I haven’t got a title for this post….

19 July 2011

Gosh, how time flies when you’re having fun. It’s almost two weeks since my last post and we’re on holiday! Shame on me, I should have more time to blog, really, with the kids not going to school, but the opposite is true, I find I am doing quite a bit of stuff in between vegging out with the kids. My first publication is almost ready for submission, I got very encouraging feedback from my supervisors, so that’s great for me. I am hoping to submit before we leave for Germany next week.
I am also pleased to report that Linus made it safely to Britain and back. This was his first proper journey (i.e. without people being paid or bribed in any other way looking after him en route). He found the experience very positive and exciting, and I think he may have been bitten by some sort of travel bug, he is certainly keen to travel — on his own — again. Lucy WOULD travel by herself too, but I think I can’t let go off her just yet, she’s only 10! So she will travel in our or other people’s custody for another few years. Rolf, Lucy and I went to Paris for the weekend. Rolf is still there for a conference, but Lucy and I are back in Lyon. We had a wonderful time there, Lucy much preferred it to last time we went. It might have to do with the fact that I did a bit of planning on which places to visit this time. Amongst other sights we got to see the Père Lachaise cemetery (got lost on the way to see Jim Morrison’s very unspectacular grave and were pleasantly surprised by Oscar Wilde’s), whizzed up the hill to Montmartre (overtaking middle aged American tourists with impressive waistlines), got discouraged by the queues in front of the ticket booths and therefore decided not to climb the Arc de Triomphe, but did some light shopping on the Champs Elysées instead and later hired a little sailing boat at the Tuileries. We also went on a fab carousel ride (well it looked good from the ground, I actually felt a bit sick after the ride. — It’s so bizarre, you pay to feel queasy… but if it amuses the kids… I guess that’s what counts).
And I love Paris. Strictly as a tourist that is. I would NEVER want to live there. It’s way too expensive to my taste, and if I want really good food I am better off staying in Lyon anyway. But going up to Paris is lovely and I have a slight feeling that the travel bug might have nibbled on me as well, I can’t wait to go away again. I think I will plan a day trip to Marseille soon. I haven’t been there yet and I have heard it’s a place that you either love or hate, and that definitely sounds interesting to me.
Meanwhile, back in Lyon it’s rather cool and miserable, we have frequent (though much needed) rain and the temperatures are down to about 20 degrees. This does not discourage my darling daughter from wanting to go to the outdoor pool. Every day. And naturally, me, being a good mother, I take her. Every day, weather permitting (I draw the line at rain coming down in sheets). And she swims and dives and jumps. And me? I swim too. In the Lyon swimming pools, you are not allowed to take any sort of clothing bar your swimming costume and a towel. At 20 degrees Celsius and a stiff breeze going, I can tell you, you’re better off in the water than outside. So I swim my 1000m while Lucy does her own thing and afterwards we come home with purple-blue lips and craving a hot shower. But it’s good fun nevertheless (the pool is so quiet at the moment!) and Lucy is much happier after a good workout. In fact, so am I. So we stick with it and brave the elements like proper hardy Germans (or tough English people for that matter). Most French people seem to avoid the outdoor pool once the temperature drops below 30 degrees and the sun hides behind a cloud or two. But maybe that’s only true for those in the South or South East? Coming to think of it, I guess a proper Ch’ti would also defy inclement weather in pursuit of a swim. Or otherwise he might never get to swim outside?! Anyway, we’ll go again tomorrow. Because we’re Germans, locals, and the security guards at the pool know us well. They don’t even check our bags for glass bottles and alcohol anymore (both are strictly forbidden!), they just wave us through. We are the people who keep them amused (if I talk to them they laugh 🙂 ) and employed during bad weather periods like the current one, so we will do our duty again tomorrow.

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