Step-mother: 1 – Zermati: 0


As you might have noticed, Wifi was as scarce as hen’s teeth on Ile de Re, at least not close enough for me to be motivated. Not giving up and slightly anxious to be disconnected from the World Wide Web during one week, I tried to install a 3G stick.

Result: 3G stick 1 – Caro 0.

So no blogging next to the swimming pool, too bad, I was finding this idea deliciously romantic, a bit like coming back on this island in winter wrapped in a blanket to write this much vaunted novel everybody is waiting for.

There would be a chimney fire, a fur carpet, wind in the pines and long walks on deserted beach. I would be mysterious and locals would call me “the writer”. At night, driven by creative fever I would write pages and pages. It would be said later that my words were inspired by the unleashed sea and oyster farms (for the last part of this sentence, I’m not so sure).

At the end of this exile, I would send bundle of sheets telling a truly original story to two editors, Gallimard and Acte Sud, because there you go, I’m instinct driven. They would call me back within one hour, being sure they found the new Darieussec, with just what you need of Gavalda within. The one to which I would have said no (I don’t know yet which one I have to admit the idea of having to choose tears me) would jump out of despair from the top of Saint-Sulpice church.

Alas, thus, none of this could happen, since I’m still looking for the PUK code of my 3G stick like a furious hen.

No use retorting to me that you can write without an Internet connection and that Balzac had neither ADSL nor Wifi, I’m a woman in her time, that’s it.

Apart from that, if I’ve been beaten hollow by modern technology, my step-mother won hands down her match against healthy eating. It’s with a dedication I can only admire that she indeed set about sapping one year of Zermatian therapy, making use of “take some more”, “you’ve eaten nothing”, “be KIND, do you want be to toss out these prawns?”. She went for anything : calling upon small starving children (I haven’t had heard this one for 15 years), preserve not being fat, the paper towel she pat dry the chips with so that they are not greasy, the quantity of sugar divided by two in the fondant and the dark chocolate which, it’s well known, doesn’t make you fat. Let’s not talk about the lime sorbet renowned for its slimming virtues or the biscuit which, eaten with the said sorbet, “pushes all down”.

If on the first day I resisted gallantly, explaining to my step-mother that my body is not a bin (it’s like explaining quantum physics to Secret Story candidates) or chewing for five good minutes each bite so that she could not have the pleasure to reserve me thrice during the meal, I rather rapidly surrendered. How to make someone who applauds my kids each time they finish a plate understand that licking dishes is not a performance deserving to be recognised?

In order not to become literally sick (on the third day my esophagus started a zeal strike which will stay in the records) (no, the sentence before is not sexually deviant) I cheated as much as I could. Especially, during each trip of my jailer to the kitchen, I offloaded the rest of my plate onto my son’s. Who at the end of the week couldn’t fit in any of his jeans.

It’s bad, I know, to sacrifice Thingy on the altar of my Zermating, but you don’t go to war without breaking eggs. He’ll simply add this to the long list of gripes he’ll surely enumerate later in front of his someone.

It looks like I’m having fun but more seriously, that week was, and I knew it before, probation as I never had from the beginning of my therapy with Zermati.

The lesson I’ve learnt is that I will make another appointment with the good doctor in September. Because it’s hard for me to pretend I passed the test hands down. I didn’t stop dwelling on food eaten during the day, scourging myself for taking preserve twice, complaining for putting on twelve kilos and cursing the Churros, him being by definition responsible for my distress.

For the record, we were at his mother’s.

I’ve even been that close to weighting myself in a pharmacy, with my clothes on, at the risk of seeing a figure bound to be higher than the one given by my corrupted scale. And this openly on Ile de Ré. I gave up at the last minute, you had to pay to humiliate yourself, there are limit to my dumbness, even if they are rather far to reach.

In short, I can tell you that every nice sentences from Zermati, about regulation, about the fact that putting on two or three kilos won’t kill me, on the exceptional character of that week, on the necessity to trust yourself and so on, however hard I was repeating them to myself like mantras, it was going straight over my head.

Oh yeah, I can show off in my size 10 slim (a labeling mistake a priori, I since then tried on other trousers in this size – which represents for all dieting regular the absolute ideal – in which not one of my thighs could fit, not even half actually) I’m far far from being out of the wood if I’m unable to spend one week, one tiny week, totally chilled out in front of my step-mother’s bouillabaisse.

Apart from this, Ile de Re is even more beautiful than in my memories. I think the village I’ve preferred is La Flotte, and, higgledy-piggledy : I’ve had a salted butter caramel ice-cream from La Martinière with no guilt (liar) // People with darker skin or whose children wouldn’t be named Auguste, Henri or Domitille are missing // I witnessed a distribution of sweets at Bois Plage which made me fear a possible famine in our regions for Jean-Mathias or Marie-Gontrance can alas turn into hellcats with no brain for two packets of Tagada Pink // I’ve seen the sweet and pretty Zoe Sheppard at the same Bois Plage book fair, with other young and less young literature celebrities // I missed Marjoliemaman but I’ve, by incredible chance, had a drink with Dom des ménagères and her charming husband // I’ve admired salt marshes // had a tea, one morning, with Rose, while the older ones were climbing the 247 steps of the Des Baleines lighthouse // Enjoyed ‘Chroniques du plateau Mont-Royal’ from Michel Tremblay // celebrated Helmut’s two years by eating lobster and strawberry cake // and finally, drank Ti-punch made by my step-mother who doesn’t only push you to eat, let’s give back to Cesar what’s his.

I’m leaving you with a few pictures, for information I don’t master my new lens very well and I find that on most of the pictures (taken with automatic mode) colors are very dark, my children’s light brown hair appears to be dark brown. In case someone has an explanation.


That’s when I saw Zoé/la bureautière

This is Zoe whom I find more at ease when she’s next to the handsome David Foekinos
Here it’s PPD with his new hair, he looks like he’s having a blast.

Here is the man whose book was published the day Seguin died.  No matter what…



Here it’s just because I thought he was dead so it’s a bit like a resurrection for me.


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