Under attack

Looking for ammo This is why he failed physics Manu and the family Victor's turn Mother shows how I'm under attack Concentrating like mad It can be done
Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture A sherry warning Ayla: the young lady Same barber as Manu Precision bombing Midsummer night's dream Creating static Page 3

Party Day!

Hand stand

Can't juggle but can do handstands

Collected lots of bread at Hesdin on my way back to Magnicourt and discovered balloons already on the gate. Many of them were going bang as the gate swung back into the hedge. Anything to keep the locals amused.

Whilst Simon was hanging things onto the walls and ceiling, mother sat in the corner surrounded by booze and trying very hard to juggle with bean bags. She is very good with : one.

Time seemed to be passing very quickly and I set too to prepare three quiches and two sets of batter mixes for crêpes and galettes.

With a mountain of food for later we didn't want to be eating too much and had just grabbed a sandwich when Hilary arrived with some of her family who had been staying for a few days. As they left for the Tunnel, Florian arrived and he was soon followed by Manu and the family.

Manu and Rebecca have bought a plot of land just outside Cambrai and they were showing us the plans for their new home. It is going to be constructed of wood and sounds very ecological with a low carbon rating. The hard part is going to be selling off their current town house. Times are not the best for selling I wouldn't think.

I didn't think that the family had met the two girls Ayla and Jasmine but it would appear that they have. Ayla is getting to be very much the young lady as she gets taller.

A wee while later a Twingo pulled into the courtyard to unleash Stéphane and the family. I thought that his wee lads; Victor and Richard would have been a bit quiet on it as they did not know anybody, but as soon as they realised that they could throw things and use the blow pipes it was open season.

It's stuck on

Anton all innocent looking - It's stuck on

Mind you, their dad who was sitting opposite Anton obviously believes in the Gatling gun effect, loading up with half a dozen balls each time.

They had just come from Sunday lunch with Laurence's parents, so enquiries about wanting anything to eat were met with - sorry, can't, but a pot of tea would be good.

As paper balls and bean bags flew around the room, Simon was trying to explain to Florian and Manu how to play one of the games on his i-pod. I was struck by the fact that Florian cannot concentrate on guiding a wee tiny ball round a maze whilst somebody is hitting him over the head with a balloon (I was only doing it in the cause of legitimate scientific research). They just don't get the proper schooling in France !

We showed Richard how to rub the balloons on his head to make them stick to the wall - Anton attached one of the large ones to the ceiling but Richard wasn't fooled : He's using tape.

Anton showed Victor how to juggle with the bean bags but it would seem that his mother is quite adept at such things.

All that was left now was for the invasion of the Brits as the Magnicourt brigade arrived.

Manu had to repeat himself whilst showing off his house plans to a willing audience of onlookers who if truth were to be told probably appreciated the finer points far more than I would.

Folks were starting to get peckish and the most interesting item on the menu for the youngsters seemed to be the crêpes, whether filled or English style with sugar and lemon.

The masked ladies

The masked ladies

I started them but Manu got his cooking hat on and left me to feed myself.

I know that in France the birthday cake usually arrives at three in the morning but with youngsters about and a lot of driving in front of our French friends we opted for late in the evening.

I had asked Debs to prepare a cake to feed the multitude and I am under the impression that she had been up very early to prepare the decoration. I was rather wondering what the subject would be as a monumental grave would not perhaps have been in the best of taste.

But as ever, she came up trumps with a reminder that it was also the 40th anniversary of man's first landing on the moon. One small cup cake for Neil and a huge gâteaux for Simon.

The cake was a monster block of lunar rock complete with a model of the Lunar landing module and Apollo in orbit. A sea of tranquillity reigned for a few seconds whilst I blew the candles out and then raucous singing was the order of the day.

We retired back to the lounge where Stéphane got talking to my father about Spitfires and aeroplanes in general. Next thing we know he had Simon folded into the passenger seat of the Twingo whilst they listened to heavy metal.

Debs and Manu's cutties got dressed up in masks and discovered squeaking blowers and hand games. I am not certain who was teaching whom which song or which movement but it all looked horrendously difficult to memorise. I'll stick to opening beer bottles and typing web pages.

Sadly it was approaching that time when people were thinking about the road in front of them. Laurence eventually managed to prise her husband away from his heavy metal long enough to swap Simon for Victor and Richard, which would be about the same mass - just less hair.

Florian is off to St Petersberg in a week so he will have the next interesting tale to tell.

The cars pulled out and the evening drew to its close but not before I had open the presents.

I am now the proud possessor of giant dominoes which will be good for playing with Guy, a bird feeding stand (anti-cat shotgun an optional extra) and a goodly assortment of alcohol and two limes to go with Manu and Rebecca's bottle of Brazilian fire water.

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See also

Page 1

Plants not flowers !

Introducing the V-1