Tuesday, September 28, 2010

By heart

Something that continously impresses me with the French school is how important it is to learn things by heart. Especially poems that you then recite in front of the class.... I think it is an excellent excercise, something I don't remember at all from my own time at school in Sweden.

Look here at the poem that Bjorn five years recited for me the other day! It's the color song and each color is associated with an animal.

Tout est vert, vert, vert
Tout est vert danse dans l’herbe
Tout est vert, vert, vert
La grenouille a fait son lit
Dans un joli pissenlit
Tout est vert, vert, vert.

Tout est noir, noir, noir
Tout est noir danse l’orage
Tout est noir, noir, noir
L’araignée a fait son lit
Dans une goutte de pluie
Tout est noir, noir, noir.

Tout est gris, gris, gris
Tout est gris danse la brume
Tout est gris, gris, gris
La souris a fait son lit
Dans un fromage de brie
Tout est gris, gris, gris.

Tout est bleu, bleu, bleu,
Tout est bleu danse la vague
Tout est bleu, bleu, bleu,
Le requin a fait son lit
Sous un rocher de granit
Tout est bleu, bleu, bleu.

Tout est blanc, blanc, blanc
Tout est blanc danse la neige
Tout est blanc, blanc, blanc
Le gros ours a fait sa place
Dans une boule de glace
Tout est blanc, blanc, blanc.

Clara also recited her first poem for this year. Ecolier dans la lune by Alain Boudet:

À l’école des nuages
On découvre des pays
Où nul n’est jamais parti
Pas même les enfants sages.
Le soleil avec la pluie
L’orage avec l’accalmie
La météorologie
Bouscule le temps
Les visages
Et les couleurs de nos cris
Dans la cour des éclaircies.

Les oiseaux n’ont pas d’histoires
Les arbres n’ont pas d’ennuis
À l’école des nuages
Aucun enfant n’est puni
Les rêves tournent les pages
Aucune leçon ne t’ennuie
C’est l’école des nuages
Elle t’ouvre sur la vie.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rugby, food and Airbus A380

Making paper airplanes
Quite a happening this weekend in Toulouse! It started with a rugby game - Toulouse vs Bayonne - then we enjoyed some incredible food and finally went to the Airbus Family Day where you could see the new Q380 for real!

Good seats for the rugby game. A shame that Bayonne lost though...


Beet mousse - the start

Beet mousse - final version. Yummy! Armelle has got a siphon and that is good for manhood in general and for us in particular. She made beet mousse with pistachios...and a parmesan cheese chips.

This beautiful blue lobster came all the way from Bretagne to end up on a plancha in Toulouse... 

Unnerving to watch the live shrimps jumping on the plancha!

Then the men went food hunting at the Fish market. Their hunting luck was good! A big live lobster and some live shrimps went on the Plancha.... 

Figs, mousse of uncooked foie gras and fried foie gras.

Sweet regional white wine...

Melon mousse and speculoos crumbles!
Then we later on got some fried fresh foie gras with figs from the garden and a foie mousse made with raw foie gras... on top of speculoos crumbles. The picture is not very good but the contents were excellent!

An airplane toy

Do you see the nose and the wings?

Graphic techno beauty

Look how tiny the people are! In commercial operation, around 500 seats will be available on two floors

On Sunday it was time to admire the A380. Our host works with the assembly of this high tech baby. Pretty impressive to say the least. Lots of activities for the children....

On our way back home we stopped at the Tex Mex in Saint Paul les Dax. Their terrace is lovely in the sunny glow of a Sunday evening... and a great way to end a great weekend!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Water melon after the pool


Sun is out and even if the pool is getting cooler, it's still ok. Here you see the kids after the pool; enjoying Bjorn's favorite fruit water melon!

And I even put on the bikini to get some tan! Something I never do, but these last days of summer make you want to squeeze out all of them...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

11th of September... party!

