Bookshops are my favourite kind of shops

Or maybe stationers, or maybe toy shops, or maybe craft shops, or possibly home hardware shops.

Anyway I was in a bookshop earlier today buying leaving gifts for the children. I had Baby Girl with me so browsing time was limited to how long she could bear to sit just out of grabbing reach of so many shiny new books, but I managed to get hold of something for three of the girls. Then we went to a toy shop and I failed to find a small replica of my polar bear teddy, which Baby Girl just adores and makes a beeline for whenever she is in my room, so I bought some stick-on glittery letters which spell out her nickname. Tomorrow I’ll go to La Defense and pick up a gift for Sole Son – I already know what it will be and where to get it, so it shouldn’t take long.

It has been so hot today. Well, it’s been around 22 degrees Centigrade but that is swelteringly hot for me and certainly hot for April! Apparently it’s quite normal for France though, and it just keeps getting hotter. I’m quite glad I’ll be leaving before that happens…

A couple of days ago I bought a new bag. I’ve been trying to find a photo of it on the Etam website but it doesn’t seem to be there so you’ll just have to imagine it – it’s cream with pale pink roses all over it, a long shoulder strap and EIGHT POCKETS. Eight. Count them. That is a lot of pockets!

There are two big ones, a thin one between the two big ones which is perfect for storing my Kindle, two small open ones for my phone and purse, an inside zip-up, an outside zip-up and an outside magnetic one. There’s also a funky little chain for attaching your keys so that you can find them quickly. Basically it is my perfect bag, with lots of space but without the black-hole capabilities of a backpack.

Anyway I mention this wonderbag because I took it on its first outing yesterday, when The Mother, the three youngest girls and I went to Versailles for a picnic. We must have looked hilariously English to all the other people, who were lying langorously in the sun, tanning their bronze skin even darker, while we slapped on copious amounts of suncream and laid out our picnic boxes on a big blanket. Then we hired some bikes and went on a short cycle round the Grand Canal. It was my first sighting of Versailles and I was impressed at how incredibly huge it is! Even when we studied it in my French Monuments lesson I hadn’t quite grasped the scale of the place. I can’t imagine living there.

It was my last Wednesday afternoon with the girls, because next Wednesday I leave for my choir tour very early in the morning and then I go back to England the following Monday. It was a lovely day to be able to look back on 🙂

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