Tag Archives: coming back to france from the UK

Oh England…

… What have you done to Steve and Jake??!

I sent you two healthy, excited, rosy-cheeked (well, Jake maybe!) well-fed, well-rested boys and you send me back two hacking, coughing, wheezing hags who’ve slept for the last 20 hours??! How’s that work?!

I think it goes to show how good the country living is out here. Less contact with sick people, fewer diseases. I was only sick once last year, when I got a nasty bout of laryngite from a woman in a doctor’s waiting room. Fact. Doctors’ waiting rooms MAKE you ill. I think they should give everyone masks and isolation booths.

Seriously, in a population of 499, when you see one or two people a day for a prolonged period and very few people meet up with Typhoid Marys, it’s much easier to stay healthy. If there’s a flu pandemic, I’m staying here! I shall live off my WTSHTF pack (when the shit hits the fan, of course!) and not go out for weeks until either everyone is dead, or everyone is better. This is true of a) zombie-pandemics b) ‘I am Legend’ scenarios and c) coughs and colds.

Not only that, without a pizza place or chippy on our doorstep, there is NO temptation. Not at all. You just can’t have an unhealthy meal because they aren’t there at your fingertips. This has me in mixed feelings. Yes it’s great to be virtuous, but it is a pain in the neck to always be cooking something. I usually spend an hour a day in the kitchen. I do all my shopping in one fell swoop, like Mother Used To. The good thing is Jake can’t whine about what just isn’t there. It’s like whining about having a spaceship. We just don’t have those conversations which go:

“What do you want for tea tonight?”


“You had chippy last night.”

“Burger King.”

If it were not a potato or some sweetcorn in his tuna, or the ubiquitous vegetables with the Christmas roasts, I bet that boy has not had a vegetable pass his lips in two weeks. And here’s me cramming 5-a-day down his gob, including lentils, beans, peas, pulses… no vitamin deficiencies on my watch!

I’m way past accepting that food has an effect on your health. Give me a full-fat 500 ml coke and a packet of Haribo sours and see mania take a grip. My boss used to give me these when he wanted me to do meetings extra quick. When I was a runner and preparing for triathlons, I was SO clean at eating. SO clean. This is when I weighed 7 stone 10 (49 kg??!) and I ate so many vegetables and pulses. Plus, I was vegetarian too, which I plan on being again from June. Claire will no doubt be pleased. Mostly, it’s just laziness. If I’m cooking, I end up doing one meal for Jake, one for Steve and one for me. And at least 5 nights a week when we now all eat the same thing, it’s SO much easier.

But whilst the boys weren’t here, in between the toffee crisps and the biscuits my sister sent me, I was a rice-and-beans kind of a girl. Lentils and pasta. Rice and haricot beans. And it makes you feel clean inside.

Last night, whilst the boys were still asleep (they were both in bed for 2 p.m.) I made a pie. Pie and mash and peas and carrots. Steve was already semi-awake by the time I was getting to the finishing touches.

“None for me, thanks. I’m not feeling too good.”


I took some through for Jake. He barely woke up. Thirty minutes later, the plate was still there, untouched. Ah well. The dogs ate well last night.

This morning, I’ve had 2000 mg of vitamin C and I’m hoping I won’t catch whatever it is they have. Mainly, I think it’s tiredness. Lack of routine, hyperactive brothers and eating junk food will do that to a boy. Jake’s got an absolutely terrible cough. He used to get really ill when we lived in Bury. He’d regularly be off school. I think he had two weeks off in Year 4 and similar in Year 5. Here, he’s never off school. I’m off out to get some glycerine and I’m going to make some home-made cough syrup. It was the only thing that made a difference when I had laryngitis.

Not sure if the boys will be back England-side again before they go back in June, but if they are, I bloody well hope that they come back in better condition! I’m already tired of making food nobody eats, putting blankets on people and saying ‘there, there!’ and going from looking after just me, the cat and the dogs to having a houseful again – especially a houseful who are lying on sofas coughing up a lung like some old smoker with emphysema… Ah joy!