Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fab- in Hardelot - which one is he?

One of the places I love is Hardelot.

There is an apartment there where my husband went for his holidays at the beach. And now our children can spend time there eating sand and riding ponys. It is a place frozen in time - just like this photo.

One thing I am trying to do is to figure out how to fix the white chairs in the apartment. As you can see from this photo, they were quite new about 30 years ago ... But it's not going to be cheap to fix them. It's supposed to be more economical to buy a new one.

But who can place a price on happy childhood memories?

Sophie and Alex - Hardelot

Monday, July 27, 2009


Originally uploaded by vacheorange
Some members of the Cousin Clan.... missing quite a good chunk though... the last really big family reunion I think was the last Christmas in the Grandparent's home in 2006. I consider myself tremendously lucky to have been a part of that. It was something special, and once the house was sold, never to be repeated.

I think these traditions will be increasingly important for our children in the future. Especially with the travel that happens with these global nomads. Somehow the need is stronger (with email and skype) to know that your family loves you, no matter where in the world you can be.

I do not know whether they will consider themselves French or Singaporean. With a little luck, I hope they will feel a bit of both !

Stolen moments

Sophie stealing grapes
Originally uploaded by vacheorange
It's wonderful for Sophie to enjoy being in Europe at least 3 weeks a year.

She got to run around the garden in her underwear (after playing with water and getting all her clothes wet).

And steal grapes from the cheese plate while her father saw all his extended family (the photo shows the end of a very long table).

If you want to talk about the fabled "Asian values" of close family kinship and tradition. Hang out with a Northern French family. Forget insular nuclear family - you have 30 cousins at the table (20 couldn't make it) and everybody talks at the same time. Over large amounts of alcohol and food ... it's almost Asian !

Friday, July 24, 2009

25 random things meme

This is an incredibly old meme circulating the internet. For those of you who have forgotten it by now, you're supposed to write 25 random things about yourself. So here are mine:

1.Filling in these kind of memes usually mean that I am bored, or stressed, or both.
Fortunately neither happens very often.

2.Subject to #1, then I am a generally happy, usually ethical lawyer. You can put me in a zoo because I am clearly an endangered species.

3.Restraint and Humility are lessons I am still learning. When I can't do it, I just fake it.

4.I have worked in a variety of summer jobs – I have been a waitress, a swimming pool cleaner, antique furniture seller, and theatre actor, essay mill writer.

5.Writing letters and postcards to my friends makes me happy. Although sometimes I forget to mail them.

6.I like buying presents for people "just because", the biggest "just because" gift that I had given was throwing a surprise party for Fabien in Singapore – just for the heck of it.

7.I dislike people feeling obliged to give gifts or be nice without really meaning it.

8.A certain amount of hypocrisy is necessary to function in social/professional settings, and I'm still learning to accept this.

9.I think I want 4 children and a great big dog called Maximus.

10.I could read my own bed time story by the time I was 2 years old.

11.I was a committed environmentalist for some years, and thought I would neither have babies nor a driving licence.

12.Then I met my husband and changed my mind.

13.I have an Italian driving licence which I got at first try.

14.That licence has not had much use because some people are just destined to be driven. Especially those with absolutely no sense of direction.

15.It took some time for me to work out who I am. I think I have most of that figured out now. Especially the having no sense of direction part.

16.I have looked for and seen falling stars in various interesting places, including – the roof of Cairnhill Arts Centre, the Frankfurt train station, the lawn in front of Trent Building, and the second floor of the (then) Singapore Ambassador's house in Paris.

17.Having children has given me a fear of dying, which I never used to have. I now fear leaving my children mother-less at a young age.

18.I used to dive a lot, and really enjoyed it, but I haven't done it for so long now I probably have forgotten what I am missing.

19.I am a chatty traveller and will happily yap to who-ever is willing to talk to me on a plane or train.

20.I will learn to play polo in Argentina some day. Want to join me?

21.I don't have anything I am particularly fantastic at, but I have lots of things I am pretty good at.

22.The fact that I wasn't brilliant at anything used to bother me, but I think I have mellowed since.

23.I look up to my dad and aunt tremendously as a people who have done a lot in their career without compromising what they felt to be right. But I wonder whether this has affected their personal life more than they will admit.

24.I never will have that problem. If it was ever an absolute choice between my work or my family, I know what I would choose in a split second.

25.Fabien and I kiss whenever we walk across a bridge.