Finally, the sun is shining and Geneva is transformed.
I lived here for a couple of years as a child and attended my first-ever school here. My childhood memories are of a city where the sun always shone, where ice-cream was a constant pleasure and of the astounding piles of treats piled high in every boulangerie. Memory is, of course, a highly selective thing.
This year the visit feels extra-special as Firstborn is the same age now as I was all those years ago. It makes me see Geneva through the eyes of a child again, not just being reliant on my slightly rusty memories. The wonderful thing about Geneva is that nothing has changed all that much in the past thirty years; the trams remain the same, the toyshop Jouets Webber (which I once thought was the biggest and most wonderful toy store in the world) has the same facade and the same layout, the Flower Clock, the Jet d'Eau, les Jardins Anglaise, the Migros... all look remarkably similar now to how they did in the 1970's.
Firstborn will remember at least parts of this trip for ever - every other year we have been here she would have been too young to retain much in way of detail, as the Small(er) One is now - and I do wonder what she will remember. Will it be her first proper meal of filets de Perche at our favorite local cafe, Port Saladin in Bellevue, or will it be going to the Nyon pool and sitting under the fountain in the kiddy pool, looking out onto Lake Geneva through a curtain of shimmering water? Running through the mini-water jets and screaming with laughter outside the United Nations? Looking for 'treasure' in the garden? Throwing pebbles into the Lake?
Or will it simply be having ten whole days of luxurious laziness with her mother, father, the Small(er) One plus Grandma and Grandpa. Not having to accept compressed periods of attention squeezed into a few snatched hours between hometime and bedtime or too-short weekends. If only every day could be like it is on holiday. If only responsibility and laundry could be left behind on a permanent basis... what a lovely thought.