Sunday, 11 September 2011

21 - To Sebastian - September 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

Did you know that when Lily came to visit us, Uncle Matt came too?   
One morning when he was here, this is what happened:

Uncle Matt had a great big grin.
He asked Jojo for a safety pin.

A little while was all it took
for him to make a fishing hook.

He found a cork and piece of string,
and started to whistle (but he didn't sing).

Then he took some bread to use for bait, 
sat down outside and began to wait.

Guess what he caught? 
Well fancy that,
It was a fish with whiskers, just like a cat!

Give yourself a big hug from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Sunday, 4 September 2011

20 - To Sebastian September 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

This morning just as the sun was coming up, everything was very still.

The swans were watching their reflections in the water, and Jojo and Papa were fast asleep inside Joyeux.

We heard a strange noise though, it was sort of like a great big ROAR in the distance, like an aeroplane or a train or maybe something really ferocious warning us to stay in bed!

We had to find out what it was, so we went over to the big trees and bushes and saw something really big and green.

It looked as though it was breathing, and we thought we could see little bits of fire under the bushes.

We wondered if it was a dragon.

What do you think it was?

It was a hot air balloon, and when we got to the other side of the trees, some people were blowing it up with a special fire machine that was making all the noise, just like a big jet engine.

We watched while it slowly got bigger and bigger.   

When it was really HUGE the people got into the little basket tied to it and waited for it to fly.

We watched as they waved to us and put more fire into the balloon to make it go higher.    

It was fun watching their reflection on the lake too.

When they got high enough, they turned off the fire and everything would have been very quiet except they had lots of friends with them, and they all had balloons too! 

When we looked in the sky, there were nearly thirty balloons flying over the village, past the church steeple and over the hill in the distance.

There were so many I couldn’t fit them all on to this page and they were every colour of the rainbow.  Every one had a little basket hanging underneath it where the people could go for a ride.

How many can you see?

Give yourself a big hug from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Monday, 11 July 2011

19 - To Sebastian - July 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

Yesterday we walked into a village to see if we could buy some bread, but there was no shop there, just some rickety old houses.    

Every house had beautiful colours on their shutters and windows, and as we were looking at them we noticed something strange about their front doors.

Every door had a cloth bag hanging on it.  A long thin one which we thought was just the right size to take one or two or even three loaves of bread. 

Did you remember that a loaf of bread here in France is called a baguette?
Sometime very soon, the baker would arrive to deliver bread to all the houses, so the people don’t have to go out to the shops.

Our friend Al saw a van delivering the bread, and asked the man in the van if he had some spare baguettes for us too.

The man asked us to come to the other side of the road, so we carefully looked out to see if there were any cars coming, then crossed the road.

When we got to the other side of the van, the side opened up without anyone touching it, just like Papa’s noisy door does, and inside the van was like a shop.

There were all sorts of things for sale in it, sausages and fruit and cakes and jam and cheese, and lots of baguettes.

We bought two fresh baguettes and four green bananas to share with our friends Al and Sunny.  

Weren’t we lucky to have found the van that was a shop?

Give yourself a big hug from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Thursday, 30 June 2011

18 - To Sebastian - June 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

Do you remember when you were in the workshop with Papa watching him paint all those big pictures?

One day a truck came to Papa and Jojo’s house to take the paintings to France.

You said to the driver of the truck “Don’t take them to France please, take them to my house.”

But he had to take them to the airport and he put them on an aeroplane which took them to France.

In France, Papa took them to a special kind of shop which sells paintings.  It is called an Art Gallery and there were some lovely pieces of sculpture there too which Papa and Jojo’s friend Dume had made.

One night we had a very big party at the Art Gallery, and we had pizza and cheese to eat, and special red drinks too.

Everyone wore pretty party clothes.

At the party, someone liked the picture Papa had painted of you when you were three.

They bought it from the Gallery, and took it home to their house.   Now it is on a wall in a house in France.

Every day, when the people in that house sit down to have tea, they see a painting of you when you were three.  Isn’t that wonderful?

Give yourself a big hug from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Friday, 17 June 2011

17 - To Sebastian - June 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

Mummy sent us a photo of you watching us when we were on Television.   

You were watching on the computer, but in a country called Germany, we were on Television in everyone’s houses.

We tried to wave to you but we don’t think they showed that bit of the video.

Did you see Jojo buying bread?  She said “Bonjour” to the nice man in the shop.

