When dining out in France, in 35C, you might feel inspired to wear something strappy. Something cool & elegant, something very un-mummy. Just don't forget; the necessity to crawl around under the table, retrieving cutlery, dinner rolls, crayons & toys, remains.
All in all, I think I'm better suited to cooler climates. Baking heat makes me cranky & tired and besides that i'ts so much harder for your boozies to slide out of a polo neck sweater...
Well here we are in sunny.. (where are we again?) oh yeah France - near(ish) Bordeaux. Actually my iPhone GPS tells me it's Aquitaine, near Le Porge* (*where the in-laws live) which has a beach.
We actually visited the beach but unlike the French girls I wasnt letting my 'girls' out for public perusal. Motherhood and stretch marks have humbled my self-image somewhat. ok' I dont have stretch marks, but since my six-pac turned into a slab I keep my wobbly bits to myself if you dont mind.
After our lovely sweaty lunch with my father-in-law at a favourite restaurant in the region we shot into Bordeaux centre for some sweaty power shopping. Lucie had been nagging for days of her need to add to her Barbapapa Book collection. But somehow after trawling FNAC (a chain store cross between Borders & Dick Smith) she decided that she was in far greater need of a toy Noddy with his little yellow car. She'd been on about these books since we left Sydney-now she didnt want them. Kids huh?
Her new K-mart sandals turned out to be an epic fail, hanging off her feet at all angles like wet lettuce, so, another sweaty stop in Zara.
I was so hot I actually lost the will to shop - and in my favourite shopping Mecca, can you imagine?
The weather's cooled somewhat and we've had some less hot-and-bothered trips to a charming little seaside (?) town called Andernos.
Andernos actually sits astride 'le bassin' (the basin) which is kind of a bay but being so shallow, when the tide goes out, it's a big sandy slop bucket...with the most amazing shops!
Andernos is also home to Lucie's second favourite carousel in the region, and there are many of those; two in this town alone. She scored no less than eight rides: five we paid for, two comps from a greatful operator (business was slow & Lucie somehow attracted a crowd) and then another comp when she caught Micky Mouse's tail; the kids equivalent of the brass ring.
For a reprieve from the giddies, we scoffed the most amazing ice creams that tasted of real peach, real mandarine and dark chocolate loaded with cocoa. Oh and I bought a fabulous all white designer dress for €29 in about 70 seconds; holding it up against me and going "yup". I used to wonder about mothers who wore all white, but it's been a while since Lulu threw up on me. Anyway I hope it fits 'cos I still havent got around to trying it on :0/
Lucie also has a new designer frock and matching head-band which cost as much as mine but hers wasnt on sale - bummer.
It's an odd place, Andernos, kind of like Cowes on Philip Island at first glance, but it has two long pedestrian plazas full of tiny cafes and shops filled with real-life innovative designs, like you see in boutiques in Sydney's Double Bay (only a tenth of the price).
So shopping and icecream fix taken care of it's back to base camp to put our little poochie to bed and slide our weary feet under the In-laws table for some restaurant quality food. I'd seriosly consider stealing my mother-in-law's recipie book, but I know most of the flavour comes from talented improv.
Sunset is at around 10pm... No wonder my body-clock is trippin' and my brain is addled. It doesn't help that we're sleeping in the attic bedroom and in my sleep-deprived stupor I keep standing up in the wrong spot and smacking my head on the ceiling beam. I'll knock myself out one of these nights, although that might be a blessing really, I could do with a really good night's sleep.