Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A Taste of France

Boys, buses and profs.

If you asked me to get up at 6.00 am every morning, eat a bowl of cereal with chocolate shrapnel as its main ingredient, smothered in semi-skimmed UHT milk, shower, dress and lug a ridiculously heavy bag down to the bus stop in the dark, I'd probably think you were joking, bonkers or living in France.

Watching my two teenage sons disappear around the corner and knowing that I won't see them again until twelve hours later, doesn't get any easier. The French school system is austere.  Dare I say, outdated.

I have a 'convocation' coming up next week to listen to a presentation on a forthcoming school trip to Paris at which I am under orders not to embarrass my eldest by speaking to any of his friends, their siblings or parents.  Apparently, my French accent is 'Wow!'  or 'Are you serious?'  I will however be required to steal a couple of minutes with his French prof to beg forgiveness for his latest 'commentaire' and, in fact, to raise the rather delicate question of what, exactly, a 'commentaire' is.

I do speak French quite well, although I can easily crumble in the face of teaching professionals (of which I am one), who have various strategies to hoodwink the unsuspecting parent into believing that they a) know who you are b) know who your child is, and c) understand how to do a 'commentaire'.  I  have an advantage with both a) and b) as I speak my own enthusiastic version of French, and have a son who is almost two metres tall, which means that we stand out from the crowd more than most.  c) will be awkward, although I am ever the optimist and hope for at least a snippet of useful information amongst the piffs and paffs and shoulder shrugging.

Zut alors!

I'll let you know what happens.

In the meantime, I have just remembered that today is Wednesday, a half-day at schools in France, so I shall have to get moving in order to prepare a mountainous twelve o'clock lunch for two ravenous boys. 


Life is good.


  1. I like the little 'Life is good' at the end of this Bev! My stepsons were at school in Brittany. They took their education very seriously there too. But when they went back to the UK, they missed it - especially the school dinners...I'll do a review on Amazon for you asap :-)

  2. I think there is a lot to be said for the teaching of 'connaissances'. I just wish the boys didn't have to be exhausted during the week and have to sleep in at the weekend.

    I'd love a review for Angels. Thanks Val.