Helsinki in 6 hours!

I didn’t really know what to expect when I arrived in Helsinki. It was a stopover among many other possible choices …  We chose this one,  randomly. It was “Up North”! Maybe we’d have some snow?… I remember our trip to Australia 2 years ago when we had stopped over for 24 hours in Hong Kong. We thought it was going to be so exotic. But it was quite disappointing to be honest.So Helsinki… Searching for some pictures on Google I learned that Finland surrendered to Russia during the Finnish War (1808-1809), and the country was incorporated into the Russian Empire – which I … Continue reading Helsinki in 6 hours!

When “Who’s That Girl” was on.

In 1987, my mother gave me permission to use my pocket money to go to the cinema twice a month, on my own. 1987 was the year of The Witches of Eastwick, Good Morning, Vietnam, Dirty Dancing,  Blind date, La Bamba, The Princess Bride, Innerspace, Ishtar, and Who’s That Girl… A year before that a bomb attack in front of  “Tati” (popular cheap shop ) rue de Rennes in Paris killed seven people and wounded 55 others. This was the 6th bombing in the capital since September 4. I was about to turn 15 and was then allowed to take the RER (suburban metro) to go to La … Continue reading When “Who’s That Girl” was on.

How I became hooked on genealogy – Part III

I received my DNA kit earlier this week. I see this box as a magic tool. The geography of all my ancestors is there, written down in my saliva! In 6 weeks max it may reveal origins which I’ll never be able to trace with local archives. I will be told an extraordinary story about ancestors coming from parts of the world where I did not know I belonged a little. I’m expecting to read France, Poland, Ukraine and then what? Do my hair come from Africa? Wouldn’t there be a bit of Jewish bits? Or will it be a … Continue reading How I became hooked on genealogy – Part III

Back to school

First thing I did when starting this post was look for a media to add to my text. I chose this photo which could have been taken in just any – oldish – school in France. My 13 year old girl is back at the collège, and let me tell you it is not her favourite time of the year! She has already started a countdown to her next time off! And I could not understand her more! Last week, the tv was full of media reports on schools and the French education system in general. One of the story … Continue reading Back to school

My summer break

Due to my work schedule, I can’t get more than 7 days off in a row – I am on the ship for seven days straight and then get a 7 day weekend off.  But still it is better than nothing. So we decided to have a little bit of family summer holiday this year – a short one is better than nothing… I left my ship on Friday morning 9am, and left my work suitcase at home. Then I took my camping bag instead, and off we went for a 7 hour drive to the Ile de Ré, not … Continue reading My summer break

On est en finale!

What as strange feeling it is to be away from home when the citizen of your country all celebrate a national event… Champions du monde ! The game : I am not a football fan. I rarely watch games on tv. Unless it is the World Championship and the French team have a good chance of winning it! So there I am, in the middle of the sea, working along 150 French colleagues, surrounded by 1000+ British passengers, and trying to follow the last game of the football world cup. But there is work to be done, passengers to look … Continue reading On est en finale!

Dolce vita

Sometimes, life can be stressful and complicated. Sometimes you can get so busy that you don’t see the world around you. Sometimes you’d like to move in a shell and hide at the bottom of the ocean.  But sometimes, you feel like driving 3 hours just to spend the day in Italy. You rent a sunbed at the nearest spiaggia (the one with the pretty parasols) and you rush to the water for a long refreshing summer swim. Then you take a shower near the yellow changing cabins. Above your head, grapes are hanging. Life is suddenly just as it … Continue reading Dolce vita

Up where we belong

I thought I would have no stories to tell this week. It has gone smoothly. Even though the days have been very busy with entertainment to plan for all ages, I enjoyed every minute of it. I told myself regularly how lucky I was to take such pleasure in doing my job. It has been pretty creative and people orientated all the way which is very fulfilling. Until last Thursday. The last day full day of our 7 day shift. The Grand Final : our Breton lighthouses animation. We put so much work into this animation and have been looking … Continue reading Up where we belong