Something I forgot to mention – I got interviewed last week. This was a first. For someone who taught ‘Media Studies’ I’m really very short on real-life media experience, so when a journalist from France24 wanted to interview me, about kids and childcare as an expat in France, I was keen.

We talked on the phone, while I sat on a tree-root in the garden behind Notre Dame (it was a sunny day and no shaded seats were empty) and Mum wheeled a sleeping Elena around in the pushchair. He asked all sorts and wrote this: Why do French women have more babies? So that was something a bit different. He very generously linked to my website, so now I’ve gone and returned the favour. I’d rate France24 as something like France’s equivalent of CNN, so I’d guess Joseph Bamat gets a whole lot more hits than I do.

The other thing I didn’t mention about last week: Elena turned One. But we’re having a get together on the weekend so I’ll save the birthday pics for a post on the subject after that. For now, a video of Louis mastering the essential music of the occasion:

Yesterday my lovely Mum looked after the kids and I went into Paris to meet a friend. Whenever we get together she takes the train out to our suburb so the kids sleep while we chat, but it was great to do things differently for once – I even got to see her new apartment!

But before we went there we wandered around the Marais, a gorgeous neighbourhood and no great secret by any means, but it was my first visit. I got the grand tour from the friend, who has lived in that quartier for most of the last 20 years. We popped our noses into galleries and bakeries and bookshops, and wandered for ages around a food market before deciding on Moroccan for lunch…

Then we caught the train out to Montreuil (pron. more like ‘mont-roy’) and climbed the six flights to my friends two room apartment, all light and colour, with a great view, though I think she gets a little cramped. We had coffee and talked away the afternoon.

I took three trains to get home again, somehow squashing my baguette au chocolat, one souvenir of the Marais. And I read my new book, A Tiny Bit Marvelous, a second souvenir of the Marais. It’s by Dawn French and terribly funny. You don’t see a whole lot of people laughing out loud at their reading material on the RER. I tried and failed to keep it under wraps.

Mum had the kids half-fed and nearly worn out, so we finished the job and then put them to bed. We ate our dinner and then I was terribly anti-social and worked on my book cover for the day until Luuk got home from drinks with his colleagues.

I didn’t write at all. For a whole day. Yikes. And I’m having a very slow day today, distracting myself on a far-too-regular basis… First I messed around with Klout and Google Analytics, then there was a Scrivener tutorial, today’s book cover, ideas for future book covers, pinterest (cough-is-the-devil-cough), buying cake tins large enough to make giraffe-shaped cakes, reading news articles that feature me… and of course the children.

Elena’s up now, but I can still get some writing done.