It's the holidays, cue a time when you get nothing productive done and have whining voices in your ear saying I'm hungry, what are we doing today and when can we stop for lunch so this week my plan of action was take them out as much as possible and make them so tired they can barely speak, all in the name of fun.
So, we tripped off to St Tropez on Tuesday to stay with a friend who is house sitting in a villa overlooking the bay for six weeks. We chatted by the pool, drank un petit Chablis and put the world to rights while the kids played, all good. It is so hot at the moment, at 6.30 last night it was showing 34 degrees on the car, which is too, too much (but I know how rubbish the UK summer is right now so not moaning, really.)
Arrived back last night and spent this morning in Antibes at the market with a friend who knows it so well that I ended up spending a fortune at all the rigt stalls (but a Triumph bikini, sundress, silk shift and red leather handbag made it feel better and all for the price of a half price Tara Jarmon silk skirt in Rue d'Antibes) before heading to the beach. The boys suggested tombstoning off the rocks at Cap d'Antibes, a phrase which conjures up the local A&E to me, but the girls were keen so off they went, leaving us to swim and chat on the beach in perfect peace.
When we got a text at 7 asking if we could come and meet them, they couldn't wait to tell us how they bunked into the pool at the Eden Roc, only the most expensive hotel on the Riviera (preferred choice of Brad, Angelina, Quentin etc) and how they spent 45 minutes in the infinity pool undetected. Scarily, they had the whole trespassing thing off to a fine art. Every time they swam past a resident, one of them would say, my suite is lovely, how is yours? They talked about the chocolates left on the pillows each night and even worked out which room numbers they would use if quizzed by the lifeguard! Issy spent an hour tonight facebooking all her friends with the hotel link so they can check it out - most of them live in Brookmans Park in currently very rainy Herts so am sure they will be thrilled to get her message.
The day got even better when I saw that my first feature, on our lovely mate Mat Barker and his boat The Blue Peter, was the cover story of The French Paper's Life section, and then arrived home to open my mail - a cheque from the DSS for overpayment of my NI in the UK for the past 11 years, two copies of Grazia (thanks Jeanie), and a letter from my accountant saying that the taxman owes me. Don't feel so bad about the market now.
The only downside of the past two weeks has been getting stung by a jellyfish. As I swam I felt something attack my thigh, no kidding I thought it was a shark the pain was so intense. By the time I got back to the beach, my leg was throbbing and the next day, it had swelled to twice its usual size, was bright red, itchy and about 100 degrees. Ten days on, I have a massive scar and it is still itching like the pox. I braved the sea today but must have looked like a paranoid schizo as every time something glistened or moved by me I was a bag of nerves. Have noticed people really staring at it if I wear shorts or a bikini, it is quite interesting how differently you are perceived with such an obvious physical imperfection.
Anyway, tennis tomorrow, am planning to hold my head high after the aquasplash swimsuit debacle, I have no shame. Perhaps I should just slash my tennis skirt across the butt to prove that I do indeed have a sense of humour.