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mercredi 31 décembre 2008

New year blues

I'm pretty sure there must be more of you out there who don't really like New Year's Eve very much... D is frantically trying to get something organised for us (we always seem to do this kind of thing at the last minute, possibly because I more or less leave it all to D, and D really is a last minute kind of guy - gets it from his mother of course, but... NO. STOP. I said I wouldn't talk about her for a while), whilst I am quietly hoping that we don't actually have to do anything at all.

Last year we got back from Scotland on the 30th and ended up spending NYE at home, just the 4 of us (5, if you include Tom). D, being mighty pissed off at that scenario, was in a foul mood and we had quite a big argument. He sulked and faffed about on his computer for most of the evening, while I watched "Hairspray" (hmm, yummy, yummy Zac Efron... soon, apparently, to be seen in Pirates of the Caribbean 4 with fantasy love of my life, Johnny Depp... my cup runneth over) and ate chocolates. As far as I'm concerned, it was a damn good NYE.

And this year looks set to be the same - no plans so far, D can still barely walk because of his bad back and many of our friends are, or will be by tomorrow night, away - except that I intend to watch the DVD of "Mamma Mia!" this year instead.

I don't know why I dislike NYE so much - I've had some good ones (Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London in 1990-something with my then-friend Clare, a good one when I was about 17 or 18, one spent in St Andrews, again with Clare, one in Scotland with my cousins, another in Scotland for 2000...), but also many indifferent ones spent with my parents, watching Jules Holland till my parents went to bed at 12.30 and then putting on my favourite videos (Neil Diamond's "The Jazz Singer", "Grease", "Carousel"...).

I just find it kind of depressing, and always pretty much of a let down.

Of course, this could just be that wild, party animal in me talking (ha! ha!).

Anyway, I don't know if I'll be able to bring you a list of my resolutions tomorrow (like you care ;-)), but I will be doing a questionnaire proposed by Linda which has tickled my fancy, and would be delighted to hear any answers you might have too...

lundi 29 décembre 2008

4.21 pm

Actually, by 4.15 I was home and dry (despite NOT being at home and it raining outside) because I took my MIL to the station. D's bad back has virtually crippled him which meant that I had to take my MIL, and I, unlike D and his mother, do not do things at the last minute. So we arrived at the station at 4 pm, giving my MIL time to buy the sandwich she didn't have time to make at our place (she also left behind the presents she got from the girls, plus some pictures they drew for her and no doubt a few other bits and pieces because OF COURSE she didn't PACK till the last minute) and I put her on the train not long after. By 4.15 I was free, sure and certain that she was ON the train and NOT going to miss it...

Oh, the relief!

To celebrate (and given that I had to be home by 5 to help D prepare for his first class as an English teacher), I went and had a Diet Coke at McDonald's because I REALLY KNOW HOW TO CELEBRATE. I am a WILD CHILD as you can see. This could also be why we have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING planned for New Year's Eve (for the second year in a row. PARTY ANIMALS, I tell you, PARTY ANIMALS. Even our 82-year-old neighbour is going out on the 31st...).

What I haven't mentioned is that my MIL and I had a small spat or two on the journey to the station, then again when she was already on the train. I swear, the woman is IMPOSSIBLE. But that's now irrelevant. She has gone home, we are back to ourselves once again, my stressometer is now free to redescend to its pre-Christmas level...

And I am SO GLAD we didn't go to Paris!

Maybe now I can enjoy the rest of the holidays - even if I have to do lots of work and won't really be on holiday again till Thursday.

And maybe I can finally stop boring you with tales of my MIL!

dimanche 28 décembre 2008

Time to go home

Yes, the time has come... Tempers are starting to fray (D have an unbearably painful back hasn't helped today, that's for sure), patience levels are running low, our usual daytime routines are shot to hell and I'm feeling stressed and exhausted...

It can only mean one thing.

It's time for my unbelievably irritating (and totally not helpful around the house) MIL to hit the road and head off home to Paris.

Luckily for me, her train leaves tomorrow at 4.20 pm. I really don' t think I can take much more.

Don't get me wrong - the visit hasn't really gone badly at all. But truly, she drives me insane, I feel totally unlike myself and find it increasingly hard to be civil.

I just want her gone, so we can go back to our own bed, be back on our own, living our lives as we want without having to listen to her "suggestions" (usually barely veiled criticisms) and endless drivelling chatter.

And the fact that I have long suspected that C is her favourite granddaughter (because, dixit my MIL, C looks like her side of the family whilst L looks like mine) really doesn't help, believe me.

Roll on 4.21 pm, that's what I say!

Oh, and maybe some more chocolate might help, too...

samedi 27 décembre 2008


Today my baby girl, C, turned 7 years old. It's such a cliché to say that time goes quickly and that kids grow up too fast, and as far as I'm concerned it's not exactly true. I DON'T feel like she was only born yesterday; it's more the opposite: I can barely imagine a time when she wasn't here... And the baby period seemed to last forever - I much prefer the ages my daughters are now...

Yet 7 is still pretty small, even if she does suddenly seem so very big and mature all of a sudden. There's so much she can do by herself (though not ride a bike of course - that trauma is yet to come), so much she can understand... She's still a little girl, but also a big girl...

And I love her more than life itself.

I hope she had a fun day - it wasn't much of a party (only 2 guests as so many friends are away for the holidays), but she seemed to enjoy it, and we had her favourite lunch (roast chicken and pasta), and she got lovely presents, and she looked beautiful...

7 years old - I remember the day I turned 7, too. Way back when (1976, if you're interested). I received a three-book set of Flower Fairy poems from my parents, and I was thrilled. And I showed C that very same set this morning - she was stunned that it belonged to me way back when. Maybe one day she'll show it to her own daughter on her 7th birthday...

I hope she'll remember these good times, the fun, the love.

And I hope she enjoys being 7.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

vendredi 26 décembre 2008

Fame at last!

Not only is Christmas (so far) going quite well (apart from the chicken pox and my MIL's usual irritatingness), but I'm also BOSSY'S FEATURED BLOGGER!

Oh my God, I'm so excited!

Happy Boxing Day to those of you who celebrate it (happy sales too, although they don't start here in France till, oh, 7 January or something), and keep eating those chocolates (me, I've just finished off a bowl of icing from the cake I made for C's birthday tomorrow and yes, I do feel kind of sick, making me think perhaps the icing is a tad sweet)!

jeudi 25 décembre 2008

Itchy Spot Central

Poor L really is a miserable little bunny today - she slept badly last night, woke up pretty grouchy and feverish, managed to struggle through present opening (she WAS pleased with her presents, just didn't have the energy to play with any of them), ate virtually nothing at lunch and finally went to bed at about 2 pm FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW (the last time she had naps two days in a row was probably, oh, heavens, let me think, well, probably, probably NEVER) and didn't wake up till 5.30. Now, she's still in her pyjamas and covered in this weird red stuff they make you splotch on all the chicken pox spots here in France, watching a Winnie the Pooh DVD, feeling sorry for herself because D and C have gone to friends for a pancake party.

It's not easy being sick at Christmas, specially when you're only 4 and a half and have been looking forward to it for WEEEEEEEKS.

But as far as I'm concerned, this has been a pretty good Christmas (of course, my MIL isn't here yet - she doesn't arrive till about 9.30 tonight), and I hope the same is true for you!

Now, the big question is whether I should open a box of chocolates or go straight into the pre-dinner nibbles... Decisions, decisions...

You know what I'm going to say

Yes, you guessed it:


Here in France, the big Christmas meal was tonight, Christmas Eve. We invited friends - a couple (he's British, she's French) and their two daughters, plus another (British) friend and her daughter, which made for a lot of little girls!

The girls had fun (but didn't eat much, unsurprisingly), we had fun (and ate a lot, unsurprisingly) and the evening was a success. Even my cooking!

Now, we can all head off to bed and wait for Father Christmas to make his appearance (both C and L are desperately excited...).

Oh, and yes, my poor sweet bunny does indeed have chicken pox - she's got a bit of a temperature, about a million spots and is a little off colour, but seems to be bearing up OK, poor baby.

Just have to finish wrapping my presents now...

Have a great Christmas Day!

mercredi 24 décembre 2008

Starting to feel truly Christmassy...

I actually spent most of this evening (when I was supposed to be translating around 2,000 words of a nasty nuclear energy text I have to finish for the beginning of January) wrapping presents. Oh, how I love wrapping presents! And although I'm no Martha Stewart (should have seen the visual disaster that was the cake I made on Sunday, though it actually tasted fabulous), I have to say I think I wrap presents pretty well...

Didn't even finish, to be honest - I "only" wrapped the girls' presents from us (not the bicycles, obviously, but a bicycle pump for C and a pack of stabilisers for L, as sort of hints as to what might be awaiting in the cellar) and from Father Christmas (he was running short of time and asked me to do some wrapping for him. Elves must have been either drunk or on strike again I guess as the same thing happened last year...). Of course, the fact that I don't actually have anything to wrap for D is only a minor hurdle (last minute shopping tomorrow, I guess). And I haven't wrapped my MIL's presents, either, as she won't be here till the 25th anyway.

Plus D did lots of Christmas food shopping this afternoon, and the girls and I (though mainly I, with some help from C) did a fair amount of tidying. Of course, not enough for it to be visible to anyone but me, but it's a start, and I intend to do more tomorrow (though I'm not sure when - so much to do!).

And, somewhat unbelievably, there will be 10 of us for dinner tomorrow night (yes, here in France the "big" Christmas meal is on Christmas Eve. But the four of us will also be doing a "UK" Christmas lunch, too, on the 25th, after we've opened all the presents), and I HAVE TO ROAST SOME KIND OF BIRD. I've NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE. AM VERY SCARED OF RUINING EVERYTHING. But well. I guess we'll manage. And if the bird (it's a "pintade", which is apparently a guinea fowl) is truly inedible, we've got loads of tuna fish to fall back on...

The only downer in the whole proceedings (apart from the fact that I got no work done today) is the fact that I suspect my poor sweet L may indeed be falling foul (or should that be fowl?) of the chicken pox plague that hit her part of the school last week... She's got a few spots that are itchy, and her poor little forehead feels hot to me, so I fear the worst. Poor baby - chicken pox for Christmas... She's going to be so miserable - I know I was when I had it. But we'll see. Maybe it's just a very enthusiastic mosquito (yes, we've still got mosquitos - I blitzed one gleefully yesterday) or something...

OK. It's now 1 am (so still pretty early by my standards), so I guess I should try and get some work done... Or at least finish making my Christmas cards...

lundi 22 décembre 2008


...You wouldn't think it was possible to be this tired and yet to have accomplished so little in a day. It's 10.20 pm and all I've done so far is remove a heap of junk and not-junk off my desk and put it on the floor.

Bearing in mind I stupidly assumed I could actually get stuff done this week (you know, during a week when the girls are on holiday from school but I'm not officially "on holiday" till Wednesday night), the reality of what I've actually managed (the from-desk-to-floor heap) seems pathetically pathetic even to me.

On the other hand, I can see a corner of my desk (hey! It's blue! Who knew?) that I probably haven't seen since the last time I cleared my desk.

On the third hand (who's counting?), still on that blue corner of my desk, I have found some deeply unappealing things (hmm, anyone for a fingernail?), a LOT of dust (possibly composed almost 100% of crumbs of some kind or another) and a few things I thought (assumed) were lost forever.

And finally, my passport saga continues: despite the 1.60-Euro-a-minute-5-minute-minimum UK consulate passport helpline's "no, go right ahead, just write one cheque (for 190 Euros - gah)for both the passport fees and postage costs" and then further confirmation "yeah, go ahead and make the cheque payable to the British consulate in Paris", I got a message on my answering machine saying that the consulate hasn't accepted personal cheques in over a year, could I phone back and give my credit card details please.

So, I phoned back, at 11.50 am, and eventually got a snotty French switchboard cow telling me that what I'm requesting is impossible (though that in itself is supposedly impossible if you go by a saying the French are mighty fond of: "impossible n'est pas français"*), that I should phone the get-a-bank-loan-first helpline, bla, bla, bla, that the place is closed for lunch and that I should phone back after 2.30 pm. I duly phoned back at 4.30 pm, and eventually got the same snarky cow telling me the offices were closed for the day. I snapped back that Ms Consulate Lady's message said 5.30 was closing time... So Ms Snotty Switchboard grudgingly tried to put me through. I sat through more bars of Vivaldi's "Spring" than I care to remember and eventually got to speak to Ms Consulate Lady. I informed her of my gripes ("I just spent about 20 Euros last week on your crappy helpline only to be given information that isn't even goddamn true, and now your own Ms Snotty Switchboard is telling lies about opening hours too") and she was very nice and said she would DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM.

