Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Fairy Plump

There were many lovely things about this Christmas but in my memory it will forever remain the year of the Fairy Plump.  

Owen asked for a Blanche Neige ballet dress and red ballet shoes from Father Christmas.  When we awoke on Christmas morning we had stockings in our bedroom.  Owen ripped through his and then looked up disappointed, "Where is my préféré present?" he asked plaintively.  I suggested we go upstairs and have a look under the tree.  And indeed, Father Christmas had left more presents there.  We began handing them round but each time Owen opened something that wasn't his dress his face fell.  "But where is my préféré present?"  Eventually I found him the right parcel which was unwrapped to squeals of delight.  The dress was donned immediately and after that he gave most of his presents to me to open because he wasn't interested in anything else.  

Properly attired with dress and ballet shoes Owen proceeded to regale us with his rendition of 'The Fairy Plump' (The Sugar Plum Fairy).  Performances were quite strictly organized.  Owen would begin by choosing a designated 'guard', whose job was to announce the performance, during which time Owen would hide under the table.  It was seemingly imperative that the guard not applaud the performance at the end, this falling outside of his/her remit.  Several guards were severely chastised (myself included) for failing to observe their terms of engagement.  All audience members also had to maintain a strict silence during the dance, and those flouting this rule, even with appreciative ooohs and aaahs, received a stern glare or, in extreme cases, an angry 'chut!'  And of course anyone who was not a 'guard' was encouraged to show their appreciation as Owen took his bow.

Here is a little video to give you a taster of the many, many, performances of The Fairy Plump that we were subjected to enjoyed immensely.  In this instance, it is Auntie Katie who gets a dressing down at the end for her negligent clapping, even though you will see him reminding her not to clap during the performance. Oh Auntie Katie...

The kids received DVDs of The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! and Cirque du Soleil's Quidam for Christmas.  Having watched all three DVDs intently they declared that they were all very good but that Matilda's end of term circus show and Owen's version of the Fairy Plump were actually better.  I think we may have gone a bit overboard on the praise and confidence building... 

And if you're wondering where Nell was in all this, well she contentedly screeched and smiled her way through the mayhem.

That'll be me signing off for the year.
Happy 2014 to one and all!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Rocking around the Christmas tree

Yes, it's our annual Christmas tune, chosen this year by Matilda.

A merry Christmas to one and all.  We can't wait to see those of you on your way to us and lots of festive jollity to those snuggled up in other parts of the world.

Bex and the gang xxx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Cirque joie!

Matilda loved the skateboarding

Last night Fanf and I took the kids to see Le Cirque Misere at SortieOuest.  A little Christmas treat, and the first time we've been out to a proper show in a proper theatre with them.  Well, in a big top.  They were transfixed.  As were we.  It was beautiful and poetic and funny and thought-provoking.  In fact it was so good I actually spent more time watching the show than the kids' faces.  Although I kept hearing Matilda exclaim, "Il est trop fort!"

It was extremely salutary to feel my old self reconnecting with my new self.  And I can't wait to build up my minibeasts theatrical experience with them.

Anyway, why don't you take a look.  I loved the paper bird juggling.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Or les chats ne font pas des chiens, as the French say.  So, can you guess who this lovely little chap is?  Yes, yes, it is our pater familias.  Just imagine my surprise and glee when I received this in my photostream from my belle soeur, Steph.  Fanf says his sisters dressed him up like that, but I see no signs of protestation on his chirpy made-up face.

And as for the sisters [Left: Steph, right: Anne], good lord, the hair!  Fanf claimed it was just the style but I don't think even the 80s can be blamed for these monstrous coiffures.  I mean the older cousin behind looks perfectly normal.

Owen, clearly you have inherited more than your good looks from your papa.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Moving Pictures

My darling brother Ben donated his Mac to me this summer, thus assuaging many years of Mac envy.  But being the technical amoeba that I am, I have only just worked out how to get videos into my blog again.  And when I say "I", I mean Fanf.

So there is a bit of a back log.  But here are a couple I particularly love.

One of Nell giving it some welly with her screeching.
[Warning: You may want to turn the sound down before viewing.]

One of Matilda making her little sister giggle.

And a brand new only-filmed-today video of Matilda in her end of term circus show.  Seeing her up there with the big ones (she's very proud she's been bumped up with les grands), so happy and giving it her all, I felt so proud.  Even a little teary.  Having kids is making me soppy.

In other unrelated news, when Nell was in full screech today, I commented that she was as happy as a pig in mud, to which Owen took great offense, explaining to me that she was actually crying because I had called her a pig.

Friday, 13 December 2013

I love the smell of Christmas trees in the morning

Our first real tree.  I'm so excited.  The smell.  I love the smell of a real tree.

And look at those minibeasts.  I love them too.     

Tonight O told me I'm the prettiest mummy in town :)

It's been a long week.  I've had a glass of wine.  I feel nice.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

6 months

I'm not usually one to gush, yet gush I must.  Nell, my goodness, the decision to make you may have been a long one, and my pregnancy fraught with horrid thoughts that that decision was not the right one, but every time I look at that enormous beaming smile of yours I thank my lucky stars that we did decide to make you.  Welcoming you into our scraggy little nest has been a doddle, you are so easygoing and adaptable and happy.    

You are utterly adorable and utterly adored.