the Pregnancy Diaries (12) by Victoria Jelinek

“Inside every hardened criminal beats the heart of a ten-year old boy.” Bart Simpson

I had yet another ultrasound this week, but this time the foetus actually looks like something I can recognise as human – well, human alien, to be honest, as the head is inordinately big for its little curled body, and its eyes seem large and transparent. 
A friend told me once that there’s a stage in many animals’ pregnancy (and by “animal,” he also meant human) in which the foetuses all look like alike…I believe this now, having looked at pictures of pregnant cows, dogs and cats. 

beware the bargains in your trolley

While the price of your favourite or regular foodstuffs might appear to have gone down, so, very possibly, has the content.

According to the French consumer association 60millions de consommateurs, the weight and quantity of foodstuffs is being reduced as a sneaky way of raising prices without appearing to do so.
For example, some drink containers have shrunk from 75cl to 60cl and while the price appears have gone down by five centimes, if you look at the price per litre it has actually gone up 23%.
Or watch out for breakfast cereals which are offered in larger packet sizes – from 375g to 430g – but where the price per kilo has gone up 17% over the past year.
Even toilet paper is affected: a reader wrote in to 60 millions saying that they had measured a 4mm increase in the width of the cardboard tube, resulting in fewer sheets of paper.
The only way to shop, in other words, is to make sure you compare the per litre and per kilo prices, not prices per item.

the pregnancy diaries (11) Victoria Jelinek

“Seize the moment.  Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” Erma Bombeck

It turns out that my glucose test for gestational diabetes reflects high sugar levels. 
I’d taken it earlier than most women 'cause I’m over 35 and have a history of diabetes in my family. Between 2-10% of women develop gestational diabetes in pregnancy, making it the most common health problem for expectant mothers.

texting our teens

Anyone else out there who can only get their teens' attention by texting them? Here's a great excerpt from Allison (I Don't Know How She Does It) Pearson's Telegraph column:

Look into my crystal ball. It is England, 2045, and the last voice has been heard in the land. Vocal chords have withered through lack of use. A larynx is on display at the Science Museum to remind visitors of how people used to talk in the days before texting.

Best beaches in France

Since there are rumours that there is to be some summer after all this year, this seems a good moment to take a look at some of the best beaches in France.
Of course we are spoilt for choice with around 2,000 miles of coastline in mainland France and thousands of beaches and hundreds of seaside resorts.

the Pregnancy Diaries - week 10 by Victoria Jelinek

“Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.” Erma Bombeck

I recently went to the two crèches in the valley and signed my impending baby up for care - a crèche is a nursery from three months of age till they walk. There are only ten spots in each. Both tell me that their waiting list goes back to 2008! 
I said that I’d take anything. I then went to the local mairie and got a list of names for all the certified assistantes maternelles, or ‘nounous’, in the valley. 
These are women who are certified to take care of children in their homes from zero-three years old. 

Why learn English (when you already speak it)?

Read our guest post by Sue Aitken of Blackhen Education

To be truly bilingual, a child needs to be able to read, write and speak fluently in both languages. For many, the idea of speaking a second language appeals, but what happens when this second language becomes dominant?

A British degree – without the fees?

Studying in France for a British degree accredited by a British university can prove the perfect combination for Anglophones brought up in France. In some cases, it can work out a lot cheaper as the fees are lower than the top-up fees in the UK (now up to £9,000 a year). Moreover, the environment is very cosmopolitan, with students coming from all over Europe – and the world. 

the Pregnancy Diaries (9) - Victoria Jelinek

‘Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others.’ Winston Churchill

Most of the women I’ve met in Chamonix are here because of their husbands. Sure, they may like it here and have some semblance of a community, but it’s because their husbands are keen outdoorsman, or simply want to be here, that they live and remain in Chamonix, away from their families.

It pays to swot!

Congratulations to all those who have their bac! And especially those who have done really well. 
Remember, if you have a bien or a très bien, are a boursier and going on to higher education next year, your great result translates into hard cash - another 200€ on your monthly living allowance for a très bien!

Can you challenge your bac results?

Bac results are published today – the passes, the fails and the names of those borderline cases who will need to do an extra oral exam before a final decision is made.

If you are in this latter group, remember you have very little time to prepare as the orals are next week and the results will be published on July 11.

€1 billion+ lost property in schools

French schoolchildren loose a staggering one billion plus euros (£800million) worth of clothes and equipment every year. 
That's around 74€ per child, a substantial dent in the family budget in these cash strapped times.

Changing lycée

If you fail your bac and need to repeat your terminale you may want to do this in a different lycée. But, be warned, it is difficult to change lycées (unless you have moved house) at any time and extremely difficult to do so when you are redoubling terminale.