Thursday 30 August 2012


... one blogger's Inspiration.  Specifically, this blogger's inspiration.

It seems that the last few weeks of constant moving about - for seven weeks I didn't go longer than one week without packing and unpacking the family suitcases, and frequently the turn-around was more like 2 days - have completely taken it out of me mentally.  My brain has decided that enough is enough; after nearly 2 months of keeping track of where we were headed next, how we were going to get there, and what I had left where and with whom, it is not - absolutely NOT! - going to be bothered with coming up with anything creative to put out onto t'internet.

But I've been at this game a while now, and I know that the longer you leave it between posts, the harder it gets to write one so guess what, Inspiration?  I got bored waiting for you to get off your dainty bottom and visit me, and went and found some stimulus elsewhere.

To that end, Feather & Black, the lovely people who sell bedroom furniture and gorgeous children's beds, have asked me to participate in their Midsummer Nights Dream Blogger Challenge, an offer which I gratefully accepted.  The basic premise is that they will post 4 pictures on their facebook page, and participating bloggers write a story based on those.  (You can see the first photograph here).  Participating bloggers will post their entries on their own blogs on or before 17th September to compete for the chance to win a £500 prize - and the prize will be awarded to the story which wins the most votes overall.

I love children's stories, and even have a bit of practice at writing them (well, it's one way to entertain your children during bathtime), so I thought this would be a great way to kick start the blog mojo and get back on top of what I have publicly stated as my aim for the next 3 months; to get writing.

Based on the first image, I have a few ideas.  Time will tell, though, if they fit with the next three pictures...

Friday 24 August 2012

What I've learned this summer: Part 3

After nearly 7 weeks away, I am totally, utterly, and completely ready to go Home.

We are back to Moscow for Tuesday next week, when normal blog service will be resumed...

Tuesday 14 August 2012

What I've learned this summer; Part 2

... that I could never home school my children.  Well - actually, make that one of my children.  Whilst Boy #1 isn't exactly delighted about spending time on his books over the summer he will do it, but getting Boy #2 to do even 30 minutes of school-related 'stuff' a day is mentally and physically exhausting for both of us once you factor in the negotiation, reasoning, explanations, chasing around the house, and coming up with yet more reasons why learning to read could possibly be something worth doing.

How we've managed 8 weeks of this is something that will never cease to amaze me.

... that sometimes celebrities really DO act the way you imagine they would.  We're staying with friends in our old stamping ground in South Kensington right now and yesterday bumped into a UK B-lister in the supermarket.

I had always assumed that in 'real life' the celebrity we encountered would be a little more low key than in the press, but as she breezed past us in the queue for the tills (calling the Boys 'dudes' as she did so, much to Husband's delight when I told him about it later), struggled with the self-service tills before asking for help from the cashier - thus getting herself to the front of the normal queue and allowing her to add a last minute purchase of a couple of bottles of vodka to her basket - all the while looking glamorous, babe-licious and a good 10 years younger than she has any right to considering the amount of - ahem - 'living' she's done, I realised that some of the time at least, her private and public personas are the same.

This impression was compounded when I followed her out of the shop to find her convertible parked half-on, half-off the pavement as she strode across the street on her sky-high heels to use the cash point, before climbing into her car and driving off, only to stop again 30 seconds later in the middle of traffic to talk to a bunch of male cyclists (doing a cancer-related publicity stunt wearing nude-effect body stockings), as she found out what they were up to and promised to give them a mention on air.

And no - I am not going to tell you who it was...

... that coming back to your old stamping ground - which you still love, and where you still own a flat - is not necessarily going to help you make an objective decision about how long to stay away from it or indeed, if you should even aim to return there at all.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

What I've learned this Summer: Part 1

.... that Biarritz is quite like Cornwall - but with better croissants, and more bikinis on the beach.

... that, on the coast of South West France at least, going topless is no longer de rigeur.

... that those who DO go topless, perhaps shouldn't.

... that after all those years of hiding in a one piece, it's only now I'm 45 and probably should know better, that I finally have the confidence to wear a bikini myself*.

... that my sons love ALL types of seafood, knocking back oysters, pulling the curly bits out of whelks and winkles, and attacking dismembered crab with a gusto that I still haven't managed to acquire myself.

... that I can force myself to pretend I love seafood if in the presence of my sons in the hope this will lead to their becoming adventurous eaters in the long term, but...

... that I'm still not that keen on it, actually.

...that the French word for crab is... 'crabe'.

* This may have something to do with the fact that if you wore a one-piece you were in such a minority you stood out as much as if you were topless...

Monday 6 August 2012

A confession

Bless me, blog-world for I have sinned.

My last post was nearly 2 weeks ago. (Two weeks? How on earth did that happen?)  Since then I have been on holiday, without t'internet..

Turn out that blogging is a bit of a habit - which I seem to have got out of.  Consequently, I'll keep this post brief, and hope that Inspiration - that cheeky madam - returns tomorrow.

Or the day after.

Tot ziens!