Monday, June 25, 2012

A plage for both our houses

Mike, Munson & Lucy

Im sure I’ve said it before here, but photographing Munson and Munsoneers at the same time is very frustrating – one of them always seems to be moving, or their mind has wandered off to other things. I’ve got folders of pictures with Munson and various quantities of children, each of which has a rapid face-dissolving blur centred on one of them. I bet those photographers who specialise in children’s parties or Santa Claus snaps drink themselves to an early retirement.

Anyhoo, it was hot again, Munson was restless and I thought it would be nice to bring lead Munsoneer Lucy along with us to the lake at Lupiac for her premiere splash. I’d spent a few minutes loading the car up with new music for the drive, but this proved to be superfluous as Lucy ticked off all the reasons why she was more like Barbie in Barbie and The Three Musketeers than any girl alive, being  a 1) blonde, 2) farm girl 3) learning to fence and 4) living within driving distance of Lupiac, birthplace of the historical d’Artagnan.

One of the reasons I’d invited Lucy was that she could help give directions to her parents when they brought the Munsoneers in future. To that end I was pointing out the major turns and milestones of the route, but Lucy was very busy enumerating the advantages of a lake over a municipal swimming pool. This reminded me of a letter I’d written to my grandmother at that age when we’d moved to a new town and a surprisingly large house “and then you go through a door to another room, and then you go into another room, and out a door into another room” and so on over the page. Obviously I had been straining for a Borgesian effect that went completely over her head even when she mirthfully shovelled a handful of these epistles into my hands about ten years later. I mean the very short “Dear –––, I’ve got the scabs, love Michael” is the sort of pisstake on Camus that a seven year old would write.

Munson shakes himself dry  Munson shaking dry again

Anyhoo, as Lucy’s recitative wound down we reached the lake and found that it was full to the gills with weekend sunlovers. We got down to the water and Lucy exclaimed “look at all the tadpoles” (which I’m sure is not slang for French children). We were in fact away from the main plage so that Munson could join us in the swim. Unlike the last visit he was very keen to stay in the water and circled us again and again like a big hairy dugong.  As you can see above, Munson likes to shake himself dry while he’s still half-immersed, either as a buoyancy measure or because it just feels good.

Forty minutes of swimming later and mission was largely accomplished with both of my charges quite tired for the return journey. We listened to my music on the way home.


  1. Okay, if you're going to subject my daughter to your music, the live recordings of Steely Dan and Supertramp, she will retaliate. She knows all the lyrics and modern dance moves to Sweden's number one song and recent Eurovision contest winner, "Euphoria." ... and she's not afraid to use it.

    1. Jean it is important that Lucy understands her musical heritage