Monday, June 29, 2009

Back To Life

Gorging on windfallen apricots. Picking gooey handfulls of tree ripened black cherries. Buying buttery pain au chocolat and pain aux raisins for breakfast. Watching Cave Baby chomp determinedly through chunks of baguette. Getting our faces covered in sticky melon juice. Stopping in the street every few minutes for a passer by to coo at Cave Baby. Dunking Cave Baby in a mountain lake.

These are the most memorable bits from our first holiday as a family. We were in southern France, on the edge of the Pyrenees. It was hard work, because I hadn't realised how much the usual day to day routine helps to keep my baby settled and calm. But she was an excellent traveller, going by plane, train and bus and hardly complaining. It was lovely to spend time as a family and I felt very sorry for Cave Father having to go back to work this morning. That is always the worst part of a holiday.

So it's back to normal life now, albeit with that funny feeling you get after a holiday that something at home ought to have changed while you were away.

Note on Recycling Week: Sorry, Cartside, I didn't know about Recycling Week until today. But here are some observations on recycling in France. Recycling facilities seem somewhat more accessible than here in Britain. In our village there were umpteen recycling bins for plastics, glass, paper, card, cartons, tins and cans. There was certainly a recycling point within a five minute walk of every house in the village. Having said that, I had a peek in the communal bin outside our rented house and people had dumped a lot of recyclable material in it - obviously a five minute walk is too much for some people. France really leads the way on reuse of plastic bags. For years, the big supermarkets have not given out free plastic bags. Because of this people really do make use of wicker baskets and plastic shopping bags. They have some nice funky shopping bags on sale - we bought one at a market. I know from experience that the reusable plastic bags the supermarkets sell are much better quality than the ones we get in Britain. We bought three bags from Intermarche three years ago, and we still use them for our supermarket visits today. But whenever I have bought a Tesco "bag for life", the handles have broken or the bag has ripped after only a couple of uses. To sum up: kerbside recycling collections are definitely the way to go, and when are the bloody supermarkets in Britain going to stop giving out free plastic bags? (Well done Marks and Spencers who already have).

Finally, thank you to All Grown Up for this award:


Earthenwitch said...

Sounds lovely - v. jealous. :)

Glad to have you back, but I agree that it always feels like something ought to have changed, longer-term, courtesy of a holiday.

willow81 said...

Welcome back, sounds like you had a lovely time. DH and I took the Monkey to France last month, it sounds like you may have been in the same area- we were in Pau. I bought back a ton of cherry jam!

Amanda said...

Welcome back! And, OMG, your first paragraph made me swoon.

Despite my mother's insistance that we should have no routine at all, my little one does best when we've got some semblance of a regular nap and regularly scheduled meals at home. But, like Cave Baby, he travels quite well. I feel incredibly lucky!

The U.S. is sorely behind on the plastic bag revolution as well. Most of our grocery stores charge you for resuable bags, but give plastic away freely. I'd love to see them start charging more for the plastic bags than they do for the reusables. Then we might see some wholesale changes.

allgrownup said...

Welcome home, I'm green about your fabulous holiday :-)
Last time I went abroad was on my honeymoon in 2005!! We did the divine French breakfast thing every day then too, Paris is addictive.

clareybabble said...

Dunking Cave Baby in the lake - I bet she loved it!

Cave Mother said...

clareybabble - oh yes. We were typical worrying parents thanking that she'd be too cold. She was having a whale of a time.

Melodie said...

I read the first paragraph and thought "that sounds like France." Oh how I long to return en France. I was there when I was 18 on a month long student exchange. Fields of sunflowers, fields of lavender...all that yummy bread and cheese. I was in Provence in a wee little village called Bonlieu Sur Roubion. It was on the Roubion River close to Montelimar. One day we'll all go.