Everyday the snow looked different. First, the sugary glitter of crushed diamonds, then shards of glass. Lastly, the papery surface of flakey skin. Like a film exposed for hours, it’s ribboned lines revealed what happened in my absence. Lone walkers and dog walkers. The crazy quilting of little birds, a double machine stitch in the […]Read More Never Mind Smilla’s Feelings
Our usual brand of brioche is “Harry’s”, last week we bought “Pasquier” instead. Most found it an ordeal to swallow even a mouthful, the only one not revolted by the taste was the four year old, J. Everyday I’d cajole him to eat as much of our brioche mountain as he could get down. I’ve […]Read More The Alcoholic Preschooler
Everywhere we go, huge walls of logs are trustingly stacked up to dry, not simply for this winter, but for two more to come. Everywhere. G and I never buy wood in England but through resourcefulness and opportunism get fuel for free. I say “we” get wood but G finds the tree, chops it […]Read More Wood, Wood Everywhere But Not A Stick To Burn.
Baking Powder. It’s nonexistent here. Oats. Of a price higher than rubies. In England we feed it to horses. Shops don’t open on Sunday and all but the most jumbo supermarkets shut for a couple of hours to lunch. Thanks to Tesco “24 hours” I had come to believe that shopping at two in the […]Read More If You Are Coming To France Please Bring Your Own…..
I am walking most days for about 45 minutes. We are now in France, so I start in the village. I feel slightly shamefaced if people in doorways watch me, as if I have no right to be shambling by on their street, as if the battle against morbid obesity and the certainty of adult […]Read More Get Fit Excruciatingly Slowly
One summer years back we stayed with friends in a beach hut on a spit of land, the northest of Norfolk. Sand and seals one side of us, an ebbing and flowing marshy maze the other. We, including six children, were without electricity and running water. And an inside loo. I am sofabound by inclination […]Read More In Which I Reveal Too Much, Causing You To Review Your Subscription
The clumps in the trees, that in England would be rook’s nests or ivy, are some powerful all-conquering strain of mistletoe. (Why can’t there be a festivus for the rest of us?) They have dainty red squirrels. All over the place are unappealing, mud caked, walnut shells. They conceal nuts that are wrinkled, juicy and […]Read More France is Not England. But Sometimes It’s Tokyo.