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jeudi 3 septembre 2009

Beginnings

Gosh, well. 12 July was actually almost 2 months ago (and certainly feels like an eternity ago). I'm so crap at this blogging lark...
So summer's officially over (even though it was probably 30°C here today and sunny...). The girls went back to school today: C, my sweet little 7-year-old, started in Year 3 (CE 2 here in France), which seems very big and serious, and my baby, my 5-year-old L, started in her last year of kindergarten. They were very excited and delighted to be going back and had a great time, so all's well. New felt-tip pens and crayons and what have you were purchased, hair was brushed (a rare occurrence, especially in the mornings), friends were back together. They both have nice teachers this year, I have a feeling all will be well. And no, C is not in the same class as the dreaded A...
As for our summer, well: the weather's been fantastic (sorry for any Brits out there - I know you've had a rough time!), we've been to the beach (or a local, manmade lake to avoid the sardines on the beach) more times than I can count, our holiday in St Jean de Luz was lovely, even if I didn't get my thalasso day (we couldn't afford it, I made the sacrifice), we went to a funfair, saw friends, had picnics...
Of course, there's still plenty for me to moan about: I actually dislike going to the beach because I feel horribly white (undeniable), fat (frequently commented on) and ugly (my opinion, but rarely contradicted), meaning I never even put my bikini on because I can't stand my muffin top blubber. Plus I swim like a lead brick. So, I do the "helping with swimming costumes-blowing up armband-drying off-packing up" routine, watch over the girls while D swims and sit there feeling resentful of all the lithe, tanned women around me.
As a result, our holiday was a little frustrating as we didn't actually do many of the things I would have liked to have done, instead going to the beach EVERY DAY. No thalasso, no stroll around the old quarter of San Sebastian and pintxos, no trip to a cave and a mountain lake, no museums (except the lovely Biarritz aquarium), no "typical Basque" dinner out, no cafés... just up late, lots of DVDs, laundry, shopping, cooking, cleaning and the beach.
I mean yes, it was a stunning place, and our flat was great, and the weather was glorious, and we did do a few things, but still. I feel like we missed out on quite a lot too.
Since we got back (a month ago), the mess in our flat has grown exponentially because we have actually managed to decorate the girls' room (stripped the wallpaper off - horrendous in 39°C weather - polyfilla-ed some of the holes, rubbed the whole room down, painted the whole thing cream), but we haven't found the time to put all their stuff back in it yet.
Also, my dad arrived here from 18°C Scotland last week, spent 2 days with us and then we took him down to the flat he's rented down at the beach for 2 weeks. The girls spent the night with him the day we painted their room, even if it still stinks of paint even now, 3 days later.
The girls and I took him to the lovely Alphons Mucha exhibition currently on at the Musée Fabre, and we're having lunch with him on Saturday.
The main problem is, as every year (third year in a row), my MIL from hell is arriving on Saturday, meaning they'll be in the same beach town together (though hopefully not really together - she is, at least, coming with a friend) for a week. My dad then comes back to us on 12 Sept (while my MIL is staying for "at least another week" - she never gives us a departure date, which is one of the many things that drive me BATSHIT CRAZY about her), will be spending the day with us at a friend's house in the country on the 13th (MIL can't come - our car only has 5 seats: HA!) and flies home on the 15th. As I said, God only knows when my MIL is leaving - her friend leaves on the 19th, so the last few days could be hellish as she'll be on her own...
What else? Heavens, so much seems to have happened...
Still no money, despite my wonderful dad's help (so humiliating to still have to rely on him to bale me out - I know it's D's "fault" for not having any income, but still. I really do feel as if I'm a monumental failure), not much work on the horizon except unpaid marking for my students from last year, still stressed as hell.
But we're planning on going to Scotland for Christmas, and I've got my eye on another translation conference in Lisbon, except that it's in May this time and I'd only get back late afternoon on Mother's Day, so I'll have to think about this.
I'm sorry - this feels very disjointed and incoherent, but I just wanted to get a post up before anyone who does actually bother to read this just assumes I'm dead or something...
I hope you all (hope springs eternal) had a good summer and that the Rentrée brings you all a happy, healthy and prosperous year (and for me, too!).

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ccsmdr a dit…
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