Saturday, 29 November 2008

Une grenade...

A pomegranate, that is! I don't think I've eaten one since I was a child but we've started eating them a lot here. Lily especially loves them and they've become a favourite, albeit messy, way to finish off lunch.

Friday, 21 November 2008

On se débrouille

We've just go back from a celebratory dinner out at the Bistrot de Bonlieu, just around the corner from our place. We were celebrating 3 things: surviving 18 months in France, the end of all that breastfeeding and Jasper's good hips. As I sat there listening to us all talking in french and eating our delicious fondue, I thought to myself "look at us, we're not doing too badly." We might have our hard times but we're all happy and we're getting by (on se débrouille). Of course, all those happy thoughts could have had something to do with the 50cl bottle of Beaujolais nouveau David and I were sharing or the cool 80s soundtrack playing in the restaurant (or a combination of the two!)

La fête des caïon

I'm only a week late with this post but I really am going to make an effort to keep up with this blog again. It seems a shame to neglect it when I look back and see what a good record it makes for the kids.

So, here are some photos from the pig festival we went to last weekend. It was held in rue Filaterie, one of my favourite streets and one where traditionally there were many butchers. We bought some boudin blanc, a traditional white sausage containing pork and poultry. I thought it might be nicer than boudin, which is a type of blood sausage. But I'm sorry to say the texture, which was so fine as to feel silky, was really off-putting. In fact, I think Jasper was the only one who really liked it. Tough luck buddy, because I wont be cooking it again!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hooray for Jasper!

Jasper has been busy the last few weeks - busy growing up, that is. In this short space of time he has:

1 Weaned! It was so gradual, that I was only a little sad to say goodbye to five years of breastfeeding. But I'm thrilled that he did it at his own pace and without any tears. (BTW, the five years - I'm talking about him and Lily here. Just in case, anyone thinks he's 5, he's not!)

2 Learned to wee standing up! He was getting a little lax with the potty so I figured if he can stand up and wee anywhere in the house (to avoid having to stop playing and actually go to the toilet), then it was time for him to learn to stand in front of the potty!

3 Decided naps are for wusses! Why nap every day, when once a week will suffice? I cant say I agree with him on this one but at least he goes to bed before 10pm now.

4 Talked and talked and talked! He's had another big leap in his speech, which is now a wonderful mix of french and english. He's also come out of his shell a bit at gym and playgroup.

And, most importantly

5 Graduated! At his check up today at the orthopedic specialist, we found out his hips are well positioned and growing well, so there is no more need for yearly checks. That's it! All the drama of hip dysplasia that began 2 years ago now, is finally over.

Well done, little man!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Concert at the CRR

On Friday, I went with Lily's class to a concert at the Conservatorium. It was the first time I've been somewhere with her this school year and I noticed they treat the grandes a bit different to the moyennes. Unlike last year, there were no nametags in case they got lost and the parents just generally helped to keep them on the sidewalk, instead of being responsible for a little group of specific kids.

The concert was excellent. There was a group of three men playing original compositions. No dumbing down for the kids! There was a piano, guitar and a vibraphone. The kids were, for the most part, very well behaved and sat and listened well. They swayed along with the music and some got really excited, tapping away with their hands during the vibraphone solos. But the funniest bit was during a tango piece. During the guitar solo, a couple of the little boys were playing along. It was so cute to see the tendency to air guitar coming out so early!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

The next step...

What an exciting result. I barely slept last night, what with Lily's nightmares and Jasper's drinks of water having me out of bed every couple of hours. Then, I'd check the news and go back to bed wide awake. Sometime there, I decided to stop checking so I was so thrilled to see the news this morning. It feels such a momentous day, full of promise...

Which is probably why I finally plucked up the courage to do something about my french today. I've been wanting to take a class since I got here but its really only been possible for the last six months or so, as Jasper now takes a nice long nap in the afternoon that leaves me with enough free time. I loved doing my classes at Alliance Française back in Brisbane. There are two language schools in Annecy but their shortest courses are 12 or 15 hours a week, rather than just the couple of hours I'd like to do.

I've known the solution for a long time. There is a very good french tutor here that many people I know have recommended. So, its weird that its taken me this long to ring her. My french took a good leap over summer, as a result of hanging out with my lovely french friends. But I am rather lazy and apart from reading the paper every few days and the odd book, I really don't work at it. That's fine if I want to continue progressing as I am but I feel like its really time to do something and to be a bit more disciplined about it.

So, the call is made and I'll be meeting her in about 10 days...

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Time Of Your Life

Its been a rather anxious day today - cold gloomy weather and a nervous pit in my stomach as we wait for the election results overnight. But I found a brief respite from my thoughts as I wandered through a little park on the way back from the shops today. Lots of local teenagers hang out there - talking, smoking (unfortunately), playing guitar and just doing what teenagers do. One of them was playing "Time of your life" and I sat down to listen, taken as always by what a simple classic ballad it is. And he did an excellent job of the english lyrics...

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Song for Sarah

Well, its November and I'm back! And what better way to get back into blogging than with this delightful little tune dedicated to Mrs Palin who will soon, hopefully, fingers crossed, be winging her way back to Wasilla...