Tag Archives: family time

“Lost for words” by Stephanie Butland

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“A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame” – a marvelous opening line. One can say the same about the human life on Earth.

“Lost for words » is a story of a long path to self-love and empathy. Loveday – the name of the main character – moves in the blink of an eye from a carefree childhood into the world of a child in foster care, as a result of domestic violence.

The story line is nonlinear and the flashbacks are moving as they are narrated through the eyes of a 10 year old caught in a family drama, which keeps reverberating in her adult’s life through the choices she makes. The story ends a bit abruptly to my taste, as if letting you wonder about what’s next. There is a charm in that, I think.

Our first virtual date

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Our first virtual date

We increasingly live in parallel worlds and switch from virtual to what we call “real” in the blink of an eye, literally. So, when my child proposed to organise for us a virtual romantic dinner, I jumped into it with enthusiasm. And gratitude. After such a long period of “date fasting” imposed by this unusual times, a virtual date sounded absolutely great. I would not have to worry about the cough at the next table, at least.

So at the appointed time, we logged in and got an invitation to join the place where a table with delish looking food was laid for us on a terrace just for the two of us. Our child acted as a host and was at our service with grace and joy. She also fully designed the place and paid for all expenses. She is a very generous person.

We did everything you do on a date: we chatted, ate, drank (water – no alcohol allowed in the game). We also had an invited guest popping in. Thank you, game creators, for the “block » button.

The fun part is that you can do in the game things you’d not normally do in real life. Like dancing on the table after the meal. Not that you cannot do that in real life, I guess, under certain circumstances, which you may regret the next day.

So, I fully recommend the virtual dating. It’s fun, unobliging and free, free from mosquitos as well.

Have fun and stay safe on the internet.

Others’ opinions

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I recently met my schoolmate whom I have not seen in two decades or so. At some point she dropped me a message, when she realised that we live in the same region.

So, on a Sunday afternoon she, her kid and husband were at our door. We love guests, so we soon settled in a nice conversation around some home baked warm goodies. Our kids swiftly immersed themselves into play. It was all lively and lovely.

After we had our coffee, my schoolmate suddenly remembered how much she and her friend laughed at my acting in primary school. I always somehow landed lead roles in school plays.

Her voice was remorseful. She remembered this for decades and seemed to want to say it to me out loud. She remembered some of my roles’ lines from back then. I must have been good.

I was not bothered by her confession. She was 8-9 years old. I loved acting. I was oblivious to their comments. And that was wonderful.

If I would have known and started paying less and less attention to what made me me — my talents, beliefs — and would have started conforming to what others may or may not think, it would have harmed my free expression and my potential.

As adults we tend to listen to and spend time on ruminating over others’s opinions until it spirals into infinite. Thanks to extensive research we can learn to deal with it. If you want to learn more, read “How to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You” by Michael Gervais, Harvard Business Review, 2 May 2019.

An autumn love story

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On a warm autumn day, in a town on the Mediterranean, I let my kid choose where she wanted to have lunch. Her choice led us to a place were locals go. Tables next to each other. Waiters saluting clients with a non-chalance of old friends. This kind of place.

We were given a table in the middle of the room and soon enough a couple was sat next to us.

She was beaming with elegance, her hair just out of a hairdresser. White blouse, dark skirt. Let’s call her Mathilde. He was dressed as if in a hurry. A hurry to see her, I thought. Let’s call him Henry. They both seemed to have been born in the middle of last century.

They ordered the plat du jour and wine. Henry immediately became chatty with the lady at the table next to him and told her the story of his life in 5 minutes: he is retired, daughter lives in another country, he and the lady having lunch with him is not his wife and they just “see each other”. He would be good on Twitter, I thought, with such a talent for conciseness.

The lady at the next table offered them her unfinished bottle of wine. I also wanted to offer something, in exchange for more stories. I offered them our untouched basket of bread. They accepted it with the joy of 5 year olds on Christmas eve.

