Bonjour...just back from France where I murdered the language happily for a whole week. Even when people spoke back to me in English, I tried, because I love French and rolling my rs and pretending I'm in a movie or pretending that I can actually speak French. (When I learned French, we were taught to read Sartre but not to have an actual conversation with a French person, which was more than a bit daft.) I even think that if I say English words in a French accent, they must somehow be French...? Not true?
We went to France for a week, starting with camping in the Berry province about two hours from Limoges and if anyone has really had a dose of Hurricane Bertha, I apologise for moaning about her now but she followed us lovingly, rattled our tent manically, rained and made it cold.
Mes amies, as my lovely friend Marian Keyes says: I am a cold person and wear socks to bed in summer, so realistically, I am probably not the best person for the whole camping experience. But I like to think I am up for new experiences and happily packed shorts and T-shirts (plus books and crochet) and only one fleece. Folks, I lived in that fleece. All night, all day, me and the fleece were joined at the hip.
We hit the Carrefour supermarket and I frantically ripped the kids' department apart to buy a child's fleece (no adult warm clothes). There were no hot water bottles around or I would have bought one, trust me. I began to wish I had followed my usual packing routine: pack for all eventualities, instead of trying to be lightly packed person like someone in magazine. You know those articles: take two pairs of shoes, a dress, a cardigan, shorts, two pairs of knickers, a thrilling necklace and you're done? Ha! Never again. I am back to taking all, including the kitchen sink and a duvet.
Finally, or finalement (word?), we left the campsite and took the train to Paris!!! Yippee! it was meant to be, with It Started With Paris out soon (October).
Thanks to John, we mastered Le Metro. Traditionally, I am very bad with the Metro and always end up on the wrong track in the wrong place but he was a whizz at it (I excel at impulse decision making, which is bad when faced with eight different directions, and not good with whacking random keys on computers, either) because he consulted the map.
Dylan, Murray, John and a now-warm me, had a glorious time at the Eiffel Tower (well, have you seen my new book cover...we had to go back - I have pics but need help to get them onto this), and the ferris wheel (aversion therapy for people scared of heights, like me - they make you go round three times and by the third time, you're not green and can even open your eyes without wincing ) and my beloved Louvre. We managed the Oceanic exhibition, the Greek ceramics, 15th,16th and 17th century paintings, saw the crowd near the Mona Lisa (I am short) and then the Egyptian exhibits.
I did toy with the idea of spending much time in French pharmacies finding special products to make me less wrinkly because Dylan and Murray had whiled away much of the time in the tent taking make-up-less pictures of me with the iPad (shocking to see) and then painting them into vampire woman, etc, (even more shocking) but I have a new Dermalogica serum and as long as I keep using it, I won't be vampire woman. I shall be glowing, happy woman. Also, because I am warm. Warm helps.
Right, dinner calls. Ooh, I bought more wool in France. I am going to crochet a fleecy thing... you never know when it might come in handy.