Rechercher dans ce blog

mercredi 30 mars 2011


I may not be a Martha Stewart type (not much doubt there), and L's rabbit tail-pompom will most likely not survive an entire afternoon of carnivalling at school tomorrow, but for now, it's attached to her trousers!

I even have a photo - with 30 cm ruler to give you an idea of the SIZE of this thing - of my beloved carrot!
Is that not the best giant felt carrot you've ever seen? Even if it is the ONLY giant felt carrot you've ever seen?

I would post pictures of the girls, but I'm still wary of putting actual pictures, recognisable images, of the girls "out there" on the internet. S,o sorry, but you're not being treated to that (though they look incredibly cute - we did a dress rehearsal with make-up and everything and the results were pretty good!).

Instead, you can have yet another picture of the world's most adorable cat:

Such a poser!


C and I finally finished the pompom-that-will-be-a-rabbit's-tail. It's for L's rabbit costume, and it is a truly magnificent pompom. Big, pink on the inside, fluffy white on the outside, perfect.

Of course, as it's a proven fact I'm no Martha Stewart, I thought it all through - except how to attach the damn thing to her pink leggings. And now, I have absolutely no frigging idea how to do it. The carrot is a masterpiece, the pompom is beautiful but I've still managed to fuck up just a little bit.

I'm going to get my thinking cap on and try and find a solution, but I don't have much time (just tomorrow!) and I already have a shitload of stuff to do (mega month continues: in an average month, I translate about 40,000 words, as well as teach, deal with trainees, proofread. This month, along with the usual teaching, trainees and proofreading, I've done a mammoth, record-breaking (for me, anyway) 77,000 words and am beyond exhausted). *sigh*

I also have to find someone who can do L's rabbit make-up as C has been invited elsewhere (she was going to do it at D's flat), and D isn't interested in that kind of thing. *sighsigh*

I try so hard, but I think I probably try and do too much. And the result is that I fuck up in minor ways all the way down the line.

In 20 minutes it'll be 1 am, and I still have over 2,000 words to do tonight. And this damn tail to deal with.

I also hope to do a trial run - a dress rehearsal, so to speak - so I can get photos of my Angel and my Rabbit (and the carrot, of course). If I get any good ones, I'll post them here sometime soon. Or soonish, anyway.

mardi 29 mars 2011


My sweet C, and all the kids in her year at school, is going away on a trip, a "classe découverte", to Paris in 2 weeks. In fact, in 2 weeks' time, she'll already be there. She's really looking forward to it, and I know she'll be fine (last year she went to the Auvergne region of France to visit volcanos and stuff and had a brilliant time), but I can't help but feel slightly sick at the thought of her going away. She's only 9... she's a big girl, bright and independent, but she's still only a little girl really...

And then there's L: in less than a month now (30 days, to be exact), my baby, my littlest hobo, will be 7. The "age of reason" as they say... She's such a cheeky monkey, such a little cuddle bundle (and irritating as hell at times to, of course)... I can't believe she's going to be 7...

My babies aren't babies any more, and I can't help but wonder what memories of childhood they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives. I hope there'll be happy memories, memories of having fun together, not just of me screaming and screeching and crying. I do my best, I really do, but it's all just so goddamn difficult.

My babies are growing (though not grown yet) and I love the ages they are (I like each age better than the one before, in fact), but I worry so much about them, about their future, about the memories they'll have.

I hope that one day they'll know - really know - just how very much I love them, how hard I've worked to keep things together for them, how damn fucking reasonable I've been in the face of almost unbearable injustice, how hard I've tried to give them the future they deserve. They are what has kept me going this last year, they are my reason for being, for doing, and everything I do - every. thing. - is truly for them.

I hope C and her friends have fun in Paris (they're going to be soooo tired - the meet-up on Monday is at 5.40 am at the station...and they'll be visiting both the Natural History Museum and the Monet Giverny Foundation that same day...), I hope L's birthday is happier than last year (to be fair, I think SHE enjoyed it, which is what counts, but I was as miserable as hell, really struggling to keep it all together).

Hope, dreams, a better future...

lundi 28 mars 2011


This coming Thursday is the school carnival (celebrating the half-way point through Lent or something; don't ask me, this is a Catholic school and I know fuck all about Catholic traditions).

For the 2 previous editions, I was actually able to attend, in my capacity as Parents' Association photography assistant, herding the kids into position so other PA members could take photos. It was a lot of fun, and I loved seeing all the kids' costumes (some were hilarious).

The first year, C went as a cowgirl and L as an Indian; last year, C was a mermaid and L was (of course) Zorro. This year, C has chosen to go as an angel and L as a pale pink rabbit. C's costume is ready-made - my dad bought it for her last year - and consists of a white/gold/fluff dress, gold/fluff wings and a fluffy headband/halo. She's got white tights and silver shoes and looks pretty much adorable. L's costume consists of pale pink trousers/T-shirt/cardigan (all of which we have), a pink fluffy/silky headband/ears combo that my dad bought years ago and that's it. Obviously, a rabbit needs a tail, so C and I have been making a pale pink pompom - we're making progress, but to make a large pompom, you need a lot of wool and a lot of winding it round the cardboard circles and oh, it's tedious to do! I also decided that a rabbit should have a carrot, so that's what I made this afternoon when I probably should have been working: a large (about 30 cm) felt orange stuffed carrot, complete with green felt leafy bits. If I say so myself, it's a frigging masterpiece (if I can get my act together, I might even take a photo of it!).

All that needs to be sorted now is the make-up. The thing is, I'll be teaching all day so I can't attend this year (big bummer that is), so D will be taking the girls at lunchtime so they can get ready at his place, but he says he won't do the make-up, so I'm going to do a practice session with C tomorrow after school so she can do her own and L's... I'm really pissed off I can't be there, but hopefully I'll get to see them all the same when I pick them up after school.

I'm not really much of a seamstress (now there's an understatement if ever I heard one), but I do so enjoy doing all this school preparation stuff. I want my sweet little girls to know that I'll always be willing to do what I can for this kind of thing, and I know they know I've never let them down. I just wish I could be there...

Watch this space for the photo of the carrot (this could be the start of a new enterprise, no? Toy cuddly felt vegetables... there must be a market for them, surely?!)!

dimanche 27 mars 2011


I would love to be in love right now. I don't mean one of my pathetic teenage girly crushes on rock stars or actors, I mean in love with a man actually in my life. Oh, and one that would love me back, of course.

