Saturday, 26 February 2011


Ok, so I have come down with a stomach bug on the day that I am expecting my visitor for the weekend...couldn't be worse timing really :(
This is one of the problems with working with children - you get all their germs!
Hopefully this won't last long and we will still have a nice time...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Man alive....

So, I have just finished two days of hardcore child-care!!
It has been uber-tiring but the hardest thing I have had to do so far in this job and it's over and happily rounded off with a nice glass of wine!

Yesterday, I had to look after Alice at home all day because she was a bit under the weather, and that was fine, but I had to change my plans and then look after the children all evening as well as both parents were away with work.
Amazingly, everything went so well, and they all went to bed no problem. They are getting so affectionate and sweet with me and I really feel they can trust me: I want to be there for them so much and it's really lovely knowing they feel safe with me.

I tired ot get an early night, but I really couldn't sleep. Living in an apartment there are noises coming from everywhere, and I kept getting twitchy thinking it was the children! After a while, my mind was so awake there was no way of sleeping. I think I got a couple of hours early morning, and before I knew it, Alice and Stanley were getting into bed with me and it was 6.40am! Although I was so tired, it was rather sweet, and the little one didn't wake up until 7.30 and we had quite a lazy mornign before taking him to creche. Being Wednesday, I had Alice and Stanley all day, and that got a little too much after lunch as I was so tired I couldn't bring myself to make them do anything, so I sat them in front of a film and had a little cry in my room... I guess you could say homesickness has kicked in a bit now, a month in. It's become more real that I really do miss everyone an awful lot.... But then I remind myself that I love it here and all the experiences, and in 5 months time, I will be returning home - and then it won't seem so great!

So anyway, after some space, it got better. They cleared up their enormous mess of a game and we made some rice crispie cakes! Then we went to fetch Tobias from creche, and had dinner. My lovely friend Betsy came to help me out and spend some time with the kids. She is such a lovely person and great with kids - such a blessing when I really needed a lift! We put the children to bed fine, then she had to go... and F+S came home nearly at the same time and we had a lovely meal and wine and now I'm going to bed!

Roll on the weekend and a lovely visit from a very special person :)

Love to you all xxx

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Today, yet another 'natural disaster' has struck another part of our planet. It further emphasises how we live in such a messy world... nothing is certain and nothing is perfect. While I stress over small things and complain that work is too hard, there are people who don't even have enough food to eat or a roof over my head. While I miss my home and my family, there are people who have lost everyone they love.
I have been, yet again, reminded how good my life is and I am so thankful for all the blessings God has given me.

So with this in mind, I just wanted to share a few of these amazing blessings:

- First and foremost, I am in a lovely relationship with my creator that no disaster could ever destroy. NOTHING can stop God loving us. And that is a huge comfort.

- I have a wonderful family who are so supportive even though we are so far apart.

- I have great friends, old and new, who bring so much light into my life and into the world :)

- I have a good job with kind employers and sweet children, a lovely place to live, good food to eat, and more-than-enough money for everything I want to do!

- I have met some really great people in this town, have found a great church and everyone I have met has been so welcoming!

- I am having a great life experience, living in a beautiful city!

- One of my favourite people ever is coming to visit this weekend!

- I am having a free trip to Paris next week.

There are so many more things I am thankful for, but these are the biggest.
I know we are all guilty of complaining about our lives, but I encourage you to think of the good things, and think of those who have so little and have lost so much.

God bless


Saturday, 19 February 2011

4 weeks in...

I haven't posted for a while because I've been busy and tired with the children and things! But these are some of the things that I’ve been doing in the past week!
Last Saturday, I had a nice long lie-in to make up for all the early starts, had a lovely lunch with the family and then went for a little explore along the tram line, found the river and had a nice walk!

I also got my hair cut, so now I look a bit more French! And did a bit of shopping!
In the evening I went along to a ‘groupe des jeunes’ at the church, which is basically an evening for under 30s with a meal and discussion – all in French! It was really nice and I met a lot of new people! I’m going to go again later tonight, then go for a drink and maybe some dancing after! It’s great to have met some really great people, and have some good conversations in French!

