Thursday, 29 August 2013

Summer reading

… the good and the bad, luckily I haven’t read anything ugly.

I normally associate summer reading with easy entertaining books.  I don’t want anything to heavy, to sad, to ‘prise de tĂȘte’ (a French expression to say not too intellectual).

But I’m a bit disappointed with some of my choice this year.

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NW – Zadie Smith
This one I loved.  I did not take it seriously at first, but I think I’ll read it again, just to make sure I got all the little details.  Zadie Smith is so good at capturing NW London.

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Defending Jacob – William Landay
I’ve seen a recommendation for this book in a blog.  I love the blog, so I was quite confident that the recommendation was a good one.  Unfortunately, this one falls on the BAD category.  The starting point is quite interesting: is there such a thing as a killer gene and if yes, can you ‘fight’ it.  However, the writing style let this book down as well as the fact that the subject is not treated in depth.  My opinion might be a bit harsh, but I do have problem with teen books that treat our kids like simple minds who can’t understand sophisticated language.  Mind you, I recently read a book review from a girl who thinks that words like "exacerbated" and "exorbitant" are clunky  (BTW, I had to check clunky in the dictionary…)

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Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is another teen book, but what a difference, well written, funny, and confronts you to a totally different world, a different literature.  For more, go to Good Reads.

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The Racketeer – John Grisham
I have a soft spot for John Grisham; some 20 years ago, when I started leaning English (school years don’t count), the first book I read was The Firm.  I loved it: the chapters were short enough, the vocabulary was simple enough and the story was entertaining enough.  I would not qualify Grisham as one of my favourite author, but he is always at the top of my list when I want some distraction.  Well, well, well, I should have avoid this one, it has been a waste of time.  This review sums it all: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/544640833.  I’m not even sure I understood the plot.

On a side note, no crafting for me, our container is still on its way (almost 10 weeks!), I can’t wait…

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Looking for some rhythm

We’ve been here for 3 weeks now.  Juliette has been back to school for one and a half week.  It is tough on her: new girl, no friends, different and she is so shy… To make things a bit more challenging, school starts at 7:40 so we have to leave home at 7:10… we aren’t morning people.

Anyway, here my week on Instagram

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Our home – my pantry :-); our only piece of furniture so far; pool and chaise longue in the garden; recycling made easy

 

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A few snap shops from our school runs – a mobile dog spa!; rainy day; the Mormon church; NOT our car

 

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Food and drinks – summer salad with blueberries, strawberries, prawns and mango dressing; French wine; the unavoidable cold coffee; my first drive-in

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My shopping list dictated to Siri on my new iPhone – do you think Siri has a problem with my French accent? BTW, I tried the French version of Siri and the results are not better

And one more thing we did with Victor: we took our membership at YMCA, and we can’t stop singing this (enjoy the song worm!)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

One week on

So we arrived in Orlando on Sunday night.  In a week, this is what I achieved:

  • first encounter with the medical system – visit at the hospital on arrival with throat infection.  Now I do have my medicines in orange bottles like the one in the movies.
  • changed hubby’s account into a joint account – ready to spend money
  • a visit to Jo-Ann – did not last more than 15 min, the kids were hungry, but it’s a beginning
  • a visit to Barnes & Noble – got the loyalty card
  • first school evening meeting other parents – we are quite exotic with all the stamps on our passport
  • managed to buy some stamps (@ Publix) and find a Post Office
  • got lost a couple of times, exploded my US and UK mobile plans trying to find my way – in the end, Hubby got me a GPS
  • had TV and internet connected
  • got mobile phones for Juliette and I and opened AT&T account
  • shopped at Walmart, Whole Foods, Publix, Fresh Market

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Sunday, 11 August 2013

On new journeys

This post was planned for last week as we were leaving Italy, and it got stuck in my computer...  I did not find or take the time to publish it, but it is still relevant today.

Here are the last snap shots of our Italian holiday.


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Capri

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Still in Capri – Grotta Azzurra (and it is really that blue)

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Dinner by the sea in Sorrento

We had a really good time, the perfect balance between free times and visiting the area.

It is now finished and it is time for us all to start new journeys: Alice to Spain for work and the rest of us to Orlando.

But it is not only about the ‘physical’ journey, it is about new turns in our lives.  For the first time ever, we will live in different countries: Alice and Victor in the UK, Juliette and us in the States.

I knew the time will come to let my teenagers start flapping their wings. It is time to trust we have done a good enough job and even though they will still need us, they will be able to make reasonable decisions, they will be able to choose friends that will listen to them, inspire them... I also hope that they have knitted tight relationships amongst them and that it will make them strong.

Here is one of my preferred picture of them.

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My Dear kids, remember that you are smart, you are beautiful and you are loved...  (loosely quoting The Help),

and you have each other.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Still in-between

We are still ‘in-between’.

OK, this is a very nice ‘in-between’.

First we are all together – 0h yeah!

Secondly, we are in Italy – lots of sun, lots of fantastic food, a bit of touristic visits, a bit of enjoying ourselves by the pool, lots of reading…

We started in Rome and Tivoli– it was so busy, packed with tourists everywhere.

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Now Sorrento, a walk on the Vesuvius and in Pompeii.

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Pompeii

For more pictures, go on Flickr, I think I have exhausted the Hotel’s bandwidth…

Just two more day to enjoy the quietness…

and just one more picture :-)

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Abbey lane – Pompeii, the Beetles on Tour