Spring is such a perfect time to be in love - and a difficult one in which to be alone. I know I bang on about this the whole time, but it's been ALMOST A YEAR and yeah, it's tough. I don't have a social life, or rather, what little social life I do actually have is pretty much exclusively linked to a child-oriented activity (so basically at best, I accompany the girls in their social lives). And no social life means no opportunity to meet a man. I work mainly from home (so no contact there either), and occasionally at the university, where there are lots of contacts with kids (all my students this semester are under the age of 21 for the love of god) and other female teachers (OK, there are a couple of guys, but really, very, very few). And that's it. And there's no way I'm trying on line dating - for one thing, it scares me shitless, and secondly, I can't go out at night very easily (no babysitter - can't afford one). So it looks like this is as good as it's going to get.

But it's spring, and it's the season for strolling about town, stopping for a drink outside a café in the Place de la Comédie, for being given flowers... But no. Not for me.

I'm supposedly going on a picnic tomorrow with the girls and two other mothers from school (and their kids, obviously). The weather's been glorious (apparently - I've barely been outside in a month with all the work I've had to do). And tomorrow they're forecasting rain, so it looks like even that tiny social interlude won't be taking place...

I would love to be in love, to be loved. It would spur me into action - get my hair cut, take care of myself - and make me feel worthwhile again. Because yeah, right now? Morale is low, guys, really low, and I'm finding myself increasingly hard to live with.

samedi 26 mars 2011


I think I'm slowly losing my mind. I don't know if it's the chronic lack of sleep (and constant, constant desire to go get horizontal under the duvet), the fact that I'm drowning in a paradoxical situation of oceans of words to translate - all of which will be paid some time in the future - and rivers of debt, or just middle age but seriously. Seriously. Right now? I have the attention span of a 1 year old, the will power of a jelly-like-thing-with-no-will-power and the discipline of a... of a... whatever doesn't have any discipline. Lindsay, perhaps? (Is she really famous enough to be able to go just by her first name? I guess she's lucky there aren't that many "stars" called Lindsay - don't know what she'd've done if she'd been called Jennifer or something. I digress). Whatever. You get the drift. Discipline, I don't have much of it.

And it feels like I'm insane. I have a shitload of stuff to do this weekend, I should have been working my arse off all week - and, whilst I have done a huge number of words this week, I know - KNOW - I both COULD and SHOULD have done a fuck load more - and all I can do is watch videos on YouTube, read blogs, waste time on Twitter and Facebook, etc.

This is going to be a hell of a weekend.

And my "To Do" list reads like something someone insane would write, too: aside from the shitload of words to translate (and by "shitload" I mean about 6,000 a day, which is HUGE), I have to prepare a picnic for Sunday lunch, then go on said picnic and following stroll around the botanical gardens; I have to buy cat food; I have to buy fruit and vegetables from the market (my MIL's paranoia about Japanese radioactive cloud fallout nonwithstanding); I have to tidy the hell up of the sitting room; I have to clean the bathroom and the cooker; I have to do laundry; I have to make a large pink pompom and giant felt carrot for L's carnaval costume (rabbit, in case you hadn't guessed - at least we already have the ears) and I have correspondence to deal with - invoices, postcards (I've joined PostCrossing! Such fun - 2 of my cards have arrived already, one in Holland, the other in the US), e-mails, plus telephone calls...

I mean seriously? Is there anyone who could look at that list and think, "Yeah, that seems reasonable for 2 days..."? And it doesn't even include the totally normal stuff - brushing the girls' hair, preparing meals, dealing with the dishwasher, preparing school bags, supervising homework...


vendredi 25 mars 2011


Can't stop thinking about things-events-conversations-people from the past; even having dreams about them. Am starting to realise that I was probably happier than I've ever been back when I was a student, except that back then I was so up my own arse that I didn't know it. Oh, and except for my totally disastrous "love life" (ha! ha! ha! what a joke...) of course.

Still totally freaked out by money (or lack of it), work (or too much of it) and love (growing need for it) but that's life. That's my life, this life, anyway.

At least I have the memories of those (now that I think about it though it didn't seem so at the time) carefree days back when I was young...

Here's to you all - "inner circle" and "outer circle", all still in my heart, my memories. You were great, we were great, it was the best of times, the very best of times.


mercredi 23 mars 2011


This is likely going to make for pretty dull reading (no change there, then) but Swistle did a fantastic post listing all her problems of the moment and I thought maybe I could get some sense in my life if I did the same... More likely, though, is that it's going to be a long list of moans and complaints. Tough shit.

OK, on to the Things That Are Making Life Difficult Right Now

1. Work. Oh God, there's so much! I'm not really complaining as I need it and I need the money it'll (eventually) produce but Lordy, there are only 24 hours in a day and what I've got lined up for the next 5 days is pretty close to inhuman...

2. Money. Always, ever. I don't know how it always seems to be that I'm broke. Right now, I've attained critical mass, so to speak. My direct debits are all being refused, one of my credit cards won't work, the other most likely won't either, clients are taking forever to pay me, I'm too submerged in work to get my invoices done (16 still to do, though admittedly at least half are for the end of this month and a few others needed extra information from the client that took it's time coming. But still), I haven't done food shopping in 3 weeks so there is almost literally NOTHING to eat - even the freezer is almost empty. I'm not sure how to deal with this.

3. Household crap. So much mess everywhere, haven't done housework in as long as I can remember, laundry (clean) piled in a HUGE heap in my bedroom, never folded or put away... My desk is covered in tottering towers of crap, there are more piles of STUFF all around me, the girls never put anything away, the floor's covered in dust bunnies, the kitchen's a mess, the bathroom's a mess... GAH

4. D. This is the biggie in that there's not much I can do about it. Sometimes we get on fine enough, though my anger at this whole miserable situation is never far from the surface to be honest. Now he's requesting (reasonably, I know) his share of my flat back. 24,000 fucking Euros. Plus (according to the solicitor I saw) 11,000 fucking Euros to get the deeds redone in my name only. I'm not sure even my dad can fork out 38,000 motherfucking Euros in one fell swoop, just like that. Especially as all that money will do precisely NOTHING to help my own financial woes. I know D is wholly entitled to his money, but the fact that he's not taken any of the advice I've ever given him about finding work etc., hence perpetuating his own dire financial situation, makes me mad. It all makes me mad, actually.

5. Life. That sounds ridiculously trite, right? But really, my "life" sucks so badly right now I'm in a total funk just about the whole time. I'm lonely as hell, miserable as hell, resentful as hell. And that makes me irritable with my sweet girls, it makes me sad, it makes me cry, it makes me wish everything were different. The thought of spending the rest of my "life" like this depresses me beyond belief.

