Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere

5 blog posts I could have written. But didn’t.


Well going back to work certainly changed my life.  I only work three days a week (albeit in another country twice a month, with a 6-and-a-half-hour commute).  It’s not much at all, really, but it’s as if a little Time Fairy has sneaked into my life and brazenly stolen all my ‘me’ time.

I used to have ‘me’ time, I’m sure.  Maternity leave last year now feels like a perfect dream (though I’m sure it wasn’t always) – gallivanting up and down mountainsides with a baby on my back and a camera round my neck.  I had time for stuff like that!  And I still managed to cook fresh meals for my family, clean the house (from time to time. A bit. OK, let’s not exaggerate…), see my friends, and even write blogs.

The good old days

The good old days

(I’d love to know what that damn fairy has done with it that time.  If I found her stash I’d make a fortune.)

These days I’m lucky if my children get to eat pasta pesto or fish fingers less than three days in a row.  I haven’t seen the sofa for a good few weeks – I think it must be buried under that pile of jumpers, books, DVDs, toys, handbags and letters from school demanding lunch money, but I couldn’t be sure.  Despite the constant running of the washing machine and the fact that the house resembles a laundry, no one’s ever got anything to wear, and I’m so disorganised in the mornings that Alpine Boy regularly goes to school without gloves or a hat.   Usually when it’s -10°c .  I’m such a great mum.


And I have no time to write blogs!  The little ‘me’ time that the Time Fairy has begrudgingly left behind is generally spent crashing on the sofa propping my eyes open with matchsticks – I’m in no fit state to talk, never mind write.  (I just want to mention that it’s not pure laziness on my part, all this exhaustion… there’s a real reason, see below…).

So my lack of posts recently (ok, for months) doesn’t mean I’ve got nothing to say (as if).  Au contraire, mes petits, I’m sure you all want to hear about my exciting life of working, washing and not so much walking!

Here are the ‘best’ bits then.  Here are 5 posts that I would have written had I been bothered/had the time:

1.      BTW I’m having a baby

So let’s get the obvious one out the way first. The latest addition to the Alpine Family is on its way – Alpine Baby is due at the end of March!  Gosh.  The things I’d do for another year off work, eh…


It seemed like a great idea at the time – recreate my perfect Alpine gap year –  but it’s slowly dawning on me that I won’t be quite so quick up those mountains with two babies strapped to me.  Going to give it a damn good try though – if anyone has any tips on the logistics of the whole ‘carrying two babies in the mountains’ thing just let me know.

No, really, I’m very excited about the whole thing!  All going well so far, apart from the aforementioned exhaustion (might have something to do with the fact I fly back to London at the crack of dawn twice a month for work – or at least I was doing until last week, when my French midwife found out what I was doing and nearly had kittens), and apart from my general grumpiness about missing out on a whole ski season (bad timing or what?!)

And I can’t wait to meet Alpine Baby!  9 weeks to go, ooh er.  I must say though that I am also starting to wonder how the hell I’m going to cope with more children than hands… I’ll keep you posted on that one.

2. Bloody cat

This cat is yet again the bane of my life. I could rant for hours about this but it’s gross so I won’t.

She started weeing on the floor.  In the kitchen.  That’s all you need to know.

We tried everything, except taking her to the vets for some reason. Eventually we even tried that (and really only because I sent Alpine Papa to have her put down…).  Should have done so sooner, it turns out– she had a urine infection.  And diabetes. Joy.

So I felt too guilty to have her put down.  And now we have to inject her twice a day with insulin, and feed her special vet-approved food that costs even more than the Iams we used to have to import when she turned her fussy little nose up at Carrefour own brand.

Looking on the bright side, we don’t have much of a life these days, and so being at home to inject her twice a day is not too much of a chore. When we were young and carefree (remember those days Alpine Papa?!), living it up in London and actually going out in the evening, the same cat had her first case of diabetes. My friends would snicker in disbelief as we made our early excuses half way through a great night out, to make sure we got back before midnight to inject the cat.  In case she turned into a pumpkin or something.

So, in summary, she’s costing us a fortune again, this bloody cat, and she’s rather annoying.  But at least she’s stopped weeing on the floor.