She took my credit card details, told me I'd probably get my passport (complete with hideous photo) around 7 January and then informed me that, with the pound Sterling plummeting against the Euro, the fees (originally in pounds, then converted to Euros) have gone DOWN and that I won't be debited 190 Euros after all, just a trifling 170 Euro or so.

So, despite a pretty snarky day all round, with not enough sleep, not nearly enough chocolate, two pretty grizzly girls all day, not getting anything done, having yet more work to contend with and having to deal with Ms Snotty Switchboard not once but twice, I duly give thanks to the wonder that is the British economy (what's left of it) and its plummeting currency.

May the Christmas spirit move you all in at least one of its mysterious ways.

* = Impossible is not French (attributed to Napoleon. A totally ridiculous saying, if you ask me, and even more totally unsuited to the French)


Spent this afternoon with some relatively new friends (we probably met them about a year ago at IKEA (of course) where our respective daughters started playing together and we then ended up chatting. And their daughters are at the girls' school, too).

The girls had a great time, and I enjoyed it too, but the visit made me crave... certain things. Not a baby (although their not-quite-one-month-old daughter is very cute), but a nice home. OK, the guy's an architect, which obviously helps, but their flat is just amazing - it's immaculately tidy in the "adult" parts and messy in the kids' parts, which makes it feel like a home (if it were immaculate everywhere I'd be suspicious ;-))), plus it's stylish and beautiful and modern and... just how I'd like our place to be, even though I know it never will.

And, their flat is in fact two flats - their original one, which was about the size of ours, plus a smaller one they bought (on the same landing). They've knocked doors through and made it into one huge flat.

So yes, I guess it's not just cravings, it could in fact be full-blown jealousy... Except that they're both so nice that you couldn't possibly not like them.

But oh, how I wish we could get our place sorted out. In my mind, I can see how it should (could) look, but we just never get there. D doesn't seem particularly bothered about certain aspects of the mess, and the girls have a very haphazard approach to tidying up, so everything ends up in a heap in a corner, at best. And I'm not without fault - my desk is a nightmare, as is all the floor "space" around it. But there's never time, and so much is part of a chain of events in which the first event never seems to get done...

I'm feeling a little down in the dumps, to be honest. And totally discouraged.

And my MIL will be here (with all her usual snarky comments and crappy advice) in 4 days, God help me.

samedi 20 décembre 2008

"MIL is coming, Magic's getting stressed..."

...Sung, obviously, to the tune of "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat..."

And yes, we finally got details of my MIL's trip to see us. This information has been hard to get, and fraught with stress all of its own (plus accusations of nastiness and false declarations and oh, the usual stuff involving my MIL), but at least we now know: she's arriving at 9 pm on the 25th (which suits me perfectly, I have to admit - we get Christmas Eve with friends, that night in our own bed (we sleep on the sofa when my MIL is here), present-opening just the four of us, a nice festive lunch on our own, a pancake tea party with friends in the afternoon and then, once the girls are in bed, and only then, will MIL arrive). Better still - not only has she actually bought her return ticket, she's even told us the time and date of her departure (not a common thing, believe me): she's leaving at 4 pm on the 29th, which means basically only 3 and a half days. I'm quite pleased, to be honest. Here's just to hoping that she doesn't arrive feeling as snarky as she's been on the phone these last few times and that we manage to keep our tempers under control till after C's birthday on the 27th...

And at least we now know - the whole "what are we doing for Christmas" thing has been up in the air since, oh, about October when my MIL first suggested we go up to Paris for her 70th birthday (end of November), to which I gave an emphatic "NO" (8 hours in a train for less than 24 hours there, at a cost of about 400 € just wasn't feasible). Then she started banging on about us going for Christmas, and I said "NO" to that too - too expensive (worse than in November), too tiring for the girls, we wouldn't be able to take their presents with us (bicycles - hardly the kind of thing you can sneak into your luggage) and her flat is TOO SMALL, it would be like Sartre's Huis Clos (only worse, possibly), and I didn't want to risk spoiling C's birthday. At least if we're here, there are possible escape hatches...

I know, I know, you must think I'm being unreasonably nasty about my MIL. But that just goes to show that you haven't met her (or, more likely, haven't had to LIVE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY with her). For which you should, in the spirit of this month's NaBloPoMo, give ETERNAL THANKS.

That said, I am starting to feel quite Christmassy; I've done most of my Christmas preparations (still 6 cards to make, write and send, still a small present to buy for C, plus her birthday present, plus D's presents, plus the food shopping to do, though that's usually D's job...), and I can't wait to start the wrapping up - I LOVE wrapping presents!

Plus, I have a cake to bake for tomorrow afternoon, and I love baking, too...

Maybe it'll even be pleasant with my MIL here after all... Miracles have been known to happen occasionally...

Some kind of blissful

No, I haven't found inner peace*, but I'm sitting here, at my monumentally cluttered desk, and it's not yet ridiculous o'clock in the morning** and I'm slowly typing one-handed because Tom is on my knees***, purring contentedly and smelling deliciously fluffy****. I still have a shitload of stuff to do*****, but sitting here with Tom, with the house so quiet and calm, really is some kind of blissful... Cats should be prescribed as medication for the terminally stressed.

* though we had printanière for dinner, so I guess I do have some inner peas...
** though beware of the "yet"
*** only just - he's what you would call a big cat
**** if you have a cat, you'll know the smell; if you don't I guess you'll just think I'm weird...
***** not helped by the fact that D didn't wake me up at 10 am as I asked him to in a note he says he read, but left me to wake up naturally at 2 pm (I know, even I'm kind of ashamed of this one) meaning I didn't get my translation finished till 4.30 (instead of 12.30 as I'd calculated), in turn meaning I didn't have time to go into town and send my last Christmas cards and do some Christmas shopping. All I had time to do was have a shower, get dressed and go get the girls from school. I was pretty mad, I have to admit, even if the long sleep undoubtedly did me good.

vendredi 19 décembre 2008

Short and sweet

Too goddamn tired to write much crap tonight - it was almost 5 when I fell asleep this morning, was up at 7.45 to take the girls to school and then spend all morning at a meeting for the school newsletter that I stupidly got involved in.
Home, lunch, work, faff... Very short doze on the sofa when I couldn't see straight any more.
Tai chi, bedtime for the girls, dinner, work all evening.
And now, it's 4 am yet again and I am beyond tired.
And of course I still have a shitload of stuff to do tomorrow (morning - work, afternoon - buy the girls' Christmas presents).
It all feels so relentless.
Oh, and for the first time ever L said she didn't want to go to her circus class on Saturday - I knew she'd take the whole sorry tale of last week to heart...
But the girls' end-of-term evaluations are all excellent and I'm unspeakably proud of them!
Bed, now. For oh, a whole 4 hours maybe, if I'm lucky.

jeudi 18 décembre 2008

Wanted: maternal fibre

D often says things about how "unhuman" I am - as in, he finds that I don't behave like a human being, that I don't react to events and situations like other human beings, etc. I usually find this both very insulting and deeply unfair (no, I don't necessarily react like he does, but that doesn't make me a freak). But he once said he didn't think I am very maternal. And I got very upset with him at the time, because I love my little girls more than life itself, and I do hug them, and kiss them, and tell them I love them, and comfort them...

