French beds to hairy legs

Since I arrived in the South of France, I’ve realised a few things:

  • Without caffeine I am nothing. Without my fix of homemade espresso I have been forced to turn to Coca Cola. One of those boats in the harbour could float on the amount I’ve sloshed back.
  • French beds are funny. On the first night I awoke yelling, “What the Hell was that?” At first, I was convinced that there had been an earthquake. Somewhat disconcerting when the land one is currently residing on is made predominantly of sand. Then as it happened again and again I slowly started to realise that the ‘earth shaking’ was actually my husband turning and rocking the bed. I would have written, ‘My bed is funny’ – but it turns out that the girls’ bed (a bunk) does exactly the same thing.
  • Despite the fact that I like the earth moving for me – I won’t be having sex in France. The squeaky, swaying bed is freaking me out. It would be like having sex while lying on the sea. Besides, the children are awake before and asleep after me.
  • My French is shit. But perseverance is the key. Between pidgin English and broken French, I have though managed to order and pick up a birthday cake for the upcoming birthday of my daughter. (She’ll be five on Wednesday). Quelle surpise!

  • French birthday cakes are really expensive. It cost around €25 Gulp. The rest of the day we’ll just eat toast.
  • French cakes are a work of art. I had to buy some extra mini cakes.
  • We may end of living on cake. French cakes are scrumptious!
  • I’m obsessed with shells. I cannot stop collecting them. I mean it. We’ll require a trailer to transport them home.
  • Sand really does get everywhere. Another good reason for no sex. Things would chafe.
  • Despite that, if I won the lottery I really would buy a beach house.
  • I am useless at shaving my legs. I’d allowed my thermal layer to grow in at home, in preparation for the German winter. Then the night before leaving I had a quick shave before going to bed. Lying on the beach I noticed large glistening areas of blond hair. Luckily no passersby fainted/vomited/shouted insults – OK I can’t be sure of the last one, because of my crap French.
  • It was a good idea not to give in and buy the ADHD one a balaclava. An adventurous ‘walk in the dark along the beach and then along the harbour’ revealed the woolly hatted one to particularly enjoy shining the torch on the boats. Imagine how that would have looked with a balaclava?


27 thoughts on “French beds to hairy legs”

  1. love your adventure thus far. I love collecting shells, too, albeit from the shores of the US, not France. Once home, I put them in a basket on the coffee table…when I tired of getting them away from our Labradour, I put them in a large tall clear glass vase on our mantle. Layer upon layer of shells….in the glass they just glisten. It reminds me of wandering the seaside collecting them. Enjoy every moment of your stay 🙂

    1. I have an absolute obsession with bowls. I am thinking of cleaning some of the larger ones up and using them as little food bowls…
      But I love the vase idea!! I might pinch it!!

      I am really enjoying it here and these little posts will work as little reminders for the whole family.

  2. It does sound as if you are having a wonderful time.I am so glad. So funny about the beds. Years ago my husband and I slept on an inherited Victorian bed. Once I was awakened from a deep sleep by what I thought was an earthquake. The very tall headboard was shaking in one direction, while the mattress shimmied in another. I bolted upright and screamed “EARTHQUAKE!!!” My husband had turned over in bed, and he was not amused. I, however, could not stop giggling once I learned the source of my earthquake.

    1. I had to laugh out loud at you story. Our situation was very similar!! We sleep in the same bed at home but in Germany it’s traditional to have seprate matresses. It’s funny sharing again!!

  3. I don’t think all French beds are like yours but it sure looks like you all inherited pretty cheap mattresses… I second your comment on the French pastries, they are divine!

    As for the shells, you should make stuff with them when you get home. My sister made some beautiful hanging wall decorations for me with San Diego seashells and they look great in the bathrooms.

    Finally, the coffee… Woman, why can’t you drink French espresso, supposedly some of the best in the worlds??? I love Diet Coke and drink it by the gallon, but yes, you need to drink gallons of it to stay awake.

    Looks like you’re having a great time, by the way. Bonnes vacances!

    1. The pastries are fantastic. We’ve been eating cake every day since we got here.

      It’s a great idea to make things with the shells. You’ve given me a good reason to go and collect even more now!!
      I’m thinking of using some of the larger ones as bowls. They would look great at a party.

      Where we are staying everything is closed, which suits us as we pretty much have the beach and everything to ourselves. But it means we have to drive to the bakers/shops etc. Tomorrow we plan to take the little one to the safari park for her birthday. The following day I think we’ll find a nice restaurant a bit further away tat’s actually open, and there I promise to try a French espresso. Now you have me looking forward to it!

      I’m loving it here. It’s stunningly beautiful. I wish our 1 week were actually 3 weeks and we had time to visit the beautiful castles as well as the beaches.

      The beaches are amazingly clean. We wondered if there is a service that cleans them or if the French have and are incredibly tidy tourists?

      1. I’m not sure who cleans the beach. Maybe it’s clean because there are less people now. I can’t believe everything is closed where you are but some areas must just close up after the summer.