As we switched our attention to our plates, their dialogue unfolded:

– Oh, darling, your back hurts you again?, Henry asked with a compassion level 100, as she tried to find a comfortable posture in her chair.

– Oh, it’s fine, Mathilde tried to reassure him.

– Well, you know the remedy. You come to my place. You undress. I give you a massage on your back, his hands demonstrating circular movements, as if around her delicate shoulders.

Mathilde blushed and directed his eyes with her green eyes to my daughter, as if saying: « Shsh, there are kids around ». Henry’s blue eyes responded: “Well, sooner or later, she will find out. What’s there to hide?!”

– Well, you felt good after our last time…, his sweet smile enveloping her.

We left the place with the feeling of having watched a good movie from the 50s. Their illuminated faces – a lovely memory of an autumn love story. Ageless. Priceless.

P.S. I remembered this story in the times of this pandemic… I truly hope they are well and their love continues to brighten their days.

“The salt path” by Raynor Winn

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That’s some tale. I “walked” for miles and miles on the English coast line with this amazing couple – Moth and Ray. The reading made me straighten my back, lower my shoulders and relearn acceptance.

This couple in their 50s lost their home, family business and all income and walked into their next stage with their 8 kg each backpacks. On top of that, Moth was diagnosed with some incurable disease… . They endure, overcome, cry, despair, get up, and move on.

I read some of the reviews after I read the book. Some saw it as a diary, others as a coast guide and national geographic type of writing. Some focused on the homeliness side of the story only. Others on the iterations… It has it, indeed, a little bit of each. As with any reading, we will find there only what we have inside already…

My favourite quote from the book: “A new season had crept into me, a softer season of acceptance.”

Gaming parenting

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– Let’s go for a walk.

– Mom, it’s 2020! Who does this anymore?!

What we did instead was to play and hang out in Adopt me.

I played the baby and Sofia played the mom. A very good mom to a very spoiled brat. My personality online could be quite opposite to the one in real life. I wonder what Freud would say about it… Not that I care.

I chose my outfit – urban romantic glamour, in case you need to know. I decorated my room for a budget of 100 Gamedollars.

We had ice cream and pizza with Ramsay – in this precise order. Oh, Heaven!

We spent time on the playground and by the camp fire. I only had 50 gamedollars on my game account and I spent the time of my life. Because it was time spent with my treasure.

Kids grow. So do parents. When was the last time you played with your kid?

Easter meanings

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This Easter for me is about those who put food on our table. Every day. Crisis, no crisis.

Those who work the land from dusk to dawn. Those who water the crops and harvest it. Those who get their hands dirty and foreheads sweaty. Those who deliver it and put it on the shelves, so that we only pick and choose with our manicured hands.

Those in school kitchens, restaurants and cafes who feel no pain from burns and cuts, as their remedy is love for food and people they feed.

Parents who cook for their kids. Kids who cook for their parents. Grandmas who know no sleep over simmering pots in anticipation of their visiting grandchildren.

All those who will share what they have and cut a boiled egg in 2 and share it with a hungry human or a hungry cat.

Those who are grateful for their food and kiss the hands of those who put food on table. Every day.

Day Spa, homemade

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Day Spa, homemade

– Bye, darling, I am gone for half-a-day.

– « Gone? ». Did you write your déclaration for today?

– Why? Do we need one now for going to the bathroom?

Well, if I cannot go to the Spa, the Spa comes to me. And as in a Award acceptance speech, my thanks go to:

– my flat owner for having not saved money on a proper bathtub. Those with a history with French « landlords » know what I am talking about.

– my pharmacist for having good supplies of essential oils. For now, my favourites are Lemon and Palmarosa for their escapist abilities to take my senses to a garden in full bloom.

Pranarom, essential oils.

– and to my hubby for my perfect espresso with a pinch of nutmeg.