The bread is the special bread from France called a baguette.  It is very long and thin, even longer than you were when you were three.

It was good fun making the TV show, but there were a lot of people with us.   

There was a nice lady called Barbara, who was a reporter and asked us lots of questions.

There was a man with a camera, and another one with a special black box which recorded all the sounds.

It was very crowded on Joyeux with everybody inside, so sometimes the camera man sat outside and took lots of nice photos of the scenery as we went past.   

Everyone had great fun and Jojo made a quiche from some eggs while we went along.

Sometimes, when the camera man wanted to take photos, everyone except Jojo and Papa had to hide so they couldn’t be seen.   Can you see the sound man hiding at the back of Joyeux?

We had a lovely time for two whole days, and it was so quiet and after the television people went away.

Give yourself a big hug from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Monday, 13 June 2011

16 - To Sebastian - June 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

Today when we were in our boat, we came to a big mountain.

“Oh No!  How will we get round this?” we wondered.

When we got very close to it, we found there was a tunnel.   

So we went very very slowly up to the door and we looked in.

It was very very dark, and very very long.   It was nearly as far to the other end as it is to get to Auntie Abbie’s place.

We could see the mountain at the other end which was so far away that it looked just like a tiny little green door.  There were yellow lights too, and when they reflected in the water it looked as though there were lots of them, but they weren’t very bright, so it looked very dark and scary.

Inside the tunnel was a funny blue tugboat that had a bright light and used a chain to pull it along.     It was very noisy, but it showed us the way to the other end.

It took more than  an hour to get to the other end of the tunnel.  That’s even longer than it takes you to eat your tea.

When we got to the other side we had been in the dark for so long that everything looked really really bright.   We had to blink five times and put our sunglasses on for a little while.

Give yourself a big hug from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Sunday, 8 May 2011

15 To Sebastian - May 2011

Dear Sebastian,

Sometimes when we are going along a river in our boat Joyeux, we come to a waterfall!

 Oh no!

 How will we get up, we ask ourselves. Joyeux can’t climb ladders.

So we go to the ladder and Jojo climbs up. We are in a special room on the river called a lock. French people call a lock and ecluse, can you say that? It sounds a bit like “ee-cloose”. Jojo is very brave and very careful when she is climbing. She holds on to a rope to keep us still, then starts to close a really big gate. Bigger than Daddy’s garage door even.

When the gate to the ecluse is closed, the water starts to fill up the ecluse, and we go for a ride.

UP and UP we go!

Then, when we are at the top, Jojo comes back onto the boat and we wait for the big gate to open.

Perhaps if the duck flies away it will open sooner!

Now we are at the very top, and the gate is open, and the waterfall is behind us.

Off we go to explore France.

We are waving to you.

Give yourself a big hug from us, and don’t forget to blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Sunday, 1 May 2011

14 - To Sebastian - May 2011

Dear Sebastian,  

Did you know it is spring time here in France?  Spring time is when all the flowers come out to play with the butterflies, and make all of the countryside beautiful.

There are all kinds of flowers here, and there is one in every colour you can think of.

Jojo likes to pick them and bring them back to our boat Joyeux.

Sometimes we have so many Papa thinks it is a flower shop.

Inside every flower is a little ball of yellow powder called pollen.  Perhaps Mummy will show you some pollen in a flower in your garden.

There are so many flowers here, and so much pollen, that it all falls out of the sky like dust.

There is so much on Joyeaux that sometimes when we get up it looks yellow not blue.

All the pollen makes Papa sneeze, great big scary noisy sneezes.





But all the honey bees really love the springtime.  They collect as much pollen as they can on their legs, and take it home to feed their children.

I wonder if it makes them happy.

Watching all the flowers and the bees makes US very happy.

Give yourself a big hig from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo

Thursday, 14 April 2011

13 - To Sebastian - April 2011

Dear Sebastian,

You went to our beach house somebody said,

Did mummy sit in the chair like a zed?

Did you find Jojo under her bed?

Was Papa hiding down in his shed?

NO!  They were in France, on their boat  Joyeux, instead!

Did you know that Joyeux means Happy?  So when someone in France says “Joyeux Anniversaire”, they mean “Happy Birthday”.

So for instance, on Tuesday if you were to phone our dear friend Celine, you would call out at the top of your voice:


Give yourself a big hig from us, and blow bubbles on Elliott’s tummy!

Love Papa and Jojo