But this evening, I decided that maybe there was more than a little truth in what he said.

Let me explain.

I read a lot of "mommy blogs" as they're rather irritatingly known. In most cases, as soon as a baby comes on the scene, the writers (and their commenters) go into a sort of trance about the adorableness of the new baby, how seeing a new baby makes them want to have another one, bla, bla, bla. Me, I look at the photos of these new babies and think, "yeah, that's a cute baby" but that's IT.

Anyway. This evening, for around one and a half hours, we had to look after our neighbours' little boy, Thomas, who's just turned 5 months old. He's very good-natured, very sociable, and generally about as cute as a 5-month-old baby can be.

I gave him his bottle, held him on my knees, carried him round the flat, showed him the Christmas tree, nuzzled his not-as-tiny-as-I'd-expected head... The usual, in other words.

And yes, I was quite content to be doing that to help out our neighbours, and yes, he's a cute baby, and yes, there's something very nice about such a tiny, helpless little being.

But the longer I spent "entertaining" him, the more I realised that I really, really, really couldn't face the thought of going through all that again - the relentlessness of it all, the thanklessness of it all (changing nappies, cleaning bottles, feeding, being drooled on, being vomited on (Thomas didn't do that, but my younger daughter, L, did, ALL THE TIME), the not sleeping, the crying...). Seeing a baby so young makes me realise how much BETTER it is to have children who can walk, and talk, and do pretty much all the essential stuff themselves. I love the ages my daughters are at (C will be 7 in 10 days, L will be 5 in 4 months), and seem to love each new age more. I don't miss their baby days AT ALL. C was, admittedly, a pretty easy baby - but turned into the Devil's Spawn when she was 2. L was cute as hell, but a difficult baby (wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, puked endlessly despite no allergies...) and morphed into a hellishly difficult toddler. Now, at more than 4 and a half, she still has her moments, but basically 3 was better than 2, and 4 is better than 3.

I wouldn't go back to their babyhood for all the tea in China...

Does that mean that the famous "maternal fibre" really is missing in me? Is it because I failed so dismally with breastfeeding? Am I missing some vital, motherhood gene? Is there something wrong with me? Or are there actually other people out there who don't get all gooey-eyed at the sight of a new baby?

This evening made me feel like a freak - and that freaked me out!

mercredi 17 décembre 2008

Hello, again, hello

Oh, I am SOOOOO jealous of Cha Cha for getting to see the fabulous Neil Diamond live in concert... I'm perfectly aware that being a fan of Neil Diamond is probably one of the least cool or trendy things in the world, but I'm BEYOND ALL THAT. I don't care. I adooooorre Neil Diamond and frequently listen to his Greatest Hits album, and frequently (though never frequently enough) watch the great film, "The Jazz Singer"...

I'm not sure when my adoration started. Not that long ago, because I remember deliberately NOT liking him when I was teenager because my mother was a fan (strangely, she also liked Status Quo, but that has never rubbed off on me... She also found the lead singer, Francis Rossi, very sexy, which is another of life's mysteries if you ask me). But then, when I was a student, I caught up with The Jazz Singer, and video-ed (??) it off the TV on to my favourite video, the one with Grease on it, meaning I probably watched both films around a cajillion times.

Then, about 10 years ago, I bought the Greatest Hits album. And have been hooked ever since (no, there's been no "all forgiveness, kiss and make-up" Neil adoration get-together with my mother - she died 5 years ago, and suffered from dementia until then and didn't know who I was).

D is NOT a fan, but hey, I let him play Jimi Hendrix stuff (which I also quite like, but wouldn't choose) so he puts up with my Madonna, Neil, Lloyd Cole... Different tastes, obviously, but it doesn't seem to matter.

I must admit I didn't even know that Neil was still doing touring and stuff (and, if you check out the photo on Cha Cha's blog, still looking hot too), though I doubt France is on his list of tour dates (I shouldn't think many French people even know who he is - poor, deprived race).

They don't know what they're missing - that sexy, gravelly voice, hmmm, yum yum...

So, yes, it's nearly 3 am yet again and all I can think about is Neil Diamond.

Wish me HOT dreams, people!

mardi 16 décembre 2008


So, just call me stupid. I can handle it, and Lord knows I deserve it...

It must have been around 4 am when I finally fell asleep last "night". And yes, today's Monday, the only day of the week when I have to get up at 6.30 am, be at work by 8, teach from 8 till 12 and then from 1.15 till 3.15, come home, become a maman again and then work all evening.

On less than 3 hours' sleep.

And yes, of course, it's already 1.15 am here and I still have a shitload of stuff to do.

And yes, C's teacher is off sick so the kids have been told they don't have to go to school tomorrow (so of course she wants to stay home, which also of course means that L wants to stay home too), meaning I'm going to get pretty much fuck all done tomorrow, too.

Got more Christmas cards today and still haven't sent any.

Haven't finished my Christmas shopping (haven't even started as far as D is concerned, or C's birthday), haven't made any headway on C's birthday party...

And my new passport photo is spectacularly hideous, but I'm going to have to keep it for the next TEN years. And the renewal process is going to cost me 150 Euros plus 21 Euros for postage. I'm in shock.

Not a great day, as you can tell.

lundi 15 décembre 2008

This is not a cookery blog

Let's get this straight, right now: I am not a particularly good cook and am not particularly keen or adventurous, either. I can "throw together" certain things (cauliflower cheese, lasagna, crêpes, porridge, basic pasta-y stuff, basic (un fancy decorated) cakes,...) and can follow certain recipes (once made a very good osso bucco, and an excellent curry, plus some coconut icecream). But I'm usually pretty stuck for time, and not very patient either. So I really wouldn't say I'm a cookery blog-type.