Ben 10 was the theme for the party

I didn't do it on purpose but I didn't stop when I realised... that Bjorn was doing his birthday party on the 11th of September. I actually think it is good to be able to associate positively to this date. Somehow, someday.

For Bjorn this was a bad day. For a very very long time. Where are my friends? When is the party? Silly mother who sets such a late start time as 14H.... but then they finally came and all seven of them ran and jumped and climbed and searched and ate candy and cake and ran some more and then it was over. Ouf!

Concentration. Preparation the evening before. Each guest should receive a goodie bag. How many candies, how many... how do we make sure we don't miss a bag.... mathematics for real!

Thomas' father made a wildy appreciated guest show in the trampoline. Isn't it great with adults that have fun like the kids?

This climb friendly tree provided a long time of activity. A bit scary for me though...

A calm moment for Bjorn and his - I believe - best friend. The red color is natural, it comes from over 30 degrees plus running around like crazy....

Great presents!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mimizan, happiness XXL

My Swedish friend Tomas spent many summer days in Mimizan as a child. How did it go when he came back, full of nostalgia, with his wife and children?

Mimizan seen from the sky

Tomas was four years old the first time he came to Mimizan. It was during the early sixties and his uncle had just finished building a new house. He remembers the long, long beach, the tide, the sea shells and the smell of seaweed. The impressive ship wreck poised a bit off the beach. The sound of the sea, always a noise from the wind and the waves. In the evenings the house next to the pine forest was calm and peaceful. The pines smelled. The pine cones were enourmous. The adults played bridge while Tomas played with his cousins and tried to eavesdrop. He tried some culinary modernities,  like garlic, basilic and vinaigrette...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Beginning of September in Messanges


Bittersweet these last summer days... mornings are getting crisper but today the heat was still there. Over 30 degrees actually, so we went to the beach in Messanges. But what is this? I have never seen so many cars before! We had to park the car further away than ever before...
The tide was high, so we didn't stay for very long, the children couldn't really swim and the shore break was so close it was scary. Hard to believe when you see how calm it looks... we usually come at low tide and there is a reason for that!

New cultural centre in Castets

The cinema is not new, but bigger

Party time in my little village! Our new cultural centre is ready! A meeting point for associations, the library and music in various forms. The photos were taken daytime, in the evening there were song and music, free beer and food..... nice!





Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aqualand, amusement parc full of water

Aqualand in Gujan Mestras is an attraction parc based on water.... perfect for a day with 30 degrees!






This is how we celebrated the last day of the summer vacation....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Around Lourdes - Funiculaire du Jer


South of Lourdes a cable train takes you almost 1000 metres up to the Pic de Jer. 360 degrees viewpoint at the top with an incredible panorama....
Steepest part the angle is 56 degrees!
The small smiling guy burst out crying when I first said we would do this. Null, was his exact words to express his feelings. But at the top he said it was great. You were right, he said. Warms a mother's heart to hear...


Around Lourdes - Candle Procession

The city Lourdes is the third biggest pilgrim destination in the world after the Vatican and the Notre Dame in Mexico, with six million visitors every year. Every evening from April to October at 21 hours there is a procession with candles below the church Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes. Many sick and disabled persons participate.

I went there with the children to have a look... difficult to take pictures but a moving experience to hear the singing, see all the lights and the mass of people participating. When the children get bigger, we will come back to visit the city of Lourdes and the sacred well.  All around us we heard different languages because people come as pilgrims from all over the world to this place. As a protestant I felt a bit bewildered, because we don't celebrate saints, and I had some trouble explaining the whole thing to the children. I need to prepare things like this better!

The paper lanterns protect the candles and make the light yellow. Very pretty in the dark.



The pilgrims visit the holy source discovered by Saint Bernadette. Its sacred water is supposed to be healing. You see many statues of the mother Mary and bottles to bring home the sacred water.

Lourdes is a small city but rich. This is just one example of the beautiful architecture in the city centre.
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