6. That's actually it. Can you believe it? Only 5 things on my list! This must be your lucky day!

OK, now, let's try to be positive...(I may not reach even 5 on this list...)

1. My dear friend J and her husband and 2 kids will be holidaying near here this summer and WE WILL SEE EACH OTHER. That may not sound like much, but holy crap, I miss this chick... Spending 2 or 3 days together once a year is just CRAP. This will be lovely, and I'm really looking forward to it.

2. My little girls. They bug the shit out of me more than I care to admit, they drive me batshit a fair amount of the time but oh, how I love them! They're bright and beautiful and funny and loving and fun and so perfect... My big aim in life now is to make sure they have a better life than I've had.

3. Tom. Stroking his silky fur is unbelievably soothing. I love when he curls up next to me, I love his there-ness, his reliability. He keeps me sane.

4. The internet. Seriously, without the internet I think I'd die. Not only do I need it for my work and almost all the shopping I do (food, books, clothes, DVDs, CDs, presents, toys, travel arrangements...), it's also my lifeline to a better world, a world where I can forget all the crap in my life and enjoy things. There are a number of blogs I read regularly, that allow me to make contact (albeit in a pretty one-sided way given that I mean nothing to their authors) with other people, people who make me laugh, or cry, or whatever. It's kind of like living vicariously (like I'll be doing with BlogHer this summer), but hey, it's all I got right now, so bite me.

5. That's all, folks!


Lack of sleep is a terrible, terrible thing. I was lucky when the girls were babies that it was often not me that got up in the middle of the night to tend to their needs (I did do it sometimes, of course, but I was working, D wasn't, so he did the lion's share). But now? Holy shit, I'm tired! From the moment I wake up in the morning to the sound of my alarm clock, to the minute I climb gratefully into bed at some ungodly hour, I fantasize about being horizontal, under the duvet, blissfully asleep.

I used to fantasize about having a man to hold me too, but right now, to be honest, I'm too damn tired to be able to cope with that. I just want to sleep. Sleeeeeeeppppp.

So why am I so tired? You know by now of course that it's got nothing to do with a wild social life (ha! ha! ha!). No, it's all to do with a totally, totally crazy ass March. Most months, I translate around 40,000 words and do a few hours of proofreading plus 8 hours of teaching a week. It's enough, more than enough (though maybe not financially - my debt levels are through the roof), and leaves me pretty tired as a rule.

This month? I already have on my books (not done yet, not all of it anyway, but scheduled and due in before the end of the month) OVER 70,000 WORDS. I have to do about 5,000 words tomorrow and Thursday and Friday and Saturday and Sunday just to make sure I make all my deadlines. Plus teach, too.

I'm not really complaining (well, OK, yes I am) because Lord knows I need the money and at least one of these gigs (24,000 words) is mega-well-paid, and paid quickly, and VAT free. But I feel like I'm drowning, that I'm flailing helplessly in a sea of Things To Do, woefully lacking in Time To Them.

And all I really want to do is sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

lundi 21 mars 2011


Oh, how I do so love pretty things, and never, never as much as when I can't possibly afford to even contemplate the possibility of perhaps acquiring them. So you can imagine the torture it was this morning to see a nice, new, shiny Cath Kidston catalogue in my letter box. Such pretty things, and so many of them...

This, for example, or this, or this, or this or... well. You get the picture. And that's just one catalogue. There's also Hotel Chocolat, or Boden, or even IKEA (you might remember my secret love affair with IKEA...).


It's so hard being broke. And right now, I really am outstandingly broke. Heinously overdrawn on both my private and professional accounts, huge bills to be paid out, stuff that needs to be bought or done, and clients who just aren't paying me. Life without money (or, perhaps more specifically, life with huge money problems) really, really sucks.

I would love to be able to just go and buy the pretty things; buying pretty things makes me feel so much happier. And I particularly love buying pretty things on line because then not only do you have the pleasure of picking and choosing and buying something pretty, but you also have the delight of receiving a beautiful parcel through the post, even when it's not your birthday or Christmas or anything.

Maybe, one day, I'll be able to enjoy this simple pleasure once again...

dimanche 20 mars 2011


Even though I learnt at school that the seasons changed on the 21st (March, June, September, December), apparently that was all bullshit because today was touted as the first day of spring. Whatever. It was a glorious day here (from what I could tell - I didn't actually leave the house), the wisteria on my balcony is starting to blossom, as is the lilac tree beneath the girls' window, the birds are twittering and it truly feels like spring at last. I think the worst of the weather is behind is (famous last words, I know, and April here is notoriously crap in general, but still). The clocks change next week, which always makes my heart sing.

I love spring, it's my favourite season - summer is still to come, flowers are in bloom everywhere, the sun is so bright and everything feels fresh. This spring will also mark the first year of my living-alone-ness (1 May, in case you'd forgotten). Maybe time for a new start...

I always say that, though, so I'm not optimistic.

My dad's going to be coming to stay at the end of April for a week while the girls are on holiday, which also means he'll be here for L's birthday too, so that might be quite nice (though any party that's going to be had will have to be afterwards, once school's gone back).

I just hope, hope and pray that things are going to start looking up. I'm not quite sure how they will, but surely this - this crap life I lead - can't be as good as it's going to get, right?

samedi 19 mars 2011


Yesterday (you KNOW I'm not doing NaBloPoMo, right?) was EPIC in so many ways.

An epic fail, in that I "wasted" the whole morning having coffees multiple with mothers from the girls' school. I arranged on Tuesday to have coffee with 2 friends, but the café they use is the HQ of the mothers-from-school gang, so obviously there were quite a few people there.

By the end, there were just three of us, one of the ones I'd arranged to meet, and a lovely Austrian lady I officially met at a party last summer. As we were walking away, my friend asked me how D is doing and well. The question that broke the camel's back. The tears started, the sympathy came thick and fast, and I realised that I'm just going to have to suck it up and become an object of pity. These two ladies were wonderful, positive, helpful and unbelievably kind. It felt so good to finally just break down and show that I'm not coping, that I'm not OK. Of course, we were standing on a street corner at the time, which wasn't ideal, but still. It felt good in a "feeling-like-shit" kind of way.

Then, there was work. After "wasting" the whole morning, I had to get down to work, because there's so much of it and I feel like I'm drowning in words. I ended up (by 3 am) translating a marathon 6,200 words, which is almost unimaginable. OK, the text wasn't hopelessly technical, but it's recipes, and they can be notoriously tricky. I haven't read it through, but it's essentially finished. Truly epic.

