Friday, August 31, 2012

TV: curse or blessing?

Since we have started living together, Mathilde and I have never had a TV, and, honestly, never missed it.

But, surprisingly perhaps, whether our children should have been granted the permission to watch TV has always been a very sensitive topic in our conversations - even much much before that Leo was born, when, as an entertainment, we did speculate on how we would have liked to educate our children...

Mathilde, ‘frau’ Mathilde, believed that TV makes babies stupid, and therefore, no, we should have not allowed our children to watch TV. And anyway, we didn’t even have a television, so why bother?

My position has always been more open, as I believe that TV is just a tool, neither good nor bad in itself. What makes TV good or bad was in my opinion the use of it, and therefore which programs we select, and how much TV we allow our children to watch per day.

And precisely the ‘how much TV per day’ had become the main issue in our conversations. And so, when, in response to Mathilde who was repeatedly asking ‘so, what would be in your opinion the right amount of TV per day for a baby’ I absently responded ‘I don’t know… 2 hours?’ - that answer closed that topic of conversation forever…

But perhaps the fact that we recently experienced the benefits of TV, i.e. the fact that we had thirty minutes to enjoy a quiet dinner, would make this topic newly open for discussion…

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Leo et ses cousinettes (3)

As for i cuginetti, Leo has a mix of curiosity and reverence towards ses cousinettes.

In the absence of a little brother or a little sister (yet), and while waiting to go to the childcare (in September) it is encouraging to observe how Leo interacts with the other babies...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Accrobranche (2)

(Ps: I found this video on Youtube shot at the Accrobranche in La Bourboule. For those who still wonder what accrobranche is…)


A bit Tarzan, a bit Avatar, a bit Indiana Jones - accrobranche (tree climbing) is the new ‘vogue’ in France. It is a recreational activity that consists of ascending and moving from a tree to another along a circuit made of bridges, ropes, nets, platforms, etc. (a sort of a training course for marines) using various climbing techniques.

It was fun! (and far from being easy…)

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 2 (bis)

I always considered that those who were born in summer were a bit unlucky, as their birthdays fall during the vacations, when not many of your friends are around and it is difficult to organize a big party.

But I have to admit that being born in summer has its advantages. You can, for instance, celebrate your birthday twice…

Happy birthday Leo! (bis)

(Ps: after ‘la torta della nonna’, la g√Ęteau de la tante!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jockey (2)

After the initial trial, now for real!

(Ps: do note Leo rides bareback - like the native Indians!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

La Bourboule

We spent the third and last leg of our vacation in La Bourboule, Auvergne, where Les Iweins have their family home.

It has certainly been a week mainly devoted to family, rest and food.

But not only.

On my now third visit to Auvergne, I am learning to appreciate and enjoy more and more this part of France which, in addition to good cheeses and sausages, offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities.

We horse-rode, ‘accrobranched’, and hiked in plenitude - and I mountain-biked up to the peaks and down through the woods of these mountains quite a bit. And considering this region is regarded as a paradise for paragliding and cross-country ski - it seems time has come for me to learn both these activities.

The only drawback, if I may and without wanting to offend anyone, was the weather. We had six days of sun, blue sky, and temperatures closer to the thirties than to the twenties. And for me, keen of harsh conditions as far as outdoor activities is concerned, who went there armed with my best technical gear, it has been rather disappointing to have to leave my goratex raincoat, my windstopper gloves, my warmest polar-fleece sweaters unused in my luggage.

But perhaps next time I’ll be luckier…

Thursday, August 23, 2012

La Vanoise - Foto per le mamme

We conclude the reportage of our leg in La Vanoise with these two photos for our mums…

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cuginetti (2)

One of the most pleasent experiences of this vacation has been to observe the interactions between Leo and his cousins, Davide and Andrea.

Leo, a rather extrovert personality, fell completely mesmerized in the presence of them - something between admiration and reverence. And Davide and Andrea as well, often compared to the Huns when they move together, were on the contrary attentive, caring, and protective towards Leo.

And I try to imagine them in a few years - Davide and Andrea wearing Adidas clothes and with their Milanese accent, and behind Leo, Petit Bateau and a funny Roman accent with a French ‘r’, searching for adventures in the woods…

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 2

August 2 was Leo’s first birthday. We celebrated it in company of nonna Rita, zia Silvia, e i cuginetti, who came from Milan for the occasion.

A day to be remembered. Happy birthday Leo!

And as per tradition, Leo had his ‘torta della nonna’ as well…

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The mountain dweller’s meal (2)

After a strenuous hike, if polenta and wild pork are not available, there is nothing better than a baguette with ham and cheese…

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What we do to feed Leo when he refuses to eat

If you have children, you must have faced at least once the challenge of feeding your baby who refuses to eat.

What do you do then?

There are several methods, tricks, expedients, and am sure every couple has perfected its own.

This is what we do…

Friday, August 17, 2012

In case of rain…

During our stay, luckily, the weather has been beautiful. Still, a couple of times, we had a few drops of rain.

No problem: we were equipped…

Leo 'waterproof'

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Walking classes

Since our first steps, we never stopped off…

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Botany classes II - advanced course

After the introductory course, the advanced one: Botany classes II - Alpine flora.