Little Miss Awkward

I just can’t help it!!

Bon Appétit!!

bread.jpg The French are known for their love of good food and wine. They are proud of it. I happen to be living in what is apparently the French capital of gastronomy. I have been here long enough to see that eating is not just about…erm eating. There is more to it than that. It is like an event. The streets and pavements are littered with people who partake in this event. When you go out to eat, no waiter is hovering over you to clean your table and move you on for the next lot. Even having a cup of coffee can take two hours and no one bats an eyelid. There seems to be some unspoken respect for the event of food and drink consumption.

Baguettes are glorious. Really crusty on the outside and doughy on the inside. I like the fact my local boulangerie does not put my baguette in a paper bag. They use a small sheet of parchment paper and just wrap the middle of the baguette , providing you with somewhere to grip your baguette. Then you just walk home proudly displaying your crusty bread for all and sundry to view. It is not the most hygienic thing in the world but who cares. You see people biting off the ends of their baguette’s as they walk home. It is little insignificant things like this that I so enjoy about being here.

On my first evening here, I had the pleasure of trying ‘grenouilles’, frog legs.  I did not have it in any conventional French way. I had it in my chinese buffet. Yes stir fried frog’s leg was up there with beef in black bean sauce. It did look like chicken, in a frog leg shape. It tasted a tiny bit like chicken, but I did not like it at all. I don’t know, I am not queasy about food but it didn’t rock my boat, in fact it didn’t even cause a ripple. Despite what a lot of people might assume, Frog’s legs is not day-to-day fayre for the French. They eat it when they go to restaurants or maybe prepare it specially for an occasion but it is not a staple like cheese or baquettes.  A specialist deli round the corner has masses of the little cooked critters displayed on the counter by the window. Whenever I try to take a picture, I chicken out. Guess it might be a bit disrespectful to treat the country’s cuisine like the bearded lady at the side show.

My local supermarket has two aisle’s dedicated to fromage. Nowhere among that vast collection would you find English cheddar. I wonder why 🙂  As well as the aisle, there is the cheese counter where you can get the really special stuff. The stuff that smells so strong, it will make your eyes water. I love cheese but blue cheese to me tastes like soap. Once at a dinner party, the host brought out a cheese from her home region and it had turned blue. This caused ripples of excitement among everyone as they dived in to taste this mass of oozing blueness. I guess my palate is not sophisticated enough to appreciate it. In the fridge section, brains, tripe, liver and other offal are neatly packaged and displayed like you would lamb chops and chicken thighs. Quite rightly so!! This is real conviction. Be proud of what you eat. Like I said I am not queasy when it comes to unusual cuisine. I am used to it. But I have to admit the brains threw me a bit. It looked like that of a small animal as it is the size of a burger pattie, and you get two in packet. It reminded me of Indiana Jones in the temple of doom.

I had the pleasure of having ‘raclette’ the other day. Raclette is in short melted cheese over boiled potatoes. You have a Raclette machine, which is a machine that has different compartments for each diner to melt their own cheese. All the host does is provide boiled potatoes, a selection of meltable cheeses, a nice selection of meats like ham, prosciutto and voila!! It is so simple, yet so orgasmic. This is simply saturated fat heaven or hell, whichever way you want to look at it.

With all this consumption, I was shocked at how thin French women are. There has been lots of theories about them eating slowly, only tasting a bit of rich food blah, blah, blah. And there is not a Mcdonald’s on every street corner. But I think that French women’s slim physique can also be attributed to the fact that they smoke like chimneys. Smoking is a national past time here. So many people smoke it is unbelievable, a lot of young girls too. Smoking in a way is an appetite suppressant. It does numb your tastes buds. Hence people that give up, putting on weight.

Advertisements

June 29, 2007 Posted by | Battle of the Bulge, Blogroll, France, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Bad babysitter, part deux

ch1.jpg After my last babysitting experience, I swore that I will not go back. Once bitten, twice shy. However after giving myself a pep talk that went along the lines of ‘Little Miss Awkward, you ain’t no quitter…..’, I decided that I would give it another chance. Went back to the home of ‘Jack and Jill’, actually Jacques and Gille seems more appropriate in this case – the two most precocious children I have ever met.

