Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


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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 Multicoolty.com.  Forget Hello, Vogue, or Paris Match – this is where it’s at!

The perfect combination

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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…

gentianes

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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


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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