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Fireworks In Sydney: A Dream Come True!

Can I just take this opportunity to thank all my readers for their ongoing support? Simply put, thanks to you all, this blog took off in a massive way this year: cover of The Times, features in You Magazine and Ici Londres, travel column in Jummp, TV & radio interviews with SkyNews, BBC & the likes. You guys rock! I am humbled by such a success, and I still can’t believe it. HUGE THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE, SUPPORT AND KINDNESS!

There is a lot more to come in 2015, and things will step up pretty soon (shooting in January, then we will conquer the world and you saw it here first! -I am joking of course, except that the shooting is really in January…).
This blog will be redesigned to be faster and easier to use, and will include new sections…I hope you’ll like it! Bear with me and tell me what you think.
Hopefully 2015 will also be the year of the book (maybe the books…), so keep your fingers crossed for me! We are finally getting there and I am confident that, one way or the other, it will happen.
More importantly, 2014 was, for me, the year of friendship. I am hugely grateful for finding new friends thanks to blogging, and reconnecting with childhood ones. It feels as if I have closed the loop and reconciled with a past I had forgotten about.
Finally, I have started to realise some of my dreams in 2014 by visiting Australia for the first time. I am loving it, and I will be back.
So bring it on, 2015!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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View From The Ferry – Love The Commute In Sydney 

Sometimes, all it takes is a step back, and you get a different perspective on your life. That’s exactly what is happening to me right now. I don’t know if it is my French side, or London’s stress index, but I have realised that I am completely stressed out.

You see, it just never stops. In London, I have always something on and barely a minute
 to myself. Things are so much more relaxed over here that I am starting to wonder where I took a wrong turn.  Before leaving for Australia, I even planned play dates for my children start of January. Seriously, how crazy is this? And don’t get me started on homework, my own business and the Xmas preparation.
In short, I have just realised -in Australia of all places-, that I need to do more of what makes me happy, and less of what stresses me out. It is high time to make my life easier…
Tell me, has it ever happened to you? Is it me? What went into me?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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Me & My Teenage Daughter 

There is something wrong with me. Or maybe, I love it too much over here, in Australia? So here it is: I have never found it so easy to fit in a new country. Maybe I was born to live here? For instance, I love going for a jog first thing in the morning. Guess what: over here, everybody is doing it. The first days, I was running with my long British leggings and oversized T-shirt. Suffice to say, I was much too warm.

I have now stolen my teenage daughter denim shorts. I run wearing them and a sport bra. Nobody bats an eyelid. All women are doing the same, and it feels completely natural.

Except that my daughter is a bit annoyed with me but this too will pass. At least I hope it will…
I love this outdoorsy way of life. It feels very safe too. 
I am scared that, shall I stay too long, I won’t be able to get used to cold England again.
I am a French woman living in London and I love Australia too. What can I say? Life is complicated…
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Politics /

In French a ‘boulette’ (lit. ‘Small ball’) is a blunder

I am trying to catch up with the French news. Imagine my surprise when I read that the ‘super tax’ for the rich (75% for those earning more than €1m) will be ditched in the new year after barely two years of tumultuous existence.
Me being me, I couldn’t help thinking that this controversial tax had lasted longer than Valerie Trierweiler’s stay at the Elysee. Mind you, not by a lot.

Let’s jump to conclusions: France is the country of short love affairs and badly-designed taxes.
In both cases, we need a bit of stability. The tax has clearly damaged France’s reputation for international senior managers -they don’t want to be based there any more, and the affair has made us an international laughing stock (how can the President manage the country when he can’t manage his girlfriend, and so on, and so forth…).
I am tempted to pretend I am Swiss. Or from Quebec. Because, you see, trust is a fragile thing: when it’s gone, well, it’s gone. And I don’t trust the French government any more.
Seriously, would you trust a guy who dumps his ex so unceremoniously and changes his mind every other year? Don’t you see a pattern here?
Now, I am waiting for the book ‘Thank you for kicking us out’, by all the French entrepreneurs who moved to London. Or is it ‘Thank you for this moment’? I am getting mixed up. 
I need to stop reading the news. After all, I am on holidays, right? What would you do? Am I overreacting?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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What’s not to love about Australia? I am starting to wonder why we moved to London. Yesterday, we were treated to an Aussie barbecue. Suffice to say, it was perfect. Just imagine the beach in the background, the swimming pool, and the smell of grilled meat with onions on the side.

To cut a long story short, we found out that we had friends on the Gold Coast, and they kindly invited us to their holiday flat. Wow! What a place! 
My home in London was so small compared to their holiday appartment. And they were literally on the beach. Even when you were inside, it felt like you were outside. In London, well, I tend to spend most of my time on the lower ground floor. Don’t get me wrong, I have a nice place in London. It just didn’t compare to what I was seeing here.

I had pavlova for dessert for the first time and thought that it was the tropical version of iles flottantes (a French dessert made of meringue and custard). The Australian version had more fruits. Nice.

Me being me, I had brought some champagne to add a French touch to the evening. The bottle was downed in a jiffy.

So, tell me, what am I doing in London again?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Travel /

It must be something in the air of the Gold Coast. I can’t put my finger on it. But over here, I don’t feel ashamed of anything. Everybody is in shorts and flip flops. I am of course no exception, which is unusual: I don’t like showing too much flesh.

