Happy Advent! No calendar for me, will have to just eat normal chocolate for breakfast to compensate.
From what I've been hearing Scotland, and a good chunk of Europe, is struggling with ridiculous amounts of snow. Paris hasn't escaped it but right here in the middle not much has happened- enough snow to make the kids go hyper but not enough to cause proper disruption.
Walking around Montmartre yesterday morning was extremely cold but so pretty- blue sky, sun and a sprinkling of snow on the cobbles and windmills. Laura, Claire and I went up there for lunch at Les Deux Moulins, the cafe Amelie works in! And happily it lived up to our expectations- very cute, good food, and pretty much as it looked in the film. I think it was topped though by the little cake shop we went to for pudding- the best cheesecake I've ever tasted. Shared 2 slices between us and we could barely finish them. I struggled through. www.berko.fr
There are only 16 days until I go home for Christmas. Really looking forward to it, but already know it won't be as relaxing as I like to imagine (lying on the couch in front of the fire, little brother bringing me tea and treats, watching A Muppet Christmas Carol, meeting friends for catch-up drinks) especially if this weather continues! (Getting snowed in, digging out the car, freezing on unheated buses, running out of oil, keeping the fire lit...) Fingers crossed by the 17th Edinburgh airport will be open!!
I have just made efforts to cold-weather-proof my studio: hung thicker curtains than the ones I had been using, jammed the inflatable mattress on its side against the wall, stuffed the side of my bed with my sleeping bag, and demoted an old dress to draught excluder. Wearing a hat and sitting at least a foot away from the wall are generally advised, as it's an outside wall and radiates cold. Glad I don't pay the bills, relying heavily on my one electric heater!
On the au pair side of things all is well, though it's been pointed out that when (if) I ever have kids I will have terribly high expectations of them:
Oscar (3 year old) cracks up every time I say jammies, as in 'put your jammies on'. He says 'sometimes' and 'oh no' in a Scottish accent. But he's currently starting to read in english thanks to a Dr Seuss book (If you can read UP then you can read PUP, and if you can read UP and PUP then you can read PUP is UP) and can add and take away without much effort. He's 3 years and 9 months old.
Arsene, 5, despairs when have to help him with his dictation homework, as do I. My french is so awful I can apparently mispronounce even the shortest of words, 'rue' for example, meaning street. He can do times tables in french and english, and yesterday counted the number of seconds in a day, on his own, on paper, just for fun. He beat me 5 games to 4 at Guess Who; I taught him how to make paper chains.
And they can both play the piano as well as I can.