To mum’s relief I arrive bang on time, with a warm welcome from both Jacques and Gille. A bit surprised by the welcoming smile from Jacques, following our last adventure. I guess it is true what they say, children are very forgiving.  Mum speeds off, with an approximate time of return, however have been warned that this is likely to change. Crikey!! Immediately Gille suggests baking, I refuse. Gille ignores my refusal and starts bring out baking ingredients. I refuse again stating that we baked last time and should do something different this time. Gille pouts, I pretend not to notice. I ask Jacques what he would like to do, he wants to paint. Gille does not want to paint. Jacques wants to play Nintendo. Remind Jacques that mum has vetoed all TV and computer games. Jacques looks dejected at this. Inwardly I am dejected by this too but shall not show children my disappointment that I can’t throw them in front of the TV and sit on my arse drinking coffee.

Mum has informed me they like parlour games. Oh great, parlour games! Ok, bear with me, while I conjour up the spirits of Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes and some old ye dickens characters to help me think of some ‘parlour games’. Unfortunately I was born in this century and ‘parlour games’ are not really my forte.  But I guess charades qualifies as a ‘parlour game’.  I explain to Jacques and Gille the rules of charades. They look at me like I have just grown two heads and refuse to play. But Gille suggests we play ‘meem’. ‘Meem’, I ask? Never heard of it. It is called ‘Mime’ in English. Remind Gille that French speaking has also been vetoed by mum, while I am around. Gilles goes on to explain the rules of ‘Mime’, and to my annoyance it is the same bloody thing as charades.

Being Miss Bossy Breetches herself, Gille opts to go first. Gille announces that she is doing a person. Gilles picks up an umbrella <props are allowed in this version>, opens it up <I wince and think, opening an umbrella indoors, has just bought you 10 years of bad luck young lady> she twirls umbrella, and dances about singing, ‘Ham zinging inz ze rain, juszt zinging inz ze rain, oh vot ha feelingz, zo happyz againz’. This is easy, “You are doing Gene Kelly”, I yell out. Gille, says “No”.  What does she mean no, what else could she be doing? I tell her I give up and there was no way Jacques knew the answer to this one. Gille looks me straight in the face like I am stupid and says, “I am doing a French girl who can’t speak English, singing an English song”. I burst out laughing uncontrollably. Oh that is what it was, it was as clear as mud. As we failed to get this correct, she kept on going with the other well known mimes/charades like ‘The bad girl, who came home from school and kicked her school bag against the wall’ and of course that old favourite ‘ Their father coming home from work, and putting on his slippers to watch TV’. Not to be outdone Jacques mimes, ‘An opera singer with a bad leg’ and ‘A teacher teaching naughty children’. Good times!!

Gille wants a drink, so off to the kitchen we go. Open the cupboard to get some cups, and while trying to stop Jacques from drinking orange syrup with a dash of water, I hear a thud, closely followed by a very loud ouch. Turn around to find cupboard door that I had opened had somehow fallen on Gille’s head. <shit>panicked expression on my face<shit> My whole life flashed past me in 10 seconds. Holy Christ, I didn’t come to France to kill someone’s child!! Gille is rubbing her head. I join in rubbing her head. What else can I do? It is not bleeding but, she is a child and there might be some internal damage. She says she is okay but is clearly in pain. I wonder whether to call mum, but Gille says she is fine. I rub her head again. You never know I might have a touch of that thing that guy had in the ‘The Green Mile’. Gille runs off to carry on dancing, internally my heart was doing the same. If she falls asleep and never wakes up, my excuse of ‘she looked fine’ will not wash in court or in my conscience.

Luckily mum comes home, and I immediately disclose Gille’s injury. Mum looks bemused and tells me not to worry, apparently Gille is used to being bruised all the time. Oh thank God for that!! Mum thanks me and invites me to dinner next week. Rather taken back, as people don’t usually invite the hired help for dinner. Maybe it is a French thing, or maybe I might be waitressing the dinner.  I accept graciously and run out the door. Only to return 30 seconds later because I left my money again!!

I never learn, do I?

