Just back from a lovely week in Normandy, staying in a chalet and wandering the beaches of Omaha, Gold, and Arromanches. The kids built sandcastles on endless empty beaches, that were there to play on because of the bravery of the men who died, landing on them. The Mulberry harbours are still there, boats darting in and out of them. Poignant, but somehow uplifting. The small towns and villages along the D-Day coast are so welcoming, everywhere there are messages of thanks to the British, American, Dutch and Canadian soldiers that liberated them. The graves are spotless, and very thought provoking. We did not have to fight on our land. I hope, that if we had, we would have had as mcuh respect for the soldiers that helped as they do.
So it was a week of eating, sand, and wandering, encouraging the kids not to be petrified of the large mouse thing (poor French girl in a suit in 30 degrees) that was put on to entertain / scare them. I managed a morning away, wandering Bayeaux (skipping the tapestry, seen it already, though it would stand 20 visits), and having a long lunch. Then it struck me. There are no fat women in France. This despite the fact that EVERY meal and snack is 90% fat, even the salads come drenched in oil. The portions are larger than your head and everyone eats 3 courses every meal. Wandering a supermarket, I was dumbstruck by the aisles ans aisles of chocolate based snacks, and it was impossible to find cereal that wasn't chocolate. Even the Special K came with chocolate in it. Bowing to the inevitable, we purchased a tub of Nesquick for the kids milk. On getting back to the chalet, we found it was.... wait for it....BABY nesquick.
So where are all the fat people? All the young women are skinny, skinny, skinny and dressed in taupe. All the elderly women are skinny, skinny, skinny, suntanned and have small dogs. It's the 30-45 women that are gone. I think they all suddenly put it on around the waist when they hit their thirties, have a decade eating inside, saying "sod it" in French, then spend 5 years on exercise bikes in front of TV drama before emerging thin again.