Sunshine…

16 March 2012

makes me so happy. I’m elated to be shedding all these layers that I have been wearing over the past awfully cold months. Aren’t we all extremely lucky to be blessed with marvellous spring weather all over Europe? I got the shades out (the BIG ones), gave my winter coat to the cleaner’s and put my boots in a remote corner of our little untidy boxroom where everything goes that has no proper place in our flat. It’s hard to close the door of that room, it’s a cornucopia of surprises and sometimes it hails stuff from above… just the other day I got hit over the head by a deckchair. (Maybe wearing a helmet when entering the room would be an appropriate safety measure to stop things ruffling up my habitually immaculate hairdo…)

Anyway, I was not going to wax lyrical about this room. In fact I shouldn’t, this room would count as a disgrace for every

  • house-proud, prim, clean and tidy person,
  • remotely design-conscious person,
  • health and safety executives in Germany, the Uk and Sweden. (I’m not sure about France  🙂 ),
  • my mother,
  • my sister, and
  • my brother too.

So it does not shed a favourable light on our household. Then, maybe it does. At least there is only one room like that in our apartment whereas I have heard of people who clutter up the whole of their living space in such a way.

But what’s more important than this storage-blabber is no doubt the sunshine. It’s incredible how a bit of warmth and light can change the outlook on life. Suddenly I try to get out as much as possible, sunbathe on the river and sit in cafés to do my work. The wonderful thing is that lots of other people feel the same and so the Spring vibe in town is just invigorating.

We’re all sunshine-happy despite the overflowing rubbish bins all over Lyon: The French dustmen are on strike at the moment and I am really relieved it’s not August yet… I hope they get back to work next week. Otherwise our collective Spring happiness will eventually be spoilt by the smell of rotten tomatoes etc…. but back to more positive stuff.

Coinciding with the onset of the lovely weather, it was Lucy’s birthday last week. We celebrated this in perfect pre- teenage style, under exclusion of daylight and fresh air, but supported by a heavy beat noise (music?). Yes, we went laser tagging with her bunch of wild friends in a dark, graffitied labyrinth somewhere in Lyon. It sounds great, doesn’t it? And it was!!! It was my first time shooting with laser guns, hiding in corners and trying to collect as many points as possible. At first I found it a bit weird, it felt like I was in one of those computer games that Linus at times gets into, but once you get over the ’40+adult-with-no-relevant-gaming-experience-alienation’, it is a lot of fun.

Unfortunately, I can’t brag that I collected zillions of points and came out with a top ranking.  I was, let me put it this way, amongst those who could do with a little bit of extra tuition, but who are still in the league of those where not all hope is lost. You get the message, right? — I have to go again to practise. I have already talked Linus into celebrating his birthday with a laser tagging party. (This was not very difficult…).   This is my masterplan: Next time I go I will keep a closer eye on any teenage boys playing, they are so good at this. It’s probably those years spent on the computer playing first person shooter games. These guys aim and put your lights out (literally, you’re wearing a silly vest with flashing lights and if you’re hit, your lights are off for six or so seconds) with a single shot. While the accompanying dads took this game quite seriously, (it really brought out their inner beast — I won’t go into more detail),  they were at least easier prey than their well trained offspring…

By the way, Rolf enjoyed it loads too… and not surprisingly, he was good at it, despite his lack of training with personal shooter games. I think his usual analytical approach to life proved successful even for laser tagging.

Of course, I am sure there are people out there making tutting noises about the shallow pleasure seeking behaviour we foster in our children. I am aware that you could potentially say all sorts of really negative things about laser tagging, for example that it trivializes shooting people, that it does not foster social skills, that you could have at least as much fun at a birthday party with balloons, traditional games and stuff in the park, etc., etc.,

BUT…  We all loved it! I think it was because the game produces the same suspense we had when we were playing hide and seek in the dark as children, only with the additional bonus that you collect individual as well as team points by tagging the members of the rival groups. The children were thrilled after the party and very happy, and some of them told Lucy the next day that they had the Best Time Ever. So, I guess I  can safely neglect any moral doubts I was or might be harbouring. We’ll go again into the dark labyrinth. But not until  September, because  until then, I will enjoy the bright sunshine and the long hours of daylight. Have a great weekend!

 

 

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