Slip slidin’ away dans la neige

Book of the day: William the Outlaw, by Richmal Crompton In the infamous words of William Brown, outlaw and Indian chief, today we are ‘macarooned’. We are (not quite) cut off from the rest of the world by several inches of snow, which has fallen heavily for the past two days, and venturing further afield than the bottom of the drive requires chaînes à neige … Continue reading Slip slidin’ away dans la neige

La Saint-Valentin

Book of the day: Wuthering Heights Valentine’s Day is not a particularly celebrated occasion in my household. As much as I enjoy tales of enduring love, aided and abetted by theatrical grand gestures and heroic sentimentality, where the most sophisticated performances cause tissues to be conjured from thin air and unsuspecting women to be transformed temporarily into pandas, I only slightly envy girlfriends whose partners … Continue reading La Saint-Valentin

My character, selon ma maison…

Book of the day: Pride and Prejudice (no doubt the first of many mentions) Huddled in three layers of clothing, willing the fire to take at last, and scrambling through the laundry basket for a clean pair of socks, I shiver my way through the early mornings in the ice-box of my imaginary castle.  Our poêle à bois needs replacing and Winter is unkind to … Continue reading My character, selon ma maison…

Ça pousse – janvier: Crimes against horticulture

Book of the day: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I confess I am a monster. My inner Hyde has overpowered my outer Jekyll and I am, at last, awake to extent of my addiction. I am a pathological killer of plants. Despite beginning with honourable (and strictly scientific) intentions, my attempts at nurturing are always thwarted, and, after a perfectly acceptable … Continue reading Ça pousse – janvier: Crimes against horticulture

Nous recommençons: a new beginning

My text, this dreary Sunday afternoon, is taken from the second book of ‘The Railway Series’, chapter 2: ‘Thomas’s Train’ (I have just put my toddler to bed, in the hope that he might agree to nap today). It occurred to me, during my daily revision of that excellent work, that I ought probably to make some account of my eighteen-month absence from writing, after … Continue reading Nous recommençons: a new beginning

Il était une fois: the cautionary tale of a former au pair

Book of the day: Jane Eyre Bonsoir mes amis…pull up a fauteuil and pour yourself a kir as, for the next few minutes, I relate how I find myself still living in France almost 7 years after venturing forth on a 4-month ‘Gap’… Once upon a time a rash decision on my part induced me, one bleak February morning, to acquire a one-way ticket to … Continue reading Il était une fois: the cautionary tale of a former au pair

Alors, pour commencer…

Book of the day: David Copperfield What causes a (reasonably) sane adult to start threatening imminent self-defenestration from a ground-floor dining room? While I do not feel sufficiently qualified to speak for the downstairs-window-hurdling community in general, I shall endeavour to explain my own fall from grace. To do so, however, involves a brief jaunt back through some of my personal history, to where my … Continue reading Alors, pour commencer…