Monday, December 21, 2009

Do you speak francais?

Today, Marie had her school Christmas concert and I was so proud of her. The whole junior school sang carols and Christmas songs. Now, it was very noisy and I came out of it with a headache but still, I was so proud of her. Before the last carol, the head mistress announced that some kids were going to say Happy Christmas in their native language. And called Marie to the front. And she said Happy Christmas in French (although her native language really is English).

Marie is very self conscious when it comes to speaking french. Whether it is that she does not want to be different to her friends or that she is just a bit lazy, she has only really started to take an interest and make progress in the past couple of years. I have to admit that I blame myself for not speaking french enough to her when she was little. It was frowned upon by her father and his family, it made them paranoid and they made me feel uncomfortable whenever I spoke French to her. So I gave up, when I should really have stood up to them all and told them where to go. Sometimes I would try and speak French to her, and she'd just stare at me. She even once turned around and told me in a very patronizing voice: 'Mammy, we're in Ireland here and we speak English, not French.'

But, now, thanks to my fiance encouraging her (and me), she is starting to learn and she's doing good, she even speaks French to her sister. My fiance insists that I speak French to Noelie all the time and I don't want to repeat the same mistake with her. So I speak French to her 95% of the time. And if people do not like it, well, it's their problem not mine. At the end of the day, she will be bilingual. We have also noticed that she does respond more when I speak French to her and she tends to look at me strangely whenever I speak English.

We warned people that I would speak mostly French to her and that he would speak English as, apparently, it is better for the children to identify one language with one parent. Some people did pass comments that they found it a bit 'rude', but, having very limited contact with French speakers, I would end up speaking English to her anytime we set foot outside the door and, I think, would defeat the purpose.

As my fiance's French is (more than) a bit rusty (sorry!!!), it does lead to funny situations. He can tell if I'm giving out to her by my tone of voice, but he does not necessarily know why. These days it consists mostly of 'pas a la bouche' (which means 'not in your mouth', because phones, remote controls, and other electronic items are not designed to go in your mouth and be sucked on for prolonged periods of .... really...) or 'doucement' (which means 'be gentle' because people's noses, mouths, cheeks, ears and other are quite sensitive and to be honest, scrapes on your face are not really the latest fashion!). So most of the time, he would reinforce the message by a well timed 'Whatever your mother said in french!'.

It makes communication with my parents (my mother in particular) and other members of my family particularly funny. My grand mother is convinced his name is Harry when it's not (probably a tribute to Harry Potter) and would have a full blown (though rather one-sided) conversation with him. On the way home from picking up my cousin at the airport, the conversation consisted on him asking the same question in different ways and her answering 'What?' every single time and the remaining 20 minutes or so were spent in silence. My mom's English is (how do I put it) extremely limited. She insists on getting 'mushroms' instead of mushrooms, asks for the 'peeper' instead of the pepper, and says 'good morning' instead of 'good night'. However, they have come up with their own sign language and try to communicate as best they can.

Hopefully (well, more than likely), he will learn (slowly but surely) along with Noelie. And Marie will get to learn more too and catch up on all those years when I didn't speak enough french to her. And I can as proud of her as I was today, when she stood up in front of all those people and wished them 'Joyeux Noel'

So Joyeux Noel to you all from all of us in the Foodie household!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Recipe Friday Christmas special

Another week has gone by, and it is Friday again, Recipe Friday.

Since it is now the last Friday before the big day (that's Christmas day to you and me), I could not give anything else but a festive recipe.

But before I do so, let me give you an insight on a traditional french Christmas.

France being such a large country, traditions vary from region to region. As I mentioned in another post, the celebrations start on Christmas Eve with a very large meal. Common dishes include foie gras (a pate made from goose or duck liver), oysters, smoked salmon, prawns, some kind of poultry (usually duck or goose), and for dessert the traditional 'Buche de Noel' (Christmas log), a cake shaped like a log.

