Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A picnic in Beauvoir (in which I, Malcolm, dictate a few lines!)

Last weekend we had some fun! Mom's friend Cécile invited us to go at a picnic in banlieu (that's the cool French word for the suburbs). It was an hour and a half car trip - Mom's friend Hélène lent us her Renault Espace and we brought our favorite car trip CDs : Sergent Pepper's, 80s Pop Rock - with Eye of the Tiger - Dido and Gorillaz.

While we were stuck in the embouteillages - that's the cool French word for traffic jam - Henry and I were a little bit ashamed because Mom danced in the car while she was listen at the Beatles ("I get by with a little help from my friends, ooooo I get high with a little help from my friends..."). The persons in the other cars looked at us like if we were crazy! Otherwise the trip was really long but really great. Long because Mom took a wrong turn off the highway just as we were leaving Paris and we got totally lost. Luckily, we had a little food in the car : like tortilla chips and water and also little fig cookies (but that was all! except for the ZEN candies you see in the photo, but they actually belonged to Hélène's kids so we didn't eat them). Mom kept calling Cécile for minute by minute instructions as Henry and I watched the Austin Minis - that's Henry's new, favorite car- go by on the highway. Cécile had given very good directions and she had told us we COULDN'T get lost! There is only ONE street in Beauvoir but, after an hour, we were still roaming around the Parisian countryside not really sure where we were going, when suddenly we came upon this :

Where would this spectacular alley of trees lead us to, we wondered?

Was this Cécile's house, we wondered? Were those tents there set up for the picnic? Actually, after a bend in the road, we'd suddenly come upon the Chateau of Veaux le Vicomte without any advance warning except those trees! But Cécile's parents' house wasn't so bad either as it turned out! Once we found it, that is...

What kind of treasures were they hiding behind that wrought iron gate, we wondered? It was a very big yard. The kind of yard that we would like to have in Paris. There was a tree swing and little lanterns like in Narnia! Also very big trees...

(The short purple arrow shows MOI!!! playing Balle aux Prisonniers - the cool French name for...Dodge Ball??? - with the other guests and the long purple arrow indicates a lantern...)

(Here is one of the big trees. You can click on it and make it even bigger!)

While Henry played Ping-Pong...


video
...or did some horseback riding...

...I explored the garden thoroughly.

At one point, I came across something unexpected and fun...

...A WALL! So I called Henry.

Then Mom came too and she only let us stay up there because she wanted a photo of what was on the other side....

...exciting, huh? But as soon as we'd taken the picture, she made us jump down again!


1, 2, 3, GO!


Take one! It's in the box!

Later, while Henry staunchly refused to play violin with Cécile, her sister Pauline and the other musically inclined guests...


(Look at that piano! It's a Playel! And this next guy looks pretty serious here but he was actually the life of the party. You could whistle any tune and he'd play it directly! He was so good we thought he might be autistic...)

...Anyway, as I was saying earlier, while Henry staunchly refused to play violin with Cécile, her sister Pauline and the other musically inclined guests...I continued my explorations of the garden and was secretly watching Mom as she looked for me. But my secret mission didn't last long : Mom discovered with her eagle eye that I was in the backyard cabin!

...pretending I was riding shotgun!

When all the fun was over, we said good-bye to the big tree...


...and the flowers...



...and the musicians...



...and Beauvoir's one and only street...


...and headed back to Paris - once we got the car battery working again, that is, after moult phone calls to Hélène and with the help of one of Cécile's Pélerin de la mer friends. But after the battery died, the CD player refused to co-operate so the ride home seemed very much longer than the ride there. At one point, we got so bored in the Saturday night embouteillages, we thought we'd die! At least until we spotted a few Austin Minis, that is, and then, the hunt was on!





There was probably a beautiful sunset over Paris that night, seeing as it really had been a beautiful day, but we didn't see it!

We saw a pink sky, nonobstant, a pink sky over a red river!

And then we were home and then to bed!

2 comments:

  1. We don't seem to have any buildings like the Chateau of Veaux le Vicomte in our neighborhood. Lots and lots of monuments, but no chateaus.

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  2. What a great picnic.

    The alley-of-trees picture is amazing, as was the spot no doubt. And the music room in Cecile's parents beautiful home looked so... musical. You efforts to scope it all out and share what you found with us are much appreciated!

    By the way, from now on, I'm going ot call traffic embouteillage... that sounds so much better.

    Now, I do have a question. Aren't the Parisian suburbs suppose to be... well, sort of run down, the sort of places where malcontents start riots and such. If so, the pictures here do not look like the suburbs I was imagining...

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