Posted by / Category Uncategorized /

Hello from sunny St Tropez! Just for you to be a bit jealous (because that’s what I want you to be) here is a picture:

Oh, and there is a lovely post from me on Nazima (or @workinglonmummy) ‘s blog on how to bake panettone. I am actually a bit jealous because hers look better than mine but never mind. Life can be unfair…You can read it here.

I have a confession to make: I feel more and more British. For starters, I rented a car in Nice to drive to St Tropez and, after three months of operating a Chelsea tractor in London I felt a bit lost. You wouldn’t believe how fast the French are driving on the motorway. Scary. I miss my Chelsea tractor (yes, I have just written this), my rented Citroen is nice but not quite the same. What exactly is happening to me?

Anyway, this morning when I left for the airport (at the crack of dawn and I am not a morning person) it was freezing in London. I had at least five different layers on me, not to mention a hat, a scarf and the mandatory gloves. And there it was: my British neighbour was going for a run in his T-shirt and short pants. How does he do it? Mind you, he wasn’t the only one: on the train to Gatwick airport, most Brits had no coats when all continental Europeans were wrapped up tightly in different layers. You could tell who was British just by looking at whether he/she had a coat. And, to make matters even worse, I saw a guy in his flip-flops. I felt cold just looking at him (no coat + flip flops + -2 celsius  = quintessentually British).

That’s when it dawned on me: I can’t be 100% British. I will always need to wrap up when I am cold. It must be in my genes. Tough. I’d better accept it and get on with my life.

But it got worse: at 7am on the train a group of British girls (they looked 18/20-ish) sitting in my coach started to drink some white wine. They were celebrating a birthday apparently (and starting early – or finishing late, depending on how you look at it). At the airport, they sat at the Baileys stand and drank again. I hadn’t even had my breakfast. Amazing. How do they do it? Come to think of it, maybe you need the booze to keep you warm? It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Don’t understand me the wrong way, the whole episode was very civilised, they were very polite and not too noisy, and nobody made any comments.

I am starting to believe that some things will always be beyond me. What are your views? What am I missing?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • I’ve come to accept that some things WILL always be beyond me 🙂

  • Oh my dear, it depends if you are up for it or not. Look at you, you are in London already and I haven’t taken my ass to any other part outside my country, so imagine if I do, probably feel like you, who knows. Overall, I think you are doing great.

  • You sound just like me. Or I’m like you. When I was in England in early May, I was all muffled up and everyone was going around in summer clothes. But I remember when I lived there having to wear layers. My English father wore short-sleeve sports shirts in winter and my grandmother felt that one bar of a heater was enough for a whole house. When my sister and I went to clear it out one April, we both wore double/triple sweaters, caps and gloves indoors.

    As for drinking wine early in the morning, it’s the best buzz you will ever get. This from a recovering alcoholic – 22 years sober.

  • Some things you WANT to miss Muriel, you have reached a wonderful equilibrium and have the best of France and the best of British (but not luck!) Hoping you have a wonderful holiday and come back well rested and refreshed. Have a wonderful Christmas, Elizabeth.

  • nope…. some things are beyond me, too!!!

  • Happy Holidays, Muriel! Enjoy your trip! I think that it’s always great not to feel 100% comfortable in any place or situation. It’s the best way to make the place always feel new. The fact that you’re not “100% British” makes you more aware of your surroundings and gives you such great content for your blog! 🙂

  • YellowFlower

    You might enjoy this article by BBC which shares your sentiments!

  • For me the big issue with cold is inside – I’ve finally become British enough that I naturally reach for a jumper rather than turn up the thermostat when I’m cold in my own sitting room….

  • I was in London and snowy Copenhagen in January and strangely didn’t feel super cold, even though I live in southern California. Right now I’m wearing the same coat in California as I wore in Copenhagen. No idea why it’s getting colder here.
    I do think the French and Danes warm their houses more than the Brits. Perhaps better insulation?