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marsupilami

I have been keeping a diary more or less regularly for the last 26 years. For whom? Why?
Aren’t we all made of the same stuff?
The web page devoted to my father made me realize a short while ago that feelings, no matter how intimate are also universal.
And so, following « blog » fashion and instigated by my new life as a father, this on-line journal is to succeed the previous one.

Keeping up with the rules, I have adopted the 'anachronological' order, illustrating my proposals with photos and hypertext links whenever possible, and I also intend publishing any comments which are sent to me on mentioning the place you want them to appear.

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31st December 2010
At the midnight hour when each television programme vies for stupidity in offering the best collection of jokes of the year, here as a sort of digestive, a short anthology of some of the questions you've been asking us this year...
- how do mosquitoes make little holes with their noses ?
- why does Avatar last for 3 hours ?
- why do hens have wings and yet don't fly ?
- how do dogs make teaspoons with their tongues ?
- how much does a baby whale weigh at birth ?
- how far can you count ?
- Why in a very lot of films boys are in love with girls ?
- Do Chinese people fart as well ?
- How do you make friends ?
- Am I in love with Lola ?
- Where does the wind come from ?

dromadaires
29th December 2010
Since the start of this bloody tinnitus, it's almost as if the white balance of my life has been stuck on "dull". As well as two months of depression, it seems to have taken away a fair amount of both inspiration and eloquence which I used to use to describe our daily existence.
And yet in spite of this futile but bothersome handicap, we still carry on serving ourselves superb slices of life including the last few days spent with the family in the Southern part of Tunisia.
From now on, not only happy to share our adventures you embellish them with your liveliness, your enthusiasm and your moods like no other. While on the subject, once more it's you, my dear, who gives back colour balance to my existence.... When we pack our cases and are about to leave, you frown and say :
- I don't want these holidays to end!
- but you have to go back to school, love, you have to work...
- and why do we always have to work ?

- if we didn't work, we would end up getting bored, you wouldn't know how to read and we wouldn't have any more money .... You need money you know to buy toys, we can't always rely on Father Christmas.
- You must have been able to read in my eyes that I didn't believe a word of what I was bantering on about and you came straight back with :
- And if we had an endless supply of money and never got bored...
I give up trying to witter any more : You know, son, I'd like to be on holiday all my life as well, I don't feel like going back home and going back to work either...
That's it, Pandora's box is open ... I am a bit worried about the next questions but suddenly against all hope, your face lights up :
- but Daddy, it's going to be January!
- er yes, in two days time...
- Well it's brilliant, we'll be eating galettes des Rois!
Gob struck, I watch you go leaping off.
Saved by a galette, I cast off persuasion, which in any case wouldn't have held good for very long against your harsh logic.

acouphènes
30th November 2010
"Nothing is ever acquired by man" wrote a poet. Over the last few months I have had the bitter experience of this...
A few health problems, an unlikely whistling in the ear, and from one day to the next, all is bowled over : the future which seemed so bright suddenly clouds over. All sorts of projects suddenly seem so derisory: In these circumstances, friendship and even love prove to be of no avail when this huge wave crashes. To tell you the truth, only your presence, son, still gives me the strength to carry on while waiting for better days. It's the sort of rock bottom I thought I'd forgotten about since my last pains of love.


25th August 2010 Playmobils
Like a lot of your peer group your fragmented vision of the world leads you naturally to mysticism and magic thoughts.
At your age I used to invoke some superior power who would be able to help me to tidy my room or carry my school bag. As for you, inspired by Toy Story and egged on by me recently you've started giving a secret life to your toys.
To be convinced about this, you decide to trick them : we take a photo of your room before we go out and then we'll compare it to the same photo which we'll take when we get back. It's too great a temptation, I discreetly change the position of two Play Mobil people before leaving the house....
When we get back, we look at both the photos, and to my great astonishment, your surprise is mixed with a sort of "I thought as much".... Since then, you dream of your live toys and consider all your menagerie with new circumspection. The world of childhood is indeed a very strange country to which we others only have limited access...


10th August 2010
What will your memories of your trip to Malaysia be ?