Originally, the 'Buche de Noel' was a real log. On the 24th of December, the head of the house and the kids used to go into the woods to pick up a special log that was to burn from the 24th of December until the 1st of January (and sometimes until the 6th of January, day of the Kings). The log was brought back to the house and decorated with ribbons. It was then ceremoniously put in the fireplace and wine and oil were poured over it by the head of the house. The youngest child was to light it.

To keep up the tradition and with the advent of electricity and other means of heating, a baker, around 1945, decided to bake a cake in the shape of a log. So if you don't have time to make that Christmas pudding, or haven't bought one yet, maybe you can try this for a less traditional Irish Christmas dinner.

Ingredients :

- 4 eggs

- a glass of caster sugar

- a glass of self raising flour.

- 250g of baking chocolate

- 200g of unsalted butter

- Whisk the 4 egg yolks, with the sugar and 3 tablespoons of tepid water, until it starts foaming.

-Slowly add the flour.

- Once all the ingredients have come together, add the 4 beaten egg whites (these should be stiff).

- In a flat, long tray, pour the dough (should be about 1 inch thick), and bake in a hot oven until golden brown (about 10 minutes should do it).

- Take the cake out of the tray and put down on a damp tea towel.

- Roll it up and leave to cool.

- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (for those who are not sure, put a bowl over a pot of boiling water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water)

- Add the butter.

- Spread some of the chocolate and butter mix over the cake and roll back up.

- Spread the rest of the chocolate and butter mix over the cake and, using a fork, draw lines to resemble a log.

- Put in the fridge to cool down.

Some people sprinkle icing sugar over the top to resemble snow, or add a couple of sprigs of holly.

A lot easier and less time consuming than your traditional Christmas fruit cake! So get your aprons on and try it out, if not for Christmas day for any other day over the Christmas period.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I don't remember.

Noelie turned 6 months last month and I am amazed at the amount of progress she has made in the past few weeks.

I am quite ashamed to say that I don't remember much of Marie at that age. I vaguely remember the milestones (first tooth, first steps and then again I was quite lucky both came together) but I'm sure if you were to probe me further I would turn a bright shade of red and either lie through my teeth or bow my head in shame and admit: I don't remember.

-I don't remember feeding Marie being such a conundrum (no gluten, no salt, no this, no that). When, now, I read the all the labels before I even buy things. My future parents in law look at me funny sometimes when I say I wouldn't give her this or that just yet.

- I don't remember when she started to take her bottle by herself which Noelie started to master recently. Well master is a big word, she's getting better at it with every bottle. But it does mean that I have an extra 15 minutes to get other things done while I keep an eye on her. But at least ( and I suppose at last) my hands are free.

- I don't remember when Marie started reaching for things, anything at all, within reach or not. Noelie started this lately too. She reaches for the phone when you're on it, she reaches for my hair when I change her, she reaches for the remote control, she reaches for her bottle, she reaches for absolutely anything in sight. And if she gets a hold of it, it goes straight into the mouth!

- I don't remember when Marie first started to sit by herself. Noelie is nearly there, until she gets distracted by something and reaches for it (please refer to point above).

- I don't remember when Marie first rolled on her stomach. I think she enjoyed lying on her tummy more than Noelie does.

- I don't remember when Marie started feeding herself, when she stopped using nappies, when she first started sitting in a high chair (maybe because she didn't have one, she had one of those table chairs, which by the way I would really recommend to anybody, they're great!!).

- I don't remember when I first put her in the seat of a trolley (which we did last week with Noelie, it really went well until she tried to eat the metal bars in front of her).

- I don't remember when Marie started saying ba ba ba ba. Noelie started this week (so much so that she now even says it in her sleep).

- I don't remember when I first gave Marie finger food.

I am ashamed of myself. If that's any excuse, maternity leave in those days was only 4 months so I would have been back in work then. Marie would have been in a creche, which she loved. I am ashamed to say, when Marie was 6 months, I let somebody else do the hard work for me. I let somebody else enjoy all those first things, so much so that now I am ashamed to say I don't remember.

