Epiphany and la galette des rois

Happy Épiphanie to one and all! Since my Chou has now reached the practically adult age of three, and nursery restarts tomorrow (where, no doubt, Epiphany will be a major topic of conversation, Christmas having taken place so long ago), I decided that it was time my family participated in the time-honoured (and much-loved) French tradition that is “tirer les rois”. In order to “draw the … Continue reading Epiphany and la galette des rois

A Sortie Scolaire to the Farm

Book of the Day: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Two weeks ago I accompanied my Chou on his first ever school trip. It was a grand occasion – eighteen small children and nineteen adults (sixteen volunteers and three conscripts) heading off to pastures new attached to a farm so far away as to require the additional excitement of a short coach trip. This was … Continue reading A Sortie Scolaire to the Farm

Failing to fit in: L’accouchement en France

I have just received word that an essay I wrote for The Parent Voice, an online parenting magazine specialising in multicultural families, has just been published. I am enormously excited – and who wouldn’t be?! For the official (magazine edited) version, which appears online, please follow this link. There is even a picture of me sporting a terribly sophisticated post-labour coiffure, along with my real … Continue reading Failing to fit in: L’accouchement en France

A Monégasque Adventure

Sitting next to my husband as we drove along the sensational coastal road on a long-promised trip to Monaco (our first venture ending abruptly after a freak hailstorm crushed my dream and my husband’s motorbike) I felt as though we could almost have been Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, To Catch a Thief – I am, after all, a native Bristolian, … Continue reading A Monégasque Adventure

Menton: The chin of France*

Within an hour of our arrival at the seaside resort of Menton my over-excited Chou had managed to fall face-first into the Mediterranean. Luckily we came prepared for such inevitabilities (I had risen at six o’clock that morning to start the arduous task of packing, mainly comprising as much of his wardrobe as I could find clean). Having laughed unsympathetically and picked him up out … Continue reading Menton: The chin of France*

Ça pousse, avril: So much work, so little time

A very belated happy May Day and bonne Fête du Travail to all! I had intended to resume writing last week, once I had finally caught up with life after the inevitable chaos of a two week Vacances de Printemps. France and the builders, however, had other plans. Whereas French workers are celebrated with a bank holiday on May 1st (not so in Geneva, where … Continue reading Ça pousse, avril: So much work, so little time

Packing pour les vacances

Last Monday morning my family and I set off for a short holiday to Menton, a delightful seaside resort (patronised by Queen Victoria herself) nestled in between Monaco and Italy on the French Riviera. I ought to have spent the preceding weekend organising and packing for our trip, but packing is one of life’s more soul-destroying occupations, and one which I generally put off for … Continue reading Packing pour les vacances