And then there was the funk I've managed to get myself in about money and my pathetic life. I found myself (when I took a break from all the translating) sobbing to Glee songs, sobbing to blog posts that hit home, sobbing for a blogger friend who's just discovered her unborn baby died last week, sobbing for so much.

An epic day, possibly just the start of an epic weekend.

jeudi 17 mars 2011


I would never consider myself to be a particularly adventurous person (quite the opposite, in fact). At the same time, I really do enjoy travelling, visiting new places, what have you. It's just that I'm not desperately keen to visit places that would require me to be adventurous (even if that's just an assumption my non-adventurous self is making).

So I have no wild, crazy desire to visit much of Africa, for example, even though I'm sure this is a huge mistake on my part. I'm not over enthusiastic about much of Asia, either, though I would like to see Vietnam, possibly China and Japan (not now, obviously, but you know what I mean). I do quite fancy South America - I have long had fantasies involving a beach I once saw in a poster advertising Venezuela, and I'd like to learn tango in Argentina.

I've visited a reasonable amount of Europe - England and Scotland, obviously, but also France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden. And I would like to add the Czech Republic, Finland and Greece to that list.

What about Oceania? Australia always sounds cool, but my non-adventurous self is pretty much batshit terrified of all the spider possibilities and that puts me off (stupid, I know, and I fully assume, acknowledge and admit the stupidity of this); the Pacific islands are undoubtedly magnificent, and New Zealand always looks beautiful. It's just that none of that makes me sigh and dream. Don't know why.

That leaves North America. I'd quite like to visit Quebec, though not in winter obviously. And then, finally, the US. There's a lot of the US I'd like to visit - NYC again, because I had such a good time there last time (my only visit to the US to date - a week in NYC in April 2001), New Orleans, San Francisco, Colorado, Seattle...

Last summer, I took the girls to Bilbao in Spain. An unusual choice, most would say, but it was dictated by the need for somewhere we could get to by train and the fact that the chain of hotels I wanted to use had a "50% off" deal there. No regrets, though, it was a great place. We visited lovely things, did fun things, enjoyed it very much.

For this year, no plans have been made for anything at all yet, mainly because I'm soooooo broke (chronically in debt, in fact), plus no "50% off " mails have reached me yet... I'm thinking maybe Italy this year, but I'm not sure, we'll see.

One thing that is 100% certain is that I won't be going to San Diego this summer after all. Even if I hadn't missed the BlogHer Early Bird rate (which is a truly great rate for a big conference like BlogHer), it was always the REST of the trip that was too expensive: flights (about $750), hotels ($200 a night in the "recommended hotels", and I never got an answer to the question I sent about cheaper options) and the need to spend so many nights in a hotel (San Diego is a LONG WAY from here - it would mean about 6 nights in all), plus "being there" expenses. By my calculation, attending BlogHer would have cost me upwards of $1500, which is just ridiculous. It would have meant not going on holiday with my daughters, and that isn't an option. Plus, given my current (lack of) finances, booking would have been not only unreasonable, but most likely impossible (my credit cards don't work any more so I can't spend any money, take any money out, do anything). So, no San Diego. I'm very disappointed, even though the thought of going was unbelievably scary given that I don't know a single person there and I'm chronically shy, insecure and lacking in self-confidence.

but I am going to make it to BlogHer one day. I know I will. I just hope it'll be before I'm truly too old to enjoy it (if that isn't already the case). Maybe if it's on the east coast somewhere next year that would be easier (quicker to get to, less hotel nights)... I'll see.

So yeah. This year doesn't seem set to be a year of much travel. But I will travel again, I will have the means to do so again. I want to take my daughters places, show them things, help them meet people, absorb new cultures, new things. There's a whole world out there and I want the three of us to visit so much of it....

mercredi 16 mars 2011


Yet another meme, I'm afraid, and of course it's from Avitable, who seems to enjoy them as much as I do...

1. Who would you like to show up at your door to say they love you?

Johnny Depp, Pat Monahan or Puck from Glee (though not all at the same time)

2. Last furry thing you touched?

Easy - my cat, Tom
3. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?

Apart from small amounts of caffeine and chocolate, only cetirizine (an anti-allergy drug). Boooo-rrrinng
4. Do you miss film or does digital work for you?

Much prefer digital - no more paying for prints of shitty photos!
5. Favorite age you have been so far?

In retrospect, I guess about 28 or 29 was pretty good (though I doubt I would have said so at the time)
6. Your worst enemy?

Myself, without a shadow of a doubt. Failing that, my ex who seems to hate me without even fully realising it most of the time, which scares the shit out of me.
7. What is your current desktop picture?

A psychedelic Windows offering of hearts and swirls and stuff. Nothing original, but I like it.
8. What was the last thing you said that was funny?

You'd have to ask the people I was talking to...
9. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

Right now, given the severity of the debt I'm in, I'd choose the money, but I think ultimately flying would be a better bet.
10. Who can’t you say “no” to?

Myself - I have almost no self-discipline for the things I should have.
11. The last song you bought or downloaded?

"Meet Virginia" by Train (She pulled her hair back as she screamed, "I don't really want to live this life!")
12. What time of day were you born?

About 6 am from what I've been told.
13. What’s your favorite number? Why?

I don't have one. But I dislike 4 and 6...
14. Where did you live in 1987?

For the first 9 months, I was still living with my parents down in the Conservative heartland south of England (West Sussex). From October, I was a student at St Andrews University (where Prince William went, though much later in his case) in Scotland, most famous for a) golf *yawn* and b) the opening beach scene from the 1981 film, "Chariots of Fire", even though in the film it's meant to be Kent.
15. Are you jealous of anyone?

No one in particular, more generically people who don't have to worry about money all the time, and people who are loved and in love and not scared of spending the rest of their lives alone.
16. Is anyone jealous of you?

I seriously doubt it.
17. It’s been almost a decade. Where were you when 9/11 happened?

Easy. I was home, working and totally freaked out (not by what you think): I was pregnant for the second time and 9/11 was the day when I was exactly the same number of days pregnant as I was with my first pregnancy when my baby inexplicably died. I was a bundle of nerves all day and when the news started coming through mid-afternoon (remember, I'm in France, so we're 6 or 7 hours ahead) I was so shocked and disturbed by the awfulness of what was happening, plus my own personal stress, that I ended up getting contractions, freaking out further still and ending up in hospital for 6 days (my daughter was born safe and sound, though one month early, later in 2001 but it was a scary time for me all the same).

mardi 15 mars 2011


Yeah, so today's word probably isn't really a real word, but it nevertheless sums up today pretty perfectly. I'm going to spare you the details, but well. Got news I didn't want to hear that means I'm going to have to do things I would rather have avoided doing (with no guarantee that they're even truly feasible), had conversations I didn't want to have with people I'd been hoping to avoid, got very little done, am still hopelessly overdrawn everywhere and no one is paying me (so direct debits are being refused, I can't take any money out, bla, bla, bla - all the more frustrating when you know how much money I'm owed) and it pissed it down pretty much all day. So yeah. Today was a real clusterfuck of a day.