The imposing silhouettes of the Petronas Towers twice as high as the Eiffel Tower ?
The twisted gait of enormous varans crossing the road totally oblivious - at least autochtones  ?
The young Macaque which attacked you on Pangkor beach to steal your chocolate milk ?
Unless all these memories fade away compared to the fantastic spectacle of the ocean depth.
Although I've told you that you are really lucky, that not many children of your age dive in such fish filled waters, naturally you lack reperes and are not too surprised to swim past shoals of dozens of barracuas, clown fish playing at hide and seek in their anemones and forests of brightly coloured coral. You rejoice loudly and point with similar enthusiasm at timid rays and tortoises in their aquatic flight. Idem when we meet a shark of impressive size while perplexed, your Mummy and I look at each other... It's then that you pop your head out of the water and unexpectedly declare "Hey Daddy, where abouts is Normandy ?
"
A few weeks later, you are in ecstasy at the the magnificent countryside of Causse Mejean, hardly a hundred kilometers away from home: "Wow! There are so many beautiful things to see on Earth....". It's really fantastic that you realise this so early on...

Penguins
20th July 2010
Shamelessly, you've just ordered me off the computer!
This had to happen, all the advice I give you all day long : "That's enough of computers, turn the telly off, screens send you loopy...." gets thrown back in my face like a boomerang.
It's true that when it comes to computers, I find myself a bit in the situation, o how paradoxical, of the sort of parents who are hooked on nicotine and exhort their offspring not to smoke.
Until now, I managed to wangle it cleverly with the kind of "get off the computer, I have to work”.... But with time, I get the feeling that my threats are losing effect. You managed to understand quite quickly as well that You Tube, Google News and my Blog is not really work.
As well, to be fair to you, I have to admit that certain on line games that you play, force you to develop genuine strategies and a certain dexterity.
At the end of the day the important thing is that you (we) need to understand that no matter how great the attraction to this omnipotent, real life is elsewhere and that a game of "Mario Kart" should never replace a bike ride...

Patricia
23rd June 2010
For your last day at Nursery school, you take a pretty heart with you with your teacher's name Patricia written inside.
She'll love it you confide on the way to school before you start, with no transition whatsoever to move on to the life of our garden snails.
- You know, son, today is your last day in this school with this teacher and with these friends ?

- Yes, but what about the snails, what will we do if they eat everything we've planted ?

Apparently you don't share my emotion, and when all's said and done, I prefer your light heartedness to my sick nostalgia which this morning makes me see everything through the eye of melancholy: children shouting in the playground, the corridor, the noise of your plastic spoon and cup jingling in your school bag which I hang for the last time on the little hook with your name above it. And finally the hug and big kiss before going into the classroom.
I can't help it : I've tried to tell myself that the future holds magnificent surprises for us, the good times spent emerge from my memory and spoil the fete a bit.
Fortunately your everlasting good mood and smile quickly put me back on the straight and narrow and call to mind the prophetic refrain to a Henri Tachan song, "About yesterday and tomorrow, I don't care, only the present is worthwhile".

Buzz
15th June 2010
During the initiation to the Toy Story world, I had to be near you during all the film. I hope you appreciated, the originality of the scenario compared to stereotyped Disney scenes and got as excited as you should have at Buzz's touching naivety and the budding friendship between our two heroes.
After the film, I asked you quite naturally if you thought that in your room when your back's turned, your toys would also mess around.
- No, I've already looked and pretended to be asleep and none of them moved.
- Ah yes, but if you are in the room, that doesn't count, they watch out like in the film...
- But Daddy, you can't believe it, it's not possible, we've never seen toys moving on their own.
- OK and what about all the people who believe in God, do you think they've already seen him ?

- It's not the same, daddy...
- It is though, my dear, believing that toys are alive, is neither more nor less serious than believing in God.
- I want to do what you do, I don't want to believe in God.
- I'm pleased when you want to do the same things as me, dear, but when you are older, you'll believe in whatever you want, toys that can move, God and Father Christmas.
Nuri - But Father Christmas really does exist...
- Ah...Er... Yes, of course. OK you'll see, all the same it's more fun to believe in toys that can move...

A few days later you lose Nuri, your bear in Marseille airport. With your usual reluctance, you blame this and go to sleep with great difficulty that night. And there I am explaining to you that it's only a soft toy and that you mustn't get attached to materialistic things...
After so many years spent in your infinitely gentle arms, the poor bear had to end its days being blown up by Security. Sad reality. I only hope that he didn't suffer too much...

I'm convinced now, there must be a God for teddy bears : After three weeks at the other end of the planet, you find your bear which had been waiting for you in "lost property". Your emotion when you found it again was very moving ...


