Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


Alpine Mummy’s celebrity interview

Ever wondered why Alpine Mummy is actually in the middle of nowhere, and not working her way up the corporate ladder in good old London…?

Ever wondered what she’s thinking when signing off yet more orders for paperclips?

Ever wonder what life is really like as an expat in the French mountains, with dog poo and bureaucracy galore?

Wonder no more!

For all the juicy details (kind of), check out this candid and exclusive interview for the fantastic  Forget Hello, Vogue, or Paris Match – this is where it’s at!

The perfect combination



Me… revisited

In July 2012 Alpine Family, then a somewhat smaller unit than we are now, embarked on a new adventure: giving up hectic London life for a new start in the French Alps.

It was a temporary move – I had a year’s maternity leave, and what better way to spend it than gallivanting up and down mountainsides with the soundtrack of cow bells echoing around us. The hills were indeed alive, and the Von Trapps had nothing on us (although admittedly I am yet to dress my little darlings in curtains…). Life couldn’t have been more different had we moved to the moon – life as a City lawyer was a distant memory as I got used to life as a stay-at-home mummy in the middle of nowhere with two kids (Alpine Boy aged 3 and a half; Alpine Girl aged 7 weeks when we moved here). Doctors’ appointments, supermarket trips, and snow (lots of snow): all was new, all was in French, and I blogged about the lot (well, some of it).


My dream house... (shame it's not ours)

My dream house… (shame it’s not ours)

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Conversations with Alpine Mummy

I used to be an intelligent and intelligible grown-up. I used to have intelligent, intelligible conversations, with other like-minded grown-ups. Honest.

“What is the likelihood of the provisions of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 applying to your business transfer such that you would inherit employee liabilities from the vendor?” I could tell you.  “Is the recent rise in property prices in the South East indicative of another property ‘bubble’?” I had an opinion. And a culprit. And a solution.

How things have changed…


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The nine circles of hell (otherwise known as… pregnancy)

 As Alpine Papa will attest, I am not very good at being pregnant.  Not at all. 

You know those people who glow their way through pregnancy like a sunbeam, with nothing to slow them down except too much damn gushing about how they “luuuurve being pregnant” and “isn’t it amaaaaaazing”?  That’s not me.  Not at all.

Don't get confused - that's a sunbeam, that is, it's not me...

Don’t get confused – that’s a sunbeam, that is, it’s not me…

Alpine Papa is no help.  I don’t think he believes any of the suffering I am genuinely going through to bring this beautiful new life into the world.  In fact, when I moan (admittedly for the 40th time that day) about how crap being preggars is, he immediately takes great delight in pointing out how desperately I wanted to be pregnant each time, and how I would whine any time anyone I knew would dare get pregnant before me.  “Ooooh , it’s not fair”, he mocks (apparently that’s how I talk).  “So-and-so is pregnant, how come I’m not pregnant? I want to be pregnant. It’s not faaaaaaaair.  Why can’t I be pregnant? I want to be pregnant!”.

I would like to point out, though, that he is wrong.  Very.  I have never said “I want to be pregnant”, or moaned about not being. I have often whined about the fact that I want another baby and I want it now.  But that’s entirely different.  I have never had any desire to be pregnant. Why would I? It’s rubbish.

Hell in fact.  Nine months of hell.  Must have been what Dante had in mind.  Here are my nine circles of hell:

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The ‘gap year’ comes to an end…

This crazy move to the Alps was only ever going to be for a year – less, in fact, as I could take a year’s maternity leave and we didn’t move until Alpine Girl was seven weeks old.  She is now nearly 11 months old so it’s time to start thinking about the next chapter in our life…

Time to give all this up...?

Time to give all this up…?

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Warning, may cause homesickness

Far from home...

Far from home…

(Note for my non-UK readers – I imagine that several of the references in this post will not make much sense to you… if so, check out the Glossary of Terms below…)

Sometimes, the warnings on medicine packets (drafted by cautious lawyers with an aversion to getting sued, no doubt) contain warnings which make you wonder if it’s actually worth taking the medicine at all.  Ibuprofen tablets, for example, tell you that one side-effect of this particular painkiller is… um, headaches.  And bottles of emollients (used to treat eczema) warn that the product may cause skin irritation.  Go figure.

And I’ve discovered that the same can be said for homesickness remedies.  I have been taking a few of these recently and have found that the side-effects do seem to include (yep, you’ve guessed it): homesickness. Continue reading


A moment of Epiphany. With cake.

It turns out that a lot of European traditions are very similar, albeit with certain national differences.  I like that about the world – we’re all the same, really, we just pretend we’re not…

Anyway, a fellow expat blogger, Piglet in Portugal, posted recently about Boli Rei, which turns out to be pretty much the same idea as the French Galette des Rois – a tasty cake to mark Epiphany on 6 January.  Any tradition involving cake is a good thing in my book.  Hhhmmmm, cake….   Continue reading


Reader Appreciation Award

I have always been totally addicted to reading.  In the UK I got through about four library books a week (commuting was good for one thing!), and spent a ridiculous amount of my kids’ inheritence in Waterstones.   But when we moved here I left all my (hundreds) of books in the UK – it was so painful but I knew we had no room for them here.  With a heavy heart I packed them away, and now they’re waiting patiently for me (I hope) in my dad’s garage.  I was so lost without them.

