Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere


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On the move again…

I start full-time work tomorrow. Gosh.

Midweek Alpine Mummy fun will be no more. Gone are the days of frolicking in the mountains on a Monday afternoon, or cycling round the lake on a Wednesday, or spending the entire day eating cake and drinking lots of tea with other English mummies every Tuesday (and Thursday. And Friday. And… OK – I do more cake-eating and socialising than I do mountain-frolicking and cycling. Life is tough).

I think I can cope with having to wear vaguely presentable clothes every day, rather than the knackered jeans and holey t-shirts that have become my usual uniform (on the days I actually get out my pyjamas…). I can probably even cope with brushing my hair every day (I got it all hacked off on Friday to ease this pain), and I am certainly looking forward to speaking to grown-ups about things other than sick, poo, sleep, poo and sick. (Forget career aspirations – I’ll just be proud to get through a day without threatening to put my colleagues on the naughty step, or absent-mindedly spoon-feeding my boss at lunchtime…)

Anyway, all that will be fine. What I’m not looking forward to is my commute. I live about an hour and a quarter away from Geneva. More (a lot more) at peak times. I am working a full day. Every day.  I will never (and I mean never) see my kids if we stay here.

So the Alpine Family are on the move again… But where to?

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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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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.

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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: Continue reading


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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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Top 5 Alpine Mummy moments

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Oh dear.  It’s been ages, hasn’t it?  Over a month in fact, since my last post.  And it was going so well!  (But don’t say I didn’t warn you – quote:  Not sure how long the blog will last (I was never very good at Dear Diary when I was younger…) and I’m sure it won’t be that interesting, but here goes!”.)

So, I hope you all missed me?!  My inbox has been inundated with concerned inquiries about where I might be and when I’m going to start blogging again (ahem).  So I’m feeling a bit of pressure here – perhaps you’re all expecting stories about how I’ve been wrestling wild wolves in the mountains; or how I’ve been lost in 2 metre-high snowdrifts having trekked back from the chocolate shop in a snowstorm; or how I’ve been cross-country ski-ing my way through the Alps with just a baguette in my bag and a baby on my back.

Sorry.  Nothing so exciting has been keeping me from my updates.  I’ve just lost the habit.  And not much has been going on really, so the habit stayed lost.  And when something interesting did happen I was usually up to my neck in pooey nappies or snotty tissues and so never found the time to write.

So I’ve decided to do a Top 5 things that have happened in Alpine Mummy’s life over the last two months post.  Catchy title, no?

So, here you are, pop-pickers, in at number 5:

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And yet more snow!

snow tree

This post has been a long time coming but I’m discovering quite how time-consuming it is living in the mountains in winter.  And winter has certainly arrived – we have nearly a metre of snow in our garden, it’s currently about -13°c outside, and our driveway is covered in ice.  I think I must have been singing “Let it Snow” just a little bit too loudly; someone up above appears to have heard me… Continue reading


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Rediscovering my walking mojo

Beautiful day, up here at least

Beautiful day, up here at least

One of the main reasons I wanted to live here in the middle of nowhere was the mountain walks (oh, and the ski-ing.  And the chocolate.  And the wine.  And the cheese.  And the wine.  OK there were lots of reasons.  But walking was one of them…).  When we first got here I was up those mountains like a little mountain goat (me leading the way, Alpine Boy trailing behind being bribed with biscuits, Alpine Girl sleeping in a sling like a snuggly little joey).  And with Alpine Boy at school, Alpine Girl and I had been doing harder and faster walks than I ever could with a three-year old lagging behind me.

But not so much, recently.  I somehow lost my walking mojo. Continue reading


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Making a good impression. Oh yes.

Summer is coming to an end, and I’m starting to panic about quite what it’s going to be like here in November, in the middle of nowhere, in the cold and wet… But, rather than sit at home dwelling on that, I’m rapidly trying to cram as much as possible into these last few days (and hoping that I’m wrong, and summer is going to stick around for a few more weeks yet). Get me, what positivity!

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