21 October 2011


I have a passion for bookmarks, especially those linked to places I visit. At the end of September, my husband and I eloped to Burgundy for three nights while my parents kindly looked after our nearly-three-year-old-daughter. During our little wine and food tour, we spent half a day and an evening in wonderfully inviting Beaune and I couldn’t resist buying three bookmarks to add to my collection. You will see two of those in the picture (I can’t find the third one – no idea where it may be. I always read about 10-15 books at a time, so I went through all the books I’m currently reading and also through my pile of bookmarks but couldn’t find it!)

Me and my bookmarks…

‘So this trip is a success, isn’t it?’ my husband half stated, half enquired when we left the shop (Athenaeum de la vigne et du vin).


‘Because you’ve found some pretty bookmarks.’

‘Yes. So far I thought it was an awful trip, but now I’m thinking What a wonderful trip!’ I replied in a fake overly excited tone.

You see, my husband always does without bookmarks. He relies on his memory to remember the page number or the passage he last read. So, as I’m sure you’ll have understood, he was taking the mickey out of my strange habit and collection. He doesn’t need these ‘contraptions’, as he would call them.

Yes but when you read 10-15 books at the same time, it’s simply impossible to remember all those page numbers or passages. By the time I found the right page or passage, it would be time to go to sleep/I would be fast asleep (I mainly read in the evening)! But also, even if I read just one book at a time, I would still have a bookmark. I love the various kinds of bookmarks that are now produced around the world – magnetic, long, short, narrow, wide, circular, paper-clip style, covered front and back with beautiful photographs, showcasing a quote or two – you name it. They remind me of brilliant holidays or special days out.

Double pleasure when I open a book – the anticipation of reading and the memory of a place or a moment during a shopping trip. Or simply, a person – many of my friends have given me wonderful bookmarks over the years. Keep them coming!

PS: L, thanks again for the ‘bookworm’ birthday card, featured in the picture ;)

20 October 2011

Day off...

Today is my birthday. I don’t remember ever being so cold on the morning of my birthday. It was –1ÂșC during the night apparently (I didn’t get up to check the accuracy of the BBC website’s weather forecast). There are icicles on our big bins (it rained yesterday afternoon). I had trouble wheeling them out onto our driveway as my skin nearly got irremediably stuck on the handle of the recycling bin.

Nonetheless, it’s going to be a glorious day. Weatherwise, from a practical point of view and also metaphorically. I’m having the day off, catching up on my writing (including this blog ;)) and my reading (including my writing magazine, Mslexia). I’ll also go for a lovely walk in the park next to my house, kicking the leaves and remembering how lucky I am to have all that I have in my life (including the wonderful people who share it).

Today, I have much to celebrate – way beyond 35 years on this earth:
·     From a writing point of view, my stories will soon be available on the Apple Store and therefore on the iPad, through the app developed by my mum’s friend’s son, Fabien. The website is nearly ready and we will soon finalise the design for each of my two stories, ‘Crimson Shoes’ and ‘The Locked Door’. Watch this space – it will soon be filled with news about and links to the website and Facebook page!

·     From a house point of view, we may redo our bathroom completely – we’re waiting for a quote from a local plumber and builder. Six years after we moved into our house, the bathroom is looking old, tired and shabby. The very least it needs is a lick of paint and a nip ‘n tuck in places. But redoing it and extending it is much more appealing and exciting!

·     From a health point of view, we’re all fine and healthy, apart from the usual cough and cold that plagues at least one of us throughout the autumn and winter. Which is more (or less, depending on which way you look at it)  than what my friend A can say, as her cancer has come back, and this time in her bones, liver and lungs… I ran the Race for Life 5k for her back in June. I will run it again next year, for her, for me, for us, for all that are affected by cancer in one way or another. Go A, you’re a fighter, you’ll beat it again!

PS: Carla Bruni Sarkozy’s daughter could have had the graciousness of waiting a few more hours to be born – we would have shared the same birthday (35 years’ difference –­­ doesn’t count, does it?!)