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Ah how very British of me! A post about the weather. Well, it has to be said that the weather has been pretty crazy recently and I have heard that the UK has actually been getting better weather than parts of France too which is a turn up for the books and not what we’re used to hearing!

For those of you in France, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. The endless winter came to end suddenly last week and we launched ourselves straight into summer with temperatures soaring over 30 degrees with no time to gently dip ourselves into the summer way of life.

Now I am reading on Connexion France (article here) that Paris is experiencing violent thunder and hail storms and parts of France have been put on Orange alert.

Taking a quick peak at my own weather forecast (which I admit to looking at several times a day, every day) I see temperatures are going to plummet again and no doubt we will be back to putting on the fire in the evening to take the chill out of the house.

Temps plummeting to 18 degres high

Temps plummeting to 18 degres high

There is one good thing about the late arrival of summer: apart from having to cobble an outfit together for a few hot days, there hasn’t been any real need to wear summer clothes so therefore no need to buy any as yet and the sales will start soon (26th June here) so I’ll be able to get my summer wardrobe at a discount! Youpee!

Date for your diary!
I love a bargain and even more so a giveaway so I’m giving you a heads up on a competition that I’ll be running here in collaboration with Subscription Save from Wednesday 19th June. Don’t forget to pop in on Wednesday to join in!

Tonight Mr Piglet and I are off to watch the trials at the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s a work do so we’re not paying for anything (and hence why we’re going!) and I’m really looking forward to it.

We’ll be leaving Little Piglet for the first time ever with her French grandparents and she’ll even be going to a French nursery with my Mother In Law tomorrow. I’ve never left her overnight before and am already feeling nervous…

… but not as nervous as about what to wear to the Monaco Grand Prix!!

A little search on line led me to this page on Pinterest:

whattowearmonacograndprix

I certainly don’t have anything remotely like these clothes and definitely don’t have the figure to pull them off.

I had imagined myself dressed casually but elegantly, probably a bit like this:

next directory

However, a quick look through my wardrobe reveals
– NO clothes that fit me and that even faintly look like anything shown here
– NO time to order anything online (I leave tonight)
– NO shoes that fit which could be worn with such an outfit anyway. Since pregnancy my feet have never gone back to their size 41 (yup big feet) and I am now a size 42 which rules out shoe shopping for me in France.

So I’ll probably go in my black kit; black trousers, black top, black throw-over, black sandals and black sunglasses. Nothing quite like that depressing feeling you get when you realise that you are a frump and only have frump clothes left in your wardrobe.

If you’ve had a baby, gained weight and have ever felt frumpy, please share any tips that you may have to help add a bit of glamour to my outfit!

Some Nooky

In my last post I mentioned I was worrying about school and that I was learning that a parent never stops worrying.

Now I am worrying what English I am teaching Little Piglet. For the moment she only says the odd word in English and French and thankfully she hasn’t said any swear words yet.

But today I realised my English is so rusty that I say some pretty weird stuff and I really need to work on my vocabulary.

Since my husband launched his estate agency last, I have been helping out where I can and quite enjoying myself especially as I used to work in property.

Today I was showing some English speaking clients around and was keen to point out a properties features. Arriving in a room, I pointed to the corner and stated “that’s the nooky cupboard”. My clients burst in to laughter and I was the none the wiser, I thought they weren’t keen on the decoration but couldn’t see anything wrong with it myself other than maybe the colour which honestly wasn’t that bad.

Outside the room, the lady pulled me to a side and quietly told me what “nooky” meant and that maybe I meant “nook and cranny”? She was still in stitches and I was too as soon as I realised the error I had made!

Thankfully these people told me what I had said wrong, but what about all the people in French and in English who have a laugh at my expense and I’m none the wiser?

Now we just need some sun and warm weather (and maybe a natural solution to ward off the slugs)…

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On the 28th April she blew out two candles. I still can’t believe she is two and am somewhat on denial.

Somehow we’ve progressed from me worrying about her not drinking enough milk to where she’s going to be going to school. Yes. School.

In our part of rural France we don’t have any International schools or Montessori schools and I’m somewhat dubious about the French eduction system and their uncanny ability to break a childs spirit, churning out thousands of carbon copy mini adults all aspiring to be French civil servants.

When I watch my daughters creativity, her talent as an actrice and her ability to get her own way, I see a talented individual where others may see an unruly child.

Maybe I’m looking through rose tinted glasses or maybe not but either way I had fobbed off the school question for sometime as there was no way that she could go if she wasnt potty trained. But here’s the thing: she trained herself one week before her first birthday and is now clean all day long. So the school question is back on and I’ve learned that you need to enroll really early to get a good one which I’m way behind on.

I’m not bothered about her being in the besf school, I’m more bothered about her being allowed to grow and develop naturally but now I’m beginning to get stressed.

They say as a parent you never stop worrying and boy is that true.

How did you cope with the school situation and at what age did your little one (s) start?

I absolutely love hot cross buns and Easter without them just isn’t complete. A few years ago I managed to buy some gluten free ones in the English food shop in Lyon but they were a bit crumbly and just weren’t worth the expense.

I’d kind of put hot cross buns behind me, what with Little Miss Piglet and work keeping me extra busy. That was until I watched the Great British Bake Off on BBC last week!

They made the hot cross buns look so easy to make and I was virtually drooling over the television screen. I decided there and then that I was going to make them and two days later I found the recipe and decided to make them during my lunch break!

I don’t know about you but when I look at a recipe I often think to myself “wooah, that’s way too complicate, I’ll never manage”, which is probably what I would have usually thought about the hot cross bun recipe. But this time I didn’t, and I just dove straight in…

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After relentless kneeding I made a sausage

After gatherting together all of the ingredients and trying to decide what the closest French equivalent was to some of the items, my dough had risen and I started making the buns. By this time my lunch break had finished and I was on borrowed time!

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Ready for the oven

It was a proud moment when the buns were finally ready to go into the over, but also an unsettling one. My oven is temperamental and cooks far too quickly even at low heat.

So, instead of leaving them to cook, I kept a beady eye over them and they only burnt a little bit.

The finished results were delicious and we really enjoyed them as did our French friends with whom we shared them.

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A bit burnt but still delicious

If you want to try and make these yourself here is the recipe I followed: Great British Bake Off Hot Cross Bun Recipe. Do let me know how you get on!

Happy Easter!

I’m lucky in that I speak French fluently but it hasn’t always been the case. I moved to France aged 16 and didn’t speak a word, but the learning process was natural for me and I learned French through not having any choice. If I wanted friends or to be understood by my trainer then I was going to have to speak French. I can remember reading the dictionary for hours on end and phonetically learning how to say each word and then practising.

I know not everybody is in a situation where they can learn and have the opportunity to practise but I personally cannot imagine not being able to communicate.

Have you experienced language barriers where you live? Maybe you have some tips?

I’ve reblogged my Mum’s recent posting about this and her frustrations about not being able to speak Portuguese here:

Is Language a Barrier to Social Integration in Portugal?.

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