Amazing how summer time flies by… I cannot believe this is September already when it seemed I had been waiting for the sunny warm days to come for what seems like dozen of months… Already the rain has come back and ruined a few potential beach days. Long sleeves and jumpers cannot be forgotten when leaving the house. I’ve just come back from my first (very) rocky week at sea – hello force 9 wind! I’m now counting the days when the morning coffee can be taken outdoors. Nostalgia is slowly making itself confortable in the couch cushions in front of the tele.
But as always, summer has been nice, rich, and fully appreciated. In between each working week spent on the ship, we manage to spend quality family time, whether it was home or away. Even though I broke one of my toes in July, it didn’t stop us from actually DOING things. It just made me slow down a bit more than what I like, but hey, as long as the sun shines outside…
I tried to take a little bit of time to gather my thoughts and write a good post for my blog. But the long days of summer always seemed too short. And August was extremely busy. When September came, all my inspiration and memories had already faded and melted all together into a blissful melting pot of good emotions.
So, looking through the last 3 months photos, I thought of doing a little illustrated lexicon.
I have the impression too much of the time I spend at sea is spent indoors. I wish I could enjoy it more and make the most of it. But work rules…
One of the biggest treat of the summer what a week spent in the French mountain region called Auvergne. My mother in law rented a castle (no less!) to celebrate her 80th birthday and invited her 3 children, spouses, grand-children…etc. In total, 15 people aged from 6 to 80 accepted the invitation and drove to this rural God-forsaken place. For the teenagers, it was a bit of a shock. No big cities around, no trendy shops, no pricey Instagramable activities… But thank God, there was 4G!
For us, it was just prefect. Each family had their own room, the garden was humongous, a large table was set outside under a fantastic linden tree ready for long apéros, and the attic was rainy days friendly with its pool and soccer-game tables…
Coming from a very small family who seemed to have stopped this sort of gatherings when I was too small to remember, it was a bit overwhelming. Although 15 people will not seem a lot for those of you who belong to big traditional tribes, for me it was pretty magic. It was also an occasion to meet the new boyfriends/girlfriends (traditionally called family add-on parts in French!). I treasured the evenings spent together. They started when the temperature outside feels just right, with the much loved Apéro – microbrewery beers, ratafia (an artisan spirit made in Burgundy with marc/pomace), wine, olives, nuts, crisps… Then long simple dinners ending with plenty of local cheeses. Coffees and teas – or some more beers! – before chats in the dark, star gazing sessions, or a music quiz.
It was a good feeling to Belong.
If you’ve read several of my posts, you know how important food is to me. I like it fresh, cooked, seasoned, colourfull, loved… Preparing a meal for someone is showing your generosity. Being invited to a join a table is being showed you’re cared for.
Even if you’re not a good cook or have no time to spend in the kitchen, there are plenty of ways to plan a nice meal.
My biggest frustration this summer is having to eat at the mess canteen while working on the ship. The crew meals are planned to be easy, quick and cheap. The result is a succession of very unhealthy options where fresh vegetables have very little – if not zero- space.
That makes me feel unloved!
Trying to make the most of our time together as a family, we spent a few days away. We planned to watch the sunset facing the Mont St Michel, took a ferry to enjoy a day in Jersey, and stopped by Dinan on our way home. Although it was a couple of hours away from where we live, it felt like a real holiday. Precious.
There is one thing at least which makes me happy autumn is here. As everybody in the house is back to school / work, I have time during my week off to go back to my family tree research. Each time I say to myself “that’s it, I think the tree is satisfying as it is, I can stop searching now“, I am attracted to a new branch, receive a new photo, or am contacted by a new cousin!
Wishing you all a lovely autumn.