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Family, France, Rant, Work | 9 Comments

A bad case of Schadenfreude*?

work.jpg Started a brand new job a few weeks ago working with a guy and a girl. As with most relationships, it all started off very cosy and nice but quickly turned ugly.

Cutting straight to the mustard, the girl turned out to be beyond stupid and a mega itch. I have never encountered this level of stupid before. She made inappropriate comments at work which to me highlighted how stupid this girl was. I was more offended about the fact that this girl was born just a day before I was. Although we are a few years apart, I am still insulted that we share the same astrological sign, and I guess deep down I was scared that this close proximity in terms of birth meant that we shared some personality trait, which really offended me. I suppose it was inevitable that we locked horns. But as a small consolation the guy we are working with also thinks she is unbelievably stupid. Anyway for weeks we ignored one another and secretly wished each other pain, suffering and bad luck. Well I wished her pain, suffering and bad luck and I am guessing it was not entirely one-sided. However the common contempt we shared for the job we were doing eventually brought us back together and we buried the hatchet….so I thought.

She got offered an interview for another job, which I was certain she was going to get. She came back from interview and gave me a de-brief of her interview. Let’s just say that I spent most of the de-brief asking her, “Did you really say that?” When posed with the question, “What would your work colleagues say about you?” she apparently answered  with “They would say I have a bad temper”.  Yes, a bad temper, a quality that you should openly share at a job interview. In my book she might as well have mentioned that time, she had to drive around with a dead man in her boot for hours, following a sex game involving a horse, the dead man and ‘three little people’  that went oh so wrong.  I guess ambition, drive, enthusiasm and being hardworking are so passé these days. So you might understand why I was not confident about her chances. Her saving grace would be the fact that the boss, seems to cum in his pants whenever she is around, so there was hope.

A week later, I was offered an interview for the same job (they had a few vacancies). I never really get nervous with interviews, and I felt I did okay, well better than the girl with the temper anyway.  I was told that I had the job before she was. The next day she told me that she hadn’t gotten the job. I genuinely felt bad for her, and felt really guilty as she was asked to interview before I did. I was upset for her. She seemed fine, and she said that she was happy for me. She appeared overly happy for me, which made me think she was not as happy for me as she stated. So I carried on with feelings of guilt. A few days later, she emails me and tells me that she actually got the job but what had happened was they were considering her for another position, but that fell through. So she ended up getting the job she interviewed for.  Considering I felt bad when it seemed she didn’t get the job, I was quite shocked to find that I felt disappointed when she told me she did get it.  I really don’t understand what is going on with me. I don’t usually take pleasure from other people’s misfortune, unless they are real arseholes. And even then my feelings of schadenfreude quickly evaporates, leaving behind shame at my blatant schadenfreudeness and empathy for the person with the misfortune.  But it surprises me that I should have been happy that she got the job, but I wasn’t. I guess I really haven’t genuinely buried the hatchet with her, as I don’t relish the idea of working with her again.

I am a psychologist’s wet dream. So for any of you amateur psychologists out there, please feel free to give your views on what is going on in this twisted head of mine 🙂

*Schadenfreude –  A german word meaning ‘taking pleasure from someone else’s misfortune’

June 24, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, France, Rant, Work | 3 Comments

Not again…………

question.jpg  Hahaha – I have been tagged by Miss Despina, so here goes.

 8 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT LITTLE MISS AWKWARD.

(get ready to be bored senseless)

  • I have made Helena Christensen (yes people the supermodel, yes the-frolicking-on-the-beach-with-Chris-Isaak supermodel) a cup of tea. At 5am in the morning without any make up, she is absolutely stunning. Perfect skin, gorgeous eyes, flawless skin. Hate her!!!

  • I have seen Beverley Hill Cop 1 & 2 over 10 times and still love it.

  • My ultimate dream job is to become a Pilot (seriously considering putting in the application)

  • Last book I read was ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ by Arthur Golden. Highly recommended (have not seen the film)

  • Have the biggest crush on Warwick AND Grissom from CSI. Am I wrong for this??

  • Like Miss Despina, I have never met or known any one else with my name.

  • I used to wear a baggy top that my mother gave me to lectures at Uni, only to realise that it was actually a nightie. Still cringe when I think about it. (Did anyone else know?)

