I am spending a couple of days in France to visit friends and family. My grandfather is quite poorly, and it is heartbreaking to see him like this. I hope that he will bounce back, but I am fully aware that, at 90, it might not be the case. That said, nothing seems to have changed in my small village in Provence. I have walked the same streets, seen the same shops and enjoyed the very same gorgeous light. Time has had no impact whatsoever. Or so it seems.
I voted for the European elections in France (from the UK) and for the local elections in the UK. Not that it made any difference, of course.
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A couple of months ago, I realised that I was, well, too fat. After much hesitation (I am extremely good at self-justification), I decided to take action. If it sounds easy, well, be assured that it wasn’t. The rest, as they say, is history: I have lost a stone (YAYYY!). I have blogged about my journey here. To cut a long story short, I discovered that I was addicted to sugar (fruits, cereals, biscuits, bread, chocolate…sounds familiar?). It was coming all the way from my childhood. All my (French) family is addicted to sugar, and doesn’t want to see it. They suffer (in no particular order) from cataract problems, high cholesterol, depression and diabetes…but have never ever changed their diet. Instead, they take various medications. How odd!
I am of course not saying that they would solve their medical issues if they were to cut down on sugar, but, given the way I feel now, I am convinced that it would help. Maybe, after all, being French can give you bad eating habits. Who would have thought?
Right now I could really do with a lovely trip somewhere sunny. Ideally, it would be as far as possible. I need a break. The thing is, I am stuck here: I have work to do, children to take care of, and so on, and so forth. When does it get easier again? The other reason why I love traveling is that I like meeting different people. I simply need a change of scenery.
Let’s assume that you go to a beach in the UK: it is highly likely you are going to see British families with fair-skinned kids and a ginger dad, saying stuff like. “- Mummy, where did you put the jelly?” with a posh British accent. I would feel right at home.
On a beach in Brazil, things would be slightly different, right? You would see half naked bottoms everywhere, and tanned hunks would tell you ‘Muito Obrigado!’. Spot the difference?
In France, many topless women of all shapes and ages would surround you, and many men would of course look at them.
That said, I have to learn to love it here, because I can’t go abroad right now. To do so, I found a little help online. Take the quiz home or away here or click on the picture. Basically, they show you two pictures and you have to know which one is home (i.e. in the UK), and which one is away. It is harder than you would think, because obviously they don’t show the people…In fact, it is impossible to tell which is which.
Don’t forget to sign in with FB to have a chance of winning a 7-night break.
So, how did you fare? This test made me accept that, in fact, I have everything I need in this very country. On my doorstep. No need to escape anywhere. So here I am, and here I stay. Am I an expat? Am I a local? I simply have no clue…But there is one thing for sure: i am staying in the UK for the next few weeks. Does it make me British?
I know that it is a first world problem, but I think that it is high time for some light-hearted debate. So here is today’s question: should you wear an underwear under yoga pants?
As for me, it is yes, 100% yes. Call me granny, but I like my layers, and it feels weird to have a bra and no underwear, right? Well, at least, at my age, it does. Friends of mine have told me that it can brighten the dullest of days, but I just can’t do it. Not possible. I might be French, but I can’t.
And here is why I think that we women should wear knickers in any circumstances: I went to a yoga class last Friday and there was another mum, whom I vaguely knew from the school. She was right in front of me. During the sun salutation, her yoga pants started to slip and I had to look away to avoid seeing her bum crack. If you are wondering why I noticed it, let’s just say that I was a lot less flexible than her, and she was very eager, whereas I was taking my own time. A bit later, I couldn’t help noticing her, well, camel toe. It simply was too much for me and I started laughing out loud, which was hugely embarrassing. I ended up going outside. Funnier yoga session ever. That said, I will not go back again.
Come to think of it, a no-pants policy might miserably fail with leggings or tights too. Come on, unless the leggings are really really thick, it is usually possible to tell whether you have some pants or not. And I hate to think of the hygienic side of things, if you ask me. Surely a thong is a better option. Or some yoga underwear.
I thought that the whole thing was over and quickly forgot about it all. But this morning, guess who I saw at the corner shop? Yep, the very same mum, with the same thin yoga pants, and still no underwear. But fear not: she had a lovely jacket. It was a bit chilly this morning in London, you see. How can you wear a jacket and no underwear? This is beyond me.
I politely said ‘hello’, of course. I am not British for nothing. That said, I silently said to myself that this wouldn’t be appropriate at the school gates. So, tell me, am I just becoming a judgmental old bore? Should you wear an underwear under yoga pants?
There is something very wrong with me. Here are the symptoms: I miss French movies, and I catch myself singing ‘Les Demoiselles De Rochefort’ at every possible opportunity (click on the video and try to sing along with it please, it will make me feel better). I don’t know how it started, it just happened. I have missed so many good movies over the last ten years. A catch up was long overdue, right? I was craving French movies. What is wrong with me? Why now? Could I be, well, homesick? How is this even possible?
The problem is that it feels like my dirty secret, a bit as if I was having an affair. My daughters find French movies incredibly boring. After five minutes they start yawning like mad and want to watch something else, usually an American series like ‘Jessie’. It can’t work.
My husband is very worried, and I think that he believes that I am depressed. He can’t stand a French movie. For him, a good movie is usually an action movie. What to do?
Well, I watch a French movie at every possible opportunity. On my iPhone, at home when I can’t sleep, or while cooking. I cry, I laugh on my own. My own family must believe that I am getting mad. I don’t care. Today, I watched ‘The Beloved‘ (Les Bien-Aimes), of Christophe Honore. It is the story of unrequited love, and Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastrioanni are, well, simply magical.
To cheer me up, later on I will watch ‘Sky Fighters‘ (les chevaliers du ciel). Just watching Benoit Magimel will improve my morale. It works every time. I can’t wait to see the fights in the sky, they are incredibly realistic. You actually feel like you are on a plane.Woooosh!
Then, if I have some time left -which is highly unlikely unlikey but hey, you have got to dream on, right?- how about watching the fantastic movie ‘Polisse‘? It doesn’t make for an easy watch, but it is a riveting movie, up until the end. A must-watch.
And have you seen ‘Hidden‘, with Juliette Binoche? I can’t believe I missed it when it came out!
In short, I am hooked. Is it an addiction? Should I consult? Has it happened to you? I am starting to worry…