What a stonking start of the week! Thank you for all the messages and nominations. I must admit that I wasn’t expecting such a reaction, but clearly the #BackToUniCampain stroke a chord! The site just crashed…
So here it is: thanks to @Sendit_Now, someone will receive a care package with all the essentials to survive uni! How cool is this?
For some funny reasons, only girls were nominated. No boys this time. And what we have chosen for your precious friends/daughters/sister/nieces/whatever will keep them going for a long, long time. Here is the list:
If you follow this blog, you know that I had my 20-year university Alumni reunion over the weekend. The thing is, I am not too big on reunions. But somehow this time I wanted to catch up with old friends. So off I went to Paris, and despite the late arrival of my Eurostar service I made it on time (just!). I had rented a dress for the occasion (this one here). You see, I wanted to look my best. I was a bit stressed, I am not sure why. Maybe because my own daughter will soon go to university. I also remembered that I had had a good time, albeit sometimes a bit challenging, but I couldn’t really remember why. It was so long ago. Frankly, the whole thing felt a bit surreal. Could 20 years have passed? Damn it. I couldn’t believe it!
The Power Dress I was wearing…
I bumped into an old classmate on my way to the Parisian restaurant where we were all meeting. I recognised him instantly. It had to be a good start, right? Old university mates kept arriving and I was pleased to recognised most of them They all recognised me of course, because out of less than 400 students we were only 35 girls. I was ashamed not to recognise some faces at all. Most of my old friends were now living in France. I felt a bit, well, different. I clearly had taken a wrong turn (and become British –what a shame). There used to be a guy who looked like a cool surfer. Well, he was still cool, but he had put on weight. Not a surfer any more. Then I saw the guy who was trying to grab my bottom at every possible opportunity, and steal my bras from the laundry to staple them on the class door (Don’t worry, I took matters into my own hands and he never bothered me any more. Suffice to say, I can be quite scary when I want to). I started to feel slightly uncomfortable, but I must admit that I shouldn’t have, because he was absolutely charming. He was now married and had three children, and was great fun to talk to. The old bully had mellowed! Unbelievable!
I am freaking out. This will be a short post. To cut a long story short, this weekend we have our 20-year university reunion in Paris. I rented a dress for the occasion. Watch my Twitter & Instagram feeds for some real-time updates (I am quite funny when I am drunk). If my memory serves me well, we were 35 girls out of a total of 400 students. I had short hair and glasses. And pimples.
Will it be nice (as in, sympa as we say in French)? Or will they only remember they bad stuff (I think I threw up during a party, not to mention all the stories about boys. Just don’t go there.)?
I have no idea.
Wish me luck. Between you and me, I am having second thoughts.
Come to think of it, I wish I could travel back in time with everything I know now…Wouldn’t you?
I will tell you all on Monday…Oh, the pressure!
Well, what can I say? Today, I am embracing my British side. And I must admit that it feels good. In fact, I find it liberating. What happened? Well, I think that I am suffering from some sort of post-marathon blues. That’s my excuse anyway, and I am sticking to it. To make matters even worse, I am having a bad hair day. And in France I would have thrown a hissy fit just because of this. But over here, I must admit that I don’t care. My British side tells me that I can’t be perfect all the time. So here it is: I am having a bad hair day and it’s alright. Shit happens.
I keep receiving the same messages from family and friends, and would like to clarify a few things. You know, just to clear the air. Right, where do I start? First of all, we have water and electricity in London. Amazing, right? I know that we don’t have external shutters but I can assure that blinds work just as well.
Now, I know that it will be hard to swallow but the same goes with food. Yes, we have everything we need in London. Yes, there is food, and actually we eat quite well, save for the occasional sandwich of course. And if you are not convinced, just visit the Brixton market. It is a feast for the eyes…and the tastebuds!
Today, I wanted to share something I wrote a few months ago. Initially it was meant for one of my Match column (you can read what was published eventually here: Why You Should date Outside Of Your Comfort Zone).
Suffice to say, it didn’t make the cut. Today, I give you the uncensored version. What do you think? It is (loosely) based on my own experiences (What isn’t anyway?). Let me know if you like it…
That’s me. So naive I used to believe in fairytales…
Once upon a time there, in a land not too far away, was a woman who thought that her country was the centre of the universe. Her parents had brought her up that way, and she didn’t question them. Of course her country was the best one to live in. Her sunny region was paradise on earth, and her hometown had seen many celebrities settle in. Simply put, it was the best place on earth.
She was bright and went to university in the capital city, where she met other students. She started dating, and eventually found her white knight in shining amour. He swept her off her feet. It was such a romantic story: he was from the very same city, but she had met him in the capital. Everything was simply perfect. She was convinced that it was destiny. She introduced him to her parents, and went to visit his family. Life seemed simple and easy. She was so in love that she didn’t see his true colours, despite a couple of warnings from close friends that she ignored.
It had to happen, right? Spending twelve years in London was bound to leave some marks.
Today, I was near my home town, in Toulon, speaking at a conference (see the details here: paperdotcon). It was good to be back. You see, I love everything about Provence: the light, my childhood friends, the food, and the Mediterranean of course. But today, I was told (half jokingly, but still) that I had a British accent.
Me, a British accent?
My life is never dull. Last week I was invited to a casting, only to notice too late that it was in fact about doing some stunt work, and even involved some pretend-fighting. To top everything up, I was by far the oldest women Damn it! Once upon a time, I used to be the youngest. The youngest student. The youngest project manager. Well, those days were clearly gone. That day, I was the oldest extra. On the bright side, the rehearsal was quite a good workout, and I had a good laugh!
I started talking to one of the assistants of the production company, because she thought that there was a mistake in my date of birth (of course there wasn’t!). She called her colleagues and they thought that it was some sort of joke (I wish!!!). I showed them some pictures of my daughters, and they looked startled. One of them then asked:
“- But what is your secret to look so young?”
That’s what I was expecting to do!
I have been living in London for the last twelve years. Twelve years! What can I say? Time flies. I thought that I was British by now. As it turns out, I am not. I remain still very, very French. What happened? Well, the Rugby World Cup. That’s what happened. A friend of mine asked me whom I would be supporting. Without even thinking, I answered “Les Bleus of course!”. It wasn’t a rational response. It just came out.
What? So much for thinking I was fully integrated.
Let’s face it: marathons are so last year, right? And seriously, why should the fun stop at 42 km? When you run somewhere, you just run somewhere, no matter how far it is. You just want to reach your destination, whatever the distance.
The thing is, I didn’t know that ultra running even existed until a few months ago. I grew up in the countryside, and running up and down the hills (especially walking up, and running down in my case) all day long was what you’d do. As it turns out, this activity has a name: it is called ultra-running. I didn’t know. It made me wonder where I had been. Probably working, and bringing up my kids as best as I could. Anyway, we are where we are, no need to dwell on the past.
Granted, I will never be a champion. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t be a fun runner!
So here I am, at the starting line of the Thames Path Challenge in Bishop’s Park, Fulham, wondering whether I will make it in one piece at the finish line, in 50km. Why do I love running? I have no idea, but I believe that it has something to do with the fact that when I run, I can’t think of anything else, I just have to carry on. And for once my priority is, well, me. Just me. Pure bliss!
Everybody thought I was mad. Because I happen to be 42 (almost 43 if you must know), I was told (in no particular order) that I would hurt myself and especially my knees, that I wasn’t ready, that I should run a few marathons before (I didn’t), that I was addicted to running, and so on, and so forth. So here is a newsflash for everybody: I am fine, thank you very much.