  • I get so bored, so easily.

Still awake? Okay who wants to play tag…..

June 21, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Money, Money, Money

money.jpg I used to play the lottery. Like a lot of other people out there, I wanted my shot at being a millionaire – the easy way. I know that money does not buy you happiness, but it does buy an awful lot of freedom. Like all the other people who dream of hitting the jackpot, I have already mentally figured out how the money would be spent. However without having the money for real, I can forsee all the problems that having the money would cause. Here is my breakdown of how I will spend £1 million (yes I do still think in pounds sterling). I will do the usual things like pay off parents mortgage, and give siblings some money. But, there is always a but. What percentage do you give your siblings? A million is a lot but is not really a lot in the grand scheme of things 🙂  

Think about it you could spend a million, so easily and quickly. If you don’t have a home, you would want to buy a home. As a millionaire, it is unlikely that you would want to buy your house in an area where police sirens provide the street lighting on a daily basis. The average home in London is approximately £200k and that is not for a grand property. That is your average two bedroom house. So maybe you spend around £300k on a house, to get something decent. That is quite a dent in your million already. Lets say you have another 50 or more years left on the planet, you will need a chunk kept for the future. So you might put 200k in a high interest savings account, that you will never touch. So you need your ‘play’ money, to pay off your debts, which the majority of people on this planet have in one way or the other. You might want to buy a brand new car. As someone who has only driven second hand cars all her life, this is a fantasy for me. To buy a brand new car, straight from the manufacturer. I want to smell the newness of a new car. I want to see 000000 on the mileage reader. I wouldn’t give a toss if the car was a Peugeot 206, as long as it is newwwww!!  You would also want  keep some in your current account and tell the bank manager where to go with his extortionate overdraft rates. So this would be about £50k. With paying off your parents mortgage,  you have already used more than half of your million. Actually it is nearly three quarters of your million. 

Okay you obviously have to give to charidee. You will have to be a pretty tight bastard, if you have won all that money and not give a penny to charity. I will give £50k to Facing the World. There are lots of charities to help but this one really pulled at my heart strings. They do an amazing job by treating children/people with severe facial disfigurements from around the world, who do not have the resources or finances in their countries. Because of the amazing job they do,  young kids in rural villages in third world countries no longer get stoned or spat at by their peers because they look different.  It gives people a chance of a normal existence without being treated like freaks.  If you do give to charity, do consider these guys!!

Do you carry on working? Of course you do. Unless you are over 50, and deserve to retire early, what else are you going to do all day with the rest of your life? Because if you are younger, I can pretty guarantee that money wouldn’t last, as long as you think it would. Don’t believe me, ask the lotto lout. Well I intend to after a year travelling the world or doing something like that. Then come back take my time and find a job that interests me.

So you give your siblings some. Still undecided how much I will give them. I actually love my siblings a lot, so it will have to be pretty substantial. Then your mum will tell you that you have to give aunt and uncle so and so money. Apart from one or two aunts that I actually know, like and have any contact with, I am not keen on showering money on the whole littlemissawkward extended family tree. Then you have to make concessions for all the relatives that crawl out of the woodwork, with tales of sorrow and woe. The relatives that will remind you that they once changed your nappy when you were two weeks old.  I was reading Rita Marley’s (Bob Marley’s widow) biography about their life together. Bob Marley didn’t leave a will, therefore so many people came forward to claim they had a right to his estate. One man claimed he was Rita Marley’s aborted child, who survived the abortion without her knowing. I laughed hard at this but what tipped me over the edge was this man was roughly the same age, if not older than Rita. Money does makes people act crazy!!

Will you tell your friends you have won this money? Well they might wonder how you managed a move from the rat infested cupboard that used to be your flat to a swanky five bedroom house in the suburbs.  You would like to think and hope that your friends will not change towards you but in reality some will and hopefully some wouldn’t. When you go to a restaurant or bar, are you now expected to pick the tab, when before you all split it down the middle? There is no doubt that as a millionaire (well half a millionaire at this stage), your mentality would change. When people who win say, ‘It will never change me’ – I find that annoying. Of course it will change you. How does it not change you?

