Friday, January 29, 2010

Fun and Games at the Opera

This could have been a nice cosy post about how much Z and I enjoyed the Opéra de Bordeaux's unusual production of the Magic Flute last night. It takes place in a ski resort with lots of kitchy decor and sixties style hairdos and anoraks. Great fun.

However, Z was going with a group from his music school and I had to make him a picnic dinner to eat on the bus. While I was sticking the ham in his sandwich, with only twenty minutes to go before we had to leave, I got a phone call to say that there was an extra ticket and would I like to go? Yes!

P. works late on a Thursday though, so I would have to ask our friendly young neighbors if they would look after E until he got home. "I'm just going to run next door and ask them" I said to the children. They followed me out and Z pulled the door behind him and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarggh locked us all outside.

And that is how Z's first visit to the opera involved some muted shouting, a borrowed car, no dinner, no coats, and no money.

But lots of fake snow.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

At the park

We have taken the children to the park to run off all of that pent up energy. Our local post office is situated in the middle of the park.

An elderly woman — old but not that old — studies the notice on the door. She is well dressed but her face wears a fixed miserable expression. She asks me if I can tell her how to get to the main post office — this one is closed. I tell her that it's closed because it's the first of January and that the other one will be closed too.

"Ah, c'est le premier janvier?" she repeats, surprised. "Bonne année".

She doesn't live far from here. It's just that she needs some money - will the other post office be open tomorrow? I say yes and explain in great detail how to get there - it's not difficult. She looks at me in an anguished, vacant way. Could I possibly go with her? Well, no not really. Could I write the directions down?

She fumbles in her near-empty handbag and finds a pen. I find a piece of paper and write the instructions down. She re-reads them several times and at the bottom of the page she adds that the objective is to go to the post office to get some money. She seems to know that she will have forgotten that part by tomorrow. She frowns, says again how lost she feels and explains that she hasn't had this maladie for long so she is still getting used to it.

She squeezes my arm. "Merci de votre gentillesse" she says. Somehow, I don't feel at all kind.

Saturday, January 02, 2010


Happy New Year! The end of the holidays is approching and this tree is coming down tomorrow.

It's been an eventful two weeks. First there was the Eurostar fiasco which we got round by forking out cash for air tickets. Then a snowy Christmas in Scotland. 15 hours of train journey on the way back - almost compromised by a points failure at the very beginning. Then P's family descended on us for a festival of eating and drinking over New Year. I'm really looking forward to 2010 and I hope you are too!


Being confined indoors most of the day, just the four of us, is reminding me of the days when my children were wee and most of our weekends ...