On Sunday, I took a push scooter to church because I was late, and it was so much fun, I got quite a few wry smiles on the way down, and even more on the way back as I had a baguette under one arm!! Came back to another fantastic family lunch – I am getting far to used to all this great food!
Here is some amazing chocolate cake that S made more lunch!

On Monday, I went as usual to my French class at the school – it’s really good and the teacher is so helpful, I feel like I’m learning a lot. I also went into town and saw a lot of men walking around with bunches of flowers for Valentine’s day! Well, my Valentine’s day got as good as dancing to Barry Manilow with a 2-year old…but it was very sweet! My four year old got a card from his little ‘girlfriend’ and he was so chuffed!! 

In the evening, I went with Betsy to a gospel choir for the first time! We got the bus to a rather obscure location, but found a lovely room full of very enthusiastic singers led by an American lady! It was so great, and also quite hilarious listening to French people singing in English…some of the pronunciations were priceless, especially during the male solo! I can’t wait to go back and sing again!

Other than that, I’ve had a pretty normal week, had some lovely things in the post from some gorgeous people, spent Wednesday afternoon at the park in the sunshine with the children, and a new French friend who is also an Au Pair, which was fun and am continuing to enjoy school, the children and French food! I’ve found some great little bars and cafes and I also spent a really lovely girly evening with Krista and Maria complete with sparkling rose and yummy munchies!

Today, I have spent the afternoon with Betsy in town, doing some touristy things and having a giggle! And tonight, I’m going to have homemade curry with F+S before going out!

My family are skiing this week, and I wish I could be with them, but it’s nice to know they’re all in France!

Missing you all lots, but I’m really enjoying the time I have in France, knowing I can come back home in 5 months time, having had some amazing experiences and growing as a person and growing closer to God. This time is going so fast already, and I really want to savour every minute of it!

Here are some more pictures of random things…

Wine in a plastic bottle...

A french cat... 

Friday, 11 February 2011


This post will appeal to some of you in paricular, I think!

I have eaten a lot since I’ve been here! The food is soo good and there is always so much of it!

Food highlights of the week:

- Tuesday night – fabulous home-made pizzas and trifle at the English Bible study at Jonathan and Krista’s J - unfortunately, no photos!

- Wednesday – my chunky potatoes, boiled with bouillon cubes then mixed with fried onions, garlic and lardons, crème fraiche and topped with grated emmental then popped in the oven for 30mins! Gorgeous…even if I do say so myself!

- Thursday    - Yummy tortellini at a brasserie for lunch
                     - A pretty raspberry tart from a patisserie
                     - Cheese and port with F and S in the evening

Yes, Thursday was a good day…but I must watch the pounds or else I will return from France rather round!

I have also enjoyed finding nice places to have coffee and become immersed in the French life!!

In other news, I have very much enjoyed teaching little ones at the school some English this week! They all seem to really love it and although it’s only colours and number etc, it’s so much fun! I also seem to be somewhat improving on the French front as I am becoming more confident and engaging in conversation with the teacher and other people at the school and just out and about.
The children are still hard work, but we’re having lots of fun as they’re becoming more used to me, and I just love them more and more everyday!

Also, we have another new baby in the family, and I have another second cousin - welcome Douglas Christopher Miles!
I miss home and everyone lots and lots, but I am really enjoying this amazing time away from it all! God is continuing to bless this time so abundantly, and I encourage you to keep trusting in him, and he will do some really great things in your lives as he is doing in mine!

So now its nearly the weekend and it's getting warmer! I am planning on spending it sleeping, chilling and doing some more exploring of the further reaches of the city as well as catching up with new friends and having a cheeky drink or two!
...One last thing: BIG LOVE to Miss Elizabeth Francis for the lovely package which arrived today: made my day!!

Much love and God bless.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


This morning...

I woke up at 5.30am to hear the little one screaming... So I went to give him a cuddle but he was crying for his parents, so I tried to get him to lie down in my bed, but he wouldn't. By this time, my little girl was also awake, and so in the end, I just sat them in front of a disney film until it was time to get ready for school. And of course they played up, and t all got a bit stressful! But they're all at school now and I can relax... I am so so tired! and its raining...