As you can see I have clearly not giving this much thought 😉 . What would you do with a million?

June 16, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Family, Rant, Work | 6 Comments

Random

food1.jpg Does anyone know how to make a lamb casserole? Well any casserole for that matter, I guess the meat is just secondary!! I’d like to think I am a bit of a Delia in the kitchen but have never gotten round to making a casserole.  I know it is meant to be piss easy with just bunging some things in a casserole dish and leaving it to stew in its’ own juices for a long time in the oven. But what things do I need to bung in the casserole dish?

June 15, 2007 Posted by | Battle of the Bulge, Blogroll, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The ‘N’ Word

parental.jpg I still like to keep abreast of the goings on back home by reading very out of date English papers and staying glued to the net. There was some controversy on Big Brother following a housemate (white) calling a fellow housemate the ‘N’ word in a ‘playful’ context. The contestant was promptly ejected from the BB house (not sure I agree with that decision). I have been reading with interest the response from people following the incident. The one that really pisses me is when I read people say ‘oh but black people call themselves the ‘N’ word all the time, so why can’t we use that word too’.

This is not the first time this reasoning has been used. Firstly as a black person, I have never referred to myself, friends or family using the ‘N’ word. I find it offensive and demeaning, the history of that word is steeped in injustice, pain and suffering. Black people who use that word see it (in my opinion) as some misguided  attempt to reclaim a word. How in the world can you reclaim a word like that? As I see it those people who got lynched from trees, picked cotton all their lives and got sold like they were sacks of flour, would not thank them for ‘reclaiming’ that word.

I think people get the impression that the ‘N’ word is okay based on the rap and hip hop culture that dominates our screens and airwaves. I am a fan of that genre, but you only have to listen to rappers in interviews and on their song lyrics to know that they are not the most intelligent people on the planet. I mean how can you take people that say stuff like ‘shizzle ma dizzle rizzle nizzle’ or ‘I got ma hair did’ seriously ?  Even the intelligent artists know that the stuff they
are doing is to fit into that marketing image of that genre. I mean no rapper worth his/her salt, does not have a ‘parental advisory’ patch on his album cover. It is like a badge of honour. That is what sells their records and funds their lavish
lifestyles. Unfortunately this image trickles into society with people trying to emulate what they see being glamourised on MTV .

I think black people have to set an example for the rest of society and say it is NOT okay, under any circumstances to use that word. Because every time a non-black person says it, be it in jest or in a hateful manner, they would justify it by saying ‘well they use that word, so what is the problem ?’.  At the same token, if you saw someone jumping into a fire, would you do it? Ok, an exaggerated example but we fundamentality know what is appropriate and what is not, we make decisions everyday based on this. So using the excuse, oh but so and so does it, is NOT good enough – in my opinion!!

June 14, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Music, Rant, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I’ve been tagged

 I knew it was coming but didn’t know when. Europosh has tagged me with a meme 🙂 This is the low down on how it works

1. Go to the Billboard #1 Hits listings (scroll down and you’ll see them separated by decades on the left in the sidebar)
2. Pick the year you turned 18
3. Get yourself nostalgic over the songs of the year
4. Pick 5 songs and write something about how these songs affected you
5. Pass it on to 5 more friends

Therefore my age can now be guessed (thanks Euro), but looking through the songs for that year most of them were crap but there are a few that don’t really bring back memories but songs that I love or I remember for some reason. (Apologies in advance because this post is saturated with You Tube links)

1.Your Woman – White Town

Gosh, I loved this song because it was so different, so original and inventive. It is the sort of music that I think can only come from the UK (very biased here), it does not fit into any sort of genre. It is pure originality. I thought it was genius at the time, and listening to it again, I still love it. Can’t believe this song is 10 years old. The video is in black and white and tells a story.

