City of light

Sister has booked Bargain Short Break in holiday village not far from Paris and asks if I would like to join her. Tussle with conscience about abandoning domestic duties in pursuit of own selfish pleasure proves mercifully brief, and soon find ourselves on suburban bus amongst tired Parisian commuters on cold and dark Friday evening, in search of New Experiences. Have both decided to Travel Light, and in our black coats fondly imagine that we blend in seamlessly – though can’t help noticing how young all French people are these days.

Holiday village proves almost empty and luxuriously comfortable; are both so entranced by unimaginable ease of life where have only ourselves to worry about that spend weekend doing little but talking and reading, venturing only to local supermarket and pool complex for occasional swim (brief) and sauna (lengthy); by the time we head to city yesterday morning are in almost unprecedented state of relaxation.  Paris beautiful as ever in pale winter sunshine, and joys of walking alone Seine and through endless lovely streets made all the sweeter by thoughts of normal Monday morning routines. Visit Pompidou Centre for required dose of culture and Merci to make us feel Hip, and indulge happily in perennial fantasy of new life as intellectual but stylish Parisienne nipping out from chic city-centre apartment for animated philosophical discussions with polo-necked neighbours at local café.

Arrive home late and am touched by definite signs that children have Missed me. Realise that own actual life is really Not Bad At All.

Good sport

Have agreed to start forthcoming school holidays with Family Camping Trip.   Am aware that previous such trips have not always revealed finest aspects of self, but this year resolve to Throw Myself Into It, and spend some time in obsessive internet search for The Perfect Campsite. Find one which is a) not in a field b) available and c) criticised on TripAdvisor only for over-zealous enforcement of Noise Policy, and book it immediately.

Seem to spend rest of day in e-mail exchanges about Cricket Fun Day and Late Summer Horticultural Show; latter clashes with Football Fun Day, so am fortunately (for all concerned) excused participation in Parents’ 6-A-Side Tournament.

Evening, as usual, dominated by World Cup.