I was always guilt ridden by the fact that I was working full time (even though I wanted to do so). I remember talking to one of my supervisors once, a year or so after being back in work, and welling up because of that guilt (maybe it was just tiredness, who knows). I felt guilty for not being there for Marie, and I felt guilty for not being able to work 'as hard' as my colleagues, having to leave in the middle of the day because Marie got sick, or having to leave at 6 on the dot to make it to the creche on time when others were staying behind.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to guilt trip any working mother out there. All I am saying is that I now realize that it wasn't really for me. I did it for 6 years and I am proud of having been able to handle it as well as I did. I am just wondering how I would do it, now, with the 2 of them. Some people have to work for financial reasons, for personal reasons, for sanity reasons or because they enjoy it. And there is nothing wrong with that. I am just fortunate enough to be able to stay at home for a while now and shed that guilt. However I realize now how much I have missed and, once again, I feel guilty. Because I don't remember...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The best presents come from the heart.

Has anybody noticed that it might not be the biggest, most expensive presents that make us the happiest? Receiving a drawing from a child (no matter how abstract), hearing them telling us that little story they just came up with, (in which you are a character), those couple of flowers (half falling apart) picked up by the side of the path in the park. These are the best presents you can ever receive. And has anybody noticed the sense of pride in the children's eyes when they give it to you? This Christmas, in the Foodie household, we have tried to more creative and come up with some homemade presents and decorations. As I mentioned in another post, it's the thought that counts, not how much you spend.

Yesterday, I helped Marie make some Christmas decorations for the school Christmas tree. She is really hoping to win a price for them. Although one of them had already nearly been amputated (poor Santa) by the time she got to school this morning, she was really proud of what we had achieved.

Here is a picture of our hopefully prize winning decorations.

Not too bad, considering that my manually artistic skills are comparable to Marie's (and she's only 6).

It was really easy to make though and only required very cheap ingredients that everybody has in their cupboards.

You just need to mix 2 glasses of flour and 1 glass of fine table salt, add some water and knead (that's the only messy bit, I promise) until you get the consistency of play dough (it should not be sticky or too dry). If you want (and have some) you can separate the big ball into small ones and add some food colouring and knead again until evenly coloured. After that, the world is your oyster. When you are done, put in the oven on a low temperature (60 degrees C) until fully dried out or leave out to dry (but it does take a long time that can try your children's patience, and yours.). If you have some dough left, you can wrap it in cling film and keep it in the fridge and reuse it later! And it's completely safe for younger kids ( if they accidentally try to taste it once, they will more than likely not try again as it is very very salty).

We decided to make a basket of scented candles for a very dear family friend. Once again, you can enlist the kids to help. We picked up a cheap basket, loads of small scented tea candles, some ribbon and a big jar in Ikea (I'm a big big big fan). And I spent a couple of hours putting the basket together with the help of Marie (and under the very curious gaze of Noelie). We used some ribbon around the basket, lined the bottom with some wrapping paper, and put down a layer of pot pourri, filled the big jar with scented candles and put it down in the basket, and finished filling it up with some more candles and TA DA, here is the finished product.

Finally, I decided to make some body scrubs and gift them to people. So rather than going out and buying expensive gift sets in the shops, I used products I already had at home (don't worry though, I used a recipe that has been tried and tested and I tried it myself before setting into high production mode). All you need to do is mix some (a couple of cups) sugar or Epsom salts with a little unscented cooking oil (vegetable or sunflower). Add a few drops of essential oils (I was lucky enough to have some in the house), a few drops of food colourings (to match the smell). Put in a small (Ikea) jar, wrap a nice ribbon around the top, and there you are. A lovely homemade body scrub. And the kids can help too (well at least once they have gone past the stage of putting everything in their mouths!!)
I know that we will all be very proud of handing out our homemade presents this Christmas, and that people will also appreciate them for the thoughts and efforts we put into them. And that they will also probably mean more to our friends and family than any other quickly grabbed- off- a- shelf more expensive one.
''But it is a cold, lifeless business when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith's.'' ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Gifts," Essays, Second Series, 1844

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a day! or 3...

