Before I get eaten alive by the mozzies, here is a quick glimpse into what has been going on here...
I have played our kid's carols cd, i have played Michael Buble's Christmas cd, i have purchased clementines for the stockings (shame there are no jelly babies here!), we have been reading our Christmas books and lighting our advent candle, we wandered around Carrefour looking at the Christmas lights...but in spite of it all I just can't feel Christmassy in the heat! I was thinking of watching You've Got Mail and While You Were Sleeping to help, but no DVD player now!
One thing in common with home is that the shops and roads are very busy. We did our Christmas shopping in two mornings this week. I had it all planned as to what I would get the girls and a strict budget; in fact, I didn't allow for the items I had chosen being sold out!! (Well, the best way to meet your budget!) So we got books for all the nieces and nephews and then yesterday had a lovely morning in Pointe à Pitre where we got CassCass a french bible and LissaLou a pack of high heel shoes (her choice!) We also popped into the playpark on the Place de la Victoire and the girls were thrilled with juice and fries from McDo (against all my principles, but it was the only toilet around!!)
Today we are preparing for our Reveillon celebration this evening, which will be a meal at Nadia's. I believe that Pere Noel should be putting in an appearance (in the shape of Bertie or his brother Richard!) and there will also be fireworks, cool! Bertie is making two Yule logs and some jus de cythere and jus de maracudja to take.
In the past week...
The strike last Tuesday went ahead but was mainly a demonstration and didn't affect the roads or last longer, hurray!
We babysat for LissaLou's friend Jade two nights whilst her parents did parents' evenings at their respective schools. Such fun listening to the girls play together. Then on Wednesday Bertie took the girls to L'Ile aux enfants (next to our Velodrome and Pika) with Jade and her parents and oh, did they have a good time! (I was teaching my SIL Felicianne to make bread! And watching Ratatouille, great fun!)
Bertie told me he was a bit worried, as it was a pricey €10 each entry and CassCass cried and cried for the first half hour, as they played on the bouncy castles (there were six!) He was worried it would be like our trip to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park last year - do the Parents and Evs remember her crying and crying on the roundabout whilst we filmed her?! But then they headed over to the merry go round, and it was all worthwhile, as the girls had a good dozen rides on it and couldn't be persuaded to leave! I was also impressed at Bertie's skills of negotiation - apparently they had buches de noel but only for the staff, and he sweet talked a lady in to giving the girls one each. Then the girls liked the look of flashing dummies for €4 each but he haggled it down to that for 2! And to think that there are people like me who just pay the full price without thought!
For the final day of school on Friday, it was their final trip to la piscine so Bertie joined them. LissaLou has done well picking up skills but I don't think it is accurate to say she can swim yet! In the afternoon they had a cake and each child came home clutching bags of chocolate Pere Noels and sweets, to their delight! I am ashamed to say I spent Friday night whilst Bertie was at his bible study watching the final of Star Academy...!
On Saturday I learnt from experience that it is just no good staying at home so I set off with the girls to La Poste where there was almost a riot! There was a separate queue of 10 or more people to pick up registered mail but then the staff member announced that this queue wasn't in action on Wednesdays or Saturdays, so they all had to join the back of the (long) other queue. It was funny to hear them all yelling at each other, staff v customers (everyone got involved!) whilst using Madame and Monsieur in between insults! We finally got served after oh, 45 minutes...
Then we went to the park and played before walking home by the sea, in the opposite direction to our normal route. It is such a lovely peaceful place to be. The girls love looking at the boats in the harbour - our favourite one with two decks had its owners on board today, one with his Arsenal t-shirt! We also saw some fish - orphie, with long needles for noses - and a jelly fish. Our walk was much longer than usual, as there were two cows blocking our shortcut through the field, so we went by the road. I was very impressed with LissaLou managing it all, especially in the heat! We were so tired when we got home, that my legs could barely make it up the stairs, and I could honestly tell Papy that I was fatikagou! He often tells me he is this after a particularly hard morning at Pika!
After wandering around Carrefour to see the lights, we were planning to go to the Chante Nwel next to our house at 8pm. We waited...and waited...9pm came...10 pm came...Finally it started nearer 10.20pm by which time the girls were shattered. The quality was pretty scratchy so we didn't stay long!
Sunday was the church Christmas Programme in the evening so another late night. It was very well done, but the church was packed out so I couldn't really see anything and couldn't understand a lot of the creole! Afterwards, we went for a delicious meal organised by Nadia and her friends (so much work must have gone into feeding all 200 of us!). The girls were thrilled to be at their own table with their friends and afterwards there was space for them all to run riot!
Not so quick after all! Well, I shall get back to all my tasks for today, including a very long sleep to get us ready for tonight! Thanks so much to those of you who have sent cards - they are up in my kitchen looking very pretty! I am still working on mine, but they should be out by mid Jan!!!In the meantime, may I take this occasion to wish all my readers a very
JOYEUX NOEL ET BONNE ANNEE!!