At the bottom on the left is an alphabetical list of the pages in this web site, to help you navigate if you feel so inclined.
A guide to our family photo album covering 1994-2010, showing the principal themes, is here.
A year by year guide to our family time-line from 1994 through 2007 is here.
A photo journal beginning in 2008 is here.
The most recent pages of the album, copies of posts from my WordPress family blog, http://ianstock.wordpress.com/, are linked here:
In prior years, most of our sports have been soccer, or football as they call it in England. We're still doing a lot of soccer, but 2009 included other sports, involving varying degrees of commitment.
First, golf. Maman has been a proponent of golf for the last couple of years. Coincidentally, she is a big fan of the café at the local neighborhood golf course, only ten minutes from home!
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Next a sport we see very little of, but which Alban indulges in regularly and often, skateboarding.
It is a sport which unites him with the community of his peers, but does not seem to have a formal organization or spectators outside of the skaters' peers. Here is a shot of Alban in a skate park taken by one of his friends. We rarely hear of demonstrations or competition. At least, we rarely see him at play.
The photo on the left was taken by one of his friends, and you can't even see the board!
So we remedy that by including the above shot of an old skateboard that Alban adapted for use on the trampoline in our yard. The sneakers are taped to the board by reams of duct tape. He would jump off the wall down onto the trampoline "wearing" that board! Perhaps coincidentally, we needed to change the jumping mat this year, after ten years of faithful service.
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Charles has taken up track and field at junior high, with a short season of practices and meets with other local schools during the spring.
At one time or another Charlie ran the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 4 X 100 meters and 4 X 400 meters, and high jumped and threw the discus. Not all at every meet!
His 4 X 400 relay team won at least one of the meets, and we were there to capture the moment after they were awarded their medals. From left to right, Charlie, Alec, David and Dylan.
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But in 2009, as in prior years, most of our sports energy was devoted to soccer. Alex and Charlie played in teams almost all year long, Nick played here and there in pick-up games, and the parents watched and watched (Alex and Charlie: we never know when Nick is going to play).
Several of us also attended occasional professional soccer games, normally the MSL's San Jose Earthquakes home games, as a diversion. I jest! But in August we saw something very special. Spain's FC Barcelona, the team that won last year's EUFA Champion's League, as well as the Spanish Cup, with the Spanish league title thrown in for good measure, played Mexico's in Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
What a show they put on! Think the Harlem Globetrotters, but in soccer. Barcelona features a couple of the best players in the world, and a whole team that passes the ball without apparent effort, often without appearing to look or reflect, making the pitch a kind of human pinball table and making themselves fabulous and intricate scoring chances. Watching this was a reminder of why they call football the "beautiful game." Even Marie-Hélène borrowed Alex's trumpet and joined in!
We don't seem to have a lot of pictures of the boys playing from this year. It was not an easy year, for the parents as much as the boys.
The one on the left, of Charlie playing indoor soccer at Indoor Soccer Central in Watsonville, was taken by Carl Galewski, another parent on that team. Great shot, Carl!
Great style Charlie! Check out that balance, arms outstretched like wings keeping himself steady while he prepares to shoot or cross.
Below is one of Alex also showing fine form, at full stretch ahead of the boy on the other team pursuing a ball which is just out of the frame.
The occasion was San Diego's Surf Cup, a high level tournament featuring some of the best teams from the Western States. Alex's team had earned the right to participate because they had won the Norcal State Cup a few months previously.
Sixteen players and their parents duly trooped down to San Diego for a three-day weekend, a weekend that was our longest weekend of the summer: we need to work on that!
It was a great weekend. The boys did as well as could be expected, coming from a small county like Santa Cruz and playing teams taking players from all over the Los Angeles area and Dallas area: one win, one loss and one tie. They missed advancing to the quarter finals on goal difference only.
The loss was to the LA team which went on to win this tournament and is the number one ranked team at this age in the US. How do those boys play so well so young?! Truly amazing. But even though they lost, our boys never let that amazing team run over them. The final score was 3-1. No shame.
The motel we all stayed in had a great swimming pool, and after the third game almost the entire team spent a couple of hours relaxing and winding down in the pool. Charlie is crouching behind the boys with his thumbs up in this photo, which includes other siblings, and the only person in the photo with pasty white English skin is also in this family!
Listing of Pages in the Site
. . . with Alban