Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Lovely Awkward: A Year of Wine, Romance and Life Among the French

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lake swimming in France -- Lac de Saint-Cassien

Some fishing boats along the shore of Lac de Saint-Cassien, near Cannes, France

We took the car to Lac de Saint-Cassien yesterday and rented a paddle boat (pedalo) with a slide.

The day was amazing: sunny, breezy and the water was warm and lovely. This was supposed to be our Father's Day present and it worked out perfectly -- partly because I only had enough cash on me for a half-hour ride (the exact amount of boating fun the kids could handle).

I'm very, very, very glad, however, that I didn't look up the types of fish that live there until we got home. The carp are crazy!

There are a lot of videos on YouTube about the lake: a fly-over and a great number of videos of Germans holding up giant carp or searching out catfish underwater. I'm going to have to do more research before our next trip!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Castles (real castles!) and country life

View from a house in the country near Nice, France.

We've been looking at houses in the country again. And, I'm still torn: the city gives us conveniences like stores and activities for the kids, but the country gives us so much fresh air and space!

I'm still not sure when we'll make the leap, but there are some amazingly beautiful places out there in la France profonde (that description always makes me laugh) -- from huge fixer-uppers to ready-to-move-into mansions. We're probably looking for something in between.

And then there are the non-realistic ideas: There are even castles for sale!

For anyone interested in dreaming along with me, here are a few of the real estate sites in France:

*Note: A viager is an amazing idea, but it's always a risky bet. The houses come with elderly occupants (sometimes they live there, sometimes the place is empty) and can be bought at very low prices, but then you usually have to pay rent. The rent gets paid for either a fixed amount of time or until the occupants are no longer alive to collect it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

French parents don't know everything!

A fort we found near us
in Villeneuve-Loubet.
The beginning of a forest

In recent years, a lot of books have been published about the greatness of French parenting. The French do have quite a few wonderful ideas, I agree, but they're not the only ones!

After getting tired of all of the dog poops on our sidewalks here in Nice (they're particularly bad in our neighbourhood) and deciding we needed a little more nature for our kids (hiking in the steep foothills of the Alps can be hard with toddlers), we went back to Canada for a little flat-land forest school.

The learning style is very different from what we have here in France.

And... we loved it.


I wrote about our experience in Ottawa Parenting Times magazine.

If you'd rather hear more about France and you want a good laugh, however, you can read about how French cities might start DNA testing dog poops ("crottes") so they can fine owners (the article is in French). I can't stop laughing -- probably because my early morning, stroller obstacle course has tired me out. Am I actually in a life-in-the-city dog-poop funk?

I think dogs are awesome, but I really wouldn't mind if a CSI expert gave some of these owners -- particularly the ones who let their dogs poop in front of our elementary school -- a little crap of their own!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Father-daughter writing team!

So, I've been working on all kinds of writing, but one project is now finished! My father, Roy, and I wrote a YA book together that was recently published by Tundra Books. It's part of a series about a Canadian hockey team called the Screech Owls -- it's a series that he's been writing since I was a teenager. The kids play hockey, but they also solve mysteries. And Nish, one of the series' main characters, is a very entertaining, loud-mouthed, trouble-seeking, mostly uncontrollable brat! (He was the most fun to write!)

Here's an interview with the two of us on CBC Radio, discussing Reality Check in Detroit.