Archive for January, 2010

I’ve always been fascinated as to why French women wear so much black. If you take the tube in Lyon you’ll be surrounded by women wearing head to toe black or grey. Many consider the French to be the epitome of chic and whilst its true that they very rarely display their love handles (because most don’t have them!) French fashion can be quite dull.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like black as it’s so easy to wear but something about being in France makes me feel rebellious. It’s as if I have an overpowering urge to break the trend. I’ll wear a red coat or something colourful just to colour the all black surroundings.

Image from Artvex.com

But all that has changed. Seriously, how do people stay slim in France? With all the wonderful and often cheap restaurants, pastries and traditional recipes, not to mention cheese! After spending the last two weekends skiing and eating huge amounts of cheese cooked in every which way, I finally had the courage to weigh myself and the scales tipped a whole kilo heavier than a week ago.

I tried to tell myself that it was all muscle but trying to hike my jeans up over my tummy even I couldn’t kid myself.

With all the sport I’d done what with the energetic hiking up the hill in my ski boots and all the stops and starts I’d done whilst skiing, surely I’d burned off more than I’d eaten?

So, its back to black for me until I loose some weight which isn’t going to happen this coming weekend as I’m back to the slopes! I can’t fit in my more colourful clothes anyway and its just so easy to slip on black trousers, black top, black jacket and black coat and then accessorise. I may just fall in love with black as it has never taken me so little time to get dressed in the morning!

My current favourite mountain recipe is Croziflette which is a take on the traditional tartiflette. It may not be authentic as it was given to me by a friend and I’ve probably forgotten some of it, but it’s still delicious:


Serves 4 – 6 (depending on how much you have!)
400 grams packet of Crozets (small traditional Savoyard pasta like squares made from buckwheat)
1 + ½ reblochon cheese cut in half so you have half skin half the inside of the cheese.
2 onions, finely sliced
1 large packet of bacon bits (lardons)
Crème fraiche
salt and pepper to taste

Fry the onions until soft and the lardons until cooked.
Cook the Crozets 20 minutes in some lightly salted water. Once cooked, mix in the crème fraiche (quantity should be enough so that the Crozet’s are lightly covered), a spoon of mustard (or to taste), lardons and onions.
Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish (like a lasagna dish) and then place the cheese skin side up to cover the mixture.
Bake in the oven at about 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted into the mixture. Finish under the grill to give the cheese skin a crusty taste.

Serve with a traditional Savoyard wine.

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I don’t watch French television very much as I can’t stand the silly voices they use for the dubbing and they are so behind on everything I watch its just not possible! Not to mention that when a programme is popular (such as Desperate Housewives or Grey’s Anatomy) they will play two or even three episodes in one evening meaning you’d have to stay awake until midnight at least watching them all. Or they put a great show on at teatime (was the case for Brothers and Sisters and then didn’t even show the end of the first season as no-one watched it!). I should also mention that I’m useless with technology and have great difficulty trying to work the Freebox remote control and system but that’s a different story…

My reasoning’s were confirmed yet again when I heard what TF1 had done to the new serial The Mentalist. I have no idea what the serial is, but an article on Closer.fr (yes, I know!) made my sides crack as I read that the new show was supposed to be the saviour for TF1 now that Grey’s Anatomy is finished. Great! Good for them.

So, they probably had half of France tuned in to watch the first few episodes and the idiots didn’t even play them in order! Apparently they are playing all the episodes out of synch so that people can see the best episodes first. What is the point? Week one was episodes 1, 5 and 7, week two will be 4, 14 and 3 etc. Why bother broadcasting a show if you’re not going to broadcast the episodes in the order they were written? Do they not understand that episodes a written in an order and therefore it is helpful if people watch them in the right order?

I don’t know about you but I’m totally baffled. Maybe it’s a French thing?

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Oh the French are so cool and so je ne sais pas quoi ! Yesterday morning I woke up to 10 cm’s of snow in our backyard and it snowed all day and is still there today. I am so excited to have snow that I’m all hyper and insisted on walking to Carrefour just to walk in the snow!

Its snowed in the UK as well and everyone is out of their mind with excitement. Time off work, kids playing, adults having snowfights. Everyone on facebook is talking about the snow…

The French? No, snow is normal. Too cool to be excited about snow. Everything is so organised. How can they be so chic about snow? Aside from the fact that the pavement was so icy I nearly broke my neck, no-one is complaining, no-one is fretting, everyone has been to work and everyone is so laid back about it! How come?

I’m so British I just had to take a photo of my backyard and send it to everyone!

My Backyard!


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Happy New Year!

At last, 2009 has come to an end and we can now look forward to what the New Year has to offer… A bit sad really as the last few weeks of 2009 were fantastic but all good things come to an end and I couldn’t stay on holiday for the rest of my life although it is very tempting!

Hopefully 2010 will be a good and the economic situation will continue to improve and my life will be less bumpy than it has been during the last two years and I’ll be able to book another sailing holiday soon…

Just two New Year’s Resolutions this year:

  1. Separate work and personal life as much as possible. Not easy as work from home and have demanding job!
  2. Enjoy last months of being 29 and don’t get stressed by thought of turning 30 (not going to be easy as got all emotional yesterday when heard Lily Allen’s song 22…)

Better than my usual endless list of resolutions that I forget as soon as I have written them.

I am also looking forward to detoxing as I have eaten so much Foie Gras over the last four days that I can feel all that fat setting in my tummy and the spare tyre starting to inflate.

Hubby calculated that we had eaten Foie Gras at least once at each meal (except breakfast) over the past 4 days and that on two occasions we had Foie Gras three times at one meal (aperiftif, starter and main).  After all the fresh fish and vegetables we had eaten on holiday our body systems are in shock and will probably take the next 11 months to recover!

If I can’t be somewhere warm I’d like to spend next New Year’s either skiing but if there’s no snow like this year then I’d like to be in London:
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