Nothing more to say, really.

Total fucking clusterfuck.

lundi 14 mars 2011


C broke my heart this evening... She was upset when I sent her and L to bed (it was already pretty late) because we hadn't done anything together. She told me I spend too much time sitting at the computer, working, and not enough time with her and L, playing.

And my heart cracked and broke, right then.

Because it's true. I never do seem to have time to just BE with my little girls; I'm always watching the clock, rushing to get on to the next thing to do on the list. I know I do it all so that they and I can have a life that is the best I can do, but what is the price I'm paying? Will my little girls have any memories of me other than me working, me shouting and me crying? I feel so guilty, so bad. But I have to work, and I'm just sooooo tired all the time. I do my best, and I know my best often isn't really good enough. It hurts just to write these words.

I "gave up" on work yesterday afternoon to take the girls (as it was pouring with rain) to Altissimo, an indoor "rock climbing" place. But that wasn't enough for C (she told me tonight) because I just watched them climb, I didn't actually DO the activity with them. I'm terrified of making a fool of myself in any physical, sporting activity, so I shun them all (swimming most of all, because I'm a terrible swimmer, totally capable of panicking if I get out of my depth, or water splashed on my face, but also the ice-rink (never been skating, strongly suspect I would suck pretty badly at it) and anywhere that involves running). At home, I let them watch endless episodes of Glee (not always very suitable, it has to be said) while I tap-tap-tap away here on the computer...

I know I need to get my hours straight, get my life back on track, so that I can actually "switch off" my work from 5 till 9 pm and devote myself to these special little girls, so sweet, so funny, so gentle, so beloved.

I'm sacrificing my pleasures (I don't get to read or watch films or do handicrafts any more because I work so late or so much), but also, more importantly, THEIRS. They want to spend time with Maman, making things, doing things, playing games, and I'm almost never "there". No wonder they prefer being with Papa - he doesn't work so he can do all the fun stuff.

I have to try and change before it's too late - they're already so big.

This sacrifice may not be worth it after all.


I've been banging on to all who will listen (all who are not in Montpellier, I mean) about how fantastic the weather's been for most of this winter, how it's hardly felt like winter at all most of the time - just a few cold days here and there, but nothing like the snopocalyptic scenes we've seen from just about everywhere north of here - and how it's basically been spring for about a month already.

So guess what? The shittiest weather this weekend you can imagine... No, it didn't snow (it wasn't nearly cold enough), but it was colder than it's been, with grey, leaden skies and torrential rain. So yeah. Spring. Not so much, actually. The wisteria on our balcony is almost, almost in bloom, but it felt like bloody November this weekend.

I went to the market yesterday and it was horrific, really nasty out. Didn't leave the house again till this afternoon, when I took the girls to Odysseum (the big new shopping and leisure part of town, on the southern boundary) to the "rock climbing room". We had to do a 10-min trek to the tramway, then hang about for said tramway and it was miserable, truly, truly miserable.

I love spring, it's by far my favourite season. Last year was ruined for me what with all the personal trauma and all, so I'm really, really looking forward to this one... I just wish it would hurry up!

samedi 12 mars 2011


Ok, so I know I failed NaBloPoMo (it doesn't really come as any great surprise to anyone, myself included) but I'm still going to try and post here every (remaining) day in March just to keep my hand in, so to speak.

The events in Japan yesterday rocked Japan, literally, and the rest of the world, figuratively. We've all seen the footage, one way or another, of that ghastly flood of water relentlessly sweeping everything in its path away. I showed one snippet to the girls but of course they were unimpressed - because although there were cars and entire buildings bobbing along in the mud, it still didn't look particularly frightening. Except that it is. Oh, how it is. I tried to explain what had happened and why this water was so horrible, and eventually they understood, took in the fact that anyone who got caught by that flow (and anyone anywhere near it inevitably would) would most likely die.

L looked stricken, asking if would ever happen here. She was relieved when I told her that no, Montpellier is pretty much safe from such horrors, and immediately went back to playing with her Legos. But our former neighbour is Japanese, her entire family are in Japan. I'm guessing they're Ok as I'm pretty sure they live in the south. But still. How terrifying for her, to be here, with them, over there, in such chaos.

These natural disasters (but how natural are they really? How much is man and his madness actually to blame?) blow my mind. My heart goes out to all those people who have lost loved ones, have lost everything, had it all swept away or destroyed. My heart aches just thinking about them. How can you ever rebuild your life after such horror? How do you come to terms with it? I know the Japanese are pretty used to earthquakes, but this is different, the horror of this one is the magnitude, the extent, the endless aftershocks...

I can't imagine living in a place where this kind of thing could happen at any time...

Hold strong, Japan, you are strong, you will survive. You are in my thoughts today.

vendredi 11 mars 2011


If I haven't already failed in my latest NaBloPoMo challenge, I suspect it won't be long coming, as I'm so overwhelmed with work and general STUFF TO DO that I'm finding it hard to find time to do anything at all...

Also, in related news, the girls are home, safe and sound, and it feels truly wonderful to hold them in my arms and kiss them and smell them...

I'm a bit bummed that I've failed already (if I have indeed failed), but the earthquake/tsunami combo that has devasted Japan in the last few hours certainly puts everything into perspective.

The images coming out of Japan are horrific; this unstoppable tide of mud, debris, homes, cars, burning buildings, destroying everything in its path is just appalling. And Japan is a country that is pretty much "prepared" for earthquakes; just as New Zealand is. Yet the devastation in both cases was/is incredible. No wonder less "prepared" countries suffer so much... And it makes it so hard to bear for these "prepared" countries - it makes you realise just how powerless Man really is when faced with Nature when it's on its warpath. So many lives lost, damaged, uprooted; so much destruction; so much to rebuild - until the next one hits.

My failure to write a blog post every day for a month (especially as I suspect no one reads the ones I do write) is so far from being on the same scale that I feel kind of stupid mentioning the two things in the same post.

mercredi 9 mars 2011


My babies are coming home tomorrow. Their train arrives at 18.41 and you can bet your life I'll be there, waiting.

