Monday 31 October, 2005


Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 9:54 pm

I’ve been very surprised to see Chocolatiers window’s full of Halloween figurines in chocolate and pate de amande. I’m surprised as I thought it was an American tradition and we know how the French feel about the Americans!?! A little informal research informed me that Halloween has only very recently been adopted by the French, influenced by marketing, but they seem to be having a good bash at embracing it. Shops and pubs are Halloween themed and the news featured school children all dressed in delightful ghost, ghoul and skeleton costumes. Our neighbours downstairs informed the apartment block by way of the communal notice board that they are having a Halloween party, no invitation mind you.

I’m a bit nervous about all this Halloween activity as I’m scared we may actually be tricked or treated……what have we got to give the little tadpoles……nothing!! We ate the ghost in 5 seconds, he followed Jim home from Lille’s oldest(1700’s) and most superior Chocolatier Meert. And even though we came home with a huge booty from London I don’t imagine even French children hold much desire for brown rice, oatcakes, twinings tea and saffron and smoked paprika from the Spanish shop. Though if desperate we may be forced to hand over our Honey and Nut Mini Weet-bixs! We’d rather just tell them we’re English, they already hate them.

Thursday 27 October, 2005

Happy Birthday Claire!

Filed under: Jim's Entries — jim @ 3:06 pm

Off to London

Filed under: Jim's Entries — claire @ 8:59 am

We head to London today, only 1hour 40min from Lille on the Eurostar, for a 4day stay with Sofia and Joey. Lots of good fun stuff planned, we’ll be back on Monday with photos.

The above photo was taken on our last trip there earlier in the year.

Wednesday 26 October, 2005

Jim’s Name Day

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 8:16 am

In Orthodox Christian tradition children are named after a Saint. During the year on a particular date each Saint is celebrated by the Church. That date is also known as the childs Name Day and is, these days, celebrated in the home in much the same way as a birthday. Jim’s “proper” name is Dimitrios and today is his Name Day.

Chronia Polla Dimitrios xxxx

The church encourages the contemplation, of the Saints life you were named after and to emulate their Christian qualities.

St Dimitrios was the son of a military commander of Thessalonica in the early 14th century.

The only son, he was most carefully cherished and educated. When his father died the Emperor ordered Dimitrios to take his fathers place. The Emperor later imprisoned and killed Dimitrios for preaching Christianity and defying the Emperors orders to have Christians killed.

It is said Dimitrios has appeared many times and saved the city in times of trouble. St Dimitrios is regarded as the defender and protector of Thessalonica. Jim has many family in Thessalonica and it’s region, as this is where his parents originate from.

Happy Name Day to all Dimitrios’s

Monday 24 October, 2005

Bon Weekend

Filed under: Claire's Entries — claire @ 11:59 am

Saturday morning was abit overcast and drizzly so we had a lesiurely breakfast and watched our wedding video….as you do. We thoroughly enjoyed it, bringing back lots of wonderful memories, I even managed to watch my speech with out cringing (though I did feel empathy for that tearful girl). I could watch the church service over and over again, though it amazes me to see me being so still on the outside when my memory is of all these wonderful emotions dancing joyously inside me, I do not know how they didn’t spill over. A big thank you to cousin Moreno for doing such a great job with the video!!

When the sun came out we put the mountain bikes in the car and drove to Belgium heading for a large forest just south of Brussels. Being Autumn the trees were glorious in colour and the air was so clean and crisp, though it wasnt at all cold. Then from out of nowhere the rain came and came and came, mon dieu and we didnt think it was ever going to stop. The above photo was taken after we had stopped for shelter under a huge Elm tree, and it seemed to lessen for a moment. That photo is so misleading 30sec after that photo was taken the skys opened up and it felt like monsoon weather, we were drowned and as well the tracks are used by horses so it was tough going through the bog. To make matters worse or should I say amusing, we had decided earlier on in the day to purposely get ourselves lost!?! I should never of given Jim Phil Keoghan’s, the kiwi adventurers book on getting the most out of every activity. I have to say we laughed and had a smile on our face the whole time as we tried to find our way back to car, not once passing another sole I might add. The French say the Belgiums are crazy, just maybe not as crazy as aussies.

On the way home we stopped at a frites van, I can never resist Belgium frites with their fab mayo and they seemed to taste even better when you are wet and exhausted.

Sunday was far more civilised, after spending the morning at the local market we headed to a Croix, a suburb just out of Lille to have lunch with one of Jim’s work collegues and his family. Steve, who is orginally from Liverpool, his wife Babeth and their children Sophie and Yan, oh and their gorgeous Cocker Spaniel Nella. They made us feel very welcome in their lovely home and I couldn’t believe when we made tracks it was as late as it was. A perfect way to spend a Sunday, good company, wonderful food and kir royal.

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