dimanche, février 19, 2017

A walk in the winter wonderland

When the sun finally came out on Thurs on that ski week, I joined a guided walking tour in the forest. We put on our snow shoes called raquettes in french. Raquettes mean rackets. It is having plastic rackets with metal grips underneath tied to our shoes. In this way, we could "easily" walk on the soft snow. We do have walking sticks to make the walk easier.

Still, I was sweating after walking up a gentle slope. Most of us in the group started to unzip our jackets by then. The forest was silent and it was beautiful. The guide showed us animals' traces. Sometimes, he would go off trail and we would be walking in almost knee deep of snow. It was fun.

Our ski resort was opposite right at the top of the mountain.

The walk was a physical workout. Just that few hours made me exhausted yet the scenary made it all worth well. I am amazed with my boys who skiied the whole day and yet in the evening, were still full of energy.
And I made a friend. Her daughter is studying in Singapore and she is going to visit her in April. She did not expect to meet a Singaporean in this part of France.We exchanged numbers and I promised to send her tips about her up coming trip. Singaporeans are not aplenty but we are everywhere.

Book: La cigale du huitième jour

I love to read. Since I don't take public transport to work, I hardly have time to read. I normally read during vacation or just before going to bed.

I just finished reading a novel and thought I start to write down the title of books I read with a short review as I tend to forget the author and the title after.

I have been reading in French as English books are not available in the nearby library. My friends lent me books in French. I have no complains as I like french writers and french books by foreign authors are usually well translated.

Tika recommended me La cigale du huitième jour (The eighth day) by Mitsuyo Kakuta. I didn't like the ending but overall the story was interesting. It was about a woman who went to her ex-lover's house to see the baby of his wife. Out of impluse, she stole the baby and raised the baby as her own. She was always on the run to avoid being caught. The second part of the story focused on the baby who had become an adult. The story brings us through different parts of Japan. There are various women's issues mentioned which touched my heart.

After reading the book, I would like to visit the Japanese islands mentioned.

mercredi, février 15, 2017

First ski trip

For the first week of school holidays, I took the boys to ski with our friends. Seb had to go USA for a work trip so he could not join us. We took trains to Aime La Plagne and the boys were excited to take a TGV train for the first time.

The week we were there, it was snowing everyday. We had sun only on the last two days. The boys had never ski. After a week's lesson, they can ski well. They were in the Flocon class but with different monitors. The monitors were friendly and amazing with kids. A2 kept talking about his monitor, Stephen. I think he was his idol. 

Other than ski, the boys sledged down the snowy slopes.

With their monitors, the boys progressed fast and tried out different trails. They were very happy and A1 eagerly showed me on the map where they had skiied. I was impressed.

On the last day, they had tests before getting their Flocon badge. Both of them made it. Below was a game of cat and mouse and A1 was the mouse. The person behind had to try to catch him.

Come snow or sun, the boys skiied. For me, I lazed around and chatted with my friend who did not ski too. On sunny days, I took out the camera and snapped away. Here was A2 in blue starting his lesson after lunch.

We stayed at Aime 2000. It was really convenient as the ESF ski school was in the same building. The boys put on their skis and could ski from the door steps.

A1 did not want to go home at the end. As our friends came by car, we left them earlier to catch the train. The journey back was a pain as there was a problem on the tracks. We had to take a coach to reach another train station and this delay made us missed our TGV at Lyon. We took a later TGV train and reached home at midnight.

Overall, this ski trip was really fun for the boys. They are sportive and learnt to ski in no time at all. A1 asked why I didn't ski. I told him I started late and did not enjoy it. He could not understand that. Well, I replied, "do you see any snow in Singapore?"

dimanche, janvier 22, 2017

Food note

As mentioned before, in french school, all children have the same lunch. This is the weekly menu of the department 78 we live in. There is a starter, a main with side, milk product like cheese and ending with dessert. 
The children are encouraged to try new food. They can ask for more serving if there is extra after everyone is served. On the thurday of that week, there was raclette. I was sure the boys would enjoy their lunch and they did!

A1 is choosy with cake and biscuits. He like me, does not like chocolate. He does like chouquettes. On new year's eve, my friend brought chouquettes over. She told me it was easy to make them with the thermomix. I found the receipe online and tried it out. Indeed, it was easy. The boys finished them up over dinner and next day's breakfast. There were 4 leftovers as they had the least sugar on them.

While writing this post, I found the receipe in english (non Thermomix). Try out this easy to do pastry here.

It is colder

2017 started on a cold note. The average temperature for the past two weeks was between -5 to 4 degrees. This week, though it was very cold, it was sunny and dry. The fireplace worked hard and we had almost used up our supply of wood. The same amount saw us through last winter.This year, we would need double. Seb is going to order more wood.

A2's room is facing north and in the evening, his room was 15degrees. We had to use the portable heater to boost up the temperature to 18degrees. This is the recommended temperature for bedrooms.

The boys had football practice on friday evening with the temperature at 3 degrees. There was no snow. Unlike 2013 where the garden was covered in snow and we would built a snowman.

Speaking of snow, we are heading to the mountains to ski. Hoping to get plenty of fresh snow but not snow storm.