Posted by / Category Uncategorized /

Me- I told you I was tired

As much as I try to deny it, I am turning 40 by the end of the year. Sigh. The thing is, I feel 15 in my head. But the sad reality is somehow different: just like everybody else, I am not getting any younger. My energy levels are not the same: after a week spent caring for my flu-stricken daughter, I am knackered. The good news is that I look less like a monkey because of Jasmin, the lovely lady who threaded my growing moustache and shaped my thick eyebrows. But the bags under my eyes seem to be here to stay and it doesn’t feel good. And who said acne is just for teenagers? I seem to have started a competition with my older daughter on that one –she is actually better than me at covering the pimples with foundation. Damn it-. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without putting on weight. Well, not any more. And the last time I had a haircut, we removed 25 grey hairs. Against only two 5 years ago. Life is cruel. And it keeps getting worse.
It is time to face the music: I need to upgrade my maintenance regime. But is it really worth it? Should I try to fight the ageing process or just embrace it and not care about the way I look? I sometimes wonder. What is the point of going to the gym more often, making sure that I stick to the right(-ish) diet, and spend forever at the hair salon? I will get older anyway. In short, it is a fight that I am bound to lose. So why bother?
I know that I have to be careful. There is a tsunami of divorces amongst my friends and I would like to remain happily married as long as possible. Which probably means that I have to make an effort (So unjust: my husband looks sexier and more mature with grey hair, I just look older. That said, all this running has paid off, my tummy is much, much flatter than his!).
But frankly, I am of two minds. I don’t know what to do. Most of my friends have done Botox and, frankly, they look great. Maybe I should try it too. Obviously I will vigorously deny that I have ever considered it if you ask. It is all part of the game…And should I whiten my teeth? The very thought of using some sort of dentist-approved bleach on my poor teeth doesn’t sound very appealing.
Guys are so lucky: do you know how much it hurts to wax your legs, underarms and…the rest? Do you really?  We women all pretend that it is fine and we are used to it but it doesn’t make it a nice experience, just a very common one.
Right, I need to work on a new maintenance regime then. Because I am a fighter and will not let myself get defeated by a silly number (BTW tell me if I need to do Botox please. Be honest).

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Uncategorized /

First of all, I need to thank you for reading this blog. Just for my first day of Google Ads I have made £2! Can you believe it? You guys rock! I have never been so happy for earning such a small amount of money. I might be able to sponsor another child if it continues. Keep clicking, dear reader, keep clicking!
But unfortunately I am also worn out. Being a mummy takes its toll: my little one has flu-like symptoms and I can only sleep a few hours every night. If you can call that sleep, of course. Apparently it is a virus, and there isn’t much to do apart from waiting and taking care of her as best as I can. As a result, I look far from yummy. I have bags under my eyes and haven’t had time to wash my hair for what seems to be ages. Not to mention my growing moustache. Every cloud has its silver lining: I haven’t had time to have lunch today because my older one was feeling left out and dragged me to see ‘The Hunger Games’ with her. I can’t believe this movie is rated 12a. It is so violent that I am still in shock just thinking of it. It is all about teenagers killing other teenagers. Lovely. ‘Sex And The City’ should have been rated PG: no- one dies in it. When has violence become more acceptable than sex? I think that deep down I remain very French. To me, sex and more generally relationships are more acceptable than violence. What did I miss? Maybe I am just being negative today.
Given the fact that I look like a ghost I might have to buy a wig and a mask. A woman’s got to do what a woman’s got to do. Or maybe I should wear a mini-skirt to draw attention to my legs rather than my face. Or show some cleavage. Any advice would be welcome. For some reason, because I am French my friends used to think that I am naturally stylish. Well, I hope I don’t bump into them today.
Gosh I could use a little nap right now. When does it stop?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Uncategorized /