28th April 2010
Making the most of our friend Ursula being here, we sometimes go out for an evening at the pictures together. When we got back, she told us about the conversation that she had with you at he supper table:
- Ursula I don't want my daddy to become old!
A table - I can understand that but your daddy's not that old.
- Yes he is! If you look properly at the back of his head he has white hair.
- That doesn't mean anything. I know some people who have white hair when they're 20. And anyway I've got some white hair as well you know. And we all get older gradually. That's life.
- Ursula, I don't want my daddy to die.
- I don't either. I love your daddy as well.
- But you know if he dies I'll go to the cemetery every day and take him a flower.
- That's really nice.
- Maybe my daddy won't go to the cemetery. You know that some people go behind bars like Leo's daddy.
- Ah Is it because of Leo's daddy that you're afraid for your daddy then ?

- No. But even if he is behind a grille I'll take him a flower.
- That's good, my dear, but you know that your daddy is in good health and he is still young. And what about me ?
If I die will you bring me flower ?

- For you Yes. But maybe not every day...
I am quite bowled over by your declarations which touch a very sensitive chord in me. A few days later, you go over it again
- You've got wrinkles round your eyes daddy.
- Er...Have I ?

- You're old, so you're going to die then ?

- But look how we ride bikes, go climbing and snorkeling together. Do you really think we could do all that if I was old ?

- Yes but after Mamie, it'll be your turn to die then.
- I wangle my way out as best I can...
- You know love, I've told you how we are made of small bricks a bit like Lego but much smaller ones. Well when we die, these little bricks don't disappear, they never die!
- And so we never end!?
- Yes that's right. It's a bit like that. And on top of it there's something else which never dies, it's love.
- Phew!
- In fact you know, so that you can always keep traces of this love, I write bits of our story which you can read when you're older.
- Really ?
But what are you writing in your book, right now ?

- I am taking notes for the story...

finlande
10th March 2010
No I have never given up my childhood dreams...I am still attracted as much by nature, discovering new horizons, "Adventure" even if from now on I can't imagine anything that will distance me from you for too long a time.
Since you were born, in fact, I have never been away from you for more than a week-end and yet, now it's a week since I abandoned you and Mummy, giving in to the temptation of a Ski trip in Lapland.
After a heart rendering separation which I tried to make as painless as possible, I have to admit to being very quickly taken up in the frenzy of flights, meetings and dream landscapes which were waiting for us under new skies where, no matter what the circumstances, your pretty face is never very far...
In the plane coming back, the excitement of seeing you in a few hours mixes in with sublime memories of this Finnish escapade, and before the daily grind takes over, with one eye on the map, in solitude I relive these fabulous days...


28th February 2010
A few days ago, a Sussex Road Safety spot was broadcast on the net and had a strange affect on me. This video found an echo in me, over riding the security message, and going far beyond the beauty of the pictures and scenario - no matter how superb they were.
And so the slogan "Embrace Life" confirms the sentiments which this film inspired in me since reflecting a bit more on it, it's really Mummy and you, in more ways than one, who attach me to life and incite me not to take too many risks on cliffs, underwater steep slopes and other escapades in nature.


27th February 2010
You're not the sort, son, to cry at the least setback. Contrary to a lot of your peers, you need more than a bit of a knock to moisten your eyes and in fact, I can't even remember when you last cried. In any case, if your tears are sparse, your sensibility never ceases to surprise me.
And so, this evening while I was listening to "Greatest Hits" of Queen on the car radio, I started simultaneously translating the words of Bohemian Rhapsody:
: Mama, I've killed a man...
Mama, life has just begun for me and now it's all gone ...
You listen very carefully and in the mirror, I see your look getting more and more serious. I carry on.
Mama, didn't want to make you cry...
Mama....? I don't want to die ...
You have a strange look, your pretty face starts to wrinkle. What should I do ?
I carry on.
Sometimes I would like not to be at all... Shocked you stop me suddenly and say "Oh stop translating daddy! I'm going to start crying.”
I stop obviously, embarrassed at having inflicted this trial, even if, in my eyes, this sign of great sensitivity is to your honour. We finish the journey without saying a word. You seem to appreciate the guitar solo. Honestly, you never cease to surprise me...


23rd February 2010
Each day brings another lot of new questions and the ski holidays are no exception to the rule.
-How does snow fall from the sky ?

-How did mountains appear ?

Questions to which sometimes it becomes delicate to reply if we don't want to give you untruths for answers.
There's also sometimes the odd question which is more awkward than others and makes me delay answering.
- Hey Daddy, what's the most important thing to do in life ?