Oh my god, what a day or 3...

It all started on Friday night. Noelie had her last bottle and went to bed as usual. She is very good and actually enjoys going to bed. She gets really excited and kicks and screams (in a good way) whenever we put her in her sleeping bag.

However, by the time we went to bed, she had started whinging. She woke up every hour. I checked her, she was not wet, nor dirty, nor too hot, nor too cold. She did not have a fever, she was even smiling whenever I approached her cot. She was just awake and whinging. Maybe her teeth, maybe a pain somewhere, I don't know and probably never will.

By 7h30, she was crying, so we got up and gave her her breakfast. There was no consoling her, she took her bottle but kept crying big crocodile tears. Neither Daddy nor Mummy could do a thing to stop her. I gave her some paracetamol, as I was convinced she had a pain somewhere. She fell asleep in my arms around 8h15. I put her down in her cot. She woke up 20 minutes later, her usual self, smiling and screaming and kicking.. She has been in great form ever since. Was it her teeth? Was she overtired from not having slept well? We don't know what was wrong with her and never will.

Saturday was a busy day. Dropped Marie off to her father's.(although she refers to him as Daddy, my fiance is not her biological dad). Had words with him for having forgotten her at school earlier on during the week (but apparently 'these things happen !?!?'). Went off with Daddy and Noelie. Dropped presents off for his nephew and niece, then went hunting for a dress for me and trousers for him for a party we were going to that night. Found a simple black dress. Went home. Fell asleep on the couch while Daddy was looking after Noelie. Woke up. Had to get ready. Shower, get dressed, do the hair. Make up would have to wait until Marie was collected. Went to collect Marie, had more words (still on the same subject. My point: no matter what you're doing, you do not forget your child at school). Went home. Did the make up, trying to perfect the smoky eye. Ended up looking like a panda. Did it again. Acceptable. Babysitter arrived. Changed Noelie into her pjs. She decided to dirty her nappy straight after. Need to go because we were running late. Got to the party. Had a good time, wasn't too tired thanks to the aforementioned nap. Got home quite late. Thanked the baby sitter. Got into bed.

Noelie did not wake up until 8h30 Sunday morning. Thank god. Got up with her and gave her her breakfast. Marie had a great time with the baby sitter but went to bed late so she did not get up until 10h00. Put Noelie down for her morning nap. Gave Marie her breakfast. Then we had one of those great moments. Marie, who had seen me writing here, wanted to write a story. So we sat down, in our pjs, me with a nice cup of coffee and her with her notepad. And we came up with a nice story. She loves reading and her writing is coming along really well. I decided to write her story on the computer and she was so proud to see her story in black and white. We decided to go into town and spend the afternoon there, grab a bite to eat, walk around looking at the shop windows and see all the lights. We managed to grab a few presents too. She went off with Daddy to get my presents while Noelie stayed with me (mental note: buggy and busy shops full to the brim with Christmas shoppers not to be repeated). Collected the car and went home. Spoke to my mum on the phone for 30 minutes. By the time, the girls went to bed , both of us were exhausted.

I was looking forward to the new week being less hectic than the week end until I got home after the school run. After a lovely week end (although quite tiring) I realized that:
- The washing machine also took the week end off and about 3 loads of washing were staring at me from various corners of the house. (Would not be too bad in itself if only we had a drier!)
- The sitting room, kitchen and bedrooms looked like a bomb hit them.
- The Christmas cards for my family in France so beautifully written by Marie were still on the table waiting for me to erase the pencil lines (Marie wanted to write straight!), the addresses still to be written on them, the stamps still needed to be bought and a post box still needed to be found.
- A pile of masterfully hidden presents needed to be wrapped, but before they could be, wrapping paper needed to be bought.
- I had used the last of the ham and bread for Marie's lunch and the fridge needed to be replenished.
- I opened the freezer only to realize that we had finished all of Noelie's food and more needed to be cooked.