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Waves on the Gold Coast

This Christmas is very unusual. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. To cut a long story short, we spend the whole day in the Pacific ocean, bodyboarding or trying to surf (with limited success for me, but what fun!) Are you jealous now? Good, that’s what I want you to be. As an added bonus, it is 6pm and the children have had such a busy day that they are sound asleep. I will probably have to wake them up for dinner. Or not.


Seriously, Australia has to be paradise on earth: people were on the beach with their Christmas hats on. Right behind, in the park, families were having huge barbecues. It was all very festive…

Do you know what? I think that I was born to live in Australia. This lifestyle suits me fine. I jog along the ocean every day, I swim, I have fun. People actually talk to each other on the street. It is a way of life I haven’t seen anywhere else…where was I again? In London. I remember now.

I hope that you are all having a nice Christmas, even if it might be a very different one! 
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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It must be something in the air of the Gold Coast. I can’t put my finger on it. But over here, I don’t feel ashamed of anything. Everybody is in shorts and flip flops. I am of course no exception, which is unusual: I don’t like showing too much flesh. It must be my French side: it’s better to suggest that to show, right? No, wrong: my principles have gone through the window on the Gold Coast. What is happening to me?

I grew up on the Mediterranean, but nothing could have prepared me for the Pacific Ocean on the Gold Coast. It is simply stunning: huge beaches, waves, space…It is also very relaxed: when I go for a run, nobody bats an eyelid because I sweat a bit. And I feel all the better for it.

The white sand is so soft that it squeak when you walk.
In short, I think that I am falling in love with Audtralia. I didn’t see this one coming. What’s wrong with me?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

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We have finally made it to Brisbane. This is my first time down under, and I love it. What took me so long to come and visit? I have no idea… Right when we land, I sense a more relaxed vibe than in Europe or in the US. It is hard to explain: people are not rushing everywhere. In Heathrow, they are all running around like headless chicken. In short, everybody is more chilled here. Why?

The cab driver is friendly and actually talks to us all the way to the hotel. He wants to know our names and where we come from. Let’s put it this way: this has never happened to me in London.

Brisbane is a modern city, with lots of buildings and company offices. It reminds me a bit of New York, without the drivers tooting their honks like mad or shouting at each other. In short, the buzz is definitely there, but not the fuss. What’s not to like?
And the weather…not too warm, but still sunny. I don’t miss cold London… Along the river, everybody is wearing summer clothes and short pants. People seem a lot more outdoorsy, and quite fit.

I also want to share with you my other initial findings:
1. The flat white is even better than in my local coffee shop in London. Yummy! Who knew the Aussies were coffee lovers?
2. The food is gorgeous. It is fresh, prepared in front of you. It tastes as good as it looks and I am taking this as an opportunity to stuff my face with fresh fish and seafood. I love it. The tables are comfortable and it doesn’t feel as cramped as in London.
3. I understand how the traffic lights are working (unlike in London, where I am still struggling). There is a different sound, on top of the lights, to let you know whether you can cross.
4. Free WiFi is available everywhere -unlike in London, which makes my life a lot easier.

In short, I find Brisbane less hostile than London or Paris. Am I making sense? Is it me?
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London

Posted by / Category Cultural Differences /

I have just landed…

Picture this: I am somewhere between London and Singapore, on a plane obviously, and as usual I am struggling to get some sleep. I don’t sleep well in planes. So here I am, watching movies and reading a bit, trying to be as quiet as possible. Suddenly, I start hearing people grunt behind me. I take a quick glance. There isn’t much else to do anyway. That’s when I see them: a Chinese-speaking couple is passionately French kissing in the row right behind me. If things continue the way they have started, they should soon join the mile high club. He is already starting to try to put his hand in her shirt, and she doesn’t seem to mind (did you notice the British understatement here?).

At least some of us are having fun, I think to myself. The absurdity of the situation suddenly dawns on me: I am the quiet French lady in the corner, and these two are madly French kissing. So can someone tell me why the French kiss is French? If appearances are to be believed, it should be a Chinese kiss. Or maybe a Singaporean one, I haven’t seen their passport. Just saying.

So why is the French kiss French?

First of all, in France, the French kiss isn’t French. It is called a love kiss, a kiss with the tongue or some more colourful expressions such as ‘rouler une pelle’ (literally, to roll a shovel). In short, the French kiss might be French, but outside of France only.

The only reason why the French kiss is French is because we French (if there is such a think as we French, which I doubt) have the reputation of being more promiscuous than the rest of the world, right? Once again, we are supposed to be more passionate and adventurous. Think of a British kiss: what does it do to you? Well, not much, right? Think of a French one now, and it will send shivers down your spine. 

So unfair. Right now they are the one having all the fun, and it has nothing to do with us French. So can someone explain to me how we earned such a reputation? Right now I can vouch for the fact that it is totally undeserved. I am the reasonable one here. So reasonable it hurts, actually.

We French seem to concentrate all the cliches on love and sex. A friend of mine told me that a Brazilian wax used to be called a French wax in the 80s. On the other hand, apparently we French women are the only ones who can get away with not being perfectly groomed. Go figure. I will never understand.

Things seem to progress well on the next row. I so wish I were asleep right now. She stands up and seem to head to the toilet.

Will he follow her? Will he keep seated? I will never know, because my eyes finally start to feel heavy and I am dozing off.

A last thought crosses my mind before falling asleep: a kiss is never just a kiss. Good luck to them!

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London