18th February 2010
quad A delightful day spent with you cycling together along the sea shore. Amongst other things you learn to set off all on your own by leaning on the pedal with your right foot and pushing with the left.
Without understanding what it involves, you ask me - having heard it from me often enough - when are we going to go round the world on our bikes ... I am over the moon...You also discover the pleasure of riding through puddles, which adds something extra to the engine.
At 13h00, we stop on the beach to gobble up our pizzas before going off to Luna-Park where you go on the electric cars with excitement that is pleasing to behold. When we get back home, after this well filled day you crash out on the bed at 16h00.
"Venice is not in Italy" Reggiani used to sing... Doubtless, my round the world trip which I've been dreaming of since I was 13 has already begun... and is nothing but happiness...

lecture
7th february 2010
A futile way of seizing passing time...
Witness of your daily life...
an outlet for my love...
These blog pages are at the same time all and sometimes next to nothing it would seem to me, but how can I fail to linger on the small revolutions which you have taken place in your life recently?
More than your amazing progress in swimming, even more important than your progress on two wheels, learning how to read, is bound to change your life profoundly. Beyond reading cereal boxes and jam pots which you decipher and are surprised that words have meaning. This precious sesame of reading will soon open unexpected doors for you...
Already, every morning, rather than wake us up with you at 06h30, discreetly you switch on your bedside light and go through the pages of your books and cartoon albums. Soon Tintin, Asterix, Rahans and other heroes will be yours...
And then many years later, while surfing the web, maybe you'll with embarrassment and emotion mingled together all these lines written by your devoted Daddy...


15th January 2010
Who said you cannot forget bike riding ?

velo :-(
After a few months break during Winter, we take your bike out of the garage again, but just as you get on it, you hesitate and then give up ... A few days later and after much discussion, you accept another try against your better judgment, as long as I don't let go of you for any reason whatsoever. Let's go!...
After 15 meters of hesitant zigzagging, you break decidedly and get off in a state of panic.
I don't insist any longer in spite of the fact that deception is written all over my face : there we are a year earlier. We've got to start all over again...
It would seem that you have forgotten the carefree first few years and with maturity you have started to understand the implications of speed and heights ...
After the visionary spirit of Democrites, did Aristotlian obscurantism not prevail for almost 2 000 years ?

And son just like your story is unfortunately not an uninterrupted progression, even if in these pages, blinded as I am by a father's love, I only keep account of your brilliant progress and with tenacity, courage and intelligence I'm convinced that miracles will happen...

3rd February 2010
In the end it was competing with Lola rather than your dad's stern looks that bring out the homo bicycletus in you. The tyke only had to overtake you on her pretty princess bike and without realising what you were doing you instantly pedalled after her.
Once again my pedagogy failed and with embarrassment I regret getting annoyed earlier on.
But you see son, bikes mean so much to me; my childhood, my ideal of efficiency, my dreams and so I projected my own fantasy on to you.... Fortunately this episode - not a glorious one for me - does not seem to have affected you too much and I'm delighted to hear you asking to go on more bike rides...

Rahan
5th January 2010
One of the key characters during my childhood was Rahan otherwise known as Son of savages and with him I lived by proxy my first adventures in the jungle of a council estate in area 95 of Paris suburbs.
Rahan And so browsing through the comic section of the library in a completely calculating way I guided you towards the “r” shelf. Fortunately the covers were quite enticing and did the job perfectly. A special fight with sword-like teeth, a tyrannosaurus running with the son of Crao, nothing more was needed to guide your choice and before long to my greatest joy we left the library with arms full of three volumes of The Adventures of Rahan ...
Since then, while you discover with great enjoyment the ivory large knife, the claw necklace and the amazing humanism of firehair, for my part I joyfully rediscovered my faithful companion which thirty yeas previously I had left in the shade of a prehistoric cave.
Together with this during our reading sessions, Rahan permanently fighting against the obscurantism, and all sorts of wizards provide me with an unexpected chance to give my anti religion sermon. After a few recitals, you come out with: “If no one believed in gods, we would be much more peaceful !”
Well spotted son, Crao the brave can sleep in peace.
In spite of all this the tyke with fire hair, played tricks on me, like in the story which I didn't know, talking about our hero's childhood, when I faltered at the mention of the father's death, the young Rahan finding himself all alone, delivered to the violence of the world and la fourberie of man!
Fortunately you imagine that my hiccuping mimmicks Crao's agony, and completely absorbed by the power of the drawings, don't take much notice of my faltering reading...
And how could I not mention "Rahan's death" in this chapter of the same name. How can we carry on telling stories of Rahan if he dies ?

You know daddy, when you die it's for all your life! Rahan

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