Tag Archives: sun

Wicked Stepmother weakens as exhaustion sets in.

Wicked Stepmother looks at the calendar. 4 weeks down. 6 weeks to go. French school holidays go on forever.

wicked stepmother's calendar

plus last week in June, plus all of August . . .

September feels like light years away.

The good ship doing nicely thank you has encountered more squalls. The power switch off (see previous Wicked Stepmother post) happened only the once. Good intentions were slipping. Had slipped. Storms were building on the horizon once again when, out of the wide blue yonder, GB accepted an invitation to go to the beach.


the beach at Vias

It wasn’t GB’s idea to go to the beach. He doesn’t particularly like the feel of sand in his shorts. And the beach is no place to take your X-Box, but some of the other gamers thought it would be a fun thing to actually get outside for a while.

This is what he needs, said Biological Parent. It will do him good to get out there, splash around with the lads. Swim in the Med.

Wicked Stepmother had concerns.

Just for the morning, is it? she said.

Yes, said Gollum Boy. We’re going at nine o’ clock. I’ll be back for lunch.

Nine o’ clock in the morningWicked Stepmother could hardly believe her ears. What will you need to take with you? she said.

Nothing, came the answer.

No sun cream?

I won’t need it. 

He made the nine am. start and off he went with his towel. At twelve came a phone call. The parents picking up the boys had decided to make an afternoon of it, too. They’d made lunch for everybody and turned up with their deck chairs.

So, what time will you be back? said Wicked Stepmother down the phone.

I don’t know.

Grey skin, accustomed to dark places and no sunlight can’t cope with a day at the beach. Maybe the other gamers in GB’s group led a more balanced lifestyle with occasional breaths of air and a little exercise. Maybe they had enough sense to cover up their poor grey chests and backs.

GB encountered his first ever episode of sunburn on his chest and shoulders. Throughout previous summers he’d always managed a sensible approach to being in the sun. This summer, when he walked back through the gate his shirt was rolled up under his arm and he wore a look like a lost puppy.

We snapped off a few bits of Aloe Vera to use the viscous liquid inside the leaves. GB didn’t like the stickiness of the ooze.


soothing Aloe Vera

We went to the pharmacy and came back loaded with unguents and lotions etc. etc..

Be aware, French pharmacies don’t believe in selling you one product when five will do. Take a shopping bag.

The various creams from the pharmacy didn’t help much either.

Then, we read up about using vinegar.

We’d known about some of the uses of vinegar for some time, but this was news to us.

Of all the treatments we tried, cider vinegar came out tops. Sprayed on sun-reddened skin, a fine mist of cider vinegar cools and soothes and stops the itching.

For the next few days, GB  went without his shirt as his skin was too hot to wear clothes. He stayed in the shade reapplying the vinegar treatment and smelled like a French Fry, which I suppose, in effect, he was.


magic potion!

There are many claims about the benefits of using cider vinegar. The sunburn treatment certainly worked for GB.

Here’s a link to 15 Reasons to use Cider Vinegar.

So, there we were, sunburn episode behind us and still a whole load of summer in front of us. What would happen next? Would BP continue to ignore GB’s regression into gaming addiction?

Another invitation arrived. From the same gamers’ group. A trip to Laser Evolution in Béziers.


This would get him off the X-Box.

This would get him moving. But, only in the DARK.

I didn’t have the strength to argue about the benefits of fresh air.

Click on image below to view Evolution website.

laser evolution


See you next time when Wicked Stepmother decides to take a break from planning meals.

I hope you’re enjoying the Wicked Stepmother Chronicles. I know there are a lot of us out there. Don’t forget to drop me a comment. I love to hear what you think.

Two Days of snow! A south of France winter.

Next year's Merlot under a blanket of snow

Next year’s Merlot under a blanket of snow


We don’t often get snow here. This week we had plenty. It doesn’t last, though. As soon as the sky clears, the sun comes out and melts it all.

In the distance, the Montagnes Noir overlook the village, another source of inspiration for me. One in particular features in my story The End of the World PartyView towards the church

View towards the church