Monday, 28 April 2008

There's nothing like...

a haircut when you're feeling down. I look at it this way - if its a good one, it makes you feel better and if its a bad one, it gives you something else to worry about, thereby taking your mind off other issues like "gosh, I'm lonely" and "remember that great indian restaurant in Brisbane".

I decided to give the hairdresser from my previous cut another go as overall I was pretty happy with the result - better the devil you know! And this one went pretty smoothly. There was a big discussion first, complete with carefully chosen french phrases and unambiguous hand gestures. And he got underway. It was slow going for a while and he was doing this funny airy-fairy layering technique at the front.

It wasn't until he stopped one side and went to the other that I realized the unthinkable had happened. He'd gone all Posh Spice on me. Now, I had this look when I was 17, thanks, and I have no desire to revisit it at 41. He must have seen the look of horror on my face as I regarded these wispy concave layers at the front and I stammered out "je le préfère..." (confronting a hairdresser in french or english has never been my forté). "Tout droit?" he said. "Oui", I sighed with relief - all straight! In fact, just like I said at the start. He'd obviously understood me. He was just being a hairdresser and was going off and doing his own truc. After we straightened that out (ha ha), I was really happy with the result - a sort of slightly layered bob, all straight around, much like what I've had many times before (although I did have to cut a few extra layers in one side, like last time).

truc - his thing

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Fancy a picnic?

The next Expat France Annecy Friends Picnic will be at 12pm Sunday 4 May (that's next Sunday!) on the Paquier near the manège. Anyone is welcome, including non-english speakers (in fact, non-english speakers are especially welcome as they just make us practice our french more!). Bring a rug and something to eat. In case of rain we'll be going to Le Napoli in rue Paquier. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather is as beautiful as its been this weekend.

Lily's new bike

We have finally bought Lily a bike. I feel a bit bad we've left it so long but that's life. When we arrived I was amazed how many 3 and 4 year olds here can ride bikes without training wheels. Still, I'm sure she'll get the hang of it soon enough - I doubt we'll be able to make any trips to the park now without her bike and the trike for Jasper. No wonder I haven't got my own bike yet - how would I manage that while juggling the rest?

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Le Château de Menthon- St Bernard

We took a nice trip to Menthon-St Bernard yesterday to celebrate my birthday. It was the first time I'd been there. We usually decide to go on Sundays when the bus doesn't run! After a walk near the lake we had a yummy lunch of steak and chips with green peppercorn sauce. To work all of that off we headed up to the Chateau. We knew it would be closed so we will have to go back another day to look inside but it was a fun hike up the hill, especially as we choose to cut across the paddocks instead of up the lovely cobbled path.

An icecream on the Paquier

In his new sunnies, checking out the clouds

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Monday, 21 April 2008


I've been a very bad blogger of late. You know you've been neglecting your blog when it requires you to log in to write a new post. Its school holidays, and with all the joy that brings, there is not a lot of time to blog. Also the kids have had mild fevers and sleep has been harder to come by then usual. Enough excuses? Allright, the real reason is I've been going through a big reading phase again - english not french. I finished Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane in about six hours the other night. Anyone read it? I haven't been so scared by a novel since I first read The Omen, many years ago. And what an ending! So now that that's finished, I have lots of posts I want to write. And I've been tagged twice, so I have one big post I am working on in french in my head. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Happy Birthday Little Man

We had a wonderful day today for Jasper's second birthday. After opening some presents, we took a one hour boat cruise on the lake. It was a gorgeous day and a really relaxing trip. Then we celebrated with a few little friends at home in the afternoon. The kids all had a great time, I think, and it was really nice to welcome some friends into our home to celebrate with us. Happy Birthday Jas!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Time to choose

Its that time again. Time to dig out the Woman's Weekly cake book and decide what cake to make for Jasper's birthday next week. Like his sister before him, Jasper loves to spend time looking at all the cakes in the book. His favourite seems to be the number 4 birthday cake, which is a crossroads with cars. So I might try and improvise a bit. In an attempt to not be completely over the top, we have done the french thing and invited a few of Jasper's little friends for goûter. It will be a bit different to last year's bash at New Farm Park but I am really looking forward to it.

goûter. - afternoon tea

Sunday, 6 April 2008

What a treat!

We had some aussie friends in town for the day. Originally from Brisbane, like us, our friends have spent the better part of the last year in Slovakia and came to see us before returning home. Sadly, it was a rainy day in Annecy, but after a quick trip to the markets, we had a lovely relaxed lunch at home while all the kids played together. After lunch the weather cleared enough for us to introduce them all to some of our favourite weekend activities - horsey rides and the merry-go-round. It was a real treat to catch up with old friends.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Its enrolment time again

Its time to send David off to the Bonlieu again to stand in line for an hour to enrol Lily for an activity for the next semester. The Mairie provides an amazing range of free activities for kids here. Amongst other things, at various ages they can do cross country skiing, orienteering, climbing and athletics. Before five, its a bit more limited. Lily can choose from gymnastics or swimming. She did gymnastics last time and really enjoyed it so this time she'll try the jardin d'eau.

Whether it can be called swimming lessons remains to be seen. Under the age of five, the kids still need a parent in the pool with them. Its all a bit different from Australia. Also we need to present a medical certificate to enrol her. So Lily and I trotted off to the doctor to get one today. When I explained what I needed he said its very common in France to need a certificate before starting an activity, "even for breathing!" He's pretty cool, our doctor. Not to mention he always compliments my french. And he was very impressed with Lily's too. He took the opportunity to weigh and measure her as she has not been there for ages. And she's about average height and a bit below average weight. See, I knew I was right not to worry when she was this chubby at 8 months. Look at those chubby legs!

Bonlieu - welcome centre
Mairie - town hall
jardin d'eau - water garden (for kids)

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

And in other news

I got my carte de séjour! I will have to go back in May to start the renewal process as it expires in July. Still, its very nice to finally have it.

It had to happen...

We've been leaving for school later and later. Its a 10 minute relaxed walk at 4 year old pace, stopping to look at every leaf and twig on the way. Or a 7 minute rush. The doors open at twenty past and you're supposed to be there before 830 or 130. Although supposedly they stay open for an extra five minutes before you're out of luck - no school for you! I say supposedly because Lily and I got there at 130 today only to find the doors firmly shut. Too late! I rang the buzzers in vain and then gave up knowing that everyone was in class and no one was going to answer anyway. The rules are quite strict. So no school for Lily and no time off for me. You can be sure we'll be leaving home earlier in future.