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Surpriiiiiise!!!! NOT.

18 Apr

Well it only took me a month to get back into the swing of things after my little escapade in France and around.

After struggling with YouTube for a day or two, I managed to upload the first of the two videos I want to post. Here is the story of the first one.

On the Friday, Lea and I finally arrived, with only one hour of delay. Claude, secretly, fetched us from the airport. After ignoring my mum’s frantic calls, panicking about the whereabouts of  Claude (Frejus is a very dangerous town. Who knows what can happen to a fully grown man in the middle of the afternoon downtown??!!), we finally parked at the back of the residency to avoid being spotted from the balcony. We walked like spies on a mission, clucked like excited chicken as we climbed the 3 floors to my mum’s flat, knocked on the door and…



Photos, photos, photos!!!

20 Jul


Some lobe transformation…

4 Jul

Because we were in France over Matty’s birthday – he got spoilt!!! – my mum wanted to spoil the other two as well, in advance of their birthday. So I thought and thought and thought and couldn’t find an interesting present for Léa. (I mean, does she really need another Barbie??). Until I got a lightbulb moment and had the best idea of a gift for Léa. She had been begging us ‘wheeeeeeennnn can I have my ears piiiiierced??!!’ so it was absolutely too special to do that with her and to do it in France where it will be a memory to cherish for ever!! It was extremely special for my mum as well to orchestrate and be there for that special occasion.

I do realize that it’s only a pair of ears being pierced (as I sound a bit over enthusiastic over the whole event). I really didn’t expect to feel so sentimental about it but it absolutely felt like a rite of passage for my little girl!! And I’m glad that I have footage of it 🙂

I do need to add that Léa was far braver than me at the same age. The lady that pierced my ear (no ‘s’!!) when I was about 8 couldn’t – wouldn’t – pierce my second one as I was screaming too much!! I’m so glad that at 36, I managed to have a second hole in both my ears!!!

Two minutes and forty-three seconds of smile on my face!!

On Fréjus, St-Raphaël, Ste-Maxime, St-Tropez…

23 May


Look at this map. Do you see St-Raphaël? Do you see Fréjus?

It’s not just a map with names. It might mean nothing to you, but to me, it’s my entire childhood, right into adulthood!! This is where we are going in exactly 9 days!!!!

**happy face**


And then zoom out…. and you get this:

In the foreground, the harbour, in the background the cathedral and all the intricate pedestrian streets where I have so many fond memories!

Now I thought I was excited at the idea of going!  But what I see in my children’s eyes when we start talking about the imminence of our trip is the delight of their own memories and what France means to them: the walks to the beach, Marineland, Luna Park, Mamie’s apartment and the big garden downstairs, the ice-creams, the evening outings, the plane trip (!!)…

And I’m excited at the idea of building more memories this year, with new places to enjoy. This time we’re even going to camp…

And I look at the countdown roster that they each made,

…and I know that we are ALL ready to go. Countdown 9. 8. 7. 6….

I went to Coldplay concert and you didn’t!

21 Oct

…or maybe you did because every second person I know actually was at the concert. In fact more than 50 000 people made the show!

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Any outing at the Green Point Stadium always starts with a train trip – which in itself is pretty exciting for me since I never take the train. Phil and I, en amoureux, walked to the station, took the train and did the fan walk. We stopped on our way to a cute boulangerie, patisserie and had a quick bite before meeting up with the rest of the troop Kirstin, Steven, Ali, Rebekkah, Michelle, Etienne, Derek (whose pics I’m stealing further down!).

Excitement was building up as the Parlotones were already on stage doing a pretty good job!!

I’m ashamed to say that the first part of the concert is probably what I enjoyed the most – The Parlotones. Please don’t lynch me! I really love their music and I know their songs. I really liked Coldplay music but I don’t know their latest songs. It’s a bit frustrating when you can’t sing along. You know, that awkward moment when everybody starts screaming out of intense joy because it is now their faaaaaaaaavouriiiiiite song… and you just don’t-know-the-song… ??

However, the huge balloons were a great hit. The fireworks were spectacular and Chris Martin is an excellent artist. He owned that stage with his presence. His piano was super funky but I wondered if he needed glasses. He was bending very low, very up-close to the keynotes!

The experience was fantastic, I absolutely love the ‘concert atmosphere’, where somehow you almost feel close to the people around you because you share in the same emotional moment.

14th of July

15 Jul
File:Plaque Bastille rue Saint-Antoine.jpg

Here was the first court entry of La Bastille through which the assailants got into the fortress on the 14th of July 1789

Two hundred and twenty two years ago, there was a revolution.

“Is it a rebellion?” King Louis XVI asked.

