Saturday, 14 September 2013

2nd and 3rd Weeks in France (August 2012)

Sunday 19th August 2012. Such a happy day. I took the boys to church for Sacrament meeting in the morning, and did some reading from George Albert Smith, which I shared with the boys, then lots of reading The Friend with Harry. The boys were so good all day. I had a nap in the afternoon (very bad night's sleep the night before: noisy flies/stressing about mosquitoes/next door's dog barking/what sounded like a rabbit-sized thing running around my bedroom...) anyway, I woke to find Tom and Jack playing Monopoly, and Harry all sweetness and light, and sweeping the house. He said he was going to keep sweeping till he'd done it for an hour - and he did! He was so happy with himself afterwards!
It was just such a lovely afternoon. The kids playing happily and cycling up and down the lane, and me reading on the patio.
This is not much of a picture, but for me it sums up complete contentment. It felt good to take a step back from life, and think about how to not get sucked back into the stress of recent life.

Monday 20th August 2012. Not quite as quiet and peaceful as yesterday! Harry was a bit of a pain to start with - he had had a bad night, and was tired, but the day improved as it went on.
We packed up a picnic for lunch, and went for a bike ride round the 'Billio Eagle field'.
I read on the patio later on, accompanied by George the peacock.
We then went for a walk to the pond in the woods, and fed the fish our stale baguette ends.
We picked blackberries on the way back from the woods, and I made a blackberry and apple tart for pudding. Boys played nicely in the evening, and we found Tom some new books to read - he'd run out which explained some of his being a nuisance today!

Tuesday 21st August 2012. Lovely weather again. Went to Josselin and parked in the cockerel car park, then wandered down to the shops, and bought a 'mad hatter' sticker, and post card for Nanny and Grandad. We did our quickest ever run up the bell tower and down again - it was 25 past the hour, and the boys were scared of the bell ringing at half past, and us still being up there. We then walked down to the river and played with the broken water system model, then listened to the English speaking story narrated electronically next to the wash house. It was a bit embarrassing, as loads of people came by, and stopped. The story is quite long, and they were forced to listen to it in English!
We then sat in the Bois d'Amour for a bit, writing the postcard, then went back down to the shops to get another 'mad hatter' sticker for the fridge! Drove to Super-U, and Harry got more Playmobil, so was very happy.
We spent the afternoon in the garden. I cut the grass verges down the lane, and the boys took the grass away in the wheel barrow, which they carried on playing with.

Wednesday 22nd August 2012. Gorgeous weather again. We went to Auray, with a picnic lunch, and walked down to the dual carriage-way bridge, which we have only ever been over before. Had a lovely time wandering round. The boys enjoyed looking at the boats.
We went up the other side to have lunch, and then up to the top, and up the tower.
Ice creams on the bridge to finish off with! Stopped off at Hyper-U on the way home so that the boys could buy Pez dispensers and sweets. Everyone very happy, though not without the odd telling off in the evening.

Thursday 23rd August 2012. More heavenly weather, so off to the Island beach. We went straight to island and set up camp. The boys just happily climbed on the rocks, played in the sea, and Harry played with his yellow dumper truck, which I made him share with a couple of French kids who were following him around in awe! Swam in the sea - a lovely temperature! Harry did his first ever swimming unaided in the sea!
I read a lot, and had a nice relaxing time, as the island beach is so small it's easy to keep an eye on the kids.
The kids played in the garden all evening.
I went to bed early and read scriptures and conference talks. Felt the stresses and things of the past year receding a bit. I really felt like I have benefited from taking a step back this holiday, and relaxing a bit.
Some visitors to our living room...

Friday 24th August 2012. It rained nearly all day. Got on with washing and drying, vacuumed upstairs, finished some ironing, did some sewing on my hexigon quilt, and planned the rest of our dinners, then took the boys to Super-U to get what we needed for them. It's been lovely having the place to ourselves - very relaxed and like being at home.
Harry was a bit of a pain - he was determined to spend the rest of his holiday money on Playmobil, but there wasn't any at Super-U, so he was desperate to go to Hyper-U (miles away, near Vannes), and kept making a fuss about it. He got told off rather a lot... To be fair though, he must be a bit bored by now - not many toys, no films to watch, indoors all day and too young for most the board games.
Did questionnaires with the boys, for their baby books, made pancakes after tea, and then played Scrabble with Jack and Yahtzee with Tom, once Harry was in bed.

Saturday 25th August 2013. Today we picked up Lucy and Scott from the airport!! It was great seeing them come out the plane and walk across the tarmac! Lucy was so full of EFY - had a wonderful time and made so many new friends!!
Harry being the incredible-wall-climbing-boy...

Sunday 26th August 2012. Church in the morning, and playing out in the sun in the afternoon.
Scott looks so impressed by my quilting!!

Monday 27th August 2012. So glad we had good weather for Scott coming back! We went to the Sarzeau beach, where Lucy and I spent ages swimming in the sea.
Lucy and I.
We then went for our customary walk round Suscinio Chateau...
This first picture is from the internet, and shows really well the beach and the castle.
Lucy discovering lots of seaweed still down her swimming costume!
Inside the dove house, near the castle.
Lucy the vandal.
On the way home we drove through Tredion, where there is another beautiful chateau.

Tuesday 28th August. Mum and Dad, and Ken and Bev arrived! Within no time, my kids are dangling out of windows by ropes!! (And in Harry's case, with odd shoes on?!!)
Yep, another of 'Dad's Toys'... (abseiling gear, probably procured from 'The Cattle Market' in Nottingham... and probably for £4, knowing the standard price of everything there!)
I think this photo is so funny! Lucy, Jack and Tom casually playing with a dog, while in the background, the youngest child is standing on an upstairs window ledge...