That said, when I like to read something light and untaxing, I do enjoy a good Goldy Schultz mystery (D says they're crap, but I've read them all - often several times - and just love the mixture of crime and recipes!).

And today, because one of our neighbours came for tea this afternoon, I made a cake. I decided to move away from my classic chocolate cake (or its plain lemony version), my cupcakes and banana bread. I decided to make pineapple upside-down cake.

I found a Nigella Lawson recipe, followed it pretty much to the letter and...

My God, it was good! I reckon I could probably have eaten the whole thing by myself (and, if I'd been alone, I probably would have done, with some single cream poured over it to add to the perfection). I got compliments, and everyone (even my little fusspot, L) ate their share. And of course there's none left.

But me, I was so proud of myself! It looked good, tasted good... and was super easy to make! The only change was that I didn't have glacé cherries, so I used raisins instead.

Heaven, pure heaven.

Go on - try it for yourselves!

Oh, and if anyone felt like buying me a Nigella cookbook for Christmas, I would actually be quite pleased...

dimanche 14 décembre 2008

Being a maman hurts!

Today was my 4-and-a-half year old's end-of-term "show" (or "presentation") at the circus school she goes to once a week.

L just loves going to circus school. And it is pretty great - they learn pretty "simple" stuff (but the class is only for 3-5 year olds), but cool all the same. A little juggling, some plate spinning (sort of), some acrobatics, some trapeze, some general "performance" skills, some "high wire" (actually a wooden beam about 10 cm off the floor!)... you get the idea.

Anyway, L loves it. This is her second year and she still loves it just as much as last year.

So, as you can imagine, she was pretty excited this morning, particularly as she was keen for us to see her "perform" on the trapeze as she's been pretty scared of the trapeze and has only just "tamed" it, so to speak.

She went to class as usual at 9.30, and D, C and I turned up at 10 for the show. Of course, my camera batteries died, so I was already pretty cheesed off, but in the end it hardly mattered...

The kids came out from behind the curtains one by one and jumped on a mini-trampoline, getting their faces in line behind an empty picture frame and pulling some kind of stupid face. L was great, really giggling with pleasure.

Then, she went on the ball - a big ball on a mat she had to climb up on to and balance. She did this great (but she could do this last year already), though of course I didn't get a picture of it. Grrrrr.

And then she joined the line of kids waiting for the trapeze.

Oh, my dear heart. The anguish for a maman, watching her let other, bolder kids push past her! And then, finally, it was her turn. She was all smiles as she stepped on to the mat... and just at that moment, one of the two teachers turned the music off and said they had to stop what they were doing and line up in front of the audience. L held it together, but I could see she was on the verge of tears (she stood in that line for about 10 minutes, bless her).

The music came back on and they all had to wiggle and dance. L was fine again. Then, bowing to the audience, holding each others' hands, the (big, boisterous) kid to her left pulled her backwards as the (cocky, sure-of-herself) kid to her right pulled her forwards and BANG! There was my poor, sweet baby face down on the mat.

She stood up, but by now there were tears pouring down her face. The teachers tried to comfort her, but we all know that in that kind of situation (disappointment, frustration, sadness, humiliation) only a maman will do.

The others ran off to get their "post-show cake and drink" while I scooped her into my arms. I'm used to her tantrum-tears, but this was different. This time she was sobbing with sadness. My eyes welled up with the unfairness of it all.

The teacher came up and asked if she'd hurt herself - and I explained that no, not really, but that she was sad that she didn't get a chance on the trapeze, despite waiting for so long. And the teacher said "well, she should have gone on the other things instead". I tried to say that she did do the ball but that what she had really wanted was to show us how she's no longer scared of the trapeze, but Teacher-Lady was already half talking to another proud parent.

And still my poor L sobbed. She was inconsolable for a while, but then perked up a little at the thought of cake and bonbons. D was cutting up cake and grabbed the biggest bit for L, while I pushed her in front of the bolder kids in front of her. She was fine, and was fine for the rest of the day.

But me, I can't get this out of my mind. It's so unfair! And I don't know what to do to stop this from happening again. I was a pathologically shy child, myself, so I know what it's like. C is the same (lack of oral participation in class was the only negative thing in her end-of-term report), and I hate the thought of my babies suffering like I did.

But I don't know what to do to help them. We spoke to Teacher-Lady and said that we want her to help L push herself forward, help her stop being a doormat to those totally extrovert kids who just push past her. But we said the same last year, and it obviously hasn't worked.

My heart aches, and I'll never forget the tears she cried this morning, so different from what we normally get (we live with the Queen of Tantrums).

My sweet angel, I was so proud of her, despite the fact she essentially did nothing. She's my little baby, my last baby, my BABY GIRL.

And I'm going to protect her, help her, any way I can.

But oh, how hard it is to be a maman sometimes!

samedi 13 décembre 2008

All over bar the shouting

The Christmas market at school is now officially over... Estimated profits are in the 600-650 Euro mark, which strikes me as pretty awesome. Yes, if was bloody freezing standing out there for an hour or two selling the stuff, but earning that much money - which will all be used to buy things for the school - is cool. Really cool. And I think the girls enjoyed the fact that I was part of it, participating in a school event in a way that my own mother never did.

I'm proud of myself.

Not quite so proud of my Christmas preparations, though: yes, my father's presents are all accounted for (except the school-photo calendar that I ordered in October and that I don't have yet, so it'll not arrive in time for Christmas, even if I get it on Monday), I've done all it takes for Carla's best not-from-school friend, T, plus my goddaughter and her brother, I've done most of the shopping for C and L (just need their bikes, really, plus a small toy each), except C's birthday, and I've done some of my MIL's presents. Still don't know if she's coming here or not, which is a pain.

But what I haven't done is buy anything for D, send any Christmas cards (and I've received 7 already), do anything constructive about C's birthday party, do any tidying, do any sorting... The place is still a mess, and Christmas is in less than 2 weeks...

But school is all but over (one week to go), I only have one more day of teaching (though still have a mountain of exams to mark), and I have a shitload of work to do but am NOT stressing about it (not yet, anyway).

Oh, and I ate homemade organic cookies (and they were deeply unsatisfying, as only pure organic foodstuffs can be) all evening till I felt sick.

L does her circus school "end-of-term-show" tomorrow, which is cool, and then we're seeing one of her friends from her old school in the afternoon, which is cool too.

Sorry this is so disjointed - my brain feels like macaroni and cheese tonight and I just can't concentrate.