“No, sire, it is not a rebellion. It is a revolution”, answered the duke of La Rochefoucauld.

While the people thought that the Bastille secured many wrongful  prisoners, it only held seven captives: 4 forgers, 2 madmen and 1 criminal that his own family had required to be locked up. After the fall, writers created false torture tools that prisoners supposedly had to endure, such as an old armour and a printing machine! The skeletons found were said to belong to the victims of the tyranny. The legend goes to say that the revolutionaries found the remains of “the man with the iron mask”. File:Prise de la Bastille.jpg

A prison almost empty, undoubtedly, but a prison overflowing with the symbolism of the monarchy and its tyranny over its people.

During the centuries of the absolute monarchy, the fortress was the state prison, where countless enemies – or thought to be – of the king had been imprisoned without trials or judgements. La Bastille was not only the symbolism of tyranny but also the domineering fortress over Paris whose shadow kept the people in their place.

The english ambassador wrote to the foreign office calling that day “the biggest revolution that History will remember, and considering the impact, it cost relatively little blood.

France was free.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité… ou la mort.



24 Apr

The last week end before my mum and Claude left, we went away to Citrusdal.

Here is a slide show of the week end.

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The week end was mostly uneventful and was just a calm and relaxing time. Just what we all needed in the midst of a crazy term. We were fortunate to see no snakes, no spiders, no kind of big insects, not even one of those mutants enormous crickets that you find only in the countries situated below the equator… As I said uneventful! We went for one or two walks, a short visit to town, a trial at the canoe and a few bold jumps in the freezing river. The jacuzzy on the veranda was definitely a feature. It’s like taking a bath with a starry sky, deep darkness and unbelievable quietness.

The town is called Citrusdal and so unavoidably we crossed an orchard of lemon and oranges. This video clip shows a short entertainment of the week end: the cluts, the forbidding mother and the preaching husband 🙂

The Georgia bug…

3 Dec

Last week end, we attended Derek’s last gig at the Arena Theater. With the wonders of technology, Phil could record some songs on his iphone and I could edit… and voilà!! We put the video on YouTube and it finished off all our bandwidth – although it was definitely worth the trouble,  I’m afraid there will only be one video!!!


Fruit Feast…

13 Nov

Group shot, 17 kids and a few more missing!

Fruit is healthy. Fruit looks good. Fruit is cheap. We had a Fruit Feast at the Maynardville park. It’s just a name. We had a picnic with loads of kids, quite a few parents, tons of dress-up clothes and much more other food than just fruit. It was fun! Next time we’ll try the fruit 🙂

Jethro and Kaira, a pirate and an indian, although she insisted that she was just a normal person!

That would be Katherine!!

Léa, flying fairy

Little Leah

On the tourniquet...

Mary, aka Leah!

Thanks Renette for organising the crowd, the clothes and the feast!

An evening with Derek Leisegang…

8 Oct

A couple of weeks ago, Derek had a gig at the Labia Theater in town. Usually photos speak louder than words but I’m afraid that my pictures don’t speak too loudly this time. The lighting (or lack of thereof) makes it hard to have a clear shot without having the atmosphere compromised… I’m afraid my pictures don’t do justice to the personality of the evening and the acoustic quality of the performance.

However, the evening was enchanting. I brought two friends with me, knowing that they would not be disappointed. And they were not. Derek’s stage presence is simple and real. His natural down-to-earth and humility is felt in his music and makes it only more attractive!

Georgia was the song of the evening – for me at least!! I just knew it would be the ending song, the ‘unexpected encore’…

In pictures…

The beautiful labia,

The empty stage. I think there is something to be said for an empty stage. I absolutely love the ambiance that reigns on a stage filled with instruments, and yet devoid of the artist. It has a personality of its own.


Part of the decor. The people that had agreed to do the sound and the lights cancelled at the last minute. While Derek managed to source out a new sound equipment, the lights had to be completely homemade: it included lights from different homes (ahem ahem), fairy lights, orchids, a red paper lamp – yes, the chinese kind – and even two goldfish.

The goldfish(es?) survived…

Did I mention personality?

Some of the beautiful guests,


View from the stage. Back to the 30s…

First part of the concert: K, Ray and the Bird. Talented musicians, one with a violin, one with a sax – one of my favourite instruments. It has such a soul!

One of their songs was called Truth. Interesting to reflect on. Unfortunately, it is not on the album Waiting for Harmony.

Finally…. the artist of the evening 🙂

This has to be ‘the Derek’s pose’ (maybe it’s just a guitarist pose…)

Talented musician Steven at the bass, look at those long hands…


Chris at the drum,


When all has been said and sung, time to pack up!


Only one criticism though…. it’s always too short!

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