A Travellerspoint blog

April (fish)fool

It's snowing...


He he that was the one I ALWAYS did when I was petite.

But yeah Happy April Fool's Day! In France it's "Poisson d'Avril"...basically they all (supposedly sneakily...although kids don't really do subtle) stick fishes on people's backs and say "Possion d'avril" when they notice! 2 of my 3 classes today were strewn with bits of paper being cut and coloured in fish shapes and I got "caught" twice...the first was pretty good, L was like "maitresse, come here and check this please?" and just got me...S on the other hand just ran into the room like the whirlwind she is and slapped it on my back in fits of giggles! I pretended I didn't understand and got "fake" cross so they explained it to me. The whole thing comes from when they changed the date of the New Year from 1st April to 1st January and some "fools" didn't realise, apparently. And I think the fish thing is just to do with the zodiac. Anyway yeah was fun.

On other news, a teacher actually hit a child with a ruler today.

And I had a couple of fun lessons mythbusting what they know about English food...I think my favourtie question was "is it true that English people stop for tea breaks 10 times a day?". I was tempted to say like "yeah...but that means we don't feel they need to have a "strike-break" once a month". Ah, the cynicism...

Posted by LHsugarsugar 01:33 Archived in France Comments (0)

Mixed sentiments

OK, first things first, le week-end.

Saturday was a busy day almost finishing my essay (which has been a beast of work this week but pretty pleased, it's getting there), and making flashcards for "food" and "my classroom". Rachel came in the eve, made yummy tomato and honeyed chicken for dinner and we watched some TV. Sunday was really fun, bit more work and a little wander in the morning (hitting a random Car Show here in Perigueux!) then the afternoon was spent enjoying two games of bowling with the guys (was a REALLY yucky wet and windy day so that was ideal) and then an AMAZING meal at the "pataterie"....oh my god, SUCH a big meal, feel like all that swimming went right down the drain but sooooo good: a MASSIVE baked potato, confit de canard, salad with lardons and gesiers and this yum yum yummmy