Bonjour From France


Bonjour chers lecteurs (dear readers).

Just a quick hello from Provence to ask for more patience.

I usually think blog readers don’t need to know anything about the mechanics of blogging. But I have to tell you that uploading photos and preparing a post for publishing can be fiddly and time consuming. And writing requires a clear uninterrupted stretch of time. At the moment I’m a solo parent, so I don’t have very much time, let alone uninterrupted time*.

You may have caught my rant over at the Huffington Post about how Darling Man’s visa application was rejected by the French Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City. So here I am, alone in Provence with an active and inquiring two-year-old, both of us shaking off a bit of jetlag and a head cold each.

It is beautiful here and the people are lovely. I have so many interesting things to share with you … but later. Right now I have to see as much of France as I can, while doing all everyday toddler-care things that mothers do, like washing urine-soaked sheets, cooking three different types of dinner because someone won’t eat, spending hours patting a toddler’s back and microwaving bottles of milk at 4am.

When I tearfully kissed Darling Man goodbye in Bangkok, I thought I’d see him in a week or so. But now he can’t come to Europe and I miss him too much to continue on alone on the two-and-a-half month European adventure we had planned. So I will head home soon, keeping an eye on what’s happening in Egypt in the lead-up to the election on May 23. If there’s any sign of violence, we won’t stop over on the way back home to Asia.

Of course, it’s hard to expect sympathy when I am doing my solo parenting in a fabulous villa in Provence. There are a million worse things that could happen to a person.

But my blog posts are going to slow down over the next few weeks, and a few guest posts will appear. I hope it’s not too disconcerting. The blog will hot up again once I find some way to get help with Miss M.

In the meantime, here’s a quick look at what it’s like to be a solo parent traveling with a toddler….

… nap times are taken on the go…

… toilet training happens in some unusual places …

… and on most of our excursions, this is the main view: the back of the (borrowed) stroller and the baby’s head.

*Just a note on interruptions. I started writing this very short post with a glass of wine by my side and plans for a hot bath then bed. I’m finishing up the post nearly two hours later, reeking of vomit, as I wait for the washing machine to finish. Nice to know this unglamorous side of motherhood happens all around the world, even in glamorous places like Provence.

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2 years ago

By: Barbara

A career girl who dropped out, traveled, found love, had a baby, went back to work and then decided to drop out again. Blogging from Ho Chi Minh City at the moment.

10 Comments

  1. Jill says:

    Oh no, so he can’t come at all? That’s just terrible.

    And I totally relate. I’ve done my traveling solo and my parenting solo. There is absolutely no appeal in being without Chris, I’d go home too. France, vomity or otherwise….can wait’

    Hope you both feel better soon. And I do hope you at least are able to eat copious amounts of great cheese before you leave.
    Jill recently posted..Bottle Beach Bliss

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks Jill. I have eaten enough cheese to last me for a while.
      We are heading home soon. We have seen some amazing sights and Miss M has enjoyed a range of fabulous playgrounds. But she is asking to go home, so we will go home.

  2. drat on being sick, and DM not being there. i bet he misses you both terribly, too!
    wandering educators recently posted..Onolicious Burgers at Heeia Kea Pier

    • Barbara says:

      Yeah, he sounds pretty down when we catch him on Skype. We are planning a short holiday somewhere in Asia when Miss M and I get back from Europe.

  3. Snap says:

    Such classic photos of you and Miss M…and still have my fingers, toes and other things crossed for DM’s visa :)

    Chin up!
    Snap recently posted..Georgetown, Penang – Part 1

  4. Sorry to hear his visa was rejected. There is nothing wrong with ending the trip early if you’d rather be spending time with him. I imagine it will feel like you’ve been gone twice as long with all of the mommy duties.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Foto of the Week from … Buenos Aires: A Dark Past

    • Barbara says:

      Miss M and I are having a lovely time, but traveling with a toddler is very lonely, Stephanie. We are heading home soon. Miss M keeps asking “go home to Daddy?” It’s breaking my heart.

  5. Denise says:

    oh my! I am so sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for Darling Man. That’s just….:(
    Denise recently posted..Slow Travel Peru – Falling in love with Cusco

  6. [...] that getting a Schengen visa for Darling Man wasn’t a straightforward operation and continuing in Europe with the news that there would be no family cycling and camping holiday. And all made worse by [...]

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