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Petites vacances – Little holiday – Lizzie Harwood
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Petites vacances – Little holiday

Lizzie Harwood / Inspiration  / Petites vacances – Little holiday

Petites vacances – Little holiday

Actual product size is way bigger than this looks.

I’m having a little holiday from Bunkeroo. She’s in Normandy hanging out with her French grandparents & some of her 21 cousins. So, having three days to myself, what crazy stuff do I get up to today? All-day spa? Shop till I drop? Eat out frenzy? Hit hotel bars for afternoon teas and cocktail hour?

-Muck around on the Internet (but, good news – deleted Solitaire App off my iPhone because I play it too much and have decided to get a life); checked out which yoga class to start going to again and reading a beautiful piece written by my yoga teacher about her companion in yoga and life of 16 years, her dog Lucy;

-Wrote to an amazing, strong, gorgeous girlfriend who had a really crappy thing happen to her;

-Reached out a social twig to friends here in Paris to see if anyone wants to have lunch or dinner in next few days during my petites vacances. Now this is a thing for me because I used to be a sociable person who made friends easily and spent a lot of time with them, but since I acquired a hubby, toddler and writing habit, all I seem to do is berate myself for not writing enough or fast enough, wrangle child, and watch Masterchef. So, I gave myself a kick in the pants to get out there some.

-Went and chatted to my Militants Vets. These guys are the most Militant Vets in the world, or certainly in Paris. They have given me endless flak about the psychological damage I/we have inflicted on Krakatoa and Taupo daring to have two cats in a Paris apartment who clearly were not coping. In July, I got the worst balling out when they broke it down for me that Taupo believed she was no longer a cat. She believed my husband was her inferior and she was the human. She treated him like a rubber mouse to be clawed and mauled. With much guilt, we pushed Taupo onto hubby’s parents out in Normandy. I felt like bad Mummy of the Year, even though that animal has scarred my forearm so it looks like I tried to check out with a razor blade. But guess what? Taupo is happy now. She lives in the garage, catches and eats birds and small creatures I’m not sure of the translation of, hisses and attacks rarely, is calmer, has lost weight, in short she has become a cat again. So, I popped in to see the Militant Vets and share the joy. They were thrilled. They told me off once more for attempting to confine a creature like Taupo in this urban jungle. They reiterated that “Paris is too small for a cat like Taupo”. And what did we expect naming those two cats after two of history’s top 10 volcanic eruptions?

-Bought ingredients to bake bread. See photo. I’m becoming a bread-maker after chatting to niece Kina Sai who’s been baking her own bread and watching my father-in-law’s techniques baking their own. This is attempt numero uno. I’ll let you know if it’s as hard as a plank of wood.

-Sent Bunkeroo a Hello Kitty postcard cos I do miss her. When I talked to her on the phone, she intended on keeping me on the line for the entire day so she could ‘keep me with her’. Had to wriggle out of that one. But I love how she thinks the telephone can be me for the day. She’s picked up my coping mechanism for living very far from almost all of my family (and particularly my parents) for most of my life – nothing an hour-long phone call about nothing much can’t assuage. I’ve clocked up millions of phone hours. Don’t we all live in a virtual, remote, not-here-so-here-in-a-different-form kind of way now?

-Printed my manuscript so I can post it to Mum & Dad to read. As they appear in the book as themselves, I’m hoping their reaction will be positive. They’re pretty unflappable about how reality has, in the past, made it onto my page in the guise of fiction. But this is going to be on the non-fiction shelf. Hhmmm. Will have to let you know how that goes, too, and if what I’ve written falls flat as a pancake with them. I hate to shock them too much, given their advanced years, but we also play out this tough love thing where I’m the kid who tells them the truth even though that’s sometimes hard on them. They still seem to love me.

My concept of time today has been beautifully fluid because of not rushing Bunkeroo out the door at 8:15 sharp to get to school/kindy, or rushing to pick her up at 4:15, or rushing to get her fed or bathed or in bed (or turn off the fuses to the lights in her bedroom to make her stop reading until late). I finally looked at my watch today, to see it was 11:55 – and that my watch was on upside down.

Mainly today, I’ve been thinking, about my book and picturing it being read. Thinking ‘golden, foundation thoughts’ as a wise writer girl-pal puts it. Looking around the Paris streets and not taking it for granted. Being happy for the connections I’ve made here, friends, the guys at the post office who recognise me which is nice, and Militant Vets who aren’t shy about steering me straight when I lose it.


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