London, Travel

A Visit to the Lanes


Today’s post is going to be kept short and sweet because it’s Friday and it’s 18:30 here, which is later than I normally work on posts, so not only is it Friday and definitely five o’clock somewhere, it’s past five o’clock here and I keep telling myself I’m going to start reading the 19080234 guide books/pamphlets I have on Madrid so I can start exploring. (What I’ll actually be doing is wondering why Twitter won’t update more quickly and then see what shows I still need to catch up on.  As my friends and my sister keep saying: the life I lead is a hard one.)  Continue reading

Au Pairing

Au Pair Lessons: Say Yes. But Also No.


Moderation is key. As is being honest, at least with yourself. Families tend to do things on the weekend, when everyone’s more or less home, which is great! However, as great as that can be, sometimes you just don’t want to be a part of it, and that’s fine.

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Plateau D'Assy etc.

Hello March

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Can we talk about how excited I am that it’s March? Because I’m really excited that it’s March. Normally I don’t mind February. I mean, it’s my birthday month. Plus there’s always a school holiday. And it’s the only month with 28 days. Really: there’s really nothing to NOT like about February.

Except this year. This year between issues with the train during my trip to Lyon, difficult e-mails, tearing off the back half of a car topper and then a random speeding ticket (90€ for three kms over the limit!), all topped off with a complete emotional melt down after a long day hiking, I was more than happy when I got to flip my calendar.

Part of it was just plain ol’ bad luck (like sliding on ice and scraping my knee badly) and part of it was stress getting to me (forgetting the car topper). I’ve always been someone who tries to do it all. I’ve gotten quite good at juggling and balancing and making sure to remember things. Then, other times: I don’t.

For some reason, I’ve never been good at, or liked, asking for help. I just don’t. More because I’ve felt that I should be able to do everything, even though I know, better than anyone, that I can’t.

So the last five days, as we’ve had grandparents visiting, have been wonderful. Because grandparents, especially grandmas, don’t wait to be asked. They just do it. They help you out and lighten your load and tell you that you’re doing a good job and hold you while you sob in the driver’s seat while there are cars honking behind you and three children in the backseat asking you why you’re crying.

I think grandparents, more than parents, oddly enough, remember what this age was like. They can look at it from a different angle and sympathize more. They also really know what to say.

We were watching Mary Poppins and everyone was joking about how I’ll now have to learn how to snap my fingers to help all the toys march back to their places during clean up. And Bonne Maman (as she’s called) said, “She doesn’t need to learn. She already has the magic touch. With both the children and the cleaning.”

Which was exactly what I needed to hear.


Things I’m Loving:

+ This interview/those photographs – (Because you’re never too young to do amazing things.)

+ These travel tips – (I’m thinking about this summer. I miss the warmth. I miss shorts. I’m constantly wearing sunglasses, so there is that.)

+ These tips – (Because I’m always up for a refresher course.)

+ This video – (Was exactly what I needed.)

France, PhotoJ, Plateau D'Assy etc.

Going Higher


Once again I have been painfully MIA. Which I tried to avoid and clearly didn’t succeed. First I got sick and was in bed for three days (thanks, cold. That was really friendly of you) and then there were ski lessons and un-announced days out on the hill and then, finally, I’ve spent the last couple of days getting ready for the ‘official’ launch of Second Touch.

Which has kind of been worth me not being around, oddly enough. Because when I finally looked up from all the support we’ve been getting for this project, I realized how much I missed posting here. I missed editing and putting up pictures and telling a story. So, don’t worry: I’m not leaving. I will probably be more sporadic than I was before, but also not as completely not here as I have been the last week and a half.

The above picture was taken on Saturday on a hike I took. I’ll have more pictures tomorrow, as per usual! But when the trail signs say that the trek is ‘1 hour’, but it’s up the mountain and you’re carrying your photography equipment, it’s best not to be too surprised when it takes you three. Followed by a simple half hour descend because that’s just how these things work. It’s also best to not be ridiculously surprised when you can’t move your legs properly the next day. These are things to keep in mind, which, naturally, I did not.

Things I’m Loving:

+ This fabulous first article – (Seriously. The amount of pride I have over something I didn’t even write is ridiculous. In such a good way.)

+ This vlog – (Because Elizabeth Bennet in the 21st century just can’t be a bad thing.)

+ This website – (Because this is exactly the sort of thing I’m drawn to: good ideas.)

+  These still lifes – (Food photography is one of my favourites and these are all so wonderfully thought out.)

Belz/Saint Cado, France

But Where Are the People?


I’ve finally, finally gotten on board that ‘writing a blog post in advance’ boat. Can I just say: it feels bizarre? I think it’s a good bizarre, I’m sure it is. (I hope it is.) It just feels so weird to come here, look and already written post over and hit ‘publish’. It makes me feel like I’ve got it a little bit more together, even on days when that’s a lie and I definitely do not have anything together.

More photos from Belz/Saint Cado. Things that I realized while editing/uploading/writing about these: I miss taking photographs of people. (Not that this place is over run with people. Bike for an hour, see four people. And I thought I lived in a small town.)  But I think that’s something I’m going to work on in the next little bit: working up the courage to start photographing people and activities. I think I’m ready to get back on that scary ledge of talking to people I don’t know. I got chills just typing that. But good ‘this could end really, really well’ sort of chills. Little steps.

Things I’m Loving:

+ This video – (I hadn’t heard about it before, but the 8 minute clip had me wanting to see what the rest of this film will be like. Very fascinating look, with a range of voices, of females represented in media and what that means/how that affects the mentality of people growing up seeing that.)

+ This documentary – (It airs within the next few days and the previews on TV make it look really interesting. I’m hoping to catch it!)

+ This site – (This looks interesting. Especially with the holidays here, it looks like a great way to compare prices/save money. Bonus!)

+ This gift guide – (This time for the photographers on your list. Because they’re a special bunch.)