So off I went to do some shopping, stopping by the post office on the way. Got home to cook some food for Noelie while the first load was being washed. Gave her her lunch. Sat down for the first time with a coffee while she went for her nap, erased the pencil lines, wrote the addresses and stamped the Christmas cards. Then proceeded to wrap some 12 or 13 presents. By the time, I was finished, it was time to collect Marie from school who announced to me on the way home that she had to make some Christmas decorations for the school tree for tomorrow. Got home, gave her her lunch, helped with the homework and got her changed out of her uniform. Started on making some 'pate a sel' (a mix of flour, salt and water that is similar to play dough but gets put in the oven to harden). Gave Noelie her bottle. Daddy got home from work with a muffin for me, and I realized that I hadn't eaten since breakfast. Daddy finished feeding Noelie while I was finishing the hopefully prize winning decorations with Marie and put them in the oven. And now, I finally get to sit down, for the 2nd time today, with a nice coffee and a muffin . And the kitchen and the sitting room look like a bomb hit them (again), and 2 loads of washing are staring at me (from the kitchen this time), and our dinner needs to be cooked (at least Noelie's is made) and Marie needs to be brought over to her dance class. A woman's work is never done! But it's not for lack of trying.

I am now looking forward to going to bed (not for another few hours though) and start all over again tomorrow!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Recipe Friday

I was going through some blogs today and I noticed a few blogs entitled Wordless Wednesday, where other mammies put on pictures or drawings. So I decided to create my own topical day. I hereby present you with Recipe Friday. I don't know if I'm being original at all, if it exists even but if somebody else already had the idea, I apologize.

Isn't it mad that when men leave their mam's to either move in by themselves or with someone else, the majority of them do not know how to cook (or, even though men love gadgets, use that box in which you put dirty clothes and a bit of magic powder also known as a washing machine). When my fiance moved in with me, I had dreams of romantic candlelit dinners, breakfasts in bed and other food- related niceties. So one evening, he offered to cook dinner for us. I was about to say 'oh yes please', when he warned me: the only thing I can cook is beans on toast. Hardly a 3 course romantic dinner. Indeed I had forgotten that he was straight out of Mammy's Bed and Breakfast / Restaurant / Launderette. Anyway, we enjoyed our beans on toast.

So I made it my mission to get him interested in food and most of all get him cooking. So I produced lovely dinners, one after the other, patiently developing his taste buds. After a few months, I bought him a children's cookbook. Yes you have read well, a children's cookbook. One with pictures and step by step explanations for a 28 year old man. Just a kick in the right direction. At first, he insisted that I be there whenever he was cooking but has since developed confidence and cooks (mostly) by himself (apart from chopping onions which he insists on cutting with his eyes closed, therefore often missing the onion and frequently nearly chopping his fingers off). He took to it like a fish to water. To the point that when we discovered that I was pregnant with Noelie, his reply was: I'd better go and stir my casserole ( I put that down to shock ). Now, I have to start introducing him to the magic box that cleans clothes, I wonder if there are any children's manuals on that subject.

But I digress, here is one of the quick and easy recipes I taught him, and which he has now perfected. A favourite of Marie's and myself and probably, in the not so distant future, one of Noelie's too .

Fishy Pasta Bake:

Feeds 4.


- 400 grs of penne pasta (approx 100 grs/ person).
- a vegetable stock cube
- a small tub of fresh cream
- a big tin or 2 of tuna or salmon
- grated cheese (Cheddar, Emmental, Parmesan or any other hard cheese you like)

1) Cook the pasta in the vegetable stock (refer to the cooking time on the pack)
2) Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
3) Add the fresh cream and let it thicken while stirring.
4) Put the drained fish at the bottom of a gratin dish (or a casserole dish or any dish that goes in the oven),
5) Cover with the pasta and cream
6) Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
6) Put dish in the oven until golden brown.