        Here’s my trick for espresso and all you need is hot water. Get the little espresso packs (it’s dehydrated), I think Nescafe makes that. Pour it in your cup and add hot water. Instant espresso and many coffee drinkers tell me it tastes great!

      2. I think if we had come here in summer, it would have been a really busy tourist area. Whereas now it’s extremely quiet and peaceful. I have to say I like it hat way much better. Plus it’s much cheaper out of season, and not only the price of the holiday, but if everything were open the kids would of course, want a shot on some of the things. They accept ‘no’ and understand we can’t afford to say yes all the time, but it’s an added strain anyway. Now we don’t have that. Instead we are just enjoying the natural beauty of the area. And yesterday we took the children to a fabulous safari park. It was our big extravagance of trip.

        Thanks very much for the coffee tips!!

      3. There’s NO WAY I’d stay on the French riviera in the heat of tourist season. I wouldn’t even be able to get to the water without stepping on a few hundred lobster red sunbathers. Trust me, you made the right choice to come off season.

      4. We’re really pleased that we had two very nice days weather wise. We really could run around in swimsuits and required sunblock. The last couple of days it’s been really windy. We’ll go out later and see if we find some more beautiful shells before the trip home.
        We have also had an amazing lightening storm for the past couple of days.

        I think it must be absolutely brimming here in high season. Our flat is slightly out of the way, but in the main area there are countless tourist-trap restaurants. I can just imagine them swarming with people and it’s not for me.

        I can just imagine your imagine of ‘a few hundred lobster red sunbathers’ on the beach. Nooooooooo!!

  4. Ah, the joys of la France! It all sounds thrilling. All that chafing – poor you.
    I love France – surprisingly. I don’t know if I am allowed to say that (I’m English).

    I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself – I can’t wait to read more…….
    Have a ball! – and remember – no shenanigans on those beds!

    1. My children read my last post and had a good chuckle to themselves when us oldies needed a lie down after a long walk along the beach. But alas no hanky panky – just gentle snores!!

      I love France too. And it’s very different in different parts. But one thing that strikes me all the time is the incredible beauty. Whether it’s architecture/landscapes/beaches or perfect patries!

    1. We absolutely are. Aden complained this afternoon having to go home soon, but I assured him we still have a few days. Tomorrow we’re taking the kids to the safari park. Something really special for Akasha’s birthday.

  5. I have devised a few ways to use my shells and pebbles as I too come home with so many!
    They make good decorations for the tops of house plants… to cover the soil.
    I decorated the frame of a mirror with some, set into some Polyfiller as that is what I had to hand!
    Bowls and jars as above

    I plan to string the latest collection on that fine nylon thread and hang them in a window!

    May I suggest that you invest in a small cone shaped coffee-filter-paper-holder and a few paper filters? You can then make coffee very easily and throw away the grounds in the filter paper.

    1. Fantastic ideas Pseu. I think I will collect some more shells before I go. I felt a bit greedy with the amount I’d picked up at one point. I was totally drawn in by their beauty and differences.
      Then I realised that generally they are just being broken on the shore, so I’m actually doing something good by hogging them all. 😉

      I’ll need to look into the coffee filter thing. What a great idea!

  6. Sounds like you are all enjoying yourselves, especially eating cake! You will benefit from your daily beach walks, I’m sure! You are making some wonderful memories for yourselves and the kids.

    1. Tank you Barb. The beach walks are lovely and we’d done them in different conditions each day. At sunset (on the first day). On a lovely sunny day, at night and today on a cold, windy day.

      And the cakes… Fantastic!!!

  7. So glad you’re enjoying yourselves!

    Don’t European women NOT shave? Now you’ll look like a wee milk bottle white Scots lass on the beach.

    BTW, what’s French cake like?

    1. We are Tilly!

      German women have a reputation for not shaving. However, many of them actually do shave! Having said that, some still don’t and generally it’s seen as perfectly acceptable to go hairy. (Which I think is fab). However, more and more I see the younger generation differs in this aspect. I suspect the days of the hairy German woman are numbered. French women – I have no idea. I guess I imagine that they shave… Perhaps we should ask Earlybird. Earlybird?

      The cake is quite simply divine. Trust me. You have to eat a lot of it on your trip. It is quite simply a sin not to.
      Also delicious: baguettes and goats cheese.

  8. I have a frightening point of reference to say some German women do not shave, trim or indulge in any kind of hair removal. For the record.
    I love French cakes! I worked in Brittany in Northern France for 8 months in 2001 and funnily enough the staff where I worked were British and they hated the squeeky beds so much they all put their mattresses on the floor and slept there whilst the beds were piled up in the store. i never thought the problem stretched beyond where we worked! Great post, I can’t believe you’re on the beach in November!

    1. So you like women who shave then? 😉

      I’m glad you liked the post. We just arrived home about one hour ago – and I’m already missing the cake. I know, the beach in November!! Fantastic. To think the week before we left we had a flurry of snow here!! And a couple of days later we were splashing in the water in our swimsuits.

      French beds seem then, to be squeaky up and down the country!!

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