In the fields

I think one of the things I miss the most about being over here is having my own home/garden to get stuck into. I thrive on seeing the results of my work.

So when the opportunity to help in the fields came up we were there. Admittedly helping with a one year old in tow probably isn’t actually classed as helping, but the kiwi in me knew what would. Pikelets and jam for smoko (ha translate that into Italian)

Needless to say we had a great time

IMG_6603This was half way through, we only stayed for a few rows. (Someone needs to learn how to walk and they won’t find the ground so scratchy.)

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What amazed me is that the big ones are sorted into top grade, the small perfect tasty little gems we pay a fortune for at Christmas go into the rabbit feed crate. Lucky bunnies. Perhaps not, it is to fatten them.

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Check, smoko perched in the shade of the grapes.

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Just the two of us

You think I would be used to spending time by myself, or just with Luca. But there is something to be said about knowing you are alone in a foreign country. I’m not actually alone, Gabby and Matteo the two best neighbours anyone could ask for are just up the road, but they don’t share my bed or my house.

Justin has arrived into America safe and sound and will be there for the next month.  Luca and I dropped him in Nice and then took ourselves off on an adventure in the city. I am still getting used to driving in cities on the wrong side of the road but I felt comfortable, didn’t get lost and no crashes, so win win win.  I managed to find a park and was very pleasantly surprised when the lift from the car park popped out right in the middle of the market I was hoping to find. It was a gorgeous fruit and flower market and the smells were incredible. I also found the most amazing spice stand, it was terribly pretty.

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Ok so this isn’t actually the market, I have a thing about taking really obvious photos in touristy places. I feel that as soon as I get my phone out I should also start shouting ‘IM NOT FROM AROUND HERE’.

Unfortunately I have come to realise that exploring Europe with a small fry in tow is very different to my previous independent wanderings. Gone are the days of getting up early and walking around Paris until I was lost to then get a taxi back to the hotel. Outings these days are far more regimented, it is about food, play and naps, plus who really wants to carry a baby for long periods of time in 34 degrees (it is not a pretty sight).  IMG_6549

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After checking out the market and getting some fruit, we then took a gentle stroll along the promenade but again the heat was the limiting factor here, there was no room for the pushchair to come down with us as Justin had his bike and two gear bags which only just left enough room for the wee man.

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Slightly windswept selfie

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It was then the drive home to our empty house, I always have this crazy thing that as soon as Justin is gone I go into a cleaning frenzy. I’m not sure if it is a distraction technique or actually just that the packing leaves the house in a state. But regardless to say the house is shining, the floors have been mopped twice, bathroom scrubbed to within an inch of its life and all the linen washed. Needless to say I would take a not empty and slightly dirty house any day.

It’s a race baby

I should of learnt by now that the things that you worry about are never the things that eventuate, perhaps they don’t  because you have thought about them, anyway. I was so worried that Luca would still be sick for the weekend, not handle being in the pits for long periods of time, not sleep and be generally grumpy.

Ha, how wrong I was, this little champ took it all in his stride. The first two nights we were sharing a room with him but were pleasantly surprised by an 8am sleep in. First day of racing he slept in the car for 2 hours, through a thunder storm. (No good for Justin doing his run). Luca loved having everyone around and constant attention, he crawled around in the gravel getting himself into all sorts of states, played with tools, attempted to clean the tent with a bucket and brush and just generally had a great time.

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Justin didn’t have the best weekend of racing but it was so good to be there and support him where we could. Check out the link to some pretty cool photos from the racing.  http://m.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/Enduro-World-Series-Samoens-Stages-1-3-Race-Action-Slideshow,9191/Slideshow,0/sspomer,2 (check out slides 17 & 18)
We had the pleasure of catching up with some fellow Leov’s who were over on holiday and Luca loved seeing the two boys. He even waded in a near glacial stream to hang out with them, although he wasn’t so convinced to actually swim with Tom. 
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Luca loved the racing, waiting at the finish line in sweltering heat on his mummy mule and getting to see Dad on the podium, despite finishing 12th for the weekend, Justin still retained the lead for the series.

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Luca has already learnt how to keep his poker face under media scrutiny

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Sweltering mummy mule

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Luca even managed to assist with some interviews, although I am not sure how much assisting he was doing when attempting to eat the microphone.

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Poor Justin then had to do the big drive home, and we rolled in around 2.30am. It has been a massive day of washing, unpacking, repacking and organising as he is out to America for three weeks tomorrow. Unfortunately we will miss him terribly but Luca and I plan to take ourselves out for lunch in Nice as a distraction.

All in the name of racing 

Well I am pleased to report that Luca improved and we are now in Samoens. Luca has inherited his fathers appetite which can be described as ‘feed me always’, it was so off putting to see him hardly picking at food, but we are back on track and two of them will be growling at each other like Tigers to get the last scraps very soon.

The trip here was incredible, it amazes me on such a large continent how the landscape can change so dramatically in such a short time. That doesn’t even go to decsribe the cultural and architectural changes that we noticed on the drive. We were packed up tight and it was a case of timing to fit Luca in.



Luckily the night before we had the pleasure of helping Matteo celebrate his birthday, which was an incredible BBQ in a very magical spot. Even though we were typical kiwis eating early and leaving before most of the guests arrived, Luca had a late night which meant him playing sleep catch up on the car trip. (Perfect)


Luca learning the ropes

The view from the BBQ spot

Back to the trip to France, I was more fussed on getting Luca better than researching where we were going so I was very pleasantly surprised when after climbing up a beautiful valley I looked up to see Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc. I have seen it from afar but never up close. We then lost the view fairly quickly as we ducked into the tunnel, but it was equally as breath taking as we popped out on the other side.

We are now settled into our chalet and on the countdown for racing to start. Luca had his first experience in a chair lift in Les Gets today which he thought was pretty cool.


The brilliant view that greeted me bright and early when Luca woke today. (Admittedly I did take this later when the sun was a little higher)

My poor little brain is struggling through, I keep trying to speak to people in my strangled Italian, to then recognise their confused expression, try to correct myself in French (which is terrible) and then give up to speak English. Which most people speak excellently here. Haha imagine if I was going to America with Justin next week, I can only imagine what I would come out with!!
Not that Justin needs luck for this weekend, it comes down to hard work, skill and sheer determination, but, I do have all my fingers and toes crossed! Go smash that mountain tiger!