My ex MIL phoned tonight and we more or less got into a snit about my daughters' hair (she wants to cut it herself, dry, tomorrow morning, I DON'T WANT HER TO but am too pathetic to say so, so just snarked and got my feelings across in a more subtle way than outright conflict. I'm still pretty sure their hair will be a mass of tangles and I'll have to spend over an hour brushing each girl's hair), plus D had nothing to say to me (which is fine by me, don't get me wrong). I spoke to C and L and they sounded fine - they went up the Eiffel Tower, they went to parks, they went to the Luxemburg Gardens... They both said they missed me...

I can't wait to see them again - my life falls apart when they're not here, it really does... There'll be no more staying up all night/sleeping all day once they get back. And I'm glad. They give me the discipline I so sadly lack in my natural state.

Plus, I just want to hold them in my arms, cover them with kisses, hug them tight...

My babies are coming home tomorrow.

mardi 8 mars 2011


He came into my life as a tiny, 2-month-old refuge baby, brought home in a cardboard box by my ex. The very, very best birthday present I could ever have wished for (and it's never been bettered). He miaowed, asserted his personality, staked his claim to my life, my heart.

He grew (boy, did he grow!), from a big-eared freako-kitten (though always unbelievably cute) to a truly handsome elder statescat. He is indeed stately (not to say portly), but he can still be playful, for whole minutes at a time if the rolled up ball of tin foil is shiny enough, if the patissier's ribbon is wavy enough.

He likes to sleep on my bed, now that there's no competition. He curls up, sometimes at my feet (sometimes, less comfortably, ON my feet), sometimes in the small of my back, sometimes right up near my pillow. I don't care that this probably skeeves out half of humanity. Me, I love it. He makes me feel less alone.

He also likes to sleep on C's bed, basking in the sunshine my bed never gets (it could, I suppose, but I'd have to open the shutters for that, and I don't remember the last time I opened my shutters). Sleeping there isn't allowed, and he knows it (C's Dr Asthma-Allergy told us so - wants us to get rid of him altogether, in fact, but they'll have to carry me out in a box before that'll happen), but he's a Rebel Cat, so he disobeys.

He likes to eat. Really, he loves to eat. Not just anything, though. He likes tinned tuna, sliced ham, white chicken breast, Yop and once went totally crazy over pain d'épices (not really gingerbread, but sort of that type of thing). He does not like fresh tuna or actual steak. He rarely gets the foods he likes because they're not the best thing for his health, but a cat can dream, right?

His fur is silky smooth (except when it isn't), long, with a fluffy smell. He has three colours: white, black and brown. He is the most beautiful cat in the entire world, even though I may be a little biased. He loves to watch sport on TV (anything with lots of movement - unlike anyone else in this house, he loves cycling (watching it, I mean, not doing it obviously) and he used to show an appreciation for Jimi Hendrix. He seems to have outgrown that now (possibly because I never listen to Jimi Hendrix; he seems ambivalent to Glee and Leonard Cohen).

He owns this building - pads from floor to floor, making sure his minions know he's keeping his eye on them. He protects and serves, a fearless guard-cat (OK, OK, I may be exaggerating a little here), ever ready to pounce on any unsuspecting lizards or suicidal crickets.

He's more than "just a cat". So much more. He's my raison d'être, he's my stability. He's the one who has always, always been there for me when I need him (helped greatly by the fact that he never, never goes anywhere). He understands my moods, my feelings, my pain. He knows when to come to me.

He is a cat. My cat. The cat. The archetypal cat. Or just "Cat".

His name is Tom, and he is a prince among cats, a king among cats, the King of all Cats.

lundi 7 mars 2011


It's not because it's Monday morning that I'm sitting at my desk, crying. It's not that anything bad has happened (it hasn't). It isn't even (I don't think) because I haven't slept yet and now can't because I have to go teach in 4 hours and I haven't showered or washed my hair or prepared my class yet.

It's because I spent half the night (the half after I finished working and sending snarky e-mails to clients who seem pissed off with me for no reason) watching episodes of Mad Men and for some reason, the last one I watched - the last episode in series 1 - has just reduced me to a blubbering wreck.

Don Draper's banging on about selling nostalgia via the Kodak slide projector and it's revolutionary carousel. He sees images of his happy life. Peggy has a baby and sees her happy future fall apart around her. Betty Draper sobs with unhappiness to a 9-year-old boy. All the characters are unhappy, they're all dissatisfied with their lives. Don ends up sitting at the bottom of his stairs, alone, while his wife and children spend Thanksgiving elsewhere; Peggy is alone in hospital, not even wanting to hold her infant son in her arms.

And I'm blubbering. Am I really so unhappy? In truth, no, not really. I have a home, I have two beautiful little girls, I have a job I don't hate, I have friends and (some) family; my life is OK. Better than OK, really.

But I'm falling apart all the same. With the girls gone, I've fallen apart more or less completely, and if I hadn't had work to do, who knows how far this would have gone? I've eaten poorly, and at ridiculous times; my sleep patterns remain owl-ish, I haven't been out of the house since Thursday afternoon...

I know I have to get a grip, turn myself around, realise, deep down, that my life just isn't that bad. Sure, I'm lonely, and scared of having to spend the rest of my life alone. But even if that turns out to be true, it's not the end of the world, and I have so much else to be grateful for.

I know all this. And my ever-rational mind knows it. But my heart? Oh, my heart... it refuses to accept that I'm probably happy enough. It refuses to see the cup as half full, and prefers - always - to not only see it as half empty, but worse: precariously placed on the table and liable to fall and smash into pieces at any moment.

I guess I need some kind of help to get me through this, but I don't have the time, or the money, or the courage to go and see someone. I flail along, as best I can, snapping at my lovely little girls, being mean to them, shouting at them, screeching at them; sobbing for "no reason" at any given time, fucking up the happiness I should just be enjoying.

It's just... seeing men and women, having fun together, makes me yearn so much, not just for intimacy and sex (though that too), but most of all for that complicity, the oneness of being two, the companionship. To have someone that makes me feel special, interesting, beautiful, attractive...

I'm pathetic, I know I am. And I should just listen to my mind, telling me that my life is pretty good and that I should be thankful for that. But my heart, oh, my heart, it does cry so loud...

dimanche 6 mars 2011


Not sure what happened to me today, but I was diffused with a longing to listen to music from the 1990s. That's not quite "my" decade - although I was still a university student in the 1990s (I graduated in 1992 and yes, I know, I'm a dinosaur) - most of my greatest memories in musical terms come from the 1980s (or older, but that would be nostalgia, even for me).

