Well the year is ticking past much faster than I had planned and all my babies are flying off again to their new nests. Patrick is currently in Holland settling in to his new life being a student again and learning another language. I really hope this works out for him, you never really know how long each child is going to take to settle into adulthood but I have learnt that when they get to 18 all you can do is guide, not impose and just be around to collect up the pieces when necessary.
So I am hoping that Emily when she gets to Bordeaux next week to study English and Portuguese will settle in to her new adventure and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my university years.
Number 3 will be hanging around a wee bit longer although moving up into Collège will be a new experience for her, not to mention learning to live with her parents without any sibling support. Luckily she has lots of friends and lots of activities to keep her mixing with people who know that "The Next Step" is a telly programme and not what you take every morning when you get out of bed.
Gavin is currently tearing his hair out (well whats left of it) in town right now, berating the french obssession with "La Rentrée" and the buy, buy, buy mentality which means there are now 14 aisles of paper and pens and 14cm of garden and insect control so he cannot find any hornet spray to rid the tractor of the nest which is right by the wheel that he needs to fix. I thought of suggesting that he could erase it with tipex... but I'm not sure his mood was up for it.
Well we have been eating well as usual this summer Chez Nous and out as well at various delightful evenings we have had with friends this summer. My sister and my 2 nephews came to visit for a few days which was a lovely surprise, we visited Saint Emilion and bumped into people I know which was weird and great as it meant I was home. And I am sure every time I go there I walk down a street I have never been on which is surprising for such a tiny town. We have also been accrobranching...... well I have watched the kids accrobranching which was amazing fun and I have eaten far too much chocoate and ice cream. Oh dear what a shame.
Soon it is time to break free from the chains of the holidays (!?) and then nothing will stop me getting through rest of the year.
See you all soon
P.S. Who has spotted the musical reference? Could be tricky to be exact.
We are already in August and The Franklins have been busy little bees with people arriving and leaving on a regular basis. We have had 8 people in the house for about 2 and a half weeks with the delightful daughter of some very good friends of ours from Zimbabwe staying. Whom of course we had to entertain by going to the Saint Emillion Jazz Festival, where we met up with other friends and had a good old boogie to many artists of which Electro Deluxe a most excellent jazz/funk/rock band had the whole audience up and dancing (trust me that is no mean feat in Saint Emillion). The other doubly fab thing about Saint Emillion is that the music concert is FREE. Yes so you can have a great night out or 3 for no cost whatsoever unless you want to eat and drink.
Oh yes and the toilets were clean! In fact there is a lovely French woman somewhere who thinks I am crazy because I was laughing so hard as I left the toilet. It was a temporary mystery how it actually flushed. There was what appeared to be a light or movement sensor on the wall which didn't react to me frantically waving my hand over it or repeatedly getting up off the toilet to try and make it work. And then da da.....I opened the door, about to explain that it didn't flush to the next occupant, and the darn thing flushed. and yes I did check the walls for printed instuctions... there were none.
The men were equally confused as they thought they had to partcipate in the queue for the loo phenomenon, and then then some smarty pants walked up and opened the central door to reveal a line of urinals.The sigh of relief was tangible to all those standing in line.
The Spanish students were with us for a couple of weeks and we ate spanish food, which was delicious and laughed A LOT about language learning. What a geat sense of humour the 2 of them had and their presence enabled me to go shopping with Number 3 and a friend and her daughter in Bordeaux for a whole day. Where I discovered a tiny haven in the very centre just off Rue Saint Catharine where there are paying loos, 80c a go, that are delightful clean and attended by a charming woman who keeps them spotless and well supplied. Are you sensing a theme here?
.....And on top of all that we went overseas on holiday....weelll... Ile de Ré.... overnight taking advantage of the Spaniards and Patrick. And we managed to find a lovely beach at Courade sur mer not overcrowded with flat sands and rock pools in the morning and then surfing waves later so all ages were catered for. Oh there was also a clean loo 1 minute up the beach in the car park that was automatic everything and attended by cleaners throughout the day. Bliss.
St Martin de Ré is a beautiful walled port with lots of bijou shopping, a tower to climb with a great view, fancy boats, cafés, and delicious ice cream. We then headed home via a Créperie near La Rochelle to arrive home tired and happy at midnight.
I hope you have all found five minutes in the last month to relax and enjoy yourselves.
See you soon
I am farming sheep and goats on the Dordogne/Gironde border with my husband and our 3 children. We have an on farm butchery and sell our meat direct to the public via the markets and delivery points in our local area