Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quand il n’y en a plus, il y en a encore... (When there’s no more, there’s actually still some more...)

Almost four months after our return we realized we still had not had developed the film of the underwater camera we had in Bora Bora. So here we go! Nothing better to help deal with the rainy and cold weather we have had here for days than to contemplate (and remember) these shades of blue and turquoise from our “summer in winter” time! At least we had our summer only in February, so that’s less long ago than if it had been August ;-)

We took some pictures during our excursion with Damien around the island, when we fed all these yellow/black/white fish and the ones that look like they’re in jail cause of the black and white stripes. They were so many! If you come to Aarhus, we can actually take you to see some here: there are specimen among the tropical fish in the large fish tank at the mall near the university... We also took pictures of some cool corals: see the one shaped as an arch, and some deep blue/purple ones.

We also had the camera with us when we went on our little picnic adventure on this far away motu (look at peaceful C next to our poorly balanced boat...). Unfortunately all our shots aimed at capturing sharks ended up simply looking like some turquoise void (which maybe also explains why Q hadn’t been so much in hurry to have these shots developed). So sorry guys! and we apologize for not being able to display some sharp white teeth here... Oh well, they are alive in our memories, and this is what is most important! Next time maybe C should take the pictures while Q stays in the boat, pictures might turn out better...

Incidentally, along with all the stuff that we rediscovered while unpacking our boxes here in our new place, we came across an even more ancient souvenir, a picture from times long before we would have blogs, underwater cameras, digital photos, etc... Ah damn, we were so young back then! Feels just like yesterday... but we thought it'd still fit with our collection here, so we hope you'll enjoy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

First day of work and first vacation day in the same week...

On Monday May 17th, Q started work as a Science Teaching and Learning Fellow for the Department of Molecular Biology. It’s the end of the sabbatical, but Q is excited about the perspectives of the new work. And he loves the office that he has just to himself, on the second floor, “among the bosses” like a colleague told him. Part of his dream was to have his own office some day, so here we go...

The following Monday was a holiday (Pentecost/Whit), both here in Denmark and in France. So we had planned to take this opportunity to go to visit Mila, our new niece, who was born in Montpellier, France, on May 2nd, 2010. We flew there on Friday and flew back on Monday, each time via Copenhagen.

Mila is the daughter of Anysia (Q’s sister) and Mathieu, her boyfriend. She is absolutely adorable, such a cute baby! And with already such a good temperament: she started sleeping almost full nights while we were there, from about 10pm to 5am. Not bad for a three-week old baby! Q’s other sister (Sigo) was there as well, and we were all mesmerized by the little rosy wonder. Not clear “who she looks like” yet, but she definitely has Q’s hairstyle ;-)

Montpellier is in South of France, not far from the sea, and it was thus much warmer than where we came from. We had traveled over 1,200 miles plain South to get there, yet noticed how the Alps we saw from the plane were still covered in snow. People in Montpellier told us that we had been lucky, because the weekend we were there was the first nice one. So we enjoyed this weekend also as a little break from the colder weather. Q even jumped into the sea with Sigo, although it was still at about 64 F, which is cold for the Mediterranean. The beach was however surprisingly packed with people everywhere, as if we had been in July or August. They were probably eager to embrace the summer sun after the cold spring weather!

Montpellier is a city rich with history. An aqueduct from the 17th century still runs through town, close to where we were staying. We wandered through the narrow streets of the old town, dating back to about the same period, made of these white/yellow stones and decorated with light grey/blue shutters. The statue of the guy on the horse represents Louis the 14th, who was king at that time. On Sunday we pick-nicked in the nearby medieval town of Aigues Mortes, surrounded by a ‘mur d’enceinte’, a wall with towers like Camelot! The town served as a major gathering place for knights on their way to Jerusalem at the time of the Crusades in the mid-13th century.

Cafés and restaurants with terrasse abound everywhere, and we did visit a few of these... Sometimes three or four in a row, and Mila would often be with us, quietly sleeping while hanging in a mini-hamac against one of her parents’ chest. On Friday, we finished the evening at ‘La Cigale’, the closest café to Anysia, Mathieu and Mila’s home, where they typically hang out with their friends. That night was featuring a female singer and an accordeon player, both of which were quite good. The repertoire was classical French chansons, so we had an awesome experience of the French ‘joie de vivre’!

This was a fine weekend with the expanding family! We also enjoyed the break under the sun of South of France, the first of three this summer if all goes according to plan (i.e., volcanos don’t throw ashes at us!).