French randomness

A minimalist lunch.
A minimalist abstract in the pool.
Figs growing. 
Cousins looking out the window.
Almost time for dinner.
A thunder storm rolling in over the hazelnut field.
C watching the lightning in the distance.
An origami angel that one of the kind Buddhist monks made for Oomoo. Our return flight got cancelled because of the previous night's thunderstorm, and rather than fight with the other passengers for the next flight home (which incidentally was three days later), we took our chance and decided to head to Bordeaux and get home by train instead.
Bordeaux train station.

We were offered a lift to Bordeaux by some monks who where waiting to pick people up from the flight we had waited for, for 7 1/2 hrs, and when it got re-directed to Bordeaux, the monks offered us and others a lift there. We and my mother-in-law's cousin took their offer. Oomoo ended up in the front with them, and it was heartwarming to hear the conversation they were having on the 90 min drive there. They talked martial arts, and whether Oomoo helped out at home (see, there's a theme here), and how the monks did chocolate and ice cream meditations. The following morning Oomoo said he wanted to become a monk, as they were so helpful and nice, and I had to explain that you don't have to become a monk to be that, and that we should all be more like them just anyway. The return trip, which would have been something that we wouldn't have particularly noticed, became a 24 hr adventure, with us having to think on our feet, go with the flow, and not stress about it. I will forever remember it with fondness.

P.s. Trains rule.


Worker boy

Oomoo really loves going to his Nana's house in France, and one of the main reasons is that he gets to help out with things that need doing on the land or in the house, and that nature is so close, with bugs and weather and all that entails. I'd like to think of myself as a good mum (I mean you'd like to, right?!), but recently it's become obvious that I go on auto-pilot and do too much for him, or don't back off and let him get on with things, at his own pace. Staying with his Nana is a lesson in how much he wants to help, and how much he enjoys doing so - if you just give him the chance. I'm so impressed with how patient they are with him (sadly I'm not the most patient person in the world, and it's something that I'm trying to get better at), and I love the way they chat and come up with fun things to do. My stepfather-in-law gave Oomoo a notebook so he could chart all the bugs (usually dead) or birds he'd see in a day, and then they'd find out more about each animal online in the evenings. But it wasn't all work and research; in the times in between, he'd be reading his Asterix or Lucky Luke comics, have water fights in the pool, or design things on the computer. Since we've been back I've backed off and now let him do more things around the house, and he's taking in it his stride.


Windows and flowers

One morning in the local village; on the way to get bread and croissants, looking at windows.


Encore la France!

05.56am; on our way to the airport on the last May Bank Holiday Monday. It was so foggy and beautiful, but I was so groggy and tired, I couldn't expose or frame this picture properly. Me and Oomoo flew to France to visit his Nana for a few days, whilst Mr Famapa had to work.

The first thing I did when we arrived was to down a huge mug of tea, desperately trying to wake up. These days I travel with my own stash of tea bags, as everywhere else in the world seems to think black tea is... Lipton tea. Newsflash: it isn't., which is why you don't see Lipton anywhere in the UK.  It tastes nothing like what we here in Britain call "normal tea". Anyway, turns out my mother-in-law brings "normal tea" over to France, so it's all good.

In the kitchen, in front of a mirror, with nice natural light: click.

The barn where me and Oomoo slept. It doesn't look it from this angle, but the ceiling inside is really high. It felt a bit like sleeping in a cathedral. I did not sleep well the whole time we were there - maybe it's a feng shui thing?
Never mind. Look at these roses instead - so pretty!

Oomoo and his nana at work, getting the pool clean. The weather wasn't great, just like the last time we were here two years ago.
Me at work (haha), taking pictures and keeping out of the drizzle.

They found a toad in one of the filters. We did not eat him.

And then, the first dip! Too cold for me. After 15 mins Oomoo's teeth were shattering, but had he had his own way he would've been in for ages.

Checking out the well.

Nana and her husband are seriously green fingered and on their vegetable patch they grow artichokes, broad beans, tomatoes, garlic, melons, courgettes and lots of other things. Yum! 

We had the broad beans for dinner, and the artichokes were given to the neighbours as a gift.

Ooooh yeah... Seriously grateful for the wood burner keeping us warm during dinner. I really hope we get good weather next time we go. This rainy end of May business is getting a bit old.

After a very late dinner, Oomoo grabbed my camera and shot this. Good work young man! And voila, our first day in pictures from France. More to come next week.



We always make pancakes on Sunday morning and have done for years. On this particular occasion there wasn't enough mix left for one last full size pancake, so this is what Mr Famapa gave me instead :)

Oomoo is keen on taking pics with a SLR these days, and he took loads of Buddy on this day. This is one of them.

Lunchtime, and we're on our way to the Farmer's Market through our local park.

I had some chicken gyozas and a mushroom spring roll for mains, and a Nutella crepe and some chips for afters - at the same time! I think I was worried that I'd still be hungry after the crepe, and kept filling up on chips, just to make sure I wasn't. Crazy.
Messing around in my mother-in-law's garden. I'm so happy I only use a big camera these days - this would not have come out as well on my phone!

Oomoo helping with prepping the barbecue... I guess that's one way to get the flames going, eh?