Friday, February 22, 2008

Read all about it

Alisa of The Juicy Life interviewed me for The Great Interview Experiment which came from the Citizen of the Month blog.

Alisa, who is a ceramic artist, lives in Southern California. She and her husband plan to move to France , so it was quite a nice coincidence that she got interview little old me here in beautiful old France.

If you'd like to read the front page exclusive interview, it's over here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Story of my Life

Or the past couple of weeks at least. It seems that every time I sit down to finish that paper, something lures me back to the internet.
"It is clear that national identity amongst nineteenth century bla, bla, bla"
.... must just check the temperature in Orlando, before I forget.......
20 minutes later, having also checked the prevalence of mosquitos in Florida:
" bla bla bla what Freud called the narcissism of small differences"
... must check that quote on Google Scholar.....
another 20 minutes later having discovered another, much more interesting article:
"a certain slipperiness in their affiliations..."
Oh great, I've got mail. Oh, look a link to a YouTube video...
And so on and so on. Until it's time to pack up and cease all semblance of having been toiling at the keyboard

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Epaminondas

Z's reading book this week is Epaminondas - the story of an extremely stupid little black boy (or an over-obedient little black boy, it depends which way you look at it.)

I think I must have read this book at school when I was about the same age as Z. I remembered the passage where Epaminondas arrives home with butter streaming out of his hat.
"Law's sake! Epaminondas, what you got in your hat?"
"Butter, Mammy," said Epaminondas; "Auntie gave it to me."
"Butter!" said his Mammy.
"Epaminondas, you ain't got the sense you was born with! Don't you know that's no way to carry butter?

Amazon suggests buying Epaminondas along with "The Story of Little Black Sambo" which I also remember reading at school, before it was banned.

But then I lived on an island where there were no black people and the Pakistanis who came twice a year to sell clothes from the back of a van were known as "the darkies".

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Inadequate

We spent the day in the Dordogne today and since spring has come a couple of months too early, we spent some time in the woods picking daffodils. Not the tall majestic ones that tend to adorn roundabouts but the stumpy little ones with pale tissue paper flowers. I would like to show you a photograph of them, but somehow I have managed to corrupt my photothèque by using a more recent version of iPhoto than the one I have installed. I can't quite work out how this happened.
Preparations for Florida continue apace and my main reading matter for the past week has been "Walt Disney World With Kids 2008" which is perhaps one of the most frightening books I've ever read. It informs me that "character meals" should be booked at exactly 7 am. exactly 180 days before the required date. We leave in exactly 6 days. It is also full of advice about booking meals, terror ratings (?) for all of the rides, exhortations to be at the parks at the crack of dawn, tips about vantage points for fireworks shows and parades and something confusing called Fastpass which short circuits queues for the most popular rides but still involves queuing. I feel that we may be somewhat under-prepared.
On one of those sites where people tell you the real, honest, down to earth truth about the hotel you've booked (only what you usually find is that 50% of users say they had a wonderful holiday in this luxurious establishment while the other 50% tell you it was a rat-infested hole run by a MR. B. Fawlty, so really you're no further forward), I discovered that our hotel's pool is closed for refurbishment for the next three months. I'm beginning to suspect that Disney may not be the house of fun we have been led to believe, it is rather the sort of sneaky multinational that let's you come all the way from Europe to sunny Florida and neglects to mention that the hotel has no water in its frigging pool. It's a good job I spend most of my waking life on the internets, otherwise we wouldn't have known until we wandered down in our swimmies. We're arranging a transfer to the hotel next door, only now our 'magical something or other" luggage labels which ensure that we won't have to bother our pretty little heads with our luggage between dropping it off at the airport in Bordeaux and finding it magicked into our hotel rooms on the other side of the Atlantic, have bar codes for the Wrong Hotel.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Interview

I signed up for Citizen of the Month's great interview experiment in which everybody is a somebody. Here's me interviewing Val who just happened to sign up after me. It turns out that we're quite similar - we both have a boy and a girl, we both like to insert three point punctuation whenever possible ... she has just been to see Mickey Mouse, and I'm going soon. Read on.

You have a very busy life, when do you find time to blog?
Who knows! I really just wing it! Whenever I have a brief moment, I try to throw something up there...although it may not be written as well as I would like it to be....I blame this on someone always calling me for something...whether it is at home or work! Another good thing....I have implemented early bedtimes....my son is in bed by 7pm and daughter has quiet time either reading, doing a puzzle, or watching a movie for an hour until her bedtime, at 8pm. This is how I keep my sanity!

You have one of the longest blogrolls I've ever seen. How did you come to build up such a massive collection, do you read all of them regularly or do you drop in occasionally?
I don't really have a large blogroll. What you are seeing is mainly Wordless Wednesday participants....I really need to clean up my page, but again, who has time! And I actually have to add to my actual blogroll since I read a lot more on a regular basis. I subscribe to most in Google Reader which makes it really easy to read daily posts of others.

Would you say that suburban Philadelphia is a good place to bring up children - what would you like to change, what would you definitely not change?
This is definitely not a question for me if you love Philadelphia....I am NOT a city person. I refuse to drive into the city, and when I am there, I am terrified! I like living in the suburbs of Philly, but would definitely make changes such as lower taxes, better school systems, less crime, and more open space. On a better note, the City does offer wonderful sites to visit, like the Children's and Art Museum. I have lived here, within a few miles, my whole life. But I will let you in on a little secret......I HATE THE WINTER....moving to Florida (taking everyone I know with me) is my ultimate dream!

You recently pointed out all of the dangers we expose our children to through television, toxic toys and foods. You've changed to a healthier diet (well done for the brussels sprouts!), are you
planning on changing anything else?
I would love to get rid of the television....except I enjoy it too much!
No real changes on the horizon for us....we are just looking forward to a healthier year. Drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, no junk food. (Although I hid a can of Pringles, and ate them in my bed last night!)

You went to Disney World in Florida a few weeks ago and I'm going in a few weeks' time. What was the very best thing you did while you were there and what would you definitely recommend not doing?
I LOVE Disney....but my advise...go alone! No, really, it was A LOT of fun! The kids totally loved it, and it was great just to see their faces taking everything in.
My recommendation: take full advantage of the fast pass and get to the park early! The night before, pick what ride or two you REALLY need to go on...then first thing, go to that ride and fast pass it....this will save you a good amount of time! Also, there is a salon in Cinderella's castle called Bibbidi Bobbidi Salon where little girls get all dressed up as their favorite princesses and get their hair and makeup done! It was SO cute! You need to make reservations though, and from what I heard, they book VERY quickly.
There really isn't anything I don't recommend doing....it is all fabulous...I am even planning a trip in November with just my Mom...spa, here I come!
You will have a GREAT time...give Goofy a big kiss for me!