Butter wouldn't melt....

Butter wouldn’t melt….

3. How to put guests off ever coming again

Blog number 3 would have recounted the ‘hilarious’ tale of when my lovely lovely friend Sarah came to visit with her husband and baby in September.  It was a disaster. 

I didn’t have any annual leave left and had to work for two of the days they were here, so they had to entertain themselves.  ‘Cause I’m a great host like that.

Alpine Girl didn’t sleep.  At all.  And seemed to relish the challenge of waking up Sarah’s baby, Alpine Boy and indeed the entire house.  (No-one believes that my daughter does in fact sleep like a dormouse most of the time, as she always insists on proving otherwise whenever we have guests.)

The bloody cat was still weeing on the floor.  Twice a day.  At least.

As it was September, the cows had already been brought down from the mountains and were residing next door.  But the weather was hot hot hot.  So there were loads of flies in the house. Loads.  Which just wouldn’t die.

Oh yeah, and I got lost taking them back to the airport (Sarah and her family, that is.  Not the flies).

But hey, I had a great time – seeing my beautiful friend and her beautiful family; drinking the lovely English tea she brought with her; snoozing in the sunshine; picnics in the woods; walks without coats.  

Not sure they’ll want to come again though…

Damn cows - bringer of flies

Damn cows – bringer of flies

4. Look, no kids!

This next blog would have lamented about how old I’m getting (not really.  I’m an ever-youthful 33.  Though admittedly Alpine Boy thinks that’s ancient.  As I guess I did once).

I would have amusingly described my brilliant birthday, ironically remarking how it involved fresh air, a small glass of wine (pregnancy restrictions) and falling asleep before midnight, instead of smoky clubs, too many vodkas and stumbling home at dawn. How times change.

The day involved dumping the kids at school and the childminder’s and climbing a mountain (where I discovered a newly-established fear of heights. And cliffs. And ravines… I’m hoping it’s purely pregnancy-related or I’m in for a dull summer). We then did the unheard of thing of getting a babysitter in (woo!) and going out for a posh meal (double woo!). I’m sure I’m supposed to want to spend my special day with my beautiful children, but hey. I’m sure they didn’t mind (or indeed notice). And I got my glass of wine (sshhh, don’t tell my midwife).

Easily pleased, me.

This now scares me.  Which might be a problem, living round here...

This now scares me. Which might be a problem, living round here…

 5. Best. Day. Ever.

The Tour de France came right past our village in July.  And what’s more, it was going uphill.

A peloton of cycling-mad friends therefore came to stay, and I spent weeks beforehand working out where we’d watch it, what time we’d get there, whether I could cope with the boredom of standing on the side of the road all day waiting for a few bikes to whizz by… (sorry.  Not a great fan of cycling, have to say.  Cue eye rolling from bike-mad Alpine Papa).

So I wasn’t expecting a great day.  But I’m a brilliant host (sometimes, honest…) so was prepared to get in the spirit of things.

And, in the words of our friend Andy: “Best. Day. Ever!”  Who’d have thunk it?!

We got our perfect spot – view of the mountains (for me); view of the bikes coming up the hill (for everyone else).

It was sunny.  ALL day.  Until the precise moment we arrived home.  Brilliant.

There was a bar.  A bar!  On the side of the road.  Pumping out cool music.  And beer!  ALL day.  We got to dance in the road.  Which the girls loved.  And ogle at girls in bikini tops.  Which the boys loved.

The portable TV amazingly worked so we could watch the rest of the race from the side of the road.  And we were back in time to watch the finish, safe on our sofa whilst the rain beat down outside.

Alpine Boy had the time of his life, and still talks about it when we drive past ‘our Tour de France spot’ on the way to the supermarket.

The day wasn’t even spoilt by lecherous drunken Dutchmen next to us, or by the obnoxious anti-gay lobby opening a massive offensive banner for the TV cameras.  Right next to our (rather easily identifiable) car.

And did I mention I don’t even like bike races?!

