Weekend Tales..

.. of going round and round in circles, and a wonderful movie..

In short, that was what our weekend was all about. I started the weekend rather badly(or should I say, painfully), with a horrid, horrid migraine, which started it’s assault on Friday morning. I went to bed on Saturday hoping that sleep would chase away the migraine – but no such luck! Saturday morning dawned with daughter’s voice ringing in my ears, and the migraine pounding away at my head. I envy all those who get to sleep in on the weekends – I never ever get to do that 😦 Either I wake up – thanks to my own internal alarm, or daughter does the job. And then on, it is a mad rush Saturday.

Last Saturday, I also had an appointment for a facial. Now, I never normally book appointments for relaxing things on a Saturday -it just beats the purpose. This time, I had no option. Husband, when I was in India, had bought me some spa vouchers in Groupon. They were wonderful treatments -but in some far away locations, which husband being husband, had not noticed at that time. So he offered to drive me there. The appointment was at 1, which meant that we needed military precision to get there, after daughter’s swimming lessons.

We somehow managed to reach the place, at 1:06(I did call and let her know that we were running late), and I did not feel too bad because she had called and cancelled my appointment at the last minute twice already. And I was thankful that husband drove me there – because we were not able to find a parking, which meant that he had to go around the little village searching for one. As for the facial – it was totally worth all the hassle.I should go in for such treatments more often! I was hoping for my migraine to disappear miraculously, but that might have been hoping for too much.

So after the facial and massage, all I wanted was to go to sleep – and that almost never happens  – I cannot sleep during the day, unless I am really ill, so husband drove us back home, although he wanted to step out. So we came to a compromise that we would go out for dinner, if my headache went away.

Luckily, headache decided to cooperate, and we planned to meet some friends at a restaurant at the city centre. We wanted to go to another branch of it, but it was booked until 10:00 pm. So we checked out the one in the city centre, and were told to just come down -no bookings needed. Now, just to give a background to our city centre visits – we both don’t like to drive there. Parking is a nightmare. Normally I go to the city centre by bus – because it is just so much easier. Or we take a cab.

So we reach the City centre pretty quick  – reach the restaurant, to find no parking anywhere close by. So we decided to go to the nearest, closed parking lot, which was a 5 minute walk or so. As I said, the city centre is full of one ways, and ‘no left turns’ and ‘no right turns’. Every time we needed to turn left, there would be ‘no left turn’, or if we had to turn right, it would be a ‘no right turn’ road! Just as we thought we would be able to get to the parking we came across a ‘road ahead closed’, and  ‘diverted traffic’ road signs. Following the diverted traffic signs, we ended up outside the city centre, and had to make our way back to the restaurant. And we almost did a full circle, and landed up in a weird alley, which we had never seen, and we were the only car on the road. As we were getting out of that place(following the GPS for direction), the GPS froze. It just stopped functioning. That was all that we needed at that point! The only solution that both of us could think of was ‘reboot’ it. The only problem being, the GPS is integrated with the car, so the only way to reboot would be to park somewhere and shut down the engine and then restart. So off we went in search of a place to park, while I tried to get our locations using my phone.

It was already over 30 minutes that we had been circling the city centre. Our friends who were supposed to meet us, called us then. They had reached the restaurant, only to be told that there was  waiting of a hour! That was the last straw. We decided to get out of this place and go to a restaurant somewhere else. Being Saturday night, almost all the places were full. We finally managed to find a place at a decent restaurant quite in the suburbs. We did not care. all we knew was that we wanted to get out of the city centre and eat something quickly!

Alls well that ends well, they say. We did manage to have a good dinner, fun conversation, and a relaxed time.. The one thing we know for sure now is that neither of us will plan a dinner at the city centre on a weekend, ever again!

Sunday was a relaxed day, the only highlight being, Hugo. We had been planning to watch it for ages, and had not managed to make it to the movie until yesterday. And were we glad that we did! I’m going to do a short review – just because I enjoyed it so so so much 🙂

Hugo Cabret is a 12 yr old boy who lives in a Paris Railway station. He used to live with his father, a clock maker. Hugo and his dad were trying to fix an old automaton that writes. Hugo’s father had found it in the attic of the museum he worked at. One day, Hugo’s dad dies in a fire at the museum, and Hugo finds himself at the mercy of his drunk Uncle Claude, who takes him to the railway station, and teaches him to maintain the clocks at the station. His uncle then disappeared, and he has no hope of him returning. Hugo keeps the clocks running, in the hope that no body would come searching the his Uncle Claude’s apartments as far as the clocks run on time. All the while he keeps trying to fix the automaton in the belief that the automaton will bring a message from the  He lives on stolen foodstuff, evading the cruel station master, who catches orphans and hands them over to the orphanage like his life depended on it. One day he tries to steal a clock work mouse from George Melies’s toy shop and gets caught.

What happens next? You have to watch the rest of the movie to know what happens next. It is a wonderful, touching and poignant story of the young boy, George Melies, and of the power of dreams.. All the characters are beautifully drawn out, and wonderfully portrayed.  We all loved it – even daughter. The picturization was breathtaking! The views of Paris, the whole feel of the movie.. It made us want to visit Paris again. It was one of the best movies I’ve watched in a while. I just read that it is based on a book, and I am now going to get hold of it as well.

All in all, it was a perfect ending to a weekend! So how was yours?

Holiday tales

Last day of term break today and I can’t say that enough. This last one week, has made me understand why so many parents here, dread term break. In schools here, students get a week of holiday after every six weeks of school.

I had heard from parents of school going children how they dreaded it and I had been unable to comprehend why. Now, I understand. Keeping an active child occupied and happy is not such an easy task after all.  We had loads of activities planned for the last week. Playdates, movies to be seen, going on walks. However, fate had other plans when daughter came down with a temperature and an aching ear on Monday morning, leading to a cancellation of a playdate and a vehemently protesting daughter, who claimed ‘I am better already, I want to play with M’, when she was hardly able to stay awake.

Tuesday was better. We had planned to watch ‘The Princess and a Frog’, but I had cancelled all plans due to her illness. Again fate had other plans. By 2 in the afternoon, it was clear to me that the movie would certainly be a better option than being cooped in with a child who is very unhappy about being indoors. The constant rain was no help at all. So off we went, to watch the movie at the very last minute, which was especially disappointing for daughter, for whom, movie meant munching popcorn and sipping orange juice just as much as watching it. The movie ,however, was thankfully, totally worth it. I just have to keep her away from frogs now. Just yesterday, she told me that I could become a frog, and then she could kiss me and I could become a prince! I knew I should have kept her away from that movie!

Wednesday and Thursday went off in a haze with 2 little girls going crazy in the house.  The house looked like a tornado hit it – but I had one happy little girl home at the end of the day 🙂 They played all sorts of pretend play, made pizza out of play dough, painted and had a whale of a time.

The amount of paper that we have used up painting makes me wonder if we have ended up endangering the environment with all the paper used up. We also baked turtles made of baking clay and then she painted it in colours which no self-respecting turtle would want to be seen in. I would have put up pictures, but I did not want to be accused of cruelty and causing mental trauma to turtles by allowing them to be painted in such colours.

At the end of the week, just when I was grateful that school would start tomorrow, it had to go and snow today. Now keeping fingers crossed, please let it snow, no more. I really need school to start tomorrow. Much as I love my little one, I really need some rest after the whirlwind of a week that last week was 🙂