But still. Today, was a 1990s kind of day. I started off with the old stand-bys of Pulp, Blur and Oasis. And then I moved on to less well-known (outside of France, obviously, but possibly even within France nowadays) French-speaking artists: Stephan Eicher (an outstandingly sexy Swiss guy; I have two of his CDs and he sings songs in French, Swiss German and (I think) even English) and Kent, one of the few musicians in the world I've actually seen play live. But only because he's from Lyon (or thereabouts) and when I lived there he did a free concert for the Fête de la Musique and I just happened to be there. No regrets, though, because he was good!

It was strange, listening to all these songs again. I've got albums by all of them (except Kent), yet I haven't listened to any of them in ages. But it was great stuff, really! And there were more memories than I would have imagined...

Let's start with Pulp: my love affair with all things Jarvis Cocker started with a student I had at the Lyon IUT Génie civile, where I taught English for a few years. I don't remember the guy's name now, but I can see his face quite clearly in my mind. So many good memories from those days - such fun teaching! And I was young enough to get invited to parties by them, so it really was fun (and, of course, civil engineering students were very predominantly male, which helped!). And then there was David... that was (or would have been, to be honest, as not much happened) a mistake. But I was young, naive, easily swayed... It all came flooding back when I heard Jarvis' distinctive voice... Proust had madeleines, me it's Jarvis Cocker apparently!

Then Blur - more memories of my days in Lyon... I had a strange life back then, very mixed emotions... I think, though, what appealed about Blur was the idea of how much my parents would hate them! I was never a particularly rebellious teenager (who'm I kidding? I was the least rebellious teenager in the history of the world...), but broke free of that home counties death trap when I graduated. I still didn't rebel exactly, but I stepped away from the "career" path I was probably expected to take. I moved to France, with no money, no home, no job, no contacts; I became a cleaner; I started listening to stuff like Blur (ooooh, what a rebel, I know)... Anyway, Damon Albarn was really cute (and still is, actually: check out Gorillaz), and that was probably my main guiding principle to be honest...

Next, Oasis. I never was one to join the black and white dichotomy of Beatles-Stones, Oasis-Blur... I always liked some stuff by both... I have albums by both Blur and Oasis, I like both, but not in the same way. Oasis is more rock and roll, more "rough" - better to dancing to. And that's what I remember about Oasis - dancing about my flat, on my own, curtains drawn or shutters shut, lost in the moment. I'm no great dancer, but when I'm alone, I'm a star, twirling uninhibited, in my own little spotlight...

Next up, Stephan Eicher. Oh, this guy. Total crush back then (and now, if I'm honest). I loved his voice, the words to his songs, his whole presence. He was pretty popular here in France back then, but seems to have totally disappeared, which is a shame. I felt very exotic listening to songs in three different languages - and Eicher was probably the first (and one of the only) French-language artists I've ever liked...

And finally, Kent. The only one I don't really know - I never bought an album, it was more (as I said above) a chance encounter, even though he too was quite popular for a while. Not as much as Eicher, but still. And the concert reminds me of a whole different life - back when we (D and I) hung out with his "friends" (most of whom I couldn't bear), often in Villeurbanne (hence the concert). But I do like this song, the words are good and he seems such a fun guy!

The 1990s were a strange decade for me. I was very unhappy as a university student, yet many of my very best memories come from that time (and certainly my very, very best friends); my early days in France were very, very hard, fraught with poverty, loneliness, isolation and romantic disappointments (sounds frighteningly familiar, now that I think of it). The decade got progressively better, and ended (in August 99) with D and I moving here, to Montpellier. I think I was pretty happy back then, now that I think of it. It's just that I'm maybe not very good at recognising when I'm happy until it's in the past...

I don't know what triggered this run down Memory Lane, but these artists in particular have been in my head all day, along with images - people, places, events - from that time. A lifetime ago. I still find it hard to believe that I'm talking about up to 20 years ago. Way to make me feel seriously old...

Old, perhaps, but the music was good!

samedi 5 mars 2011


It would seem that my sleep patterns are, to put it scientifically, seriously fucked up (yes, that's the scientific term. Of course it is).

Right now (as in, this year and probably for the last two decades or so, if not more) I'm most definitely a night person. It's in my genes, apparently. My mother always claimed that it was a Mackintosh (her maiden name) trait to be able to stay up late and hate getting up in the morning. It was certainly true of her, and of several other members of my (somewhat dysfunctional, let's be honest here) family.

But I think I can claim to be the family champion. Living "alone" (as in, not with a partner) and working essentially from home have honed my skills like nothing else. Yes, on school days I have to be up at 7.30 to get the girls to school by 8.30. But I'm generally home again by 8.40, and frequently in bed by 8.45. Yes, that's 8.45 AM. Depending on my schedule, I then don't get up till I either have to go and teach or have to go and pick up the girls (so, a get-up time of either 10.15, 12.15 or (whispers from the embarrassment of it all) 4.15).

I am not, however, a lady of leisure. I work a lot, I'm good at what I do (yes, I'm multi-talented) and I work hard. So as I'm obviously not working during the day, I work at night. I work after the girls have gone to bed, often till dawn, sometimes not even going to bed at all till after coming back from school.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not proud of this at all. I'm just stating fact.

Equally obviously, and given that the girls aren't here at all this week (and I have no teaching till Monday afternoon), today (Friday) has been particularly special. I went to bed on Wednesday "night" at 7.30 am and had to be up at 10 to get the girls' suitcase packed for their trip to Paris. I didn't go back to bed till 2.30 am the next day (so technically Friday morning). I was up today at 11 to make sure I was dressed and presentable when the food shopping delivery guy turned up, but was back in bed again at 12.30 (once he'd been and gone and I'd put the shopping away). I then got up again at 6.30 pm. And now, it's after midnight and I'm about to start doing some work.

See? Totally fucked up.

I keep saying how I'm going to try and get my life together, but I know that until I get my biorhythms sorted (and right now, I'm on the same biorhythms as an owl, apparently) and human again, I know I'm never going to get anywhere. It doesn't matter how tired I am, if I'm not in bed by 9.30 pm, I get a second wind and can stay up more or less indefinitely.

And no matter what time I go to bed, whatever time the alarm clock rings, I feel like shit and really, really have to force myself to get out of bed.

I'm sure there's help I could get with this, but I've no idea who or where; I also know it's one of the things about me that drove my ex crazy (obviously, I held things in check a little better, but still often didn't get up till 11 in the morning and frequently didn't see the girls before school) so I'm guessing plenty of people would be horrified. I'm always embarrassed about my sleeping habits. It probably seems to my daughters that I sleep a lot, but in fact I probably actually sleep less than most people.

