“Provence is a country to which I am always returning, next week, next year, any day now, as soon as I can get on a train.”
Ah lala! La Provence! Sun baked region of l’or bleu (‘blue gold’ aka. lavendar..yes, I know, it’s clearly purple-ish), ground almond Calissons, bouillabaisse and – why is this last? – Pastis. The first time we visited my husband’s region, we ended up in Marseille and I insisted on visiting the dockside cafe where Love Actually was filmed. Bar de la Marine. We drank Get 27 and eyed the peanuts suspiciously over a shared Marlborough. We were over a decade younger back then. But we have been back since, many times; most recently last summer. Because the kids love it. It is half of who they are.
Provence is a way of life and has its own micro-culture within France itself. From sipping hot chocolate in the university town of Aix-en-Provence (birthplace of the French painter Cezanne) to cooling your feet in the crystal waters of Les Calanques de Marseille, you will not come away disappointed. For worldschooling families, this is a region steeped in history and offers a range of lesser-known opportunities for the curious traveller. Register with a company and come lavender picking at harvest time, or visit one of the many locations of ancient Roman ruins such as Nîmes (known to the Romans as ‘Nemausus’) or Pont du Gard. And I haven’t even started on the food! Did I mention Pastis? Well that’s okay then. Bon voyage et a bient-oh, wait, no. Errr..maybe next year?
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My first award! Woohoo! Thanks so much to Andi at Diary of a Gay Dad for nominating my blog Homeschool Guru for this award. You legend! Okay then, here come my answers to the interview questions. I’m a newbie on the blogging scene so fasten your seatbelt, boys and girls, and get ready for the whistlestop whizz through.
“Love food. Love eye liner. Don’t mind a bit of risk.”
1.Do you have a book out or in the pipeline?
Rather incredibly, yes! I am nearly there with the first draft of ‘Homeschooling for Rookies’ which I am publishing with The Hawthorne Press later this year.
2.How long have you been blogging and what is your favorite subject to write about?
Hmmmm..not long. I’m going to go with 3 months or so? Previously I was freelance writing for educational and parenting magazines, but then I began blogging and – you guys know – it’s addictive. The book deal also shifted my focus. My blog is about homeschooling, but it’s got a lifestyle vibe too and covers parenting topics such as food, travel and wellbeing. Educational psychology is my all-time favourite topic when it comes to sitting down and banging out a good blog, but honestly? It’s my recipe posts, such as Tinned Peach Tony’s Not-So-Basic-Bitch Crumble, that seem to get the best reception. I mean..wait..should I be a food blogger? Damn.
3. If you could move to a different town, state or country… where would you be?
This is a weekly debate in our house, as we are considering moving our family in the direction of worldschooling and my vision of romping around a sprawling farm in New Zealand is a far cry from teenwolf’s ideal of winters spent snowboarding in the Alps and summers in his home region of southern Provence. I don’t like to say, but I think teenwolf’s vision is more popular with the cubs.
4.What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I find everything funny and often wet my pants laughing. What? I’ve had three kids.
5. Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert or even both?
Introvert masquerading as an extrovert. Like all writers? I love blog banter, but my idea of a good time is finding any excuse to get out of social plans and reading another chapter of my ‘Chakra Healing’ book with a glass of wine.
“I mean..wait..should I be a food blogger? Damn.”
6.What is THE JOB of your dreams?
Food taster for Tutankhamun. Love food. Love eye liner. Don’t mind a bit of risk.
7. Other than blogging/writing what is the one favorite thing you LOVE to do?
Dance my ass off.
8.Where is one of the first places you plan on going after quarantine is over?
Nowhere. I’m a home bird.
9.Speaking of Covid-19, is there anything that you learned about yourself or will be changing about yourself when ‘life moves on?’
This might come as a shock to you, but homeschooling is normally crazy busy. More like ‘grab-a-ham-sandwich-and-get-your-ass-in-the-car schooling’. We are lucky to have so many amazing opportunities and great families in our area. But then everything stopped with COVID-19 and I realise that this slower pace feels good. I’m keen to keep it this way.
10. Is there anything as far as food that you will absolutely NOT eat?
Taramasalata. I mean, what actually is it? Don’t bullshit me with fish eggs.
“Totally why we decided to homeschool. No more cake sales..”
..and now for the ‘Facts About Myself’ bit.
1. I have bird-like wrists and ankles. I often worry they will break.
2. Much to teenwolf’s despair, I add garlic to everything because it’s cleansing and, you know, vampires and shit. You can never be too careful.
3. Garlic has a consequence. You know what that is.
4. I have worn leggings for the past 15 years straight. Not the same pair.
5. I used to think the movie ‘The Full Monty’ was romantic; I now realise it is a poignant portrayal of economic depression and reflects adult life on the brink. I think I watched it too young.
6. I also watched ‘Dirty Dancing’ too young. It was the 90s. Nobody cared what kids were digging out of the VHS box.
7. I have discovered there is nothing you can do to hide a c section scar. And that’s okay.
8. Gin makes me puke.
9. I have a pink crushed velvet sofa. Yep.
10. When my kids used to go to school, teenwolf and I would play ‘rock, paper, scissors’ to decide who had to do the dreaded school run. I almost always lost and came home roped into another cake donation for the PTA. Totally why we decided to homeschool. No more cake sales..
“Taramasalata. I mean, what actually is it? Don’t bullshit me with fish eggs.”
And here, in no particular order, are my 5 nominees.
Robyn at Autism in Our Nest. Love her posts. Says it like it is. Hence why I asked her (begged her?) to contribute to my book.
Vincent at Vincent Ehindero. Upbeat, great perspective on life, vibrant posts. Reminds me that I am getting old, but in a good way.