So I'm going to go to bed!

vendredi 12 décembre 2008

Roll up, roll up

I finally got the truffles rolled into truffle-shaped balls, coated in whatever and wrapped in cellophane packages tied with red ribbon at about, oh, 2 am (because I'm SLOW at this type of thing, no matter how easy it looks in the recipe).

And I managed to sleep all morning (oh, the bliss, but boy, do I feel guilty now!) and faff about all (early) afternoon before heading over to school at 3.30 to help set up the Christmas Market. It took forever, even with several of us (not sure I was very helpful, but I did my best).

At 4.45 the end-of-school bell rang, parents started flooding through the gates and we were suddenly bombarded. Sales went well (most of my truffles disappeared, though not that many of my labour-of-love tree decorations) and it was almost quite good fun, except that it was frigidly cold by Montpellier standards (no snow, or anything like that, but we're not used to cold down here) and my hands were numb by the time I'd helped put all the stuff left away for tomorrow. I might help set up again tomorrow, but I'm not staying so late this time...

Still, C and L seemed to enjoy it and bought a few things each (including some of my tree decorations, bless them!).

And, despite a long lie-in this morning, I'm still utterly exhausted, haven't done any tidying up, haven't got anywhere with my new passport application, haven't done my invoices, haven't sent any Christmas cards...

Wow. Lots to do tomorrow!

mercredi 10 décembre 2008


I know the (non obligatory) theme for this month's NaBloPoMo is "Thanks", but I really don't have much to give thanks about today.

It wasn't exactly a bad day, I mean nothing really bad happened, but oh, I'll still be pretty glad when it's over.

I'm still only half way through making my 50 truffles. The recipe says "quick and easy". Well, it is reasonably easy, I suppose (though finding suitably-sized-and-heatproof recipients for the bain marie took a certain amount of inventiveness), but it certainly wasn't (hasn't been) quick...

I still have a shitload of crap to do, and realised last night that my passport - my only legally accepted identification - will no longer be valid as of Christmas Eve. And, according to the website of the British Embassy in Paris, new passports take "4 to 6 weeks" to be issued. Fuck only knows what I'm supposed to do for identification purposes during that time... Plus, I'll have to get my photo taken and I HATE that - I always look older and uglier than even I could imagine. *sigh*

D has been in some kind of snit all day, mainly with me, and I don't know why, so that's put ME in a snit, too.

The girls have been kind of difficult today, too. Everything takes so long to do, requires so much shouting (on my part) and sulking (on theirs), it's totally exhausting. 25 minutes just to get their teeth brushed tonight!

I'm exhausted by my crap lifestyle (in bed at 4 yet again last night, still addicted to eating mindless crap all the time) but feel totally powerless to change. Too weak, too undisciplined, too much of a failure.

And I got my first Christmas card today - which made me realise I still haven't sent any. Gah!

But there is one thing I can most definitely give thanks for: the happy conclusion (at least for the baby and his parents) of this heartaching tale from Orthez (in south west France). I'm sorry, but the article's in French. Basically, yesterday afternoon, while his mother was having a shower, a 2-day-old newborn was snatched from the maternity hospital in Orthez. A "kidnap alert" was broadcast and made it possible to identify the woman who took him. The police found the baby, in good health and well cared for, and have returned him to his (obviously severely freaked out) parents. The woman has been taken in for questioning. A happy ending, then, for the baby. Thank God. There are too many horrible stories as it is.

Conspiracy theories

This morning, D finally put together this really cute little shoe cupboard thing I bought from a catalogue back in August (though it wasn't actually delivered till early September). It's brilliant white and has a little glass shelf thing on the top and looks totally wonderful.

But (you knew there was going to be a "but", didn't you?).

Although D followed the instructions to the letter, when you put your shoes (any kinds of shoes - we've tried trainers, sandals, pumps, flip-flops, "ordinary" shoes) on the shelf thing inside, they just won't stay in place. Either they completely fall down inside the cupboard as soon as you close the door, or they slip down so that they get stuck.

I am SO disappointed.

And, as it's taken us (*cough* D *cough*) so long to put it together, there's no returns policy now, so we're stuck with it. Yes, it looks great, but the idea was to keep all the shoes out of sight. If they won't stay on the shelves, there's no point using it.


And of course there's still a shitload of OTHER bits of furniture to be put together/put up: a shelf over my desk, another in the kitchen, wall light fittings in the office, kitchen cupboard doors and a worktop (which we don't even have), a CD shelf, the drawer that fits under C's bed, two storage "cubes" for my desk area... And curtain rails, which we've had for almost 3 years.

Can you tell that D is really, really not Mr DIY?

And yes, I'm equally crap at doing my share of the tidying up, but oh, sometimes, it just feels like there's some kind of conspiracy theory at work preventing me from ever, ever having a home I feel I can invite people into...

And C's birthday party is supposed to be held here on 27 December. Unimaginable at present, totally unimaginable.

And work keeps coming in at such a rate (yes, I AM grateful for all the work I get, but there does come a time when a girl needs a break for you know, SLEEPING and stuff) that I really, really don't have time to do anything.

Grumble, grumble, moan, moan.

Just get up off your fat arse, girl and GO TIDY for Chrissakes!

mardi 9 décembre 2008

Just one more

One more to go. Just one more shitty up-at-6.30 Monday morning... You see, I teach at two of Montpellier's 3 universities (I know, it's crazy, but that's how they do things here), but I don't teach many hours, and I only teach in the first semester (not my choice, by the way, I would have liked to have spread things out a little), and since mid-November (when my Thursday class finished) I only teach on Mondays: 8-10 at the Economics faculty, then 1.5-3.15 in the annex to the Arts faculty.

For a night-owl like me, you cannot imagine what torture it is to have to get up at 6.30 and GO OUTSIDE while it's still DARK for Chrissakes.

But now, I only have one more week of teaching. And then my Mondays will be all mine once again. I can hardly wait!

Plus, the advantage to all my teaching being in the first semester is that I will get paid "early" (the status I have, "vacataire" - which means the job is not my main job (my main job is freelance translating) - is about as crappy as you can imagine, each semester being paid in one go, early March for the first semester, early August for the second), as in March. Woohoo!

The other advantage to all my teaching being in the first semester and all on the same day is that I have a gap - between 10 and 1.15 - which is too short to make it worth my while to go home (wouldn't have time to do anything), but long enough to get Christmas shopping done and have lunch in town. Oh, the bliss!

