garden notes, travels
comments 2

Paris in the springtime

Eiffel Tower

Hayling Island

Magnolia tea cup

I feel like I should be composing one of those end-of-the-holidays school essays, During my holiday, I…The older two have had a two weeks & two days off school, and it has been pretty magical.

We started with Easter weekend in Paris. Everyone I mentioned it to asked me whether the children were coming too. All I can (smugly) say, is AirBnB. Take the hotel out of the equation & visiting Paris with three young children is totally blissful. We stayed in the 15 arrondissment —  quiet and residential but twenty minutes walk to the Eiffel Tower — in the apartment of a family with two young daughters who went off to Amsterdam for the weekend. We remembered how much we enjoy living in a city, we saw plenty of sights & for the first time ever could imagine what it might be like to actually live in Paris. So all in all, a definite win.

There was a week with B’s parents in their beautiful part of France. Days of sunshine and warmth after our bitterly cold time in Paris. I was off after-lunch reading duty as B started an epic read-aloud of The Hobbit. I thought this was ambitious for someone whose own introduction to The Hobbit was postponed after he started getting nightmares, but our two (7 & 5; the little one naps after lunch) seem to be enjoying every moment. Don’t you find Gollum scary?, I asked. No, my preshhhhious, came the reply.

Then back to work for B and days of hanging out in the garden with friends, going to the beach, & generally having a lovely time for the rest of us. And today, to top it all off, we walked/cycled in the New Forest, walking past the ponies, spotting the deer, and finding yet another occasion for an ice-cream.

The magnolia was already in bloom when we got back. Huge tea cups of white and pink. The lawn confetti’ed with petals. Everything we’ve done has seemed so much easier than it was or would have been this time last year. It seems a corner has been turned, and for that, hurrah.


Top to bottom: the Eiffel Tower; T at Hayling Island; our very own magnolia.




  1. Sarah, this is a nice piece. Everytime I’m in Paris, I think what an enticing city it would be to live in. We’ve stayed in the Marais, in a small flat, and yes, it’s all so interesting — the places where you quickly learn have the best bread, the most manageable selection of cheese (I feel overwhelmed when there’s more than, say 50… or 25…). I love the churchbells, the windows of macarons, the shops devoted to tights. The bins of books and prints along the river. There are places children would love, I think, and yours are lucky to have had the opportunity to find them. (I promised my granddaughter that I’d take her there when she’s 16. Do you think she’ll remember? Do you think I will still be walking???)

    • What a lovely promise! B’s grandparents took him, I think when he was 13, & he still talks of that first stay (mostly about the food it has to be said!). And my parents took me & my brother when we were small and I remember it very well. So it was nice to give our own children an introduction — though they’ve all long discovered the delights of French cheese.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *