About us

Well, the blog's been around for literally years without ever having an "About me" page because I depended on the description in my profile, but everyone who's anyone seems to have one so I thought I'd better join in the trend ! Anyone who reads the blog will know us all already but here goes ! 

Chief reviewer - that's me ! - Cheryl, about to hit my forties (eek !), now late forties (even bigger eek !), originally from Sussex but now living in Dunkirk, Northern France, where I teach English to teens by day and blog by night (well, until 10.30pm when I'll head off to bed with the latest book I'm engrossed in !). I love reading, cooking, getting crafty with the kids (I used to be a keen cross-stitcher, scrapbooker and patchworker but don't have the time since starting blogging !) and researching our family history.

Married to Madhouse Daddy Mike, who I blame entirely for becoming an ex-pat in France. I was only supposed to be on a year's contract in 1995 in Brest (stop sniggering in the cheap seats!), down in Brittany, but then I met Mike and never made it back home. I got the last laugh though - it's an 8-hour drive down to the in laws' whereas we're only 1/2 hour from Calais so it's quicker to get back to Hastings, even with a change of country ! Madhouse Daddy sadly passed away in 2018, aged just 45, but his spirit lives on in our hearts and on this blog.

The three Madhouse Mini-Testers are :

- Sophie, born in 2001, but definitely getting in some early practice as a stroppy teen ! Loves : reading, Hello Kitty, all things British, riding her bike, electronic gadgets, lollipops, muttering "it's not fair" while stomping up the stairs and a boy in her class who I'm not allowed to name (even though he can't speak English so he'd be none the wiser even if I did!)

- Juliette, born in 2005.
Loves : winding up her big sister, saying made-up rude words (such as "pooey-pants-face") to her Grandad on the phone, being a tomboy (broken glasses and a chipped front tooth in the SAME WEEK at school!), Playmobil, making cakes (and eating them) and drawing.

- Pierre, born in 2009, and about to start school (where did my baby disappear to ?!)
Loves : In The Night Garden, big cuddles, TV sleeps (he's much too grown-up for naps now), spending hours on the potty, kicking a ball around in the park, dressing up in the girls' fairy wings, toy cars.

You might also come across the odd reference to Angel, our "angel baby", the little sister who wasn't meant to be in 2008.

Four-legged friends :
- Didou and Vicky, our mum and son Maltese/bichon balls of white fluff and naughtiness
- we also currently have 4 goldfish


  1. How exciting-I'd love to in in France. Would need to learn the lingo first!

  2. Gorgeous French names for your mini testers and as a veterinary nurse I always love reading about people's pets too.

  3. Hi Cheryl
    Bizzarely discovered your blog through searching for Hotter Temptation boots - can't get them anywhere! I live not far from Brest and give guided tours there.
    Will follow you with interest, thanks.

  4. Hi Cheryl,
    I was doing a little research on scooters and happened upon the picture of your daughter on the Vtriker Elite in google, so I followed the link and read the post, then followed the link to your pineapple upside-down cake. I am an absolute pineapple upside-down cake nut, and the pictures of yours look fantastic. I want a piece now! I love the Internet!

  5. Hi just stopped by, lookin good
    I'm only a month old , also have three children, two girls and a boy and my little angel Keira in heaven toox

  6. oh i was born in Hastings myself though i have only moved a few miles away

  7. good idea to learn languages when young


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