I’d been worrying about how we’d top it in 2014, but the Tour de France organisers have taken that out of our hands, by avoiding bringing the route anywhere near us.  I never thought I’d say this but I’m a bit disappointed really!  Roll on 2015.

The bar

The bar

The bikes

The bikes

The dancing

The dancing (did you think I was joking?!)

That’s all folks!

So that’s it.  Will keep you going for a while, I’m sure (it might have to – I’ve got another month and a half left of work before my maternity leave starts.  And I think I might be ever-so-slightly optimistic to think that the damn Time Fairy is going to give back any of that ‘me’ time once Alpine Baby is here…).


Author: Alpine Mummy

Now an ex-City lawyer, I gave up London life 'just for a year' to spend my maternity leave in a tiny village in the French Alps. Nearly three years later Alpine Family is still here - the legal career is gone but we're living the dream (most of the time) and skiing and hiking our way through life. Walks and fresh air are now the order of the day - bye bye smog, hello mountains...

8 thoughts on “5 blog posts I could have written. But didn’t.

  1. Welcome back Alpine Mummy! Have no fear, going from two to three kids is a ‘walk in the park’ compared to going from one to two. After all, you have already ‘no life’ as you used to know it, so what could possibly get worse! As for outings up the mountain, there’s nothing like a baby-backpack on your back and a BabyBjorn strapped to your front simultaneously! Just remember to put the BabyBjorn on first, but the wee baby into it once bigger baby is comfortably installed on your back. Don’t try to put bigger baby on your back whilst wee baby is strapped to your front because of the risk of trapped wee baby fingers – and I should know. But then again, don’t put wee baby down low, or there is the risk of bending over to pick it up, and for bigger baby to slide out of the backpack and do a somersault over your head!!
    If nothing else, the fact that you will be well balanced on a mountain top may reduce the vertigo. There’s nothing worse than always feeling like you are going to fall over backwards!
    I have four, and I remember being a mumbling, ranting dishevelled ‘being’ for a while, but now that the youngest is 10, i’m just ranting!


    • Thank you – nice to be back!!

      People keep telling me that ‘one extra makes no difference when you’ve already got two’ – I’ll be holding them to that (though I’m still not convinced!). Every now and then it suddenly hits home that we’re going to have three kids (THREE KIDS?!?!), and wave of panic washes over me until I find something to distract me (not hard – I’m so tired I’m very easily distracted these days!)

      Thanks enormously for the baby-carrying tips – you’ve made my day (no-one else will give me actual advice on this subject – they just say I’m mad…). I will definitely keep you posted on how it all goes! And I’m hoping you’re right on the balancing/vertigo issue!

      Four children…. you’re even more crazy than I am! 😉 You seem to have come out the other side unscathed though – I hope I do too…

      thanks for dropping by!


  2. Wow!! love to you all…. I am catching up with FB this morning. congratulations I think it is perfectly sensible to have more children to avoid Monday’s at work. BUT I am totally shocked to hear that you commuted to London for work. On the other hand what else would you do Paris I suppose. Love this blog.


  3. Congratulations! Not only on the imminent arrival of another Alpine baby, but also on managing to write a lovely post amid the chaos 🙂
    I have great admiration for women who do the hardest job of all (mom) and maintain a career. Your tales make my life look almost peaceful, yet I haven’t found the time to write in months. Thanks for showing me it can be done if I set to it!


  4. Really enjoyed this! The format really suits your style, why bother with big long posts anymore? 🙂 Congratulations too. And BTW it’s just scary to me how young you are for all your responsibilities…believe me, when I was 33 I could barely get out of bed of a morning so much fun was being had.


    • Aw thank you! Haha I was the first of my firends to get married(at 26), the first to have a kid (at 28), which means I am now the ONLY person I know of my own age who is crazy/stupid/intelligent (?) enough to have made it to three already… I am planning to have a LOT of fun when I’m 53 and they’ve all finally left home!!

      (And the BEST think about being pregnant at the moment is when people say, “ooh, congratulations, is it your first?” And I roll my bloodshot eyes and wipe the toddler snot discreetly off my shoulder and say “no, my third”, which usually results in someone’s jaw landing on my foot. teehee)


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