Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brendan

Here's Brendan and his wee brother just before going to his new "school" for the first time. He's in the first class of the 'ecole maternelle' in the local school.

It's about a 4 minute cycle, 7 minute walk or about 15 or 20 if Brendan walks himself, depending on how many things we stop to look at! Here's part of the route to school with the little shop that we sometimes pop into on the way home.
(Edited to add that he doesn't walk to school BY HIMSELF.I just meant walking himself as opposed to riding in the bike trailer or buggy.)
And this sort of shows the maternelle section of the school. All children are entitled to free school from the day they turn two and a half. So Tadhg could start on June 10th next year- way too early :(

I'm sure I'll write more later about my thoughts on school. Totally mixed feelings about the whole thing.

And finally, I have to include this video. (And a description for once this is printed out... it's a clip showing Brendan strumming on his ukelele and singing along to John the Rabbit by Elizabeth Mitchell. He's really into music- how early could he start lessons do you think?)
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video

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sharing with caterpillars

I didn't tell them to pose for this, I promise. I was just walking around the garden with the camera. Aren't they gorgeous?! And I hope Brendan never grows out of that jumper. Actually, I take that back. I hope he does grow. Just not too quickly.

Here we are picking caterpillars off the veggies and checking out the egg we found just lying on the lawn. A neighbour on one side has a bunch of hens of different breeds so it may have come from them- but how it got onto our grass I'll never know. Anyway, a few days before this I was out picking caterpillars off the basil plants on the patio and telling Brendan that they were eating our food when Brendan said "but mama, shouldn't we share with the caterpillars?" So I stopped squashing them and we took them to their "new home" at the end of the garden.

Reading books in the garden. We pulled out a bunch of nature-y themed books but of course Brendan snuck in a couple of fire truck ones.

Tadhg and Spiderman bring in the supper ingredients.

Here's the view over the back fence of a lovely field of weeds. We are without a single tree in the garden so we actually have plans for this small patch of weedy field right outside the fence because it has a wee tree in it. Steve and Brendan are planning a tree house :)

Anyone know what this is? Steve bought a bunch of different, unlabelled seedlings at the flower market and we've forgotten what this is. Maybe cauliflower? Maybe brussels sprouts? We'll see soon. If the caterpillars leave it alone.

And Steve came back from the food market the other day with a pumpkin on the back of his bike.

It may look as though we've settled in to the garden but it's actually the only "problem" with this new house and is still a work in progress. This week sometime the landlord and a gardener are coming to turn over the topsoil, clean it of all the bits of bricks, rusty metal and broken glass, add some better quality top soil and then sow new grass seed. Then we have to stay off it for a couple of weeks. ouch. We're in the garden all the time so that will be interesting. It'll give us a reason to do lots more exploring in the neighbourhood.

First days in Belgium.

OK. So it has been a long, long time since we wrote. I'm missing it and I think I need to get back on top of it :) Blogging seems to be our alternative to photo albums (there are a few unfinished ones lying around in a box somewhere), it helps me remember to take photos to record special moments and days, keeps me motivated to do interesting things with the boys and anyway, some of you guys out there reading keep badgering me to write so this will get you off my back!

Not sure where to start so here are a few photos taken over the last couple of months since we arrived.
We missed our connection in Montreal due to a thunderstorm delay. It meant we got to fly through a spectacularly beautiful sky but more importantly we were able to spend some time with Steve's family before we headed across the Atlantic. Nana and Papa saw us off in Montreal.

We spent a week in a hotel before getting the keys to our new house. Here's Tadhg checking it out. It was a further three days before our container arrived and three more days after that before we could go out the back doors onto the lovely newly laid patio.

An early outside supper. It will be a while before everything finds its place in the house or garden. It's coming along slowly.

We've acquired a caravan! It was for sale by a family living round the corner from us and the price was too good to pass on the chance to try it out. We spent a weekend on the Belgian coast at a weird but interesting seaside resort that obviously had its heyday around 100 years ago and has lost any charm it might have had. We still had a good time though, despite the stormy weather, and the big sandy beach was fun for the boys (all three of them).

For our first and only day trip so far we went to the Grotes de Haan, about an hour south east of here. Fairly unspectacular but it had a couple of cool bits, including one fairly large cavern and some scary evidence of how dirty the air is today, although the guide was speaking in very fast Walloon french so I only caught bits here and there.

And we also went to the UK for a week. Here's the Hubbards' garden all ready for a party and below is the caravan from the outside.


More on our house and garden, our neighbourhood and Brendan starting "school" soon.