Thursday, 26 June 2014

Owen logic

Conversation over dinner following Owen's 4-year MOT with Dr. Proslier, which included an eye test.

Owen: I don't like Dr. Proslier.
Fanf:  Doctors are there to help us.  Mummy and I like Dr. Proslier and we trust him.
Matilda:  Doctors know everything.
Fanf:  They know all about the human body.
Owen:  They don't know everything, he didn't know what cats are.  He showed me a picture of a cat and asked me what it was. 

Doctors - not all they're cracked up to be.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Nell at one

A cake lover.

An art lover.

A book lover.

A theatre lover.

On Magali's shoulders at the Foire des Grenouilles today.

A daddy lover.

One of the gang.

Still a cheeky tongue sticker-outer-er...

... and a sultan of smile.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Artist

Owen has come slightly later to art than Matilda and her happy little hairy people.  His first pictures were stories, meandering expressionist stories, as you can see here.

But today he drew a picture for a friend's birthday card that actually was something.  "A mole with a hand stuck to its dress."  I've said it before and I'll say it again, he weird.  And I love him that way.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Auntie Katie

I've mentioned Auntie Katie here before but I'm not sure she's ever had her own post.  And she bloomin' well deserves one.  She is a bright spark in all our lives.  She has just graced us with her ever thoughtful, entertaining and sustaining (in all senses of the word) presence.  The minibeasts adore her.  When I went to pick them up from school without her, both took one look at me and asked: "Where's Auntie Katie?"  When she brought down her bags ready to leave Owen told her he was sad she was going.  Me too, Owen.  I think it's so important for children to have other adults in their lives, besides their parents, who they are close to and in whom they can trust.  Who can be friends and confidantes and playmates.  My little lot are very lucky to have their Auntie Katie.

Promenading with Nell

With the larger minibeasts in school, Katie, Nell and I got to have some girltime.  Having friends, confidantes and playmates outside your immediate family circle is as important for adults as it is for kids and whenever I see my friends I'm reminded of this.  Nell visibly radiated in a bit of undivided attention.  She also got to enjoy her first train ride in a day trip to Narbonne.

And of course, my cake guru doesn't visit without me roping her in to make some cake.  This time we made Nigel Slater's coffee, nutella and praline slice.  Wow.  Under Katie's careful guidance I actually made praline.  Without anything going wrong.  Two days in with only cake crumbs left to show for our efforts and I look worryingly like I'm expecting a fourth child.  I'm not.  The only protruding tums round here from now on in will be purely cake-related.

Good cake

Here endeth my post dedicated to Katie, both auntie and otherwise.  We can't wait until your next visit...

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The mountains

I have a bit of a backlog of posts (and by posts I mean photos - blog posts are no more than thinly veiled excuses to bombard you with images).  To begin with, our glorious trip to the Caroux mountains with all the cousins, tontons and tontines.  Spectacular views, bracing winds and wonderful company.  We did two days of walking with an overnight stay in a charming stone gite.  Owen was delighted as he got to sleep in the bedroom on the third floor or, as he would have it, "dans la tour du château" [in the castle tower].

Anyway, just a few photos from the many millions I took.  Potential and future visitors take note, this is only an hour's drive from our home.  And yet people throng to the beaches.  Crazy.  Though please, people, continue to be crazy.  Cover every square inch of sand with your leathery lobstery skin and leave me the peace and space and inspiration of the mountains.

Matilda diligently added a stone to each cairn.
(Fashion sense entirely her own)

The broom was in brilliant yellow bloom.

Nell on a mountain.

"Je peux voir les montagnes!"

Nell gamely came along for the ride.  She was full of cold and spent most of the time looking like this.

 Though she also made the most of the opportunity to bond with Tonton Pascal.

We've never walked so far with Owen and Matilda.  Matilda pretty much took it in her stride.  Owen needed slightly more encouragement but with a little shoulder support managed to keep up.  As he hotfooted it down the final slope, Tontine Anne and I cheering him on all the way, he told us: "Je suis le super des Owens."

Why yes you are my Owen boy.

And there were cousins, cousins everywhere!

Playing Little House on the Prairie in front of the gite