My Christmas shopping is coming on a treat, by the way. Well. Sort of. The homemade Christmas cards are... imperfect, shall we say. And certainly haven't been posted. But my father's presents are more or less done, the girls' presents too (except C's birthday present), and I've even got some of my MIL's present. Feeling quite smug, actually. Though that's no doubt a recipe for disaster. Nothing for D yet (he's wavering about the exercise bike - he thinks it's too pricey, which is true), but I'm working on it. Also have to find a way to tactfully leave hints about what I'd like (assuming we don't buy the bike).

Now all I have to do (bearing in mind it's 1.20 am) is make another 10 Christmas tree decorations for the school Christmas market and then once again drag myself out of bed to take the girls (and the decorations) to school tomorrow morning...

And then. If all goes well. If no one phones or sends me work via e-mail. I might actually have time to get down to some tidying up.

Tis indeed the season of miracles. Sort of.

dimanche 7 décembre 2008

Down in the dumps. Literally.

Today went OK, I don't really have anything to complain about: I've no idea what time the girls got up (though I suspect it wasn't very early) as they very sweetly got themselves breakfast and did some colouring till I emerged at 10.30...

There were some tussles about doing things, and doing things when I ask, but basically it was OK. They didn't help at all (I did laundry, dishes, cooking, putting clothes away, laying the table, clearing the table...) but we made it out by 2.45 this afternoon, and I consider that alone a victory.

Nice enough afternoon. Went to a Christmas Market-type thing near the Préfecture, where there were old-fashioned wooden games, a few stalls and a make-up tent. C got made up as the Wind Fairy and L as a Princess-Fairy type thing. They looked so beautiful!

Had pancakes for tea, came home and managed to get through most of the evening without too much trauma.

And now, I'm about to go and sit on the floor, surrounded by all the mess, so I can start to get to grips with it. This place is a total dump (of our own making) and here I am, sititng right in it.

A Fun Day Out

And it was, actually. Well, most of it, anyway.

In bed at 3.30 last "night" (had to make a cake for today's lunchtime extravaganza, and totally forgot till about 1 am), up at 7.30. Felt great (not).

Got both girls up, dressed, breakfasted (sort of), toothbrushed and ready by 8.30, took L to our neighbours upstairs (they had to take her to her circus class for 9.30) then took C to her English class, also at 9.30 but right the other side of the city.

Dropped off C and the cake, went back into town, bought batteries for the camera, had a quick breakfast and picked up L at 10.30, then hurtled back - figuratively out of breath for it was a CLOSE RUN THING - to where C was for the End-of-Term-Christmas-Show at 11 (which was very good) followed by a free-for-all buffet lunch at 12.

"Father Christmas" (the youngest one I've ever seen) showed up at 1 and handed out chocolates to the kids, they all played together for a while, and at about 2 we hit the road, back into town.

Wandered briefly through the Christmas market (not the one at school for which I've committed to making LOTS OF STUFF, but the official, Montpellier one) and then headed up to the temporary icerink installed at the end of the Esplanade.

Both girls got skates (though L soon gave up after falling on her bottom twice), whilst C, though not exactly fearless, nevertheless stayed on the ice for about an hour. By which time I was starting to feel like I'd died, so we went for tea, went through the shopping centre and eventually came home.

The various meltdowns started not long after (chronic fatigue), ending with me screeching (yet again), but eventually all calmed down, we had a nice supper and I finally got the girls to bed at around 8.45, which isn't bad.

I then sat zombie-like on the sofa and watched the election of Miss France 2009 (Miss Albigeois-Midi Pyrenees, quite pretty actually) whilst cramming crisps down my gullet till I felt sick.

And now, yet again, it's 1.45 am and I feel pretty perky. Might even do a few more tree decorations for the school Christmas market...

Quite a good day, but I'm going to have to hope and pray that the girls sleep LAAAATTTTE tomorrow morning...

samedi 6 décembre 2008

You'll all be glad to know that HRF (His Royal Felineness) Tom is back to his old tricks - lots of sleeping, lots of optimism regarding food (ie, every time anyone goes into the kitchen, he follows and miaows pathetically, though obviously he's often disappointed). I'm so relieved! Of course, he won't let me look at his mouth and the antibiotic-in-the-morning gag is well, let's just say it's "fun" and leave it at that.

Apart from that, this is set to be a tough weekend - D's gone to Paris and I'm on my own. I know it's only a weekend, and the girls are hardly babies (C will be 7 in 3 weeks, L is more than 4 and a half), and that millions of single-parents do this ALL THE TIME (oh, how I admire you guys!). But I'm not used to it, and I have a shitload of stuff to do, and I'd really like to sleep for say, two whole days...

BUT. For once, for the first time since God knows when, I don't actually have any WORK to do this weekend. Well, I have translation exams to mark for my students, but only 11, and there's no rush (yet), so I'm choosing to ignore that.

So perhaps I can get other stuff done: this evening, I made 5 (yes! 5!) Christmas tree decorations for the school Christmas market (and yes, I promised 20, plus 50 truffles and possibly 20 gifts tags too. And yes, I'm totally OUT OF MY TINY). And I made a cake (lemon! with green lime frosting! with coconut "snow" on top! to make it look Christmassy!) this evening for an end-of-term-type thing tomorrow lunchtime.

Oh, and I also ate a lot of crisps and - just to complete my healthy campaign - a lot of truffles (not homemade, a "free gift" I got with some mail order stuff I picked up today). And now I feel really, really sick.

And it's 2.45 am and I still have to clean the kitchen and get everything ready for tomorrow morning (up at 7.30!).

As I said, this could definitely be a tough weekend.

Yet for some reason, I'm kind of looking forward to it!

Happy weekend, everyone!

vendredi 5 décembre 2008

Poor Tom

Well, I guess you've all been out of your minds with worry about Tom... No? You haven't been checking in every 10 minutes to make sure he's OK? No? Too bad - you're going to get an update all the same.

So, my poor baby (yes, I know, he's 11 and a half, but he'll always be my baby) couldn't eat anything after midnight last night. Torture. For him, of course, but for us too (the miaowing! The night-long, breakfast-time miaowing! It was pitiful).

D took him to the vet's at 9 and then came home, with instructions to phone back either just before 12 or any time after 2. He tried "just before 12", but of course the surgery was closed for lunch, so we had to wait more than 2 hours more. Torture. For us.

When D spoke to the vet, he was told that Tom was "fine". But then he added that once they'd cleaned his teeth and gums, they saw that many of his teeth were in fact damaged. And so they had to take them out.

