I had the day off from work today and Jamie is on vacation so we made it a boy’s day out in the springtime sun.

We started off in the morning heading out to Vaulx-en-Velin to catch a movie there. A little ahead of time we played football for a while on a beach soccer pitch out there before settling in for the somewhat amusing Robinson Crusoe animated feature that has just come out. We actually tossed up between that and the new Jungle Book movie but Jamie preferred the animals and the animation and so Robinson Crusoe it was.

After the movie we had some lunch at Tommy’s Diner and then started a hike back into town along the Rhone. All in all I was hoping to get 5km out of Jamie and tire him out a little, as well as enjoy the sunshine as we made our way back into town.


Jamie moved pretty steadily along the path although we stopped often to drink some water, have mock light sabre battles with sticks we found next to the path, take photos with his camera, and play with the flowers on the side of the trail, too. He enjoyed himself, barely stopped talking the whole way, and didn’t complain of the time or the distance.

We ended the hike at the National Cemetery at La Doua. I had checked the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site yesterday and noticed that, of all the cemeteries in Lyon, only this one held the remains of an Australian. Archie Campbell Swan of Scarborough, Western Australia was a Flying Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and was killed on the 8th of May 1944. He rests with around 40 other Commonwealth citizens including a New Zealander, a few Canadians, and some British airmen, too. Jamie was reading the gravestones and noticing the ages of the men – Swan was one of the eldest at 30 years of age, the youngest we saw being 19 – and he also noticed that many were killed on the same day (4th February 1944 seemed a common day and I imagine this was a plane or two that was shot down).

I like exposing Jamie to these sorts of historical markers and I think it is good he understands that people will come from across the world to help his country in a time of need. Hopefully he’ll grow up understanding that he also ha a responsibility to help others when they need a hand, too. That’s the way that things are meant to work in the civilized world, right?

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