Thursday, 29 October 2009

Lost in Translation

Today's lunchtime conversation between J and his friend Olivia, in between giggles, burps and other bodily noises that they find so hysterical during a meal...

J: "J'ai envie de jouer avec ma copine Ciel"
(I want to play with my friend Ciel)

Olivia: "Ciel?"

Me, half-listening while half-heartedly tuning out above-mentioned bodily noises:
"C'est une nouvelle copine a l'ecole?"
(Is that a new friend at school?)

J: "Non Maman, CIEL!"

Olivia: "Ciel?"

Me: "who???"

J: "MUMMMMMYYYYY, Skye, Skye, Skye"

Me: "Ah"

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Traveller's Tales Part 2

Trafalgar Square

We're back from our week in London. Had a great time and as always, it was very difficult for both J and I to say goodbye. Sheila and I have become so used to easily planning visits and anticipating the next one but this one was tinged bittersweet since we are on the bubble of our expatriate experience. We're coming up on 4 years and are likely on the downward slope of our time in Geneva. I cannot imagine watching months and possibly even years pass without our families interacting. Our children are SUCH good friends and I abhor the thought of them losing the easy familiarity that they have built.

London Transport Museum - Covent Garden

This trip was particularly memorable since it's the first time that we took the kids into central London to really experience some of what that remarkable city has to offer. We spent one morning travelling to Covent Garden by tube to the London Transport Museum. The kids had a great time climbing around double-decker buses, old trains, and learning how the London Underground was built; some of the stations date back to Victorian times - amazing! We also walked around Trafalgar Square and climbed on the lions circling Nelson's Column before hopping onto a traditional red London double-decker back to Victoria rail station.
Millennium Bridge looking at St. Paul's Cathedral

We spent another fantastic day riding bikes near the Thames Barrier to the awesome O2 arena where we watched 'UP' in 3D. After the movie we caught the London Clipper, a catamaran which races up and down the Thames stopping at such memorable riverside locations as Greenwich, the Tower of London, and London Bridge. We jumped off at Bankside and walked over the Millennium Bridge joining Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral.
In the Crypt at St. Paul's

At St. Paul's Cathedral, we climbed hundreds of narrow winding stairs to the Whispering Gallery and further on to the Golden Gallery for an amazing view of central London. We then descended into the crypt to see the final resting places of Horatio Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. After leaving the Cathedral, we recovered with a pint at a snug pub across the square before catching the Clipper back to the O2.

On the Clipper looking at HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge at sunset

Our few days sped by much too fast as they always do and the next thing I knew we were boarding our Easyjet flight back to Geneva. We have been so lucky to have the freedom to visit each other as often as we have throughout the last four years and so I am grateful if still a touch melancholic.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Traveller's Tales Part I

It's the October break in Geneva this week, also known as 'La Semaine des Potates'. That's the week when children are supposed to help their parents harvest the potatoes and other Fall vegetables. As the average school child in 2009 is no longer living like Laura Ingalls, most head to sunnier climes.

J and I have spent every October break since moving to Geneva visiting with my best and oldest friend Sheila and her family in London. We have the whole Easyjet journey from Geneva into London Gatwick to East Croydon rail station down to a science. Today whilst striding down the long corridors of London Gatwick's North Terminal, J turned to me and announced with aplomb and the insight of a veteran traveller...

J: "Mummy there's three things I don't like about flying."
Me: "Oh what's that?"
J: "Blowing Up, Throwing Up, and Blocked Ears!"

Couldn't have said it better myself.