Saturday, April 21, 2007

Country Bumpkin

The gorgeous sunshine is still beating down and it's making me want to get out of the city. A lot is going on at the moment and things are changing rapidly. My sister has given birth, my mum will be 60 in a few weeks and G is moving out to Chablis to make wine.

Yes, he has decided that the city is not for him and he's going to don his dungarees and get ready for a life among the vines. Chablis is not so far away (just 1hr and a half) and I'm sure he'll manage to do some of the non-dirty fingernail work from Paris. During the week we are both so busy with work running late, me with my rehearsals and other stuff that we barely see each for an hour in the evenings anyway.

He's going out to Chablis to his uncle's domain, Louis Michel et Fils, and will try to learn how the business works from A - Z, then he's going to identify which parts of the process he's most interested in, and then he'll do some official training at a university, probably part-time. For more info on the wine of Chablis, pay a visit to the wine doctor.

This will all start at the end of May. As for me, I'm staying in Paris and keeping my independence... at least for the time being. As a child of the seventies I have been brought up to think that I should be as independent as possible. It's going to take some imagination, but when I do finally go out to Chablis to live there permanently I'm determined to find a way to at least contribute to our finances.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to look out my flowery dress and apron.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


It's thirty degrees in Paris today. I rode my bike from Vincennes to the métro stop Odéon (about 5 miles) and even though I tried to stick to bike paths and pavements I found that there were so many people milling around it was almost impossible. All of Paris crawled out from under their baguettes today, to take in the beauty of their city.

I went to meet my friend Silvia for brunch at a delightful little place called Forêt Noire in the 6th arrondissement. We had cakes, eggs, toast, salad and fruit salad washed down with delicious grapefruit juice and tea. The descriptions of the place say it's very cosy in winter but with the windows open onto the garden next door it really was a perfect place to spend a couple of sunny hours.

My sister isn't having quite such an easy time. There are no bike rides and brunch in the land of babies. As gorgeous as Chloe is, and as happy she is about her arrival, I think the sleepless nights are beginning to grate on her. It's to be expected, and of course she's taking it in her stride, but I hope that after a few more weeks she will stop waking up 5 times a night! She told me it is ten times harder than she thought it would be, and she had a very realistic view on things to begin with.

Well I think I would change places with her at least for tomorrow, I have a group to lead from 9am to 12pm and I'm feeling very nervous about it. I have that Sunday evening feeling that I haven't had for a while - like before an exam or driving test. Better get back to the prep.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chloe Louise

I've fallen in love with a little girl. My niece Chloe is so beautiful and gorgeous, I can't believe how delightful she is. My sister is exhausted but happy, her husband is very much in control of the situation - changing nappies and calming her down - Chloe and my sister. They are a vision of a young family.

What I am really surprised about is that I'm not broody. The birth of my niece has only calmed my desire to have a baby. Not because gorgeous Chloe is not a perfect little bundle, she is. Perhaps it's because my ridiculously practical nature disallows any kind of desire for a lifestyle too far removed from my own.

In any case, regardless of my lack of broodiness to have my own children (at least for the moment), I'm totally besotted with Chloe. Tomorrow will bring another precious visit, then I'll have to wait another month before coming over for my mum's 60th birthday party. Or Chloe's Presentation Party TM as it has started to be called.... Her grandparents are so proud, not to mention her great-grandmother, but my mum's party will bring a bevvy of great-aunts, great-uncles, second cousins as well as friends from all over the country (and France) who will all be jostling for a view of the new arrival.

I'm a happy aunt but I can't believe what my baby sister has gone through the last 48 hours and all that with a smile on her face.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Baby Chloe

Bang on time as always, my sister gave birth to a gorgeous healthy little bundle of love this morning at 9am - right on her due date.

Chloe Louise was born this morning and she's doing very well. As far as I know they can leave the hospital this evening and so my sister won't have to be in hospital overnight. She went in at 4am this morning and should be home pretty soon. Chloe is really gorgeous and very placid - for the moment she hasn't cried very much, she just sleeps and looks around a little. I'm certain there is more action to come, but for the moment she's extremely happy and calm.

We were only allowed an hour of visiting today because of the hospital rules and because my sister is exhausted, but we'll go over tomorrow at some point and try to help out with cooking or something. I'm a very proud auntie!

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Easter : a time for new life and birth. At least I'm really hoping so. My sister is exactly 9 months pregnant and ready to pop. In the last seven months I've had the thought of being an auntie for the first time in the back of my mind, and I'm truly desperate to see my new niece or nephew. The baby's room is ready, the cot is set up and the moses basket prepared. All we need now is for my sister to say, "Ooo, was that a contraction?"

I've come home to England for Easter and don't go back to Paris until Wednesday evening. She's due to give birth tomorrow, so I was hoping that by Wednesday I would see a glimpse of the newest member of our family. So far there's no sign, but I went out for a walk with her this morning and her husband gave her curry on Thursday, so we're doing what we can!

England is bathed in sunshine at the moment and there's a mild breeze in the air. It's a real pleasure to be at home but I have to admit to missing the pace of the city a little. I'm catching up with translations that are long overdue and general paperwork which has been mounting up over the last few weeks.

Watch this space! This scan is from a few months ago....