Thursday, 26 February 2009

On the move!

We were accepted today for the new apartment! What a relief! It may take a while to sort out all the paperwork with the caution bancaire but I hope we can move within a month. I will be a bit sad to leave what has been our home here for the first almost two years, but I think we will all be a lot happier where the kids can play and run around without disturbing neighbours downstairs. The new apartment is above a shop and should be a lot better insulated as it is old (18th century). Its got a big balcony and a lovely outlook (if I say too much anyone walking around the Old Town will be able to work out where it is!). I am really looking forward to living somewhere with some character again and cant wait to get in there...

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Wishing and hoping

We are opening a dossier today for an apartment to rent in the Old Town. I am so nervous about whether it will all work out but so far so good.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Les vacances d'hiver

We all had a wonderful holiday and its fair to say everyone made progress with their skiing. Lily was really interested this year and quickly mastered the tire-fesses and the green pistes (even though she'd rather just go straight down fast than turn!). She even skied a couple of blue pistes with the family. Jasper started to get interested towards the end of our stay so we swapped his strap-on skies for some real ones on his last day and he had fun coming down the green piste with Daddy. I tackled some of the blue pistes this year and although I'm still a bit nervous about skiing too fast, I'm getting better (except when it comes to bumps, which I learned the hard way - something to work on next year). As for David, well, he already skies really well but this year he learned how much harder it is to ski down an icy blue piste when you have a child under each arm (his idea, not mine!).

As usual, La Clusaz, was simply delightful and we had heaps of snow this year. We had a self-catered apartment but also went out for some memorable meals including a wonderful fondue. We stayed right up high in the Maeva Club-Hotel which meant we got a lot of exercise walking up and down the hills but we made great use of the navette (shuttle bus) system. We also had fun at the pool and did some more ice-skating. And once again, big thanks to the wonderful guys at Ski 3000 where we hired our skis!

Here are a few videos and some photos...(ok, quite a few photos!)

Walking down from Maeva

Our view

Les Riffroids...

Family skiing day down from the Beauregard (except Jasper didnt like being in the luge)

On the télé-siege (chair lift)

Skiing La Motte with Dad...

Waiting for the tire-fesses at the Balme...

Up at the Jardin d'enfants at Beauregard

I'm not very stylish but I get there...

La Balme

Part of the very bumpy blue piste I went down at the Balme...

On the Daddy tire-fesses...

At the pool...

Night-time at La Clusaz

Going up in the télécabine - he had to hold his skis...

First time on real skis!

At Beauregard

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Just like his mum!

We are coming to the end of two fabulous weeks at La Clusaz. Photos will follow when I have a faster internet connection. But in the meantime, I had to record Jasper's first french sentence. I've noticed, over the last couple of weeks, he's been speaking more and more french and repeating many phrases and sentences that Lily says (let's face it, like most french pre-schoolers, he mastered caca boudin a long time ago).

But today he put together his first sentence that was only in french rather than a mix of french and english. We'd just eaten the best hamburgers in La Clusaz and he said "moi aime la frîtes, moi". Which, allowing for grammatical errors, means "I like chips." At this rate, at least he should be able to communicate the basics to his teacher when he starts school in September.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

The search begins again...

Lucky as we were to find it, we've never been completely happy with our apartment. Its got some great points like a nice big balcony for the kids to play on and a fabulous view. But, there are times when its bad points get a bit overwhelming. Part of the problem is its age. Its too old to be new and too new to be old. Like most apartments built in the 1960/1970s it has no charm or character. And sometimes it just doesn't feel very homely.

The other part of the problem is that for most of my adult life I have lived in buildings that were over 60 years old - which is not old at all in european terms but is old enough when it comes to buildings in Australia. There is something about living in old buildings that I find to be good for the soul. Its probably why, every time I'm in a bad mood, a quick walk around the old town always makes me feel better.

So, last Monday, I happened to see an ad for an apartment to let in the old town. Its slightly smaller than what we are in, which is bad. But its in a lovely old 18th century building, has a bigger balcony and a great view of the canal and the castle. Of course, almost a week has gone by and we still haven't been able to see inside but such is life in France! I am learning to slow down and not get over-excited. We leave on holidays in a week and I doubt we'll be able to see it before we go. And no doubt it will be gone when we get back. But if that happens, that's okay. Its planted the seed for us both, that despite tight financial times, it might just be worth it to find ourselves a new home with a bit of soul.