Friday, July 22, 2011

Vacances Chez Moi

Last week, being away from home, I managed to get off my backside and go mountain-biking, caving, walking, bit of swimming and canoeing. Back home, the urge to move has evaporated, which is rather a shame. I have done no biking, barely any walking, and no swimming apart from standing around chatting at the pool and getting my ankles wet.

I keep meaning to start cycling the 4.5km to work which would save on petrol costs and really get me fit, but it's just that bit too far and I don't like arriving at work all red faced and sweating. Besides, it's the height of summer so supposedly too hot, or will be next week when I'm back at work and summer really hits.

My youngest has got me taking him to the totally un-local skate park at the Domaine de Grammont where they have a 'bowl' and he can scoot around on his 'trottinette' practising 360s, up 'n' unders, round-the-benders and tell-me-anothers (I'm making these up...).

Skate park, Domaine de Grammont

Today, I decided that I would try and find the domaine's parcours de santé which is 2.5km in length and just right for a brisk walk. I wasn't wearing my sports shoes so, oh woe, I couldn't run even if the mood struck me (unlikely). I left my youngest at the skate park, scooter with new confidence-inspiring 'park' wheels in hand, and set off up the car park.

I came to the park that sets off the big house nicely and serves very well for wedding parties as it's also a registry office venue. This is the only bit I know apart from the skate park and Zenith concert venue as I went to a wedding there once. The park is not that big, but there was a rough path which seemed to meander through the trees although how anyone could run along it beat me. It was also far from being 2.5km in length. Still, I had a brisk stroll, avoided low-slung branches and thorny bushes and then decided to get back and watch my scooting hero.

Outside the park I noticed a plan of the domaine, and found that the parcours de santé was way on the right of the big house on a totally different part of land. Oh well, I'll know for next time. I'm sure I'll get dragged there again. Today was the third time this week. We only go in the morning when there are fewer people about. In the afternoon (our first attempt) the kids were practically queuing to make a move of any sort.

Naturally, when I got back disaster had struck and my son had banged his top lip which was now oozing blood. This put an end to my aspirations to watch his scooting as N°1 Fan and we just came home instead to apply Betadine and nougat.

I'm wondering what to do for the last weekend of the holiday. I feel we should do something, but getting ideas from the boys is like pulling teeth (except my eldest - "Can I go to the fête de [Insert Village] and can you give me some money?"), and I'm feeling too relaxed and lazy to start firing off suggestions. I suppose we could go canoeing on the Hérault river, unless it needs reserving in advance, or go for a picnic at the Pont d'Issensac again (cheaper) and just splash about in the river. Decisions decisions.

We have achieved something this week. I took my youngest and a friend to the pick-your-own at Caillan (one hour before closing!) and managed to pick enough red fruit and tomatoes to make red fruit jam (2.1 pots), a summer pudding (yet to be made when I get the right bread) and some tasty tomato salads. What with the péage it wasn't exactly a super economical trip, but it was fun and had the bonus of a tasty result. The jam we made turned out fine, miraculously as it was mixed fruit, and my youngest has been putting it on everything from bread to pancakes. The only bé-mol as they say here was that I slashed my thumb open on the ecologically-sound recyclable paniers and have been trying not to reopen it continually since.

Ideas for the weekend on a postcard please!