2.Barbie Girl – Aqua(no way in hell am I going to link this. The less seen the better)

I remember when this song was at the top of the charts, I was disgusted at the record buying public. Who the hell buys this tosh?? Fair enough if you are under 7 years old but still. I remember being incensed that they were number 1, every week for weeks on end. I know there will always be novelty songs but I hated this one with a passion. Urghhh…

3. Firestarter – Prodigy

I remember this was a new phase/style for prodigy. They have always been a dance outfit but this was the beginning of a slight departure from their usual stuff. I remember that there was some controversy about showing the video on Top of The Pops before the watershed, as some felt that the images were too scary. But I remember liking it a lot, however there is hardly anything prodigy does that I don’t like. If you want to see why it is a departure from their earlier stuff, have a look at ‘wind it up’ and ‘out of space’ -one of my all time fave dance tracks.

4. Criminal – Fiona Apple

“I’ve been a bad, bad girl……” I don’t think this song ever made it big in the UK, but I knew about it from being glued to MTV. I really loved the song and the video but I was watching a couple of awards shows were Fiona Apple made some personal appearances and I remembered thinking lighten up woman and have a meal. She took herself soooooooo seriously. She had this ‘I am a serious artiste’ thing going on. Whenever she presented an award or accepted one, she would try and say something meaningful, deep and profound. She was so annoying!! But the album is really worth checking out, the other song I really love by her is ‘First Taste’. I love watching her dance in this video.

5. Blood On The Dancefloor – Michael Jackson

I remember this song making me want to dance on tables 🙂 I remember recreating the latin dance moves on my own (how sad). I always had this fantasy of being a dancer and in this type of videos, I am not watching the main star but usually the people in the background dancing. However I have not liked a Michael Jackson song for a long time before this one came along.  I remember it was one of my ‘keep it in the closet’ songs. The ones I kept hidden away from public view, like my Foreigner CDs 🙂

*Now which of my five blog buddies, am I going to tag? Decisions, Decisions 😉

June 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, Music, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Bad Babysitter

 A friend sent this ad via email to me a few weeks ago:

‘We are a nice family looking for a native speaker, male or female, who likes children and could come twice a week to our place to talk and play with our children. Are you interested??’

Native speaker -CHECK, male or female – (last time I looked, I fell into one of these categories) CHECK,  likes children – (well I like my nieces and nephews and they are children, so same thing) CHECK, interested? – sure, why not!! How hard can it be to play and talk to a couple of these little cherubs?

10 am – Arrive at home of ‘Jack and Jill’ for the 1st babysitting session. Pleasant exchange with mum and up to see ‘Jack and Jill’

10:10am – Jack and Jill would like me to join in and play with their two guinea pigs, who I am assured don’t bite.  Not too keen on petting Jack and Jill’s guinea pigs but I do (and smile while doing it). Jack wants me to carry guinea pig, I do not want to carry guinea pig and therefore suggests that guinea pig might want to stay in cage. Jack insists I hold and carry guinea pig and I agree (and smile) but luckily for me guinea pig does not want to be carried 🙂

10:30am – Jack and Jill would like to bake something. Great idea, me thinks. Au revoir guinea pigs!! Mum provides us with recipes books for what to bake. Jill does not want anything that has chocolate, and Jack does not want anything made with lemons. Jack and Jill argue over what to bake, with Jill not allowing Jack to have a say because she is older and bigger and an overall bossy boots.  Me trying to convince Jill, that a lemon meringue pie and tiramisu is not really a feasible option for a baking novice with two kiddies.

10.45am – Manage to convince Jack and Jill that cookies are the way to go, as cookies are what ‘normal’ kids bake not bloody (not exact words) profiteroles or blackforest gateau

10.50am – Recipe is in French but quite easy to follow. Measuring out ingredients with kids ‘helping’. Jill tells me that I have put too much flour. I tell Jill that I am following measurement of recipe but Jill insists that it is enough, and I tell her (through gritted teeth) it is not!!

10.55am – As I mix cookie dough, I tell Jill to add the flour slowly. Jill tells me that she knows how to do it and she is not stupid (I smile) and tell Jill that I know she is not stupid.

11.00am – Jack and Jill want to add coloured sprinkles to cookie dough. Jack spills his sprinkles all over the floor. Tell Jack to get the dustpan and brush and start sweeping (catch them when they are young).