Daddy is back tonight so hopefully things will be better! I'm sure it's really hard for the children having their parents away a lot and I feel for them so much...its just a matter of finding a balance for them, and I hope that they are getting more used to me - I get lots of cuddles and kisses anyway, so I think they like me!

I'm off to an English Bible study tonight, really looking forward to it, and feel so blessed that God has provided so well in this way.

Off for a nap now :)

Monday, 7 February 2011


I love Nancy when it's sunny!! :) It has now been sunny for two days...a record I think!!

Good things about today:

- The sunshine
- Learning some more French in my school class (with 10-year olds!)
- Meeting some random English people my age in the street who I'm gonna meet up with for a few drinks!
- It's been the first night that I've had the kids all by myself (both parents away with work) and it's gone       really well! ...wish me well for the morning!

Bad things about today:

- Missing my friends
- Eating too much...French food is so good!

Enough for now... Here are a couple of pictures from the weekend:

Bonne nuit!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Thursday: table for one?!

Yesterday morning, I had a great time at the school doing some English stuff with the children! I got them all to introduce themselves in English, and then I taught them 'Ten Green Bottles' - yes, slightly tedious, but  with all the repetition, most of them had it by the 5th time round, and they already know their numbers in English! I then let them all ask me questions about England, and then they all started asking me what the English was for all these different words!! It was very funny; I seem to be a bit of a novelty - a genuine English person!!

Cotes du Rhone..
I miss my lovely lunches out with friends back home, so on a cold, rainy Thursday in France, what better than to go out for lunch.... 'toute seule'?! Hopefully soon I will have some people to go out with, but I know that some of you (TAJB) would be proud, and it's actually quite nice! You don't have to make conversation, and you can really take in the atmosphere, and talk to people if you get the chance! It was lovely to just sit there with a pichet de vin rouge and take in the cosy atmosphere.
I ordered a pizza de chevre chaud from the set menu and it turned out to be absolutely enormous! The people sat next to me laughed at me, and one even offered to help me out with it!! ...I did eat about half, but declined the half-raw egg in the middle...slightly strange French obsession with putting undercooked eggs on things!

Raw this really necessary?!

I then remembered that I had desert included in my I went for the cream...

...and then a coffee!

I walked home feeling decidedly stuffed and had to have a little lie down like an old man! oh dear...

Lunch does seem to be quite a big deal in France though... Children get 2 hours at school and its a proper sit-down meal! Soup, a main course, bead and cheese and then fruit and a yoghurt! Everyone seems to eat a lot more food at lunchtime and then have a lighter dinner. Maybe that's the secret... there are hardly any really big people different from England and good old Trow...

In the evening I went to the apartment of some Canadian people called Krista and Jonathan who I met at Church on Sunday.  I went along with Ian and Maria (English and American) who I also met at church, and there were some other English speaking people there who work with Jonathan! We had a really hilarious evening playing games (Killer Bunnies, anyone?!) and eating cake!

Homemade 'Galette'

It was just really great to hang out with some great people and feel I know a few people in this city now!

God is really blessing this time away for me so far, and even though I'm shattered after a long week, I have a smile on my face!

Love to you all xxx

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Wednesday fun!

So Wednesdays, the children are off school - which means I have them for 12 hours - from when they get up until they go to sleep! Well, I have the two older children as the younger one still goes to creche.
And so far, my two Wednesdays here have been a lot of fun, but very tiring as the children are so noisy...crazy dancing to MIKA round the living room at 8am is fun, but by the time they have been tucked into bed, I'm ready to crash!!

Luckily, the children are quite good at amusing themselves outside of music lessons and trips to the library, but they like to cook with me: today, we made some coconut mice...yummy!

Would love to add some pics of the kids cooking... but I haven't asked the parents and this blog is public so I best not.

Tomorrow I am going to be doing some English stuff in some of the classes in the school! It's so disorganised it's hilarious but hopefully it should go well! Going with the flow seems to be working ok! I'm not enjoying these early mornings...I now know the feeling of looking forward to the weekend (something you don't get working in a restaurant!) Looking forward to spring... :)