Saturday, December 24, 2011

Carcassonne, day three

Have we come to a grinding halt? Oh yes. It is partly because of Christmas and the planning the food and the shopping; but also we are strangely tired.
Myles and I left the kids at home (they were still asleep) and walked to the local hypermarche to get what we needed for Christmas day. It took us hours: why? I have no idea. But shopping for quite specific ingredients that you need to cook with is interesting. For example, how do I tell which flour is plain and which is self raising? How do I know what is icing sugar? And cream is a huge problem. I can't find cream that is for whipping. There is lots of sour cream and very thin cream, but nothing like whipping cream. So I'm experimenting for ice-cream this year. In addition, there are no measuring implements in the house, nor are there any electronic mixing things. Improvisation is a best friend. And a shockingly cruel enemy.
After spending hundreds of dollars, we had a trolley full of shopping and no way to get it home. Hmmm. So Myles walked into the local bar (yes, there are bars in supermarkets, and there are people in them drinking very early in the day) and somehow managed to ask the woman at the bar to call us a cab. Amazingly it all went well, and the cab arrived. Here is an interesting thing. Cab drivers here do all the work. The one loaded up our shopping into his boot, drove us home and then unloaded the boot and took the shopping to our front door. Shocking.
The kids were rather anxious when we came home. We had been gone for ages. And they couldn't leave the house. So we fed and watered them, and then took them back into the city for Treat Friday. Ah churros and hot chocolate from the Christmas market. Myles and Niccolo made a date to come back on the morrow for ice skating. The rest of us declined. Paris had had bad experiences on the ice in Melbourne. And I could only imagine what cold ice on a cold day might feel like. Zelda had skipped out on a birthday party because it involved roller skates. Ice skates, she saw, were infinitely worse. Then Niccolo and Zelda discovered a ride called La Pomme which was, perhaps confusingly, a catapillar and decided that they must ride it. So they did, and we watched and laughed. Kids on a ride; too cute for words. Home, dinner, reading, snuggling in front of the heater.
We have to get out more tomorrow. Really. See the castle or something. We must, we must.

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