A simpler life

Malleville 2013 Isaac bike Malleville sign

In my last post, I reflected on how relaxing a holiday far from the madding crowd can be. A big part of what makes such a break so restful is the simplicity and (lack of) pace of such a lifestyle. It’s too easy to say it’s idyllic, but there’s a lot to be said when the most complex decision you have to make all day is what to buy for lunch, rather than what the optimum combination of tourist spots you can cram into a day’s sightseeing is.

Here is a selection of photos from our trip to provide a flavour of what we got up to in France. The kids, deprived of 400 channels of TV, their dedicated playroom and most of the other accoutrements of middle-class urban living, lapped it all up with enthusiasm. So the challenge now is how we can bring a little bit of this simpler life back into our everyday world. We would all benefit from it, I think.

Food

More of an emphasis on fresh versus processed food. Fruit and veg that isn’t manufactured to identikit tolerances of shape, size and colour, that simply tastes better because it isn’t grown to last for days on end. Bread that you buy freshly baked every morning. A glass or two of wine to accompany dinner. Especially that last one!

On the beach

Base de Loisirs is a natural reserve in the nearby town of Brionne centred around a lake and an artificially created beach. There are lots of play options, from mini-golf to merry-go-rounds and from climbing frames and slides to trampolines. Kids can swim/bathe in safety in large shallow areas in the lake and have fun outside of the water in an environment which is designed to be kept as family-friendly. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon.

Playtime

On the beach, in the garden, in random shopping centres – not everything has to involve a games controller or anything more than a bit of energy and a sense of fun. Kids don’t need much encouragement, really. They’re hard-wired to have fun given half a chance.

Miscellaneous

Left to right, starting with top row. Play-time as a family. Bike rides exploring the village and surrounding area. Looking for frogs at the village pond. Eating a baguette the size of your head. Just chilling in the garden. All holidayed out and ready to go home.