Tuesday 25 March 2008

Bienvenue a Grenoble

We are holidaying at the Harrisons' house in Grenoble, 1000ft above sea level, partway up one mountain with a fabulous view across the valley to the range to the south. It was snowing for a couple of days but has thawed here at the house although there is plenty snow higher up the mountain. Sean is in his element. He said he wished he could stay for three weeks. He can hardly believe Catriona lives "on a mountain" (the house is on the edge of Grenoble and the mountain behind us is higher than Ben Nevis) and he's never seen so much snow in his life. He asked Sharon whose idea it was to come for a holiday here and said it was just the best idea ever.

Finn has been a little out of sorts and saw a doctor today. She thinks he may have impetigo, which isn't great news as it can be quite infectious. He's enjoyed playing with the girls though and especially enjoyed the chocolate Easter egg feast which greeted us all on Sunday when we arrived.

The trip here was going swimmingly until we picked up the hire car, a Citroen Berlingo which was an ideal size for our family and luggage. At the first peage (toll) I was struggling to get the window down. We then spotted the button on the dashboard to do this. Unfortunately, as I pressed it to close the window it was pushed inside the dashboard to disappear into the inner depths of the car, behind the fascia. We couldn't get the window closed. Sharon found this initially hilarious but she wasn't the one driving along with the wind and snow shower blowing in her ear. We missed a turning as we kept trying to locate the button inside the hole and decided to return to the airport as we weren't going to be able to lock the car in its current state. The boys were all asleep since we had been up at 0530 and duly woke, rather confused, as we arrived back at the airport. Fortunately there was a replacement car available and we transferred and made the journey to Grenoble with a minimum of extra bother.

Ruth, Stef, Niamh and Manu and their respective children arrived later in the day and we met them all for lunch in Grenoble yesterday. Table for 18? It has felt like living in the middle of a kindergarten over the last few days, especially in the mornings when everyone has been up far too early and making an unholy racket. Still, the children are having a great time and we've got the odd moment with Andrew and Alison to ourselves without having to feed, clean, tidy up toys, bath, change or entertain.

Rowan has been eating like he's fearful that each meal is his last. Once he wakens up and Sharon gets back from his walk we're planning on finding some snow for sledging. Sean went sledging yesterday and Sharon reckons it was the happiest she'd ever seen him as he came hurtling down a long slope on a flimsy stretch of plastic. We'll do well to convince Finn to do it, but we'll see!

A bientot!

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