Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Whiling away les heures

SJdlB 2. Younger daughter (Occasional Speeder), gradually taking over as main car driver in France, asks us all for a destination. I say, "A place with fast-flowing water", hence Bédarieux, a small town, divided by just such a river. Street market offers special French onions for perfect tomato salad. Typical Languedoc day out.

Two days later we choose Montpellier, a big town, perhaps a city. The traffic, the ethnic variety, the choice of restaurants and the swanky shops add up to a non-holiday experience - a course of amphetamines. We all seem delighted by our adventurousness.

Montpellier students are demonstrating against the deportation of an engaging young chap called something like Erűgű. Posters abound, notably a cod list of the deportee's crimes which include "Knowing how to speak French" and "Having dots over letters in his name." This was a very French demo with well-rehearsed clapping during the protest songs and a picnic spread out on the square's flagstones with Tupperware salad, paté, sliced melon and baguettes.

Zach’s lustrous eyelashes and elfin face prove irresistible to the urban French. Immaculate ladies in their fifties and sixties turn to watch him walk past wearing his Arsenal baseball cap. A waitress supplies an extra lemonade spiked with grenadine free of charge. The sweet shop man says he is "very sexy". He rides the carousel in the Place de la Comédie and, perhaps in recognition of youth’s transience, opts for a horse on the darker upper deck, alone and remote.

Left to himself he plays soccer games on his dad's Iphone and announces the score audibly. I mention this to show normalcy is permitted and he is not stuffed all day long with intellectual protein.

Zach progresses in the pool too: diving towards his dad, doing backstroke between dad and mum


Rouchswalwe said...

Oh! These pictures show how the Zachster has grown, especially when compared to last summer's vacation photographs. What a lucky little boy, to be making these wonderful memories with his family!

Julia said...

Was the fast moving water requested for cool breezes or for racing sticks with Zach?

Plutarch said...

Football, even virtual football? How tolerant is the writer of a famous sonnet against its fans!

Hattie said...

You have made me all homesick for France! We won't be getting to Europe this year and maybe not next year either. Not that we don't have our pleasures, but now I'm all nostalgic for the holidays we took when our children were little. We have enjoyed touring as elderly adults, but it is not the same. The logistics and expense of going to Europe with three grandkids are too demanding.
So I vicariously enjoy your grandparenting adventures!

Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): The development is sometimes breathtaking. We see Zach briefly throughout the year but the villa (Zach calls it "the holiday home") repesents the ultimate inspection. We were at a restaurant and he was away from the table when the waitress brought some ice cream. Someone said when he arrived: "Look, aren't you lucky? Ice cream." he said, "I'm not lucky at all. I didn't want it."

Julia: It was was a visual rather than a tangible impulse. Boats under bridges had already been played on a smaller, more suitable stream.

Plutarch: I am after all only his grandparent. I have to give way to the likes and dislikes of his parents. It was a villanelle by the way.

Hattie: France: We did a lot of touring, just the pair of us. Then we bought a house and sold it after a decade. Now the villa is the best solution. Alas, this villa (it was our fifth visit) is now on sale for 367,000 euros and we will have to look elsewhere. Also, taking holidays when Zach is in school will get stickier.

Anne said...

How nice France sounds, and I remember its many pleasures from previous visits. But this year I had to go to China to visit my daughter. If only she had decided to live in France instead of China.

Zach is adorable.