Monday, March 28, 2011

A day on the Bassin with Materfamilias

I haven't met many blogger friends - only two actually; Sarah and Stella. This weekend made three when Materfamilias and her husband came down to Bordeaux on a side trip from their vacation in Paris and we spent an evening and an afternoon together. It's nice to finally meet people when you have been reading them for years and you already feel (perhaps erroneously) that you know lots about them. You can skip a lot of the awkward niceties, and finally put a voice to the words. Of course, they were lovely, just as I knew they would be.
We spent Sunday afternoon on the Bassin d'Arcachon and I had fun showing off some of my favourite places. My glutei maximi are feeling rather delicate today since they dragged me to the top of the Dune to Pyla then stopped me tumbling all the way back down again. The children applied no such braking mechanisms. A good time was had by all.
(By the way that first photograph in the mosaic below may be a sandy colour but it certainly didn't taste like sand. It's my dessert from Saturday evening at La Table du Vieux Saint Pierre, une bonne adresse).

Come back soon les Familias!

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's my Birthday and I'll Cry if I Want To

Yes, it's my birthday today but this afternoon we're going to our friend Marie's funeral. She was only forty-five, a lovely person and a great mum to two super children. She died after a long and painful batte against cancer. So today I'm not going to complain about aging, I'm going to reflect on the fact that it is a privilege to grow older.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Project 365: Feb+

I'm still taking a photo every day. I have sometimes only remembered when I'm in bed and then I just took a photograph of whatever was on my bedside table. And I did forget completely one day, but luckily I'd accidentally taken a short video with my phone so I was able to use a still from that.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Fuerteventura: Bonsoir, have a good evening, gracias.

As you know, we like to head south during one of the shorter school holidays. It's never something that we plan a long time in advance, but last week's February holiday was an exceptionally last minute affair. Dismayed by the weather forecast for Bordeaux, I found cheap tickets to Fuerteventura online on Thursday, then booked accommodation on Friday, threw some shorts and t-shirts in a bag on Saturday and headed off on Sunday.

We opted for an all-inclusive hotel thing this time, mainly because villas on Fuerteventura turned out to be so much more expensive than on the neighbouring island Lanzarote, and much more difficult to come by. At least the children will be happy, we thought, with other kids to play with and a "mini club" and all of those other exciting things that go on in hotels that boring old parents are no good at providing. (I secretly hoped that they might even become chummy with some British children and brush up on their English at the same time)

This plan backfired a little because, of course, once they'd made (exclusively French) friends the children certainly didn't want to go off and explore any boring old museums or unspoiled fishing villages, or volcanic landscapes. So we negotiated ..... every single trip outside of the hotel compound.

Happy children notwithstanding, next time, it will definitely be a villa. Not least because although the food was delicious; the rooms spacious and impeccably clean; the tropical gardens lush and the staff irreproachably smiley: the muzak drove us up the wall and the multilingual commentaries from the entertainment team reminded P of nothing so much as the daftie in The Name of the Rose (although I don't think there was any Latin involved). Unsurprisingly when you use four different languages in one high-speed sentence it comes out as meaningless Eurobabble even if all of the words are correct.

However, a bit of winter sun, as the brochures say, never did anyone any harm and Fuerteventura is a superb island. I'd like to go back sometime to explore further afield. More photos here, if you think you can take it.


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 ...