Saturday, 30 August 2008

Heaven is a Perfect Late Summer Evening

Last night was one of those perfect late summer evenings. The air was warm and fragrant. We lingered at the table over a bottle of Burgundy until twilight. J was playing on his swing when he noticed some activity overhead.

We three plus Murphy and Angus spent the next hour prone on the grass watching a family of bats swoop and soar in hot pursuit of droning mosquitos. We also kept a running count of stars as they winked on one at a time in the darkening night sky.

Monday, 25 August 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Its' the first day of school in Geneva. I remember as a kid in Canada that Labour Day weekend, also known as the first weekend in September marked the official end of summer and school started right after it. I guess in Geneva, the powers that be try to make up for the lack of school on Wednesdays by having la rentrée scolaire in what still seems like the heart of summer.

J did have a fantastic summer, we travelled to Italy and France, visited with family and lots of friends. He and I spent plenty of one-on-one time doing a few of our favorite things like pilgramages to Starbucks, feeding the swans on Lake Geneva, touring the Natural History Museum, wandering the wonderful Franz Carl Weber toy shop on the rue de la Croix-d'Or, and stopping for ice cream in the Bourg-de-Four in the heart of the old town.

Still I can't say that I'm too disappointed to see school start up again. I think I was starting to get boring as a constant playmate. J's spirited antics were starting to wind up in a big way in the last week and his 10:00 pm+ bedtimes were beginning to fatigue me.

J is a big boy now, he is in school full time in deuxieme enfantine (Swiss equivalent of senior kindergarten). Full-time in Geneva, however, means 8:30-4:00 with a 2.5 hour lunch break at home and no school on Wednesdays. So here we go this space.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Fêtes de Genève

The two-week long Fêtes de Genève just finished. Our wallets are a lot emptier and I don't care if I ever see another rollercoaster or Haunted House. Still J's enthusiasm made our multiple trips worth every minute.

We bought seats in the Jardin d'anglais for the closing fireworks this year after braving the throngs of spectators in the streets last year. They were magnificent and J was utterly mesmerized.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Cat and Mouse

Angus and his mini-me friend Peanut the Hamster whom we are hamster-sitting for 3 weeks.

Where did he go? He was here a minute ago...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

La Vie est Belle

We're back home again after spending a few blissful days in the South of France with Sheila and her family. For several years now, they have owned a charming house in the Alps of Haute Provence. It's a picture perfect spot for skiing in the winter or swimming, sunning and hiking in the summer. It's a 14 hour drive from London for them but thankfully a little less than 4 for us.

It's one of those places where the living is easy. We sleep late, drink coffee and eat fresh pains aux chocolats while the kids play in the pool, do whatever the spirit moves us to do during the day, and never miss a happy hour on the patio. We spend our evenings eating locally-sourced freshly cooked meals washed down with local Provence wines while watching the sun set over the Alps. The skys are clear and the country air so clean that we were able to see the moons of Jupiter using Cas's telescope last year.

We did fit in zip-cording or Indian rope climbing this year. The kids excelled on the debutant course. Sheila and I mustered all our 40-something courage and did the mid-course - about 20 feet up in the air. Great fun, punctuated by lots of laughs and a few well-aimed curses.

The best part is, we get to spend Sheila's birthday with her as we have made an effort to do for the last 4 years. In short, Cherines is a little piece of heaven, and I am always loathe to leave.