Thursday, 16 April 2009

I'm back... sort of....

Have been struggling to rouse myself from my easter-egg induced coma for a couple of days and get around to posting, but routine is out of the window, the computer has been hijacked by a crowd of pyjama-clad bandits with unbrushed hair and chocolate-smeared faces and somehow I lack the energy to reclaim it. Anyway, having taken one look at the chaos of scattered cereal and nutella smeared on every surface of the kitchen this morning, I've grabbed a pot of tea and my laptop and retreated to the sanctuary of my bed for a quick catch up.

So, Paris. Lovely, although it would, admittedly, have been even better if I'd brushed up beforehand on how to say 'Daughter #1's tonsils have swollen to the size of Brussels sprouts and are covered with white spots and slime.' Aside from that, the current pitiful state of the British pound made the whole thing eye-wateringly expensive (watching my husband pay almost as much for a cardboard cup of hot water and a separate tea bag for me in the Jardin des Tuileries as he had for a glass of champagne in St Pancras's glorious champagne bar was something of a low point) but the sun shone and the city was beautiful and the girls were thrilled by Notre Dame, and the Van Goghs in the Musee d'Orsay and eating at a pavement cafe after dark. I made a special pilgrimmage to stand outside The Hotel Crillon, where Orlando and Rachel didn't quite get it together, imagined Olivier striding away from the Louvre having just left La Dame de la Croix, and gazed discreetly at beautiful Parisian men (and there are many) for future inspiration. Professional to the end, that's me.

The morning after we got home I marched daughter #1 off to the doctors for antibiotics, and sent her back to bed to recuperate ahead of a long weekend of late nights and chocolate with the cousins while I drafted the other two into Operation Emergency Spring Clean. The sudden sunshine had cruelly highlighted the need for this, and rushing upstairs to make up the bed in my office-that-doubles-as-a-spare-room I was horrified to discover three mugs growing fascinating biological cultures in the manner of petrie dishes, and several landfill sites-worth of chocolate wrappers and odd bits of paper with random phrases scribbled onto them that had been left in the wake of the last deadline. Thankfully I had just unpinned the last pictures of Keanu Reeves (who, in the end, did sterling service as the face of Lorenzo Cavalleri, my Italian film director hero) was lugging the final bags of rubbish down the stairs when everyone arrived.

After that things are a haze of cake (supplied by my lovely sister in law) wine (supplied by the Sainsbury's delivery man) and chocolate (supplied by the easter bunny). At some point we turned our attention to planning this year's family Olympics . Brother #1, who is the official organiser of the games decided that, in a bid to moderate the excessive alpha-competitiveness that is rife amongst the male contingent in our family, all teams should include a junior member and the games should reflect this. This is good news. Left to themselves the men would probably opt for uber-macho events like base-jumping and tractor-mower racing, so as we watched the children playing in the garden the idea of including a hula-hoop element to the competition initially seemed cool.

Until we tried it for ourselves.

Apparently adults are utterly physically unsuited to hula-ing. Hilarious hula-hoop masterclass by the children followed (all of them maestros-- able to keep three hoops going while walking around the garden, playing catch and seemingly without moving their hips at all) but there was absolutely nothing remotely funny about waking up the next morning in such an agony of stiffness that it was almost impossible to get out of bed.

Three days later it still hurts. Any alternative suggestions to the hula-hoop event would be gratefully received.


Anonymous said...

Great to see you back - ah of lurve. Sorry to hear the credit crunch caught up with you there, but I'm sure you got enough inspiration to last you at least a few months and then you'll have to go again and this time avec moi!
xx Abby

Trenda said...


So glad you had a lovely time in Paris! I hope Daughter #1 is on the mend. Little Man has recovered from a wretched stomach bug, and now Daughter Dearest is trying to do the same. So far, Mommy and Daddy have dodged this particularly icky bullet. Fingers crossed.

Spring cleaning...hmm...yes, I truly need to do that myself. Must find the motivation. Perhaps it is hiding with the dust bunnies under the sofa.

Hugs to you and yours,


India said...

Hmmm Abby... city of tonsilitis and expensive cups of tea more than lurve on this trip. We definitely need to go back. There's so much I didn't get to see, do or BUY this time. Hurry up and sort out the economy, Mr Brown!

Trenda, so sorry to hear your minis are poorly. And with a stomach bug-- the worst! Hope you stay well (who cares about the spring cleaning, unless you're expecting visitors!)

Michelle Styles said...

Hooray that you are back.

Hugs on the sore throats and impossible expense.

LOL on hula hooping. Once upon a time I knew how to do it. Have you tried skittles as an alternative?
Tractor mower racing makes me recall the scene in The Prince and Me with tractor mowers as a competitve sport...

So who is next for your hero? Enquiring minds want to know.

Karen said...

Hi India

I'm so glad you enjoyed Paris, I haven't been there, but as you know my city of love has to be Venice. PLEASE, PLEASE, try to go.

Hope the kids are feeling better, and can't wait to read all about Lorenzo.

Keep in touch.

xx Karen

Trenda said...


How is Daughter #1? My own minis are all more stomach bug. Thank goodness!

BTW, does scrubbing out the fridge count toward spring cleaning? I did manage to get that much done this morning. Having seen and disposed of multiple science experiments in the last hour, I think I know why I only do this every few months. Icky!

How is the new book coming along?

Have a great day!


India said...

I've now got the sore throat, Michelle, so the hugs are appreciated!

Next hero is Luis Cordoba, Prince of Santarosa and irredeemable naughty boy. He's going to be GREAT fun!

Apparently with hula hooping the size of the hoop is crucial-- the bigger the better for adults. I'm currently looking to source one roughly the size of the London Eye.

Karen-- lovely to hear from you!! We've been talking a lot about Venice, and following on from the Paris experience I think we'd definitely go to Venice on our own first. We thought we might feel guilty sloping off without the children now they're old enough to travel, but I do think it would be a good idea to go and get a feel of the place without them and then go back as a family. That's got to bring the whole thing a little bit closer to reality, I'd say!

Trenda, daughters all better here-- glad yours are too. Cleaning the fridge definitely counts as spring cleaning. You can relax now until next year!

Brigitte said...

Venice definitely needs to be discovered as a couple. So, if you can, leave the children at home. They'll discover it in due time with their own partner.