the very insightful R also pointed out how resilient that spider was, that he didn’t give up against the odds and condensation, he kept scrambling up, not put off by the set back of slipping down and having to start again.So I need to take note from that little fella and notice that even although I had another melt down this week and I am getting stronger and the mountain of things that needs to be done and organised before I take off to the city of love is keeping my mind busy. Which in turn is helping me build my resilience.My first priority is where to live and not too expensively. Is that possible, not if you can find someone to house swap with. How fantastic, what a great idea – that didn’t happen.Then calling all friends – surely someone knows somebody who has an empty flat somewhere in Paris that needs me to look after it for them. Dream on. Yes friends did have friends with apartments very nice ones I might add but not in this little Aussie’s budget, even with a 5% discount as one offered.Even although I think couch surfing is such a fabulous idea – somehow I don’t think that that is what I am after, I can’t see that being a step forward.If in doubt, hit the internet. It has been a week since I made the plunge and bought the ticket and still don’t have anywhere to live. I am starting to wonder how cold the metro will be in the middle of winter or if I took up singing lessons now and donned a beret would people throw money at me as I belted out La Vie en Rose under a lamp post.So to be serious and realistic; preferences, not that beggars can be choosers: I like to stay on the right bank in the 3rd or 4th arrondisement because it is near my favourite zinc bar and second hand clothes shop and I just love that area. It has beautiful cobbled streets and little nooks and crannies that I never tire of exploring.Then I did have a romantic idea about Montmartre, with its winding streets and village like feel. It is so very ‘french’ whatever that means, set high up on the butte with Le Sacre Coeur or the Sacred Heart Basilica standing proud. Montmartre even has its own vineyard up there, apparently it doesn’t produce very good wine, perhaps vinegar I think. Montmartre comes with its downside though, it is such a long way out from the centre and the steps. Although they may aid me in getting fit walking up and down all those stairs everyday it is a slog. In addition to this – it is always heaving with tourists (of course I don’t see myself as one of those). There are areas near the Tour de Eiffel that afford glimpses of the tower in all its glittering glory which could be good for New Years Eve, especially if I could see it from my room as they let off the fireworks. Decisions – location is important.Even with the dollar powering away and having hit parity against the US dollar – it still isn’t looking rosy. Of course I have preferences.I want a couch. I picture myself, snuggled up, tea lights, something on the stove, Piaf in the background, ok maybe not, a nice throw across my lap and glass of French red wine at my side perhaps a nice book that I have chosen to read rather than being told to read.So a couch would be nice – but on my budget it is difficult to find a couch that isn’t also the bed. Can I put up with a month of either having to make the bed up every night, or worse still having an unmade bed in the middle of a shoe box sized apartment.A washing machine is a must for a month. I don’t want to take a heavy suitcase, especially if I end up on the six floor sans ascenseur, without elevator. This is very possible.So lots of factors to weigh up, lists to make, checklists to abide by and I need to dust off my Michel Thomas language CD’s so I can start brushing up on the little French I have.A bientot!