Alternatively, you can use 4 fillets of fish, fresh or frozen. In that case, just cook the fish (either grill or boil or in the oven) and crumble at the bottom of the oven dish . Breaded fish works well and adds a bit of crunch, smoked fish adds a bit more flavour. I also like to sprinkle breadcrumbs on the top with the cheese for more crunch and texture.

You can also add some cooked vegetables to the pasta, cauliflower, courgettes, or broccoli (works well with salmon). And most of all, have some fun with it. Add a bit of nutmeg or some basil or anything that takes your fancy. Experiment!
I hope you'll try it and like it!

On that note, I'd better go and put some magic powder in the magic twirly box and search the Internet for a children's book on how to use it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The ghost of Christmas past

This is it. The last 15 days. Christmas is now officially around the corner. And things are finally starting to feel christmassy.

Here in the Foodie household, we are pretty much ready, the tree and other decorations are up, only a few presents to get in, a letter to send to Santa (I know it's a bit late) and of course food to get in.

This year feels different to the other years though, I am actually enjoying the lead up to the Day. I have never been a big fan of Christmas for various reasons. My birthday falls around that time of year. And it has often been forgotten about (not by my mum and dad, thank god). I have also heard countless times the famous line 'It's for both Christmas and your birthday' (people born between Christmas and the New Year will know what I am talking about). Now don't think I'm greedy. I don't insist on 2 presents or a bigger one or anything of the sort. I have often been delighted with a 'double purpose' present. However, there have been years when I have felt a bit short-changed. Like the year I received a lovely white toiletry bag about 20 cm high (sorry, I'm from the continent, I don't do inches or feet or stones) with a lovely pink silk rose the size of my little fingernail on it (and my hands are very small). It was a nice item and it has served me faithfully. However, both Christmas and my birthday? Emmm... Maybe not.

Another memorable one was my 16th birthday / Christmas, when I received, from the same person might I add, a jumper and skirt that looked like one of the school uniforms you can find anywhere in Ireland. Now, we don't have uniforms in France and I have nothing against them, I think they're actually a good thing. This particular one was a knitted navy one. Knitted jumper and knitted pleated skirt. The loveliest touch was the lace collar and my name embroidered on the chest where the school logo thingy usually goes. Let me remind you I was 16. This lovely present was however worn...just once...for a play... where I was supposed to be a 6 year old school girl...I even have the picture to prove it!

Now, that particular person tried one year later to ask me: 'What do you want for Christmas?'. 'Great, I thought to myself, she's making progress. She's finally realized that asking can be a good idea.'. Being french, I love perfumes. I wear it everyday. I have my winter favourite and my summer favourite and all the other favourites. So there I went with a list of 5 different perfumes, ranging from cheap ones to more expensive, very conscious that Christmas required a budget and that cost could be a factor.

Just so you know, in France, we start the celebrations on Christmas Eve. The tradition is to have a huge meal (anything from 5 to 20 courses lasting anything from 2 to 5 hours) after Midnight Mass. My family is not very religious so, as many families in France do, we skip Midnight Mass and just get stuck in a little earlier in the evening. We also open some of the presents on Christmas Eve.

So, come Christmas Eve, I was looking forward to opening this particular present knowing that I would not be disappointed. How wrong was I!!! I opened the present and indeed found a bottle of perfume from a reputable designer / parfumeur. Not a perfume that was on my list but I am open to trying new things so took a smell. Now, how do I put it... It was comparable to an Air Wick spray, one of the old ones, that were designed to make you forget about any other smell and just overpower your nose with chemical fumes.'Perfumes react differently on the skin', I thought to myself. So still optimistic, I sprayed some on my wrist and hoped that the reaction would produce something I could live with. Not at first, not after 15 minutes either.. Dinner started,everybody looked like they were having a good time when I realized that I had been scratching my wrist quite a bit. I took a look and saw that I finally did get a reaction from the perfume. Lots of little red itchy spots.. Not only did she pick a perfume that smelled like a chemical loo freshener but she picked the only one I am allergic to!

I went back to visit that person a few days later and asked her if there was any possibility of maybe going back to the shop and explaining the problem, in order to get a refund or another perfume. To which the reply was: ' Well your mother got some perfume too, why don't you two swap.' The poor perfume stayed on the bathroom shelf for some time. Until my mother decided that it had gone past its prime and sent it to the end of the bin.

Now, I can hear some people in the background going: 'It's the thought that counts'. Don't I know it! If that's any excuse, I was young! I have applied that philosophy ever since to any present I get (especially to the 3 embroidered napkins received last year, there are 4 of us even though one only wears bibs for now!). I also need to state in my defense that I am not the only one applying that philosophy. My brother also had to when he was given a battery charging kit when he did not have a car (he had crashed a month earlier and the car had to be written off). So do my mother and aunties who predictably get a basket of fruit (loads and loads of fruit) with a sell by date of December 28th every year. So do my father and uncles who invariably get a box of Ferrero Rocher and a plant (beats the socks if you ask me, but the living room is starting to look a bit like a jungle).

So, in short, although it's the thought that counts, please try and stick to the list. If you can't stick to the list, a voucher goes a long way, no matter what value is on it. And most of all, People, please do not forget to make that phone call on the day of the actual birthday, whether you got them a present for Christmas only, or a double purpose one, or no present at all even, and say 'Happy Birthday'.

After all, as they say, it's the thought that counts...

P.S: If you are worried that the person in question might get offended by this, don't. She does not speak a word of english that's one of the advantages of being bilingual. Also, I have had great Christmases and birthdays, especially last year, and despite the 3 napkins, when I turned 30 and got engaged.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thank you Recession

Dear Recession,

I am writing to you today to thank you for the new position you have just offered me. I will be glad to take you up on the offer and embark on this whole new career : that of a stay at home mum.

I realize, especially today of all days with the budget looming later on, that I am one of the lucky ones to whom the prospect of losing her job is actually quite welcome. I wanted to stay at home with my girls at the end of my maternity leave but things were such that it was not an option. But now, thanks to you and a pretty decent redundancy package from my soon to be ex employer, I can afford to.

Although it might not be a very financially rewarding career, I am sure that it is a very rewarding one in many other aspects. It will surely not be easy but I am a fast learner and I believe that I will soon find my feet. Well, hope is always good isn't it?

Before I embark on this new career officially, I have to say goodbye to a few things. Goodbye to the Americanized corporate culture. Goodbye to the '5 minutes' meetings that last for hours. Goodbye to the 'crucial matters' that, at the end of the day, do not really matter. Goodbye to the reports that are needed 'by yesterday'. Goodbye to the running around between school, work, childcare, appointments and all the rest. To all those things that had me comparing myself to some kind of bird gone through the guillotine, I bid farewell.

I also have to say welcome (even though I am already acquainted with them) to another range of things, things that will make me a (hopefully good) stay at home mum. Welcome cooking (one of my all time favourite things, I am french after all). Welcome cleaning. Welcome laundry doing. Welcome DYI-ing. Welcome cake baking, arts and crafting and general playing with the kids. But most of all, welcome to all those special moments, the good ones and the bad ones, that I will not miss.

So, I hope you will appreciate this letter. I am pretty sure you don't get many of them these days. Once again, thank you, Recession, for the opportunity you have just offered me, the opportunity to slow down for a bit, enjoy the children and enjoy the little things in life..

Kind Regards,
Foodie Mummy

P.S: I would also like to thank Hot Cross Mum and Mummy Mania for appearing on a television show talking about blogging. They sparked my interest in this and is one of the reasons I decided to take the step of starting a blog.

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