Fa la la la laaaa, la la la lah!

In Brief:

1. The thing about adventures is that they’re always more fun once you’ve been successfully rescued from them.

2. And the thing about 2 year olds is that they simply never cease to surprise you.

3. And the thing about 3 week holidays in England in the Winter is that, when you return to sunny Sydney in Summer, you need some URGENT maintenance work. Bodily ghastlinesses which can be ignored when said bod is swaddled in 47 layers of wool and tweed for fear of frostbite, are suddenly horrifyingly visible again.

4. I love the French. Just love them. They’re stark, staring bonkers.

~~~

To Elaborate:

1. So, you heard that the UK had an unusual amount of snow, right? And that, of course, the entire ruddy country ground to a halt as a result? Amid media-stoked panic-buying of milk and bread supplies, local councils reportedly ran out of grit to treat the roads and schools were closed across the country…thereby ensuring that many of those people who could have made it into work, despite the weather, nonetheless had to stay at home and look after the kids instead.

And then I did something really rather stupid.

I decided to drive from Wiltshire to Herefordshire, to see my darling friend Piereth. In a Toyota Aygo. Without snow-chains. Following the iPhone’s Google maps sat nav system which, quite obviously once one stops to consider it, didn’t know which roads were treated and thus relatively safe and which were, frankly, winding, hilly Ice-Rinks Of Death.

So, yes, I got stuck, after a 4 hour drive, less than 10 miles from Piereth’s home. But with no mobile signal, so no way of letting her know that I wasn’t dead in a (snow-filled) ditch.

Luckily, I was rescued from the consequences of my own folly by a passing management consultant called Phil, carrying a shovel.

[In future, never let it be said that Management Consultancy is bollocks]

2. My niece is amazing. I know, I know, all 2 year olds are amazing. But, like, she is properly amazing. And cute as a button.

“Are you alright Auntie Woo?”

“Yes you may read me a story, Auntie Woo.”

Here are some photos to warm the cockles of your heart and as soon as I figure out how to upload my .MOV file there will be video footage of Beatrice’s Goodbye Dance, too:

Yup, she loves raw brussels sprouts. Can’t imagine why, I can’t abide ’em. She also loves olives, edamame beans, broccoli and ‘pudding’. Though not necessarily in that order…

Evidence of the latest iPhone app which stops two-year-old temper tantrums in their tracks. Step 1: retrieve iPhone from bag. Step 2: point the camera in direction of screaming toddler. Step 3: Shrieking fit almost instantaneously becomes photo pose, followed by checking of pics of self on handset. Repeat as necessary.

She’s not allowed to watch TV (except for one DVD of The Snowman), but she’s already getting the hang of ‘checking Daddy’s me-mails’.

That’s the view from the front gate of the Wiltshire village where my brother and his family live, on the first morning of the snow. Rather pretty. We made the most of it…

…and created a snowman, complete with trilby, satsuma nose and pieces of coal for his eyes and buttons.

3. I’m not even going into detail on this one.

4. This was one of the pages in a book belonging to my niece. Roughly translated, it reads: “On the pavement, you find all sorts! Overflowing rubbish bins, dog poo.”

I know, gotta love those crazy cheese-eating surrender-monkeys and their attitude to childhood, right? No saccharine floppy-eared bunny-wabbits wittering about how much they love each other for les Français, oh non. Dog poo.

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14 Responses to Fa la la la laaaa, la la la lah!

  1. Colm says:

    Well, management consultancy is still bollocks, but there are always nice people in every profession..

    Beautiful pics of your niece. What a cutie. Oh – there’s a terrific iPhone app for kids called “Talking Carl”. In one small step you turn them into virtual junkies. They will do anything you ask them to..

    • woo says:

      Yes, isn’t she adorable? But then, I’m biased!

      I think kids are potential tech junkies without any prompting, frankly. They are transfixed by any screen they come across, its weird.

  2. I can’t believe how funny that children’s book page is … garbage and dog crap — yep, that’s childhood in France!

    • That’s childhood in any city, unfortunately. Unless the child is terminally transfixed by screens and other electronics and never leaves the womb of car and home.

    • woo says:

      David – well, I suppose one ought at least to be grateful that the French don’t sexualise their girl children as early as we seem to in the US and UK. They’re still dressed in cute little mary janes and pinafores til they’re nearly 10, whereas they all seem to be in bright pink sparkly lycra numbers with heels here. *shudder*

      healingmagichands – yet another reason why I’m delighted that Beatrice is growing up in a small village in the countryside, and not in London.

  3. GT says:

    I’d like to buy your niece. too cute. and she will come in handy because obviously she double as my PA and check my me-mails.

    i can pay cash.

    • woo says:

      I suspect she’d cost 49. Whether 49 pence or 49 pounds is anyone’s guess at this point, but that’s the number that everything seems to cost according to her.

      And she would (wisely) only want your cash if the coins were shiny and bright. She disdains horrid paper money.

  4. That’s a very cute little girl. British snow was so amazing it even made the Earth Observatory daily photo from space.

    I’m not sure about #3, but I’ll bet if you looked at my body unswaddled you would probably think I was negligent.

    • woo says:

      Thanks! Yes, the UK does usually get snow at some point during the winter, but not usually this much ‘good’ snow (soft, fluffy and settled) nor does it the actual snowing usually last so long.

      Of course, in comparison with many of the states in the US and Canada, the UK’s snow is laughable – especially since it managed to bring the country’s infrastructure to its knees.

      Well, to be honest, it was mainly my feet I was concerned about – I have an absolute horror of unkempt toenails and cracked heels. And since feet are so visible in flip-flops, I had to do some emergency remedial work to counteract 3 weeks of wearing thick socks and boots!

      • I’m pretty lucky as far as feet go. Mine seem to keep themselves just fine as long as I keep the toenails clipped I don’t have a lot of calluses and cracks. I guess maybe it has something to do with genetics – my 82 year old mother has lovely feet and doesn’t do a darned thing to them!

  5. doctordi says:

    Your niece is an adorable poppet.

    Really glad that Ice Capades story had a happy and safe ending at Three Chimney’s door.

    And I can only imagine featuring dog crap in French children’s books is all about preparing them for their later years of strolling the shit-covered streets of their beloved capital. At least this way there won’t be any nasty surprises, which is more than I can say for the rest of us.

  6. Pete says:

    I can just imagine that snow scene courtesy of The Holiday with Jude Law as the helpful hero popping up to rescue Cameron Diaz. Anyway, sounds exciting. And thank god for technology when it comes to stopping niece tantrums in their tracks. Swetering here yesterday so that snow would have been very welcome.

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