Lots of lovely time with the girls this weekend. I had a horrible hard day on Saturday with babies refusing to sleep at the same time, and I was exhausted, desperate for a nap myself. Luuk was having some time by himself, which we all need time to time and he rarely gets, but bad timing kids! They have a cold, and so do I, hence the lousy sleep and exhaustion…
…anyway, bad combo. I was a miserable mess by the time Luuk got back, but summoned the energy to go out with some friends for dinner – girls night out, mums-of-toddlers style. Less boozy than they once were, for starters, and with a definite emphasis on a two or three course meal.
I had these gorgeous grilled veggies for a starter, the house pizza for mains and lemon meringue pie (tarte citron) for dessert. I didn’t even bother counting – I just put 1000 calories into my phone and hoped I wasn’t under-estimating by too much.
We talked about babies and france, how great the halte jeux is, and how awful the sous prefecture is… it’s easy to find common ground in a crowd of english and american expats, especially when they all have small kids. It was a late night, but a great night. Unfortunately, it was a farewell for one of the group, who’ll be greatly missed… and oft-visited, I’m sure, just ‘over the ditch’ (possibly a saying never applied to this particular stretch of water) in London.
Mum and Dad are back from the South of France and hanging around with us for most of the week before they head off on a central European tour, entitled “Hungarian Rhapsody” (though they’ll only make one stop in Hungary). They came around for breakfast on Sunday and then we decided to go out for the day – hang the colds; we could dress up warm. The boys went to the Mondial de L’automobile (Paris Auto show) and us girls to lunch and shopping in Paris.
Red cars do go faster… and even more so when you dress to match them.
The saddest kid on a motorcycle, ever – the reason being that he’s not moving and all around is a blur of speed.
Dad and Louis admire an older model… something. (I really don’t know cars.)
A newer model… something. Shiny.
Michelin man might be about to high five Louis, and swat him across the autoshow… several kilometers in total.
Meanwhile, just south of the Seine…
The restaurant where we had lunch, just beside Saint Severin church.
Mum and her french onion soup. My meal was ‘crepe forrestiere’ – chicken and mushrooms ina creamy sauce. Delicious!
Elena had her lunch, hidden discreetly under my season-appropriate scarf (perks of autumn) and then watched us eat ours and charmed the other patrons.
Coffee and dessert is not just optional in France and when in France… well, it’s a hard life.
Tarte aux pomme for us (and a lick of stewed apples off my spoon for bubs).
After lunch we went for a walk around this area just south of the Seine. We passed some interesting sights including ancient baths dating back to the early first century.
And we went to the Musee de Moyen Age (Middle Ages) and saw the Cluny Tapestries.
The most famous of these is The Lady and the Unicorn, which my grandma has done in petit point – so cool!
Mum beside the well, just outside the Musee de Moyen Age.
This sundial is in the courtyard we crossed to enter the galleries.
I don’t think I’ve seen one like this before.
The last rooms we saw were these – part of the ancient baths we’d seen from the road. The pillars on display in that corner arch are from 30-70AD.
There were more old and awe-inspiring sights on the way home, and no shortage of funky little roads with interesting-looking apartments and blooming window boxes, and tiny little bars and cafes, even a market.
We found our way up the the Pantheon and saw this ornate church as well.
Perfect weather for a long walk around Paris with a sleeping baby in the buggy. Very fortuitous and lovely. It’s a bit (a lot) mind boggling to think of all those brilliant weavers and goldsmiths and architects and stone-masons (and on and on) who put hours and years of their lives into the sights we just wandered past in a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.
It’s been a rough week with lots of changes, not nearly enough sleep, a bit of illness and then blasted bureaucracy up the wazoo… but girls night out on saturday and a leisurely sunday in paris with the (other) girls, certainly perked things up a bit. A lot.
I’m very glad Mum and Dad will be around this week as I’m feeling pretty low on resources and they’re very helpful. Not sure I’ll be doing a whole lot of writing or being a whole lot of brilliant, but it’s only one week, or two weeks. Plenty of time to be brilliant and write (lots, well, etc.) other weeks.