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Someone Loves Unwrapping Presents
As you know, I am an online ambassador for ActionAid UK. I am therefore taking part in their Christmas Campaign. I hope that, during the preparation of the festivities, you will spare a thought and possibly some money for the many children all around the world whose basic needs are not met. I am talking about going to school, having enough food, or getting medical care. Nothing too fancy, really. To be clear, I am not talking about having the latest Frozen outfit or Lego’s Cave.  If you can help, please donate here: Actionaid.org.uk/child. Here are a few questions suggested by ActionAid and my responses:
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to become an architect to build houses all over the world. Well, things didn’t happen as planned, but I eventually became a project manager. Instead of building houses, I started my career delivering trains to Transport Operating Companies all over the world. It was good fun, but I couldn’t keep up with the traveling when I started a family. I had to reinvent myself.

How did you envision the future as a child, what did you think it would be like? How is it different?
I grew up in a small village in Provence. To me, Provence was the centre of the universe. I thought that I would stay there forever, and that nothing existed outside of my small circle, let alone outside of France. I also thought that happiness and money were natural, and all you had to do to get some was to help yourself from a big pot on the kitchen table. At the time, I felt like I was set for life. Well, I was wrong.
My parents divorced, and the whole episode was quite nasty. I had to leave my beloved Provence and move abroad, which was a heart-breaking decision. Putting down roots in London was a massive change, and living here is still a steep learning curve. Although it sounds like a cliche, the divorce completely rocked my world. I became even more independent, and promised myself that I would never rely on anyone to become who I wanted to be. I mellowed a bit over time but remained fiercely independent. Maybe some things are not meant to change.
What piece of advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
Keep doing what you are doing: you don’t know it, but you are doing great. Oh, and be nicer to your younger brother, he is lovely.
What role does food play in your family?
We all love food. For Christmas, I am trying to perpetuate a childhood tradition: the 13 desserts. We usually have them on Christmas Eve and, before you ask, you only need to have a little bit of each dessert. It is funny to do it outside of Provence but hey, it is a global world, right?
What about you ? What is Christmas for you?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • I alternate Christmas usually – one in France, one in the UK. My mother’s Christmas is wonderful with lovely food and festive atmosphere. The one in France is different; it takes place the day before and is merry, but Christmas Day is The Next Day and not quite the same without the traditional fare.

    This year, as Christmas Day is on a Thursday, I’m going to the UK this year too even though I would normally be in France. It’s entailing some complicated and extremely expensive travel arrangements, but my mum is delighted. 🙂

    • You are so organised. As for me, this year is quite exceptional: I am going down under and I am extremely excited!

  • Ah! For me it’s all about that ‘nip’ in the air! 🙂

    • That;s what it’s all about, But you, you have something even better: you have Diwali. There is nothing like the lights of Bombay for Diwali, right?

  • Well, Xmas is not among my celebrations. But, that’s NOT an excuse not to help a child have the best Xmas they can- and try to extend it through the whole year.
    Great project, Muriel.

    • Thank you Roay. And you know what: I will keep trying, no matter what!