In search of the baguette

In one month I am going to England... and France! I was born in England and lived there until I was 13. I have been back three times in 22 years. But I have never been to France. Although I have never walked the streets or sipped wine in the cafes of Paris, and god knows, my parlez-vous n'est pas, I believe my soul belongs there. I am drawn to French design, architecture and decor, I sing along to Carmen, Anais Nin is my muse, Renoir and Monet were the painters of choice for most of my 20s, and cream sauces - oh la la! My vision of a perfect day would most definitely include sitting outside a cafe with a book or my journal watching beautiful people walk by.

Did I mention the kids aren't joining us?

Ah, c'est tres, tres bon.

Oh, bad mother that I am! At first I didn't even think of attending the family reunion in Southern England - how could I? Work, kids, expense... then I told a co-worker about it. Are you insane? You HAVE to go!! She even offered to look after the kids. But could I really leave my two preciousnesses with someone else for a whole week? Someone who doesn't do things exactly as I do? Wouldn't they miss me too much? What if something happened? What if...? What if...?

What if I passed up this opportunity to see cousins I haven't in 30 years, to visit the home I still hold dear to my heart? For my husband to see where I was crafted?

When my mother-in-law called that very night to question when it would be a good time to visit from Mississippi and replied without hesitation that she would love to stay with the children, and why don't you take the Chunnel over to France while you're there?, I was decided. Forget the kids, I'm going to Paris!!

OK, I do still have twinges of guilt that I could so easily leave my offspring in the dust in search of baguettes and fromage, but they will be just fine, maybe a little over-sugared and saying ya'll and gur-url when we return, but fine. Sometimes you have to walk through a door when it flies open, especially when there is croissant or, even better, a cuppa and a bickie* on the other side.

*translation: cup of sweet, milky tea and a hard cookie to dip in it.

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