Some of my acquaintances over here can’t stop talking. They have an opinion on everything. Clear and simple. This veneer of knowledge usually drives me mad and I end up saying something really abrupt to stop them. Or I start speaking French in the middle of the conversation because I am tired of them lecturing me on French politics.
I was walking down the street this morning to buy my Sunday’s newspapers when I overheard this guy talking to his girlfriend.  I have no idea what they were talking about but the conversation was something along the following lines:
“- At the end of the day, it is all about planning.”
She didn’t say anything. He went on:
“- Someone even said, I believe, that it is not about what we do, it is how we do it.”
I hadn’t had my morning’s coffee yet and was probably in a foul mood. I almost stopped them because I wanted to tell her to dump him on the spot. Surely he can’t be the one. If my husband was patronising me with such generalities at 8am on a Sunday morning I would have divorced him a long time ago.
Call me stupid, but I think that actions speak louder than words and I am sick and tired of hearing the same old rubbish, despite the fact that it is always said with politeness and brilliance. Where does this love of words come from?
At some point, we need to act. I am no exception. I have talked about it, but I haven’t done it yet. So starting from today, I will act too. Let’s start small: I am now sponsoring a child with ActionAid. I don’t know the name of the child yet and the money will support the whole community. At this point in time I just know that the child I am sponsoring lives in Asia.
This is why I have also added Google Ads on my site. This blog was never designed to make money, but if it can help to sponsor a child or two I would be really happy and it would make a small difference.
So please click generously and I will keep you posted.
Thanks again for your support and your help!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category London /

This morning, on my way to my coffee, I started looking at the sky. I was in this sort of mood, I suppose. Today is a beautiful winter day, cold and crisp, with a bright blue sky.  While looking up, I noticed that London roofs were full of chimneystacks. 


Every building has some. Apparently, during Victorian times, there was one chimney in every room, to keep everybody warm (I dread to think about how people were surviving the winter in such harsh conditions). This is because most houses were rented by the room. You could have one musician in a room, and a seamstress in another one. They probably invented flat sharing before we thought we did.
Once you notice something, you can’t help looking at it again and again. 
This is exactly what happened to me. And here I was, counting the stacks on each building and wondering why on earth they were kept as surely the chimneys are not in use any more. Satellite dishes were often stuck on them. Maybe that’s why we keep the stacks then? Some chimneystacks are so long that they seem to defy gravity. I hope that they are checked regularly and don’t fall on pathways from time to time. It is probably better not to think about it too much.
Chimneys used to be cleaned by young people called sweeps. It wasn’t a job for the faint-hearted.


 Lost in my thoughts, looking at London’s roofs from the street, the unavoidable happened: I bumped into a lamppost. It was a solid, metallic lamppost, with a cryptic design on it.


Here I was, on a Monday morning and before my coffee, admiring London’s architecture and patting my forehead. That’s when I saw it and it made my day: the most iconic chimneystacks of London – Battersea Power station. No doubt it will be a good week…

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Uncategorized /


The beauty of living in a different country is that you never cease to learn. I am sure that it makes me use part of my brain that would have been left to rot otherwise.
That said, the problem with having lived in London for the best part of 8 years (yes, 8 years) is that I have become surer of myself and I have just caught myself thinking that I knew it all. Not nice. Lesson learned. Let me explain.
I was reading this recipe about a lovely brioche and it mentioned that I needed “lukewarm water”. The British have many different types of water. I knew nothing about most of them because I was brought up solely on tap water. But honestly, can you really tell me what elderflower water, purified water, spring water and softened water are?  I have also seen Chocolate Starfish and Hot Dog Flavoured water. I didn’t try that one obviously. Anyway, what I am trying to say here is that I thought that lukewarm water was a type of water that you needed to buy at your local supermarket. I simply thought that it was yet another type of water.
With hindsight, I should have known better. But honestly, what sort of word is lukewarm? When you are a little cold, do you say that you are johncold? No, you don’t. My point exactly.
So, here I am, at the supermarket, looking for lukewarm water and not finding it. I went to ask a shopping assistant who didn’t know any more than me what lukewarm water was and told me that they were not having this type of water in the supermarket   Undeterred,  I asked another shopping assistant who looked at me as if I was crazy. I understood that I had missed something.
When I came back home, I googled it (how were we managing without Google?) and found out that lukewarm water is just water that’s slightly warm. Apparently, they also call it tepid water. I am glad to say that I went to bed a little less silly that night.
OK, lesson learned. In France, here is what they would say about me: “Elle n’a pas invente l’eau chaude” (She didn’t invent warm water – basically, it would mean that I am a bit thick).
So much for lukewarm water.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category London /





In my 8 years in London, I thought that I had seen it all. I was convinced that nothing could surprise me any more. Once again, I was wrong. Maybe it is a sign of youthfulness to keep seeing new things. I certainly hope so.
It happened this morning and I couldn’t wait to share it on my blog. As usual, I was taking the tube. The stations were quite full but not too packed. It was around 9.00 am, just after the morning’s rush. The platforms were very quiet: nobody was talking and, save for the braking noises of the trains every other minute, you couldn’t hear a thing. It actually felt a bit weird: despite all the commuters, the train station felt empty.
I saw a young man waiting for his train. He was in his mid-twenties and was wearing the mandatory power stripes. People do all sorts of things while waiting for their train. I have seen some eat their salad with their plastic cutlery, cut their nails or even scratch their bottom. But this one was taking it to a whole new level: he was filling his divorce petition form while waiting for his train. While I was peeking at his form, he was ticking the fatidic box “The marriage broke down because of irreconcilable differences”. Can you believe it? I was the accidental witness of the end of his marriage, and it all happened on a tube platform in Oxford Circus, while waiting for the Bakerloo Line train.
I was too stunned to speak, and I boarded my train without a word.  So here is what I wanted to say:
1.     I am sorry that your marriage broke down
2.     I am sorry that I had to witness it.
What about you? What would you have said?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Uncategorized /

My Village’s fountain…

No wonder I feel a bit lost in London. Over the last few days, in France, I have had a stark reminder of how much French people like to over share. To be fair, I dont know whether it is a French thing. It might be something they do around St Tropez. I really wonder. I have seen lots of family and friends in my familys village. I hadnt seen some for years I am in denial here, we are probably talking about decades. Sigh. I am not getting any younger. And let me tell you this: nothing is off-limits. They simply told me everything about themselves, sometimes with painstaking details. In no particular order, I was told about pets issues, knee operations, restaurant menus, this years flu, failed relationships, headaches and heartaches, and also hospital care in a nearby town.



Dont get me wrong, it is nice to have the latest news of the community. But why did they have to share intimate details with me? As an example, I had a full description of an old aunts bowel issues, with an exhaustive explanation of how hard it was for her to go to the loo.  I am sure that I shouldnt over analyse it. Maybe they were just feeling at ease and wanted to share what was happening. Maybe I should be flattered: I must be a good listener. I didnt stop them (but sometimes really wanted to).

To make matters even worse, they also expected me to share everything with them. I simply couldnt. I kept it at the bare minimum. There was also a certain voyeurism in their questions, which surprised me. Being curious is perfectly normal: I left so long ago!  But lets not push it please

Is it a cultural thing? In London, you are expected to suggest rather than describe and maybe, without noticing, I am now more British than French. What about you? Do you think that it is acceptable to over share? When do you stop and, more importantly, how do you stop someone who over shares?

In short, its good to be back.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Uncategorized /

Growing old sucks. Middle age sucks. This post will be more personal than usual, because my 91-year old grandmother died yesterday. I take comfort in the fact that she is in a better place now, especially as she started feeling poorly and not remembering who we were a couple of years ago, but I have to admit that I feel pretty raw. Due to unusual familial circumstances (don’t ask!) I am taking a more active part in the whole process than a granddaughter usually does.

So here I am, back to France in a hurry and struggling to sleep. As I was laying awake in the early hours of the morning, a cicada started to sing. I liked the fact that this little creature was unwillingly keeping me company. I woke up early and bought some bread. On my way back home an elderly man who looked a bit lunatic because he had big hair and no shirt on told me -actually, shouted at me: “Jesus loves you!” and I have to admit that he managed to make me laugh.

I know nothing about grief. Not much will happen today because it’s Sunday and everything is closed. While rummaging through old family photos, I saw something. It was a small, white piece of paper, without any date. I instantly recognised my grandmother’s handwriting: she was a head teacher and her handwriting exudes authority, with its peaked s and t. I unfolded it eagerly, hoping it would bring back some childhood memories. The paper was torn. It was basically a part of a -quite nasty- hate mail to my mother. It was probably never sent. My grandmother was my Dad’s mum, and my parents eventually divorced -which triggered a massive family feud. The few words I read amply sufficed to remind me of how high emotions were running at the time. A bit sick, I didn’t read the whole thing and threw it away. Time to forget and move on.

The whole experience felt a bit weird, because the very fact that I had completely idolised my grandmother hit home. For a brief moment, it felt like her hate filled the room. Very odd indeed.

But then again, it is all over now. Who knows? The very fact that as far as I know she didn’t send the letter is a positive thing, isn’t it? She is in peace now and strangely I feel less emotional…

So let’s end up reminding everybody to throw away your hate mail. Or burn it. That’s not how you want to be remembered.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London