The vet said this is relatively common and not really a big deal, but oh, my poor Tom! They had to take nearly all his upper teeth from one side. Poor baby, my poor, poor baby.

D went and picked him up at 4, and when he got him home, poor Tom (have to stop saying that - I know I'm over-reacting) was still completely out of it, totally lifeless, miserable as hell. He hid under the girls' rocking horse and wouldn't come out. His beautiful white fur is stained with blood and he's got that horrible antiseptic-y, hospital-y smell.

He didn't ask for food till nearly 10 pm (a record), and has been really lethargic and miserable all evening. Even his eyes are watering, which C said made it look like he's crying, which just about broke my heart. I know he doesn't understand what's happened - my only hope is that his poorly teeth were causing him pain and that now the pain has gone: he's an intelligent cat and I'm sure he'd understand that... Otherwise, he must just think it was some terrible punishment or something.

He isn't allowed his croquettes for a few days, only that nasty tinned muck (which usually gives him diarrhoea, so that should be fun), plus he has to have an antibiotic every day for 8 days - which will also be fun, especially is D is going up to Paris tomorrow (Friday) and not coming back till really late on Sunday. How I'm going to get a pill down Tom's throat on my own is a mystery. I just hope he's going to cooperate...

But he's basically OK, and the vet said his gums will harden in no time and he'll be back to normal before we know it. I have to admit I was terrified... but am incredibly relieved to have him home again.

This month's NaBloPoMo theme is "Thanks" - so today, I'm giving thanks to Tom, for being such a special cat, and to the vet, for making him well again.

jeudi 4 décembre 2008


I know this is going to sound totally crazy, but I'm scared out of my mind.

Tomorrow morning, D has to take our beautiful cat, Tom, to the vet's. He (Tom, not the vet) is going to be given a general anaesthetic and have his teeth and gums "dealt with". I'm not sure exactly what the problem with his teeth and gums is, but apparently they're causing him pain and stopping him from crunching, so it has to be done.

So this is hardly major surgery.


It's still a general anaesthetic, and he's not a young cat any more (he'll be 12 in 6 months).

More than that, he's my adored, beloved Tom.

I know others have been through much more devastating pet-related trauma recently, and my heart goes out to you, I can only imagine how hard it must be.

But I'm still scared that something bad's going to happen to Tom. I don't know how I'd handle it, I really don't.

Tom is so much more to me than "just a cat". He's beautiful, kind, affectionate, intelligent, soft, cuddly and oh, so adorable! He's helped me through more bad times than anyone else, ever. He's always there when I need him, he knows when I'm down. He'll come up to me and jump on to my lap, licking my face and letting me know he's there, he understands, and he wants me to feel better.

I truly love him with all my heart and would do anything for him. You couldn't imagine a better cat, you really couldn't.

Now, I'm not a religious person AT ALL (even if my daughters both go to a Catholic school...), but tonight, I'm praying to the Great Tuna Fish in the sky that He take care of my sweet Tom tomorrow... Please pray with me!

mercredi 3 décembre 2008


I just can't seem to keep my head above water right now.

I have a ton of work (which is, in theory, a GOOD THING, what with credit crunches and all, but oh, my, do I feel squeezed!), I have a million other things to do (why did I say I'd get involved in the school newsletter? Why did I say I'd make 50 truffles and 20 tree decorations and 50 gift tags to sell at the school Christmas market NEXT WEEK?) and I am soooooo tired. All I can think about is horizontality.

Pure, blissful, unadulterated horizontality.

You should perhaps know (and yes, I'm weird like this) that my favourite activity in bed - by a looooonnnnnnggggg way - is SLEEPING. There is nothing - and I mean NOTHING - I would rather do in bed. Unless perhaps it was something that involved Johnny Depp, but that's another story.

Right now, I'm existing on about 4 hours' sleep a night, plus an hour and a half "napping" during the day when I'm so tired I'm going bug-eyed in front of the computer.

It's not healthy, and it's definitely NOT what I'd planned for the New Me, but I have to admit that the New Me is probably not going to happen because I just don't have the discipline.

And of course D will be away this weekend, up in Paris for his mother's birthday, meaning more hassles here (Saturday morning: C and L BOTH have activities at 9.30, but in TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLACES. And then at 11, L and I have to be at the place where C does her activity because the kids are putting on a Christmas show, and I think we're going to have to take a taxi or else we'll never be there on time. And of course I have to BAKE something for this too, on Friday evening after coming back from C's swim class).

And don't even get me started on the subject of Christmas cards (which I promised the girls we'd make this year - I must be stark, raving MAD) or Christmas presents...

Overwhelmed. It's the only word.

Except perhaps T.I.R.E.D.

mardi 2 décembre 2008

Stubborn as a mule

I can take it. Really, I can. I can stand up and say (though not proudly, obviously) that I did NaBloPoMo in November and I FAILED. Twice.

No, I'm not proud.

But I am obviously stupid.

Because I've signed up to do it again in December (you know, the month with SCHOOL HOLIDAYS and that Christmas panic and VISITING MILs and what have you).

Because I'm stubborn (or stupid) like that. Take your pick.

And also because I kind of like the discipline it requires.

And because I want to prove (to myself, as no one else is probably reading all this drivel) that I CAN be disciplined, despite the failure of the rest of my New Me programme (still going to bed too late, still eating huge amounts of crap, still muffin-topping, still disorganised).

And I'm going to keep on signing up till I succeed!

Wish me luck this time round!

lundi 1 décembre 2008

Madagascar 2

OK, so I saw the French version (can't see kids' films in English here - which irritates me but makes sense as many (obviously) couldn't read subtitles) but I have seen the first Madagascar film on DVD in English and find the French voices pretty spot on for once.

But this second film? Oh, you have to see it! It's hilarious (to my tastes, anyway). I still love the psychotic penguins and the chimps-with-opposable-thumbs, and am very fond of King Julien, but my favourite this time round is Moto Moto. Hilarious, really hilarious.

So, a good day out. Except of course L was scared of (many parts of) the film - she has real separation anxiety, even more than my cat, which is saying something - and C ate too many crisps during the film so didn't eat any lunch (and we went out for lunch - a rare occurrence for us) and both girls were tired and so progressively stroppy as the afternoon wore on and oh, apart from the film, today was just disappointing.

But at least I have the scenes with Moto Moto in my mind to keep me cheerful, even when I have to get up at 6.30 tomorrow morning to go teach at 8 looking like a cross between a witch and a zombie...

Can't wait for the DVD to come out, so I can see it in English!