Time to knock the expats on the head?

Looking around the web the other week for some supporting articles on subjects I was researching for this blog, I kept falling upon 'ex-pat' websites.  Sites like 'Expatica', 'expat.com' and 'Internations' to name just a few - full of references to 'ex-pats' all over the world. Today I started to look at the kinds of … Continue reading Time to knock the expats on the head?

When I met… Francis Ford Coppola

I wish I could remember her name. When we one day move to a house again and get our stuff out of storage I’ll find my old travel diary and find out. Not that it makes a big difference. She was so sassy. Had such confidence. Such ease. When one of the guys came back … Continue reading When I met… Francis Ford Coppola

S’no Fear

Since it snowed a lot, we’ve done some skiing. I don’t think I mentioned that it snowed a lot. Well it really and truly did. And it scared me. When you grow up in southern England, the idea of snow being scarey seems ridiculous. Snow is exciting. It’s unusual, and when it happens it’s a … Continue reading S’no Fear

The Look: how the French make you squirm

So I started researching this article by Googling things like ‘Filthy look, French’. That delivered  lots of translations and suggestions for how to say ‘filthy look’ in French. I tried, ‘French, France, dirty look’ and got articles expressing an opinion that the French are none too clean (hmmm, our own showering rate has definitely declined … Continue reading The Look: how the French make you squirm

My first book – Out Now!

It’s not that her London life is destroying her, but it’s not inspiring her, either. And the fact is, Naomi’s in love - with New Zealand.

Driving on ice!

With the husb going away regularly I decided this week was the week to bite the bullet and have a go at driving in the snow. Even though we have an excellent free in-season bus service between our little town at the top end of the lake, and the main town at the bottom end, … Continue reading Driving on ice!

They Speak French!

I could have written this a few weeks ago. But now it’s really true. They speak French. The children. Not utterly fluently, but they speak. And... “You don’t pronounce it like THAT mummy!” I hear, several times a day. I’ve even started toasked them for vocabulary. Our youngest’s handwriting has gone from this: To this: … Continue reading They Speak French!

And we’re still moving…

Clearly I'm not in the mood, this year, to write a dull old tale in chronological order. I've plunged here and I've plunged there and I'm blaming my summer bump on the head for an inconsistent rush of odd memories I've had a sudden urge to document. My current subject here on Jumping Off Books … Continue reading And we’re still moving…


Our 9-year-old had expressed frustration in July with being moved from her French school just as she'd started to feel settled and had made friends. 'First we have to move from Bristol and all our friends, now you're making us move again just when I'd started to make some friends,' she complained.


It wasn't long before April was fast approaching along with that trip to Milan - the four-days-and-three-nights one the school were taking our seven year old on.  And, it turned out, the year below her too!  Good luck those teachers. Isla was excited and nervous in turns, and as a consequence (in my opinion) put … Continue reading Milano