‘fess up, who left the oven open?

Not kidding friendies, while my family and friends in the Southern hemisphere are freezing your tuchas off in the southern winter, I am wilting like a flower in the Provençal summer. Day temperatures are mid 30′s (Celsius), and nights not much cooler. And this is only the start.

For most Europeans the summer vacation has official started. Schools are closed and families who can afford time off seem to be travelling around, mostly our way. England is experiencing flooding in the North, but down here on the Med coast the sun is always shining. And so it happens that suddenly one day, we walk to the village Place for our afternoon drinks, and find the place bustling with crowds of strangers.The Philistines have invaded.

The village’s ice-cream machines are over-worked (and since this is France, we’re expecting a strike to be on hand), every table at every restaurant is taken, and there’s absolutely NO PARKING. At the same time the sunflower and lavender fields are in full bloom, the most beautiful butterflies are floating around in swarms (what’s the collective noun for butterflies anyway?), and the summer sales are on.

The heat isn’t all bad when we’re spending the day at home, lazing around the pool, splashing in the water-sprayers, and walking around dressed only in our swimsuits the whole day long. Outings around villages, towns and cities on the other hand…. walking in the streets (fully dressed) with the humidity intensifying the sun’s heat, YOUCH!

We do not let that keep us from our village outings and have had great fun this week on another visit to Aix-en-Provence, lake side villages, and our own Village dans le ciel de Provence.  

And then there are evenings like this one where we decide, can’t beat the Philistines, join ‘em. And so when daddy-M and I both experienced a very rare Order-indecisiveness moment at the bar (a hot drink? a cold drink? ice-cream?) we opted for an Irish Coffee Glaçe. When the order arrived, a giant flower vase filled with whisky, coffee, enough ice-cream to restore the melting ice caps, topped with a herd of cows’ worth of whipped cream… we decided that our evening drink/snack would just be our supper. Best supper of the summer! Maybe the tourists are onto something…

Other blistering days have led us to take the road to Lac de St-Croix for a swim in its magical azure waters. This 2200 hectar lake was constructed in 1973 and now floods the Verdon valley, drowning the medieval village of Rooms-sur-Verdon. At least three other medieval villages survived by the skin of their teeth, and have now become lakeside villages ideal for summer visitors who enjoy a bit of sun and watersports, but want to avoid the overpriced bustle of St-Tropez et al. Our best times around the lake is to park at a remote spot on the coast, hike down to a hidden cove, and swim with the fishes on a private beach.

Baby-RG surely has one of the most exciting childhoods ever!

Speaking of which, the boy has recovered from his Full-moon syndrome. All right, it turned out that the root cause of baby’s three days of horror turned out to be: SUGAR. We totally didn’t see it happening, since the kid doesn’t even know what sweets are but then we made the mistake of ordering him some fruit juice a couple of times over the period. Yup, we learned the hard way.

The closest he gets to sugar now is the mulberries, apples and strawberries from the garden, and some other fresh fruit. And trust me, he has quite enough energy with his basic diet of fresh veg, fish, fruit, and whole wheat.

The nanny is working on forgiving baby for all the attacks she endured during his madness, and has returned to her mission of teaching him the value of Ahimsa, the Hindu and Buddhist doctrine of refraining from harming any living being. Instead baby is being just the smart-Aleck and working on his magic tricks. Slight-of-hand, it works like this: Hey nanny!, NOW you see the bug crawling around on the ground, NOW it’s in my mouth.

I try people, I do try.

In other news this week:

  • The Bluetit chicks have left the nest. All five of them. No thank you note. No forwarding address. They’re gone. You’re welcome birdies!

  • It is rumored that Wayne is sending us a Thank you card from back home. Question: does this imply snail-mail? Wayne who made fun of me for sending postcards is sending a Thank You card by snail-mail??? IJS.

  • Speculation about which sports baby-R might someday pursue has just been answered. Three words: Wimbledon. Men’s. Finals. The kid was quietly sitting in my lap, watching the game for at least 15 minutes! K, there is a slight chance that he just enjoyed his nanny’s commentary so much.

Moments of the week:

  • Papa-G dishing out advice for my workout watching me do Pilates “You can bend back further THAN THAT”, while eating a bowl of potato crisps. Uhm…

  • Papa-G walking passed the Boucherie de Chevaline (horse meat butcher) making neighing and snorting noises.

    That’s all for now folks! Tune in again, some day soon.

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