But then I discovered blogs.  I was saved!  I have found a whole new world of words –  so many amazingly well-written, witty, poignant, thought-provoking and downright brilliant blogs.  Trawling WordPress and Twitter for yet more posts to devour has become my new reading addiction, and is the main reason why my house is such a tip (other reasons include the fact that I hate housework, the fact that I often have a screaming baby and/or an excited four-year old attached to my boob and/or leg, and the fact that I’m just downright lazy).

One of the above-mentioned brilliant blogs is ‘Just Me With…’.  Her posts are laugh-out-loud-funny one minute, and will bring a tear to your eye the next.  She is the only person I know who has given birth to five children in three and a half years.  Wow.  And she has moved into a house which used to be inhabited by hoarders.  Who peed in Coke bottles.  Which they hoarded.  Wow indeed.  Check her out.

Anyway, Roxanne from ‘Just Me With…’ has very kindly nominated me for a Reader Appreciation Award.  How lovely!  Thank you very, very much – you really have made a new blogger very happy.  And it’s always nice to feel appreciated!

So now it’s my turn.  Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Attach the icon to your site.
3. Answer the questions.
4. Nominate some other bloggers whom you feel deserve this award!

I’m a lawyer.  I like rules.  So I’m going to follow these to the letter.  Roxanne gave me the choice of answering the same questions she did, or making up my own.  Since it’s late, I haven’t had an unbroken night’s sleep for several weeks now (Alpine Girl has given up sleeping and thinks I should too), and I’m trying to watch the special extended edition of Lord of the Rings Part II at the same time as writing this post, I’m afraid I don’t have the imagination to set myself any questions.  So I’ll go with the first option.

So, here goes:

Q: Do you watch television?

Yes.  A lot.  Or at least I used to.  As I mentioned, I am a total Corriephile, and am very happy to have  finally found a way to catch up with the omnibus on my laptop when I need my fix of cobbles and warm ale.

Q: Who is your favourite author?

Too many to mention.  And it changes by the week.  This week I love Haruki Murakami.  But I also love Marian Keyes.   I’m weird, I know.

Q: Do you like 80′s movies?

Not especially.  Though I do like Top Gun.  I used to watch it every day after school when I was 12.  I had the soundtrack on a cassette and everything.  Cool.  And I have very fond memories of watching it again with my sister the day before I moved to France.  Thanks Ruthie. X

Q: What social issue bothers you?

This question is too hard.  I could do a list but it would go on forever and would no doubt offend and impress in equal measure, depending on who’s reading.  So I’ll just pass.

Q: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Cow’s tongue was pretty weird (though Alpine Papa disagrees and thinks it’s totally normal).  You can see (and feel) all the taste buds on it and everything.  Not my favourite.  And I had guinea pig in Peru but was disappointed.  Not very meaty.

Q: How do you like your eggs?

In a cake.  A big cake.

Q:When did you discover blogging?

Only about 4 months ago.  It took me a while to pluck up the courage to actually start as I kept stumbling upon really good blogs – weirdly inspiring and depressing at the same time…

Q: Why do you like to blog?

Because I like to talk.  And talk.  And talk…

It started off as a way to keep in touch with the friends and family I’ve left behind in the UK.  Now it’s just as much for me as for them – it keeps me from going crazy here in the middle of nowhere with two kids and a lot of snow.

So that’s it.  Me in a few questions.  And now it’s my turn.  I hereby nominate the following brilliant bloggers for the Reader Appreciation Award:

Mummy Drinks Tea
Thinking Cowgirl
Mum in a Muddle
Shoes on the Wrong Feet

Please, if you haven’t come across them already, pop across and have a look.  Their blogs are all great, all in different ways.  One of them cuts up Orla Keily books (I know!! But she does now have very posh Christmas decorations, so it’s OK).  One of them is not ashamed to put up photos of herself in the 80s.  One of them makes me cry with her WordPress therapy couch.  And one of them is my walking buddy even though she’s miles away.

They really don’t have to answer my questions – I just want to let them know I think their blogs are great!  If they do want to answer some questions, how about these ones:

  1. Who would play you in a film of your life (or rather, who would you want to play you?!)?
  2. You are granted an extra hour in your day – what do you do with it?
  3. Cake, chocolate or crisps or salad?
  4. Why did you start blogging?  Why do you continue blogging?


That’s all folks!


It’s official. I’m a crazy cat-lady.

It’s been an expensive couple of weeks.  Our cat, Millie, has really been testing our affections, and has managed to run up some rather hefty vet’s bills.

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