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Friday, April 17, 2009

Handwashing purple napkins

The house was full of fun and laughter against a constant background of CBeebies on a, seemingly, looped schedule. Strange how it can be quite so mesmerising. The dishwasher was either half way through or needing emptying; it seemed to be permanently full. There was always another meal to think about or to prepare. So today, whilst I was handwashing that rather nice Indian cotton purple napkin I had allocated my sister, Michelle, I reflected on the Wright's visit which, thanks to the channel ports blockade, had extended from six days to a week.

I 'd stocked up with essentials such as fish fingers, chicken nuggets (now in the bin - the "chicken" bearing no ressemblance whatsoever to the picture on the pack - you rejected well, kids!), pizza ingredients, Petit Filous, fresh full fat milk and Cheerios, apples, pears, oranges and bananas galore- food, food, food, turning on the overflow fridge in the cellar to accommodate everything.

Children turn a house into a home, effortlessly, and it is rewarding to see two small people feeling safe and secure (despite the much worried about steep stairs) and making at least an effort to eat the food set in front of them whilst taking over the territory with their fun and giggles, and occasional tears.

What did we do? Well, we didn't do anything major. There was a possibility of their going to Disneyland Paris but, sensibly, this didn't happen. There was an opportunity of going to a more local amusement park but we went to the zoo in Lille instead and let the children choose from the rides at the cute children's permanent fairground, Les Poussins. I hasten to add that the fair is cute and that this is not a qualification to get in! Of course, nephew Jude and niece, Savannah, would have strolled it had it been.
The weather was more than kind for the duration of the visit, allowing us to hold an Easter egg hunt in the back garden where the magnolia and cherry trees blossomed exhuberantly, right on cue. It also allowed for finger painting with - supposedly - water washable paints. One wash and a soak later and a scrub, and there are still traces on at least one T-shirt. Make note to self to contact those nice people at Lidl. We made pizza and the children composed their own toppings. The adults got what they were given!

For the adults, OK for Mummy, we went to Lille and checked out Zara Home and Maisons du Monde before taking the children to the playground at Parc Lebas - a big free hit. Thanks to the French fishermen's blockade we got to enjoy another day together and went for a walk around Lac du Heron and watched the simple delights of a pirateship-shaped play area being thoroughly enjoyed by those who are still enraptured by the uncomplicated.

The return ferry was rejected in favour of Eurotunnel and the excitement of a train, indeed a train in a tunnel UNDER THE SEA!!! The house is back to normal almost, though there is no doubt less joy and less unmitigated happiness, and no stray bananas on the sofa. I haven't looked underneath yet.

Thanks for the kisses and hugs; that much enjoyed supper you made, Jarred; for eating the awful pavlova which promised so much, presented well but ultimately failed; for enjoying "Peter Pie" still; for time spent watching Kung Fu Panda, Cars (again! - it's a classic and apparently your second copy); Liverpool v Chelsea (my, what a lot of goals -and Mummy and Daddy supporting opposite teams!); the Cheerios that were patiently poured into bowls each breakfast and just as patiently poured (dry!) back into the box.

Thanks for visiting and, come back soon!