11.05am – Jill spills her sprinkles all over the floor. Tell Jill to get the dustpan and brush and start sweeping. Jill tells me she can’t because when she was smaller she was looked after like a Queen. (I smile) Tell Jill that her reign is over, get on your royal hands and knees and start sweeping up your mess, you little….. (not exact words)

11.15am – First batch of cookies in oven, two minutes later Jill insists they are ready. Tell Jill no they are not ready and to stop opening the goddam (not exact words) oven.

11.25am – Cookies out of the oven. Tell Jack and Jill to let them cool down and to stop piercing them with the knife and poking them with their dirty fingers. 

11.45 – Second batch of cookies out of the oven. Tell Jack to stop blowing them, as they are not fucking candles (not exact words) and I intend to taste these cookies (bloody deserve it) and don’t want a gob full of his saliva on my cookie. Jack ignores my instruction and receives stern instruction to stop. Jack’s lower lips starts to quiver, followed by words, “you don’t have to scream at me”. <shit> Panicked expression on my face <shit> Jill reassures me that I did not scream and Jack does this sort of thing a lot. Feel so much better. Cuddle Jack, apologise for ‘screaming’, offer him a (very hot) cookie but too little, too late, as Jack now hates me. Might tell mum I screamed at him and might get labelled as ‘bad babysitter’.

11.55am – Jill tells me that these cookies are better than other babysitter’s cookies and she likes baking with me. Jack goes to play with guinea pigs.

12.00pm – Mum is home, makes appointment for next week (which I am not sure I will be keeping), hands over money (not enough for this kind of headache) and tells children to say,’Thank you’ and ‘Goodbye’. Noticeable lack of effort from Jack.. I am out of there so fast, that I forget money on kitchen table. Return to get my money and ran for freedom!!!

 I AM NEVER HAVING KIDS…………………………………………………..EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 8, 2007 Posted by | Battle of the Bulge, Blogroll, Family, France, Rant | 5 Comments

Why are you here?

puzzle.jpg Most French people that I have met have asked me this question time and time again. I try to explain that I want a change, a different pace of life, a challenge, basically something new and unfamiliar. They look back at me with puzzled expressions on their faces, they don’t understand it. ‘But you can make much more money in the UK’, ‘Why did you leave there, to come and work in rubbish jobs here and struggle?’, ‘Why didn’t you go to Paris, or *here* and *here*, where people are more friendly and less cold?’  they would ask me.

I know my reasons for coming to France. I went from school to school to college to Uni to work. This is going to sound terribly wishy washy and indulgent but I never really had time to have a gap year, or time to sit back and reflect on what it is I wanted out of my life and career. I just went with the flow of expectations and it has served me well.. so far. Got a great education, a good job with security but it felt that there was something missing. I was not in a job I loved and I know being in a job you love is a luxury that most people in their lives will never be able to afford. But I am willing to settle for a job or career that gives me some sort of satisfaction, and the job that I had did not even give me that. I feel ungrateful for saying it because it is a job that a lot of people would give a body part for.  But it just wasn’t right for me.

I am not naive, money is great, we all need it for life’s basic necessities. I will be lying to say that I don’t miss the security of having a wage in my bank account every month but on the other hand I am getting by.  I mean I don’t have the grind of responsibility that I used to have. Okay I don’t get to watch the latest episodes of  ’24’ or the new series of ‘Desperate Housewives’ on satellite, or all the other luxuries that I used to pay through the nose for but I don’t miss it desperately. I find that here I don’t just go to work, come home and hibernate till the next day and wait for the weekend to do something fun and interesting. I like the fact that I can meet someone for a coffee during the week, or go see a film at short notice. It just feels like I am actually having a life. But here comes the but…. The chorus of people that look at me like an alien when I tell them why I am here is starting to bore into my head.

It has planted that seed that makes me question if I am doing the right thing. When a lot of people say the same thing, you begin to think that there is some truth in what they say. Is this some sort of flight of fancy that I have taken too far? Maybe the grass isn’t greener on the other side. But I would like to think that even if or when I do back to the UK, that I could look back and say, oh, there was that time I lived in France for a while. For me there is nothing worse than feeling regretful for something that you wished you had done, especially when you have the power and means to do that something in the first place.

Doubt and uncertainty is a horrible feeling.

June 3, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll, France, Rant, Uncategorized | 6 Comments