Wednesday 29th August 2012. Home to England. We never really want to leave. The bridge at Le Havre, on the long drive back.
Back in England, we ended up driving through London, and it was interesting seeing some of the structures from the Olympics - the presenters' box, and the velodrome.

Friday, 13 September 2013

First Week in France (August 2012)

Saturday 11th August 2012. A nice warm day. I felt a bit ill, with strange stomach pains, and Scott cut the grass. We did a big Super-U shop in the afternoon. It was lovely having the place to ourselves.
A Hay Baler came and baled up the field next to us, which Harry loved watching. Fun waiting for them to 'plop' out!

Sunday 12th August 2012. We went to church in the morning for Sacrament Meeting. I slept in the afternoon and stayed in bed reading a lot (I'd had a bad night with stomach pains again.) The kids played around the place happily, and Scott took them for a walk in the woods.
We also had a lot of fun hanging out at the front of the house watching the animals from next door...
...and playing on the hay bales.
We named most of the animals. Here is Scott with Voldemort the goose, who dislikes all of us, but most especially Scott!
Tom with his 'goat-luring' hat on...
Goat luring in process...
Successful goat luring!!
I love this photo of Lucy looking like she's talking to Dodo, the white hen. (She was actually talking to Jack who was standing next to her, but I cropped him out!)
Painting in the brekkie room. Scott also started a jigsaw puzzle of the Louvre.
Jack playing lawn darts accompanied by George the tail-less peacock.
Here are the names we gave the animals:
Large goose = Voldemort (These 3 geese deserve 'baddie' names from harry Potter, becaus they are psychotic.)
Smaller goose = Snape
White duck = Malfoy
White hen = Dodo (She looks a bit pre-historic)
Black hen = Frodo
Red hen = Weasley (Red hair)
Rooster = Elvis
Peacock = George (As in George of the Jungle, because he gets in trees.)
Black hen with ginger = Mr.T
Goat (no name came to us)
Donkey = Donkey (as in Donkey from Shrek)
I love how everyone remembered all the names, and used them, as we saw a lot of the animals.

Monday 13th August 2012. It rained a lot! We stayed home, and the kids made a den in the pouring rain. I spent a lot of time doing the Louvre jigsaw puzzle. I don't even like doing puzzles that much, but it seemed to suck me in! (That blinkin' sky was almost impossible!)

Tuesday 14th August 2012. The weather wasn't looking that great, so we went to Decathlon to get Tom some trainers (his only other pair had got completely soaked in yesterday's rain), plus new cags for Tom and Lucy, and some proper badminton and tennis rackets.
We then decided to try out a new section of the surfing beach which Scott had found on the internet, and we ended up having a nice little time at the beach - the sun came out and it was warm and pleasant. The kids paddled in their clothes and got soaked of course.
We had a fun in the garden at home with the new rackets, and being invaded by next door's birds.
Lucy could hardly serve for laughing so much at Dodo joining in!
The geese make us kill ourselves laughing!! - kept peering in the French doors, with Harry winding them up so they were tapping the glass...
Casually playing Catan, while stalker Voldemort peers in...

Wednesday 15th August 2012. Quiet day at Bel-Air. Went for a walk later on through the woods, and round in the big loop. I adored all the blue hydrangeas, and we laughed at Lucy having problems with her new flip-flops in a muddy puddle. Think we all felt a bit fed up at some point later on.
(I was trying to teach myself writing on pictures in Photoshop, at a later date.)

Thursday 16th August 2012. Weather a bit better so we went to the bouncy castle place. We stayed for ages and had a really good time! We enjoy seeing what they've done new each year - feel like old regulars!
The kids liked the new water bit!

Friday 17th August 2012. Finally a scorcher of a day! Off to the surfing beach. There were huge traffic jams on the way, and I wasn't in a particularly good mood.
We got there though, and had a good time. I did a bit of body boarding, though the waves weren't that good. Harry's getting better at body boarding, and Scott and Tom are getting better at skim boarding too.
We left when the tide came in rapidly right up to our stuff! Everyone was crowded onto a tiny bit of beach! The car park was totally manic, with tonnes of French arriving, and nowhere for them to park or turn around. They all seem to flock to the beach at 3-4pm. I had some French conversation with people who were trying to get in, and managed to negotiate getting us out OK (after the car wouldn't start, and we had to 'wiggle the wire'!)
On the way home we went round Hyper-U, very sandy and wet and sunburnt. We made a fire in Mum and Dad's and toasted marshmallows. More nutty geese visitors to our French doors later, and we had a nice evening with everyone happy.

Saturday 18th August 2012. More French window visitors! Lucy and Scott had to be at Dinard Airport by 5pm. In the morning I got Lucy's washing done for her to take to EFY (Especially For Youth - a brilliant week for tonnes of teenagers from church). Scott was going to drop her off at that in Nottingham, then go to work for the week.
Lucy and I went for a walk to Yvon's wood.
I made a hot lunch, then we packed up baguettes for the evening, and stopped off at Dinan for a walk around, on the way to the airport.
It was a beautiful hot day, and I got to see my favourite lovely avenues of trees, by the river.
We then dropped Scott and Lucy off, and I geared up to be in charge, and do the driving etc! The boys were very good and we drove back to Josselin Super-U, and got more stuff for dinners. The boys found some cheapish Olympics Playmobil which they were very happy with!
I felt a bit nervous being totally on my own with just the boys, for the first night.