My aim for this year? To get myself back on track. I know I'll never be a morning person, but I need to set myself some limits and find a way (find some discipline) to help me achieve them. I'd like to be able to get to bed between midnight and 1 am, and up between 8 and 9 (an hour earlier for both on school days, obviously). It seems like a helluva challenge for now, but I know it would be beneficial.

OK, diatribe over - time to get some work done (you can tell that despite all my good intentions, I clearly have no intention of getting cracking tonight; that's because I just spent the entire day in bed and feel totally wired for work right now...).

vendredi 4 mars 2011


We are three, where once we were four. Strangely, I've always liked the number three more than four. Maybe it was a sign that things were not meant to be. And as I write this, it is (still, only just) the third day of the third month. Another sign.


I grew up in a family of three - me and my parents. To be fair, I pretty much hated it and longed, yearned, dreamed of siblings. But three we were, and three we stayed.

Now I'm in a family of three once more - me and my two daughters. A female trinity (unless you add in our male cat, but I'm talking humans here), a triad. Sometimes it works, sometimes (oft times) it doesn't. But three we stay.


Tonight, I am alone, and I'll remain alone till next Thursday night. My sweet girls are in Paris with D, staying with D's mother. I miss them so much it hurts, the quiet in the flat today was deafening.

I miss even the fighting, to be honest.

But I will work and try and get things done; and then they will come home and there will be hugs and kisses and stories to tell.

Till then, I kiss their photos, I lie in their beds, I hug their (not chosen) soft toys, I touch their things.

This will no doubt post on the 4th, but perhaps that, too, is a sign. Much as I prefer the number three, perhaps there is life as a family of four in my future...

So, well, yeah, that whole "I will work and try and get things done" crap? Totally didn't happen today. Just kept napping and eating crap and Twittering and FaceBooking and stuff. It's now 9 pm and I've done NOTHING of any use today. *sigh*
I really must get my shit together...

jeudi 3 mars 2011

Heart o' mine

Oh, my aching heart...

My babies are gone and my heart is sore. I know millions of other parents send their children off to stay with family, but WE never did. WE were always together. But now, WE is not. It is ME and HIM, so we holiday separately. And I find myself alone for 8 looooong days.

My heart, it does ache.

The flat feels so empty - no jumping about, no bickering, no singing, no laughing, no dancing, no whining, no complaining. Just the cat (thank God he remains) and me, tap-tap-tapping away on this keyboard.

They've only been gone for a few hours, and I miss them already. I'll sleep in their beds tonight (well, one tonight, and the other tomorrow), burying my face into the soft toys that remain, even though Winnie and Chameau and Lapin Jaune are gone, too.

Oh my heart, how it aches.

Will this pain ever subside? Will I ever get used to this "new" life? It's been almost a year (10 months, actually) and I'm still not used to it.

And my heart, which is so full of love for my babies, is so empty of love for a "special someone". As much as I love my girls, just as much I miss not being "in love" and "loved".

My heart aches, split in two: one part missing my sweet, beautiful, bright little girls, one part so lonely it might just stop beating altogether.

Heart o' mine, when will the aching stop?

Today's word is, unsurprisingly, HEART.

HEART. COEUR. CORAZON. CUORE. HERZ. It aches just as much in French, in Spanish, in Italian, in German. In any language, the pain is so intense, so real, I feel I cannot go on.

But I do go on, I have no choice. My girls need me.

mercredi 2 mars 2011


Today's word is HOLIDAY.

It's a concept that's been on my mind for a while, what with the half-term break looming (it started - for the girls, anyway - last Friday; schools go back on Monday 14 March).

Last half-term (October-November) I took the girls to see my dearest friends in England and we had a great time. This time, D is taking the girls to Paris to stay with his mother. They leave tomorrow (Thursday) at lunchtime and will be back the Thursday after, around 6 pm.

I'm not sure that I'm ever going to get used to this shared parenting thing. It breaks my heart that they're going on holiday, with HIM, but without ME. These last few days (weeks, months), there's been a lot of shouting - I seem to have to spend all my time shouting at them, sometimes really shrieking, just to get them to do the smallest of things - yet the idea of them not being here is killing me.

I'm trying to convince myself that I'll use this week wisely. But we all know I most likely won't. I do have a shitload of work to do, and I'll be teaching as normal next week (my half-term from teaching is only this week), but I'd still like to get stuff done. Some tidying, some sorting, some packing (D's stuff, into boxes, out of my life), some (very, very minimal) DIY... But the most likely outcome is that I work, eat crap, stay up late and sleep all day.

What was yesterday's word, again? Oh, yeah. Right. Discipline.


I'm also starting to think about the summer. I want to go away somewhere with the girls, like last year when we went to Bilbao. It wasn't ideal, but it was fun all the same. I'm thinking of Italy (dreaming of Italy, in fact) but right now, I can't do anything about it. First, I need dates from my friend J in England - they're coming to our area either around 23/7 for 10 days, or for two weeks from 13/8, so until I know their dates for sure I can't book anything. But I can't book anything anyway because I'm so seriously broke (one of my credit cards isn't working because of "insufficient funds"). I've taken on huge amounts of work to try and ease the overdraft, but it's a long term thing.

So, I'm dreaming of a holiday, of relaxing in the summer sun somewhere with my little girls; I'm dreading them going away this week and leaving me alone, but they leave tomorrow and I have to fold their clothes, kiss them goodnight one last time and wave them off without sobbing, which will be hard.

Holiday. A lovely word, full of promise and adventure. But only if you get to go.

mardi 1 mars 2011

NaBloPoMo - take 3!

Yeah, it's always when I have the most work that I decide to do NaBloPoMo... but I'm thinking that maybe the discipline of trying to find something to write about every day for 31 days might be good for me.

This month's theme is "In a word" - so I'm going to dedicate today's post to the following word:


It's something I fear is severely lacking from my life and I need to find some. Of course, it's a vicious circle: I need discipline to get my life back on track; but my life won't be back on track until I have some discipline (and a nice, strong man...but that's another story)...

Anyway. We'll see how it goes.

Part of this search for discipline means resisting the urge to go back to bed whenever the girls aren't around (quite often, as it happens, and they're off to Paris for a week with their father on Thursday). It's now 3 pm and I'm fighting that urge with all my heart - I think I'm going to have to go out and do something errand-y before I can contemplate getting down to some work.

The sun is shining, it looks and feels like spring; there are buds on the trees and the light is that bright, hopeful light so different from the dark sun of late summer and autumn.

A new year is dawning.

Let it be so.