the Pregnancy Diaries by Victoria Jelinek

I allow no one to touch me.’ Paul Cezanne

It’s the weirdest thing, but ever since I’ve looked obviously pregnant, people have been touching it, often without asking to first!
This goes hand-in-hand with people of all kinds offering me unsolicited advice about my pregnancy and tales about their own.

Universities that teach in English

Politecnico di Milano

An increasing number of universities around the world are offering undergraduate courses taught in English and indeed some are now doing all their teaching in English which makes them attractive to ambitious students who want to graduate which an extra skill under their belt.
It can also make them attractive to British-born students as, adventure apart, the fees and cost of living can be lower than in the UK–or France.

Q&A: babysitting insurance

My daughter has just been asked to do some babysitting for French friends. Is it true that she needs to take out special insurance to do this? 


Increasing numbers of families in Britain are struggling to feed and clothe their children, according to Save the Children. Parents are often going without themselves in order to ensure their children eat properly and the strain is tearing families apart.

Many British, or other incomer, families in France are struggling to make a living and find themselves in much the same situation.

the Pregnancy Diaries (17) by Victoria Jelinek

‘I found there was only one way to look thin: hang out with fat people.’ Rodney Dangerfield

Given the ‘all clear,’ or ‘tout va bien,’ from my doctor regarding my pregnancy last week, I headed to London to visit friends. While there, I’ve experienced a metamorphosis of my body and in my perspective.

the banks' rentrée offers for students

Whilst it would be lovely to protect our offspring (and, indeed, ourselves) from the evils of banking, until the next generation invents a bank-free society they remain a necessary evil.

So here are the top six rentrée offers for this year's students looking to get their hands on a bank card.

Where's the best place to study?


Student magazine L'Etudiant has surveyed 41 key university towns, accommodating some 8000 students, comparing courses, accommodation, night life, environment, sports facilities, transport , part time job opportunities and the overall cosmopolitan mix of the student population in order to find the places to be a student.

And the winners are: Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier.

student accommodation costs

If your kids have started university in France this year you may still be reeling at the cost of student accommodation. Although President Francois Hollande has promised to build  another 8000 student flats by the end of his first term, prices are still steadily rising.

Morality in schools row

As 12 million schoolchildren take their desks, France's new education minister Vincent Peillon has kicked up a storm by calling for 'secular morality' lessons in the classroom.
Despite a frosty reception from teachers and parents' groups, Peillon wants the subject to be introduced from 2013. 
He intends to introduce a secular moral code, he says, to help France's young to learn to 'live together'.

the pregnancy diaries (16) by Victoria Jelinek

 “A tree’s a tree. How many more do you need to look at?” Ronald Reagan

Watched Terrence Malick’s last film The Tree this week. Malick has taken his time with his films, working on this one for decades. He’s "only" made seven films in a 35-year career, but his films Badlands and Days of Heaven are two of the most beautifully filmed movies of all time and this one is gorgeous, too. 
It’s lightly existential…a great film to watch when you’re in the mood to consider your life, your family, and the world you live in without delving too deeply into any of it…