Saturday, 27 July 2013

Conversations with the minibeasts

Mes petits papillons en vol
This morning we were discussing death; a subject which I talk about with Matilda and Owen quite openly.  They are not phased, merely curious.  And they have some rather lovely ideas about what happens to us when we die.

Me:  En général on meurt quand on est vieux, ou vieille, à la fin de nos vies, c'est normal, c'est même bien, on ne veut pas vivre pour l'étérnité.
Matilda:  Oui, c'est bien, parce qu'on va devenir des animaux.
Me:  Ah oui, peut-être.  Tu veux devenir quel animal?
Owen:  I want to be a pig.
Matilda:  Je veux être un papillon rose.
Owen:  Moi aussi, un papillon rose.
Matilda:  Oui, parce qu'on veut être amis.  Amis pareils.
Owen:  Amis pareils.

I hope they're right.

[I couldn't quite be bothered to do a translation - sorry - but basically when they die, they both want to be pink butterflies, so they'll be friends together.  My little blesspoppets.]

Saturday, 20 July 2013

My singbird

Owen: Sssshhh, I'm songing.*

* I should add, Owen will only sing songs of his own devising, usually about princesses.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Uncle cuddles

There's something really special about the uncle/aunt-niece/nephew relationship.  You get to be a best friend and a big kid.  All the fun, none of the responsibility.  

p.s.  Uncles are also really good at swinging.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Pieds nus à Bessilles (spéciale dédicace à Jen)

This week we took the minibeasts (and Uncle Ben) to try the Sentier Pieds Nus, a barefoot walk, at the Parc de Bessilles.  As the minibeasts shed their shoes at every possible opportunity, as do I, I thought it was something we would all enjoy.  And we did.  It was brilliant!  The idea of the walk is to stimulate all your senses, to experience the sights, sounds, tastes, smells and textures of the region.  Along the route, which took us through four different areas, forest, coastline, garrigue/vineyard and mountains, there were boards with pictures and questions, and boxes containing objects to touch and smell.  We also each had a packet of sweets, one for each of the four areas, and we had to guess the flavours.

There were lots of fun things to explore in each of the different areas, we walked through wine oak casks, clambered over a boat, got caught up in fishing nets, hung out in a giant hamoc, crossed a rope bridge and seriously disturbed the peace pretending to be cicadas.

The path was a mini adventure.  There were lots of different surfaces and textures for us to sink our feet into.

Matilda and Owen were happy as the proverbial pigs.  When we finished I asked them what they wanted to do next and Matilda said she wanted to do the walk again!  You will notice from the multiple pictures of her back that she was most enthusiastic, no need to motivate, the emergency liqourice allsorts didn't leave my bag.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

In the arms of Morpheus

Only for Morpheus, read Matilda.  Matilda loves holding Nell.  And I think, given Nell's tendency to drop off in her big sister's arms, Nell loves being held by Matilda.  Matilda gently rocks and sings to her, refers to her little sister as ma petite chouchounette, and looks about as proud as proud can be, the cat that got lifetime shares to the dairy.

Owen also loves holding Nell and is every bit as sweet and gentle as Matilda but as soon as Nell's time is up he unceremoniously drops his arms and announces he's finished.  Meaning we have to stay quite close by so my last but not least does not slide into a little squalling heap on the floor.

But Matilda is proving herself most reliable.  Yesterday I jokingly said to her that she wouldn't be returning to school next year but staying home to help me.  "Ok", she said, chirpily.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

They grow up so fast

Down at the Plantade last night for an apéritif at the guingette with Anso, Kaan and Tilio.  The kids shunned the company of the adults to prop up the bar.  Both kids and adults most content with this arrangement.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Busy summer bees

I have so many things I want to write about: my big little man turning three, my first born finishing her first year at the Occitan school and growing into her role of leader of the pack with aplomb, my Last but not least calmly sleeping and guzzling as we cart her about all over the place.  But there is no time.  I have had lots of translation work, I have rehearsed and performed (twice) in my end of year theatre show, and we have been out and about finally enjoying proper summer evenings.  In fact we are living somewhat nocturnally at the moment.  If you're going to have sleepless nights, might as well enjoy them and drag everyone along for the ride.  Last night the whole family got home at 2am.  And now, at 9.30am the following day, everyone is asleep except me.

Oh, and I have baked an inordinate amount of cakes, 8 in 2 weeks.  I really want to write about cake!

I think I need to get back into the habit of the short but sweet post or I'm going to miss out on recording all the wonderfully small details of our life together that are so quickly forgotten.

Anyway, a few things as I sweep by RTBC.

1.  I have so much I want to write about O, my thoughtful, loving, eccentric, sensitive little flower of a boy.  But for now, I just want to remember his touching act of kindness yesterday.  I was already up and downstairs with Nell.  O came down, trotted over and handed me my book and my phone (which I usually always bring down with me but had left by my bed).  I love both that he takes the time to register the small details of my life and that he thought to compensate for his dog-tired, breastfeeding motherbeast's oversight.

 2.  Amongst the cakes were four birthday cakes, two each for my Fanf and my O.

Carrot cake for O, requested, made and decorated by the birthday boy himself.  He chose the "Blanche Neige" decoration.

Caramel Shortbread for Papa, decorated by the minibeasts.

Chocolate Caramel Marmite cake for Fanf.  Wow.  I mean it all went a bit droopy, but wow.  Chocolate.  Caramel.  And marmite.  Wow.  I think I was the one most impressed by this cake.  But still.  Wow.

"Flash Queen Car Race" cake for Owen.  How I enjoy decorating my children's birthday cakes.  And I was rather pleased with this year's effort.  Made with the same Fresh Strawberry Yoghurt cake as last year.  And most likely every year.  The most delicious cake.

3.  And of course some photos of my three minibeasts, who continue to delight me.