Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Party Time Again! Malcolm's Official 11th Birthday Party!

Yep! Today we celebrated my birthday! It was great! But, whoa! Let's start at the beginning, folks, shall we? Welcome to the Paret-Darnay's...

...the balloons are up...

...the house is clean and the guests have all arrived. So the scene is set, right?
Well, yeah, but where are they? Where are all the guests?
Over admiring Le Fish maybe?


Are they checking out our filmotheque?

The living room's empty.
Not a creature is stirring except for...

...Papa learning his lines for his next audition.

What?! In the middle of a birthday party, he can learn his lines??? Where are all the unruly 11 year-old boys?

Need you ask?

Here they are, with Henry and me in our bedroom playing Mario Cart! Let me introduce everyone. From left to right, front to back, that would be : Henry (you know him), Rayane (an ace at the wheel), JJ (short for Jean-Jacques - like the great philosopher!), Simba (he's the Lion King), Charles (like Charles V of Spain), Nil (like the great African river spelled in French) and me, Malcolm (like Malcolm X, only I'm Malcolm Y. after my father's grandmother.).

Oh, and now Papa wants to play Mario Kart too! So much for learning his lines, huh? You know us guys, just can't keep away from the video games! But don't worry! Mom and Papa would never, ever let us play video games ALL afternoon, ever...not even on our birthday.


It's OUT, OUT, OUT! This time we went to le Parc de Belleville.

Remember that cool jungle gym John shot all those very cool action photos of Max and Stella on back in 1999? You know, back when his camera was brand new, during his very first visit to France, back before he and Monique were even officially a thing? Some 10 years and 10 months ago now? Remember??? I surely don't! Heck, I was only two months old back then, but we do have some pretty neat photos of that visit! Anyway, that jungle gym was closed for years and years because it was not considered safe enough for European norms. Well, it's open again. Here it is!

And here we are (JJ, Nil and me, that is) way, way up there playing on those sharp-edged concrete stairs. Boy, is this place safe these days! Papa was surprised that concrete is considered safer than wood but Mom figured maybe it's not as slippery...maybe... We didn't care much, though. We were just trying not to get tagged. Charles was it!

Somehow he missed JJ...

...and now he's after me!

I think he got me too!

We had a good time. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Now, Rayane is it!

Nil was just hanging around...

...when, whoops!

Here comes Le Chat!

(Editor's note : Le Chat is what French people call the person who is IT. And the game TAG is called CHAT in French.)

JJ and I were out of there too!

Out of there!

For a while, Mom couldn't see any of us so she started shooting photos left and right, randomly...

...and guess who she found?


See that sheet of paper in his hand? He's still learning his lines...then...

...JJ taking a breather, then...

...some kid whose mother had probably sent him outside to get some fresh air but who found a good hiding spot where he could continue playing moonshine Nintendo DS instead, then...

...Charles! Does he want to play DS too?

Nope. Doesn't look like it! Doesn't look like he wants his photo taken either! After shooting about 15 photos of Charles, Mom finally realized he'd hurt his leg on the safe jungle gym... we all took a much needed breather...hang on! Where's Rayane? Oh, here he comes...

...out of one of the non-slippery wooden cubby holes! So, then we ALL took a much needed breather until...

...Charles started feeling better and we could go play FOOT! (Foot is the cool French word for Soccor!)

(Charles looks like he's feeling much better, doesn't he? Charles likes foot!)

The two teams : Rayane, Papa and me against JJ, Charles and Nil. (Bet you're wondering where Henry is, huh? He had a sore throat and fever so he stayed home.)

Let's play ball!

(Editor's note : Neither Henry nor Malcolm like foot very much - nor did Max by the way - that's why our family doesn't even possess a proper soccor ball. This ball here is a volleyball. Max received it for one of his birthdays back when he played that game, back when he did sports other than stretching in the morning and walking to the subway... Today, this ball drew some odd remarks from a gang of teenagers who stopped to watch the boys play :"Yo, dude! Whass'at bawll?" They had an American football they were throwing back and forth. That was the first time this editor has seen one of those in a French park!)

Now, brace yourselves, folks, here comes a long string of foot photos!

Charles really is looking much, much better, isn't he?

It's important, when playing soccor with a volleyball to have one's lumberjack boots laced correctly!


There goes the ball again! Into the fountain!

Gotta admit! It was a good game and some of these photos are just too cool! I - Malcolm that is - even scored two goals!! I'm starting to like foot a little better...

Home again now... have candles...


... and candy!

(Mom made us work for the candy! Papa, reading up on cats a while back, found out that cats need to be challenged to get their food, that it makes them happy to have to hunt for it. Mom figured the same might be true of boys and candy so she put the candy in the balloons and made us throw a dart at them to get it! Is that slightly perverted or what?)

Before throwing the dart, Henry annonced that he was going to get two in one blow...

...then he did!! We were impressed!

Fun was also had...

...getting the dart back out of the wall when it got stuck there! And...

...watching others miss or hit!

I was last to get a hit but I also got the last one!

We finally got to eat the stuff!

Then came present time!!

(And, as the observant follower might notice, there was plenty more candy too, offered right up in bowls - no effort further than stretching out one's arm was needed to get at it! Mom says that's dangerous for boys and perhaps she's right seeing as...

...Charles and Rayane ate so much they caught the dreaded Blue Tongue Disease!)

During present time, I got some very nice presents. Thank you muchly everyone!

Then, after DJ Rayane had chosen what music we were going to listen to... was dancing time on Ménilmontant!!

Charles didn't dance much though, after hurting his leg and getting Blue Tongue disease...

...yes, that's a bloody tooth you see there...he lost a tooth in the middle of eating all that candy!

Birthday's can be very, very dangerous indeed! But what fun is life if one doesn't sometimes take a few risks, eh?

Sanks again, Mama-san et Papa-san! It was a great party!


  1. And a great post, Malcolm. You astonish me. You look so very tall suddenly! Look out Max, here he comes. And Happy Birthday!!!

  2. Happy Birthday, Malcolm! A little late but a great celebration to start one's 2nd decade! I can also see more of you in this 2nd birthday photo series... And yes, you have grown much taller since we last measured you and Henry in my hallway last summer.
    You must have been taking very good care of those wonderful blue shoes I see you still wearing too...
    Warm virtual hugs and kisses until we can do it in person again.

  3. I'm intrigued by the comment right above mine...

    Goodness, somehow I missed this blog post all together, until today.

    What fun. Another party full of adventures, treats, cake, and presents. And all very nicely documented. Thanks!

    The Parc de Belleville is, by far, my favorite park in all of France (as if I knew many, but I do love it). The new jungle gym area looks quite different although after a few picutres I started getting oriented again. The big hill, the area where parents sit is much the same. But the structure itself is much changed. I must go back there on my next trip to Paris!

    I too noticed that you're looking quite tall, Malcolm.

    The last photo of foot is perfect, with two bpoys jumping up to try and head the ball while Thierry and Malcolm watch expectantly.

    The idea of making cats work for their food... was interesting. Extending it to boys working for candy, genius! And candy in balloons, terrific.

    I do have one question... Did anyway make sure that Henry wasn't home practicing his arrow throwing while everyone else was at the part? Hummnnn... makes me wonder.

    Love the pictures of you all dancing too.

    Well, it's a fun story and great photo collection.

    Kisses all around.