So I’m not making any promises. Not to myself, not to anyone out there. Just because I’m writing something today doesn’t mean that I won’t disappear again for ten and a half months. Or years. So just make the most of this weeny missive, take it for what it is ; a snippet of burblings from my little life in the French countryside. Not a promise of genius novels to come.
Last time I wrote I was just surfacing from a long, bleak, nipple-freezing winter, most of which I spent on my own in this lost Ardèche village looking after a repeatedly bronchiolitis-ridden toddler, hauling baskets of logs up to the kitchen woodburner and cursing myself for having made such ridiculous choices for an actress with ambition and a promising career.
Now it’s the end of November. A new winter is looming but already looking to be short and sweet ; we were still eating lunch outdoors the day before yesterday. Tommy is sleeping through the night AT LONG LAST, we’ve found a wonderful “nounou” (nanny) who looks after him four mornings a week, and I have intermittent work in Marseille and Paris which means I get to flit and flirt and party all night long every now and again. All this helps keep me happy and healthy and I’m actually looking forward to frosty mornings and hot chocolate and warm croissants. I’m even wondering whether having a second baby would be a wonderful idea or a bit like shooting my career in the foot. Probably a bit of both. Feet heal anyway. My feet do anyway. I have very healing feet.
Another new wonder in my life is the discovery of certain podcasts. Stephen Fry. Timeghost, with Craig Children and Martin Baine-Jones. They make me laugh until the earphones pop out of my ears (when you have very small ears, earphones designed for the general public tend to have a hard time staying in there and any wide smile action dislodges them). They make me feel more in touch with the UK and with what’s going on and most importantly, with British irony and wit and self-depreciation which I so love and so miss and which just a scattering of French people even vaguely get. I would move back to England if only I could have tea with Stephen Fry, Craig Children and Martin Baine-Jones every other afternoon. It’s a lot to ask, I know, and I’m sure they’re busy writing and recording and starring and presenting, which is why it looks like I’ll be staying here in France listening to their podcasts.
I should invite them out in the springtime or the summer though. I shall do that. I shall copy-stick this into an email and send it to Craig Children who gave me (and thousands of other listeners) his email address last year whilst having a good old rant about the BBC clamping down on the right to say, amongst other things, “lock up your Dads”. I would explain further but Craig and Martin do it a lot better in their podcast.
I must go and calm my 2 year old son down as he is bouncing off our 6 year old little neighbour who looks like she is already seriously considering the advantages of being lesbian or a nun.