My brain is still in holiday mode so you're not going to get anything more than a glorified list for this post (who am I kidding, my brain is always in holiday mode). Okay then, maybe two glorified lists.
Things I forgot to tell you I'd done on holiday:
1. Went to Gretna Green for the very first time - a bit like Las Vegas but with pipers and tartan and without the fun.
2. Happened upon the Gala Day in Gatehouse of Fleet and listened to a one-man band play some rocking Proclaimers, Status Quo etc. covers
3. Went to Edinburgh for the day ON MY OWN to consult a 19th Century manuscript for a paper I'm giving in October. Phoned the library the day before to make sure it would be open and they didn't need advance notice for the MS. No problem on either count said the wee man who answered. Arrived at the library around 12H30 the next day to discover that the librarian was just leaving: she only works mornings and yes, you do need to give advance notice to consult MSs. It felt just like being back in France.
4. Spent the rest of the day wandering around Edinburgh through Fringe acts handing out fliers (am I getting old or are they getting more puerile?), saw the Scottish Parliament for the first time and was impressed. Popped into the gift shop at Holyrood Palace and was nauseated by the array of oh-so-tasteful royal memorabilia with names like "The Clarence House Collection". Walked up the Royal Mile and past the High Church of St Giles
5. Watched the TV coverage of Robin Cook's funeral in St Giles two days later. Another good one gone.
Things I've done since we got back:
1. Been to Ikea twice. Once to buy a new "princess" bed for E. and once for the obligatory taking back and waiting in long queue to change the bit that was the wrong size.
2. Had a "family menu" in MacDonald’s. That's a Big Mac meal for Daddy, a salad and a diet coke for Mummy, and two Happy meals for the children. Have you ever felt demographically bog standard?
3. Shivered on the beach at Sanguinet: it turned out to be not such a beautiful day.
4. Caught up on a lot of blogs and left several comments. Why isn't there a blog tool for following comments one has left elsewhere?
5. Had friends round to dinner and made Thai chicken in coconut sauce.
6. Cut back drastically on alcohol consumption in a desperate bid to shake off the 4kg (yes 4kg) I put on over the holidays. Have also foregone all chocolate.
7. Took Z. to the ENT specialist who now recommends surgically inserting permanent grommets for his chronic glue ear. He's only four but has already had three minor ops for the same thing over the past 18 months. The only problem is that the permanent grommets have to be surgically removed in 2/3 years' time and that there is a 20% risk of the ear drum not healing spontaneously after this. What a dilemma. I kind of lost faith in the ENT man when, in the next breath, he recommended a 3-week stay in a health spa in the Pyrenees as also being very effective (this just after he had re-explained that it's basically an anatomical problem involving immature Eustachian tubes not working properly). Oh yes, and he's not only the specialist, he's the surgeon too and he picks up the cheque after each operation. Paradoxically, despite living in a country with reputedly the world's best public health care system but I think we're going to do what the cash-strapped NHS recommends — watchful waiting.
8. Watched the Magic Roundabout on DVD with the children. When I was wee, I lived on an island in the Inner Hebrides where we only got one TV channel (BBC1) and it was all snowy and in black and white. One of my favourite programmes then was the Magic Roundabout with Dougal, Zebedee, Dylan and all their little puppet friends whose threads you could clearly see even through the interference. Well even in those conditions, I can honestly say that the old version was a thousand times better than this new digital travesty. The characters all look as if they've had face lifts and the actual content beggars belief, with three characters coming back from the dead and skeletons with purple laser eyes being blasted to smithereens. Perfect nightmare material. (And the French names aren't nearly as nice as the English a names, Dougal is Pollux, Florence is Margot, Dylan is Floppy and Ermentrude is something I can't even remember and certainly a lot less apt than Ermentrude)
9. Went to the town hall with several official papers to sign the children up for the nursery school canteen and after-school "garderie". E. starts nursery on 30th August. Another milestone.
Tomorrow you get the to-do list.