Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday season No.3 in the sun!

So we've had our third Christmas on Reunion and are just about to launch into a new year.

All went well for Christmas, there was good food, well received presents for the kids, extra cuddles and super excitement! 

As is the French tradition we had our Christmas meal on Christmas Eve and as is our tradition it was a lot lighter that the Usual Christmas feast. Blinis with fois gras, tamara, and Roqufort cheese plus samosas for starters followed by smoked salmon and pasta (the kids absolute favorite) as our main course topped off by a buche de Noel (Yule log).

Aurelie and the kids have headed off to Lyon for the next month so I'll be celebrating the New Year this evening on my lonesome (though I will be Skyping the clan in Lyon around midnight Reunion Time!)!

So here's wishing our friends, family and the world in general all the very best for 2014!

Starter course (Note that it's bright daytime outside)

Golden Boy!

Between course dancing to Christmas music after our starter course (Note that its pitch black outside already, night falls quickly here)

Dancing with Ela

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Bananas from the garden, ripening in the kitchen

Garden Bounty

I'm a big believer in growing at least some of one's own food. We are lucky enough that the place we are living has a number of mature fruit trees and over the last couple of years we have planted various other plants around the garden.  Last week I took a look a wander through the garden and counted up the number of different edible types of plants in our garden and I came up with twenty!

Our garden is all fairly haphazard and experimental but one of the things I plan to do in the next few years is to plant an edible forest garden and the quest is on to find a suitable plot of land to do it, so we'll see how that goes over the next few months.

  • Coconut
  • Lemon
  • Vaoca
  • Blackberry
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Passion fruit
  • Papaya
  • Litchis
  • Choux
  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Cour de Beouf (Custard Apple)
  • Cherry tomato
  • Citronelle
  • Tomato
  • Pepper
  • Strawberry
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
At the moment we have large amounts of litchis, passion fruit and bananas ripening so we are going to be sorted for fruit for the next few months!






A very sad and savaged broccoli

Passion Fruit






Cour de Beouf

Cherry tomatoes



Rosemary and Mint!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

NOT The Reunion Island Cardinal but rather the Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis)

Reunion doesn't have too many mammal and reptile species but it does have lots of birds.  For some reason I've been noticing the sound of birdsong more over the last few weeks, it may be the time of year or just that I'm paying more attention!  One of the more colorful birds that we see a lot of is (I think) the Reunion Island cardinal and I managed to get a couple of snaps of it on my recent walks (the first on my phone, which explains the quality).

A Reunion Island Cardinal  Red Fody and a daytime moon

Reunion Island Cardinal Red Fody

Friday, November 8, 2013

A handsome guest!

Had to remove another uninvited guest from the living room, if it was up to me she (or he) could stay and reduce the beastie population in the house but that wouldn't be too popular with Aurelie!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Halloween pt 2 - Trick or Treating Island Style

As I mentioned in my previous post Halloween is pretty new here so not everyone knows about it or cares about it.  A good friend of ours (Isabelle) organised trick or treating near us for the day after Halloween. She contacted everyone on the road and found out who was interested and who was not and let them know when it was going to happen.  

It's different to Ireland, at least in this case all of the local kids gathered into a hyperexcited mob and all headed off in a group chanting "On veut des bonbons (we want sweets)!" it's like a group of little thugs trick or treating with menaces if you ask me!

Still everyone had a good time and there was plenty of loot to go around!

Cutie vampire, witch and devil

Collecting loot

Jelly spider!

The trick or treat crew!

Halloween pt 1

For Halloween night we had a little house party for the kids and some of their friends (and parents of course).  We did the same last year and it was lots of fun so this year we put a bit more thought into it and prepared some traditional Irish Halloween games for after a little trick or treating.  

Halloween is a relatively new idea here in Reunion, it seems the idea has come from France which imported it from the US.  It's interesting to see such an Irish tradition creep around the world to this little island on the back of US cultural influence!  So since Halloween is such a novel idea here only a minority of houses stock up on treats so you have to know who to go to.  As we are in a quiet cul de sac the kids visited just three houses (one of which Aurelie sneakily supplied with sweets while the kids were distracted) before coming back to the house to consume some of their goodies and play some games until midnight!

A vampire and Draco Malfoy

Vampire with attitude

The boyz!

Traditional Irish Halloween games

Matthieu giving it a try

Bobbing for apples

One tired vampire!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fun in the trees

Last weekend we headed off to Makes (a village in the "hauts") with some friends to spend a morning at Makes Adventure Land.  We had to be there at 9.30 am so that meant leaving at 8am, so much for a weekend lie in!

The adventure land involved traversing obstacles up in the trees (all the time attached to a safety line of course!) including zip lines, moving platform etc.  There were two green courses for kids over five years old but less than 1.4 meters tall (this necessitated teaching Ela to lie about her age as she won't be five for a few months yet, we are bad parents!), a red course (easy enough but for those over 1.4 meters tall) and a blue course (the challenging course).  We discovered later that there was also a black course which seems to be only for guided groups!

We started out on the green courses with the kids, there was much excitement and at times a bit of fear!  Soon though they got the hang of it though and gained confidence pretty quick.  Sam soon headed off ahead by himself and watching Ela realise that there was nothing to fear after I encouraged her to step off a platform and let the safety harness hold her was cool, after that there was no stopping her!

I stayed with the kids to do another run through of the two green courses (and another after!) while Aurelie headed off to do the red course.  All in all a great morning out even with bumps, scrapes and occasional rope burn!  It's one that we'll be repeating, by popular demand (plus Aurelie and I have decided we'll be heading back sans kids to explore the red and blue courses).

Getting kitted up

The Bradley-Trombetta clan

Happy Sam

Monkey girl!

Aurelie on the zip line

Sam on a wobbly platform...

...and jumping to the next!

Ela making her way over the posts...

...and on more wobbly steps

More zip lining!

Aurelie making the platform, just about.

Heading home!