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Posts Tagged ‘Rain’

I’ve been a bit quiet over the last week both here and on the blogosphere in general as I decided to take some me time in honour of the French holiday season.

Last weekend we went back to Lac du Bourget and spent a great weekend in the rain, constantly hoping for it to stop so that we could get out on the lake and wakeboard. After hours of watching the drizzle and storms, the clouds finally dispersed so we made a mad dash down to the lake, jumped on the boat and went out. Five minutes later, the clouds started to gather again and we just made it back to shore before the mother of all storms rained down upon us. No wakeboarding took place 😦

So quite a disappointing weekend really.

View from the house - how I would love to have a view like this

Our next trip was on the Monday back to Aix les Bains and was more promising. We spent the first afternoon baking cookies with Hubby’s Godson and the little cousins. Cookie making with a 2 year old, 6 year old and 9 year old is an interesting experience. Once they were finished I had to keep reminding myself not to eat them as I had watched the dough go all over the floor, in and out of the kid’s mouths, behind their ears, in their hair…

Hubby monkeying around

After a while the sun decided to come out and we went up the mountain to a monkey park. I say monkey park as it is an activity park where kids and adults swing from trees like monkeys. The French call this accrobranche (accro for acrobatic and branche for the tree branches). For ages I thought it was called aquabranche and had something to do with water. How very wrong was I! Needless to say I was not equipped: heels and palazzo pants aren’t quite the right the right attire for walking on a tightrope or swinging amongst the trees and nobody could care less that I had a swimming cossie and towel in my bag.

Not being able to do anything and faced with waiting in the cold for hours (14 degrees!) whilst everyone perfected their monkey swings (how appropriate!) I was relegated to looking after the two year old and helping him around the kiddies course.

It was not easy as I had to keep hooking him up and I think the other parents considered that I was a Mere Indigne (not a good mother) as after all, who would take their kid to a park dressed like I was? I must have been a funny sight as I tried to scramble up through the trees so that I could unhook and rehook him all whilst he was wailing or looking at me as if I was an idiot.

On one part I got stuck and couldn’t get down, so there I was with a two year old stood 3 metres off the ground hanging by a rope and me, stuck. Thankfully a parent came to my rescue (or more so to the child’s) and helped me out, all whilst I was trying to explain that he wasn’t my kid and I had no idea what an accrobranche was! Thankfully we were able to complete the course unscathed and the little boy enjoyed it so much that he he looked up at me expectantly and asked if we could do it again. I told him that no doubt his Daddy would take him another time… I was not going to risk his or my safety anymore than required in one day!

It was 14 degrees at the Monkey Park!

After that we went down to the Beaux-Parents for a few days where the temperatures were stifling (39 degrees, what??) and I convinced my Mother-in-Law to teach me to make legumes farcies (one of my fave French dishes). She was very patient and spent a whole morning talking me through the family recipe – I didn’t realize it would take so long to make! You can see the recipe in my latest Expat Focus article here.

So quite a funny week and oh yes… how could I forget? I quit smoking! Desperate not to pile on the pounds I have taken up a new hobby to keep me from nibbling or becoming anxious – fly swatting! Seriously, at the BP’s I spent hours swatting flies. It’s like keep fit. Keeps your mind off the ciggies, off  food (essential) and gives you a full body work out at the same time! So far, the scales have stayed the same and I’ve managed to stay off the weed so to speak so all’s good.

Fly Swatting Results! Yuck!

Happy Fly Swatting Day everyone! (because I decided that today is fly swatting day)

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Not my feet! Photocredit: MaxFx PhotoExpress

I was having a miserable morning at work today and decided to distract myself by taking a walk to La Poste to pick up some registered mail I needed to collect. On the way, I walked past the drop in beauty salon (as you do) and decided to go in and get ready for my upcoming holiday.

Drop in beauty salons are a great idea as you don’t need an appointment (hence drop in) so you don’t have to plan ahead on how hairy your legs are going to get. When it’s time to go, you just go, sit and wait however long is necessary and then get what you need doing done. These seem to be a necessity in French culture, especially with the current display of poor weather meaning that a sunny day takes us completely by surprise. Generally at the drop in one, there’s always about a half hour wait so I was in shock today when I walked in and I was seen straightaway.

Pleased with myself that I hadn’t had to queue, I succumbed to the beauty treatment of the month, a pedicure, and let myself relax knowing that work was quiet and that I had the whole afternoon to catch up if need be.

I hope the beautician was earning good commission though, as I think she got more than she bargained for when I peeled off my trainers and socks and revealed my trotters! I don’t think she expected to nearly get two black eyes either! My tigglish feet meant that I had serious lack of control on a couple of occasions when I nearly kicked her in the face! I don’t think she will be so keen to up sell to me in the future…

The pedicure was so relaxing I lost track of the time and the main reason for my venture into town: La Poste. Ah, the dreaded French postal office. As soon as I was finished, realizing that it was 1pm, I quickly dashed to the post office only to find they were in the process of closing for lunch! Oh no I thought, I’ll have to come back later in the day, meaning a complete loss of time and more missed work, the shame! I explained my predicament to the lady closing up and she ever so kindly let me in and as there were no other customers I was seen straightaway. Given all the horror stories I’ve heard about La Poste and judging from my own past experiences I will consider this a miracle.

The miracle didn’t last long though. I was quickly put into place as walking back the heavens opened and I got a true soaking!

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Even though my family reckon I’m more Frenchie than British now, one thing that shows my true origins is my tendency to complain and more so my tendency to moan about the weather!

How come after months and months of freezing cold, miserable weather, spring finally bursts upon us almost over night and yet after a week of glorious sunshine I consult the weather forecast for this weekend and wham! It’s going to rain! Why is it always like this? Sunny before and sunny after the weekend, but the weekend itself Mr Raincloud is coming to visit! Go away, stay away, I don’t want to see you!

Weather Forecast for Lyon this weekend

Weather Forecast for Lyon this weekend

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Not only did it rain, it poured! My streak of bad luck continued last Friday as we left Lyon with bright blue skies to arrive in Lisbon in absolute pouring rain. It was absolutely tipping it down and anything remotely tourist related was impossible without getting drenched.

We found a small café on the promenade at Estoril and stayed there for ages, taking our time to eat and drink in the hope that the rain would go away. What a fantastic view we had!

View from our café in Estoril

View from our café in Estoril

Thankfully it brightened up on Saturday and we were able to visit Lisbon properly although we had just one day. I was able to take lots of photos although not with my own camera as my battery was dead! Arggh!

The weather is really strange at the moment as when we arrived back in Lyon on Sunday it was snowing! Again! We are in March! It never snows in Lyon, not normally anyway. It also snowed in the South of France and there were horrendous queues on the motorway. My cousin in law took 11 hours to drive from Lyon to Montpellier… so I was lucky to be in Lisbon in the rain after all!

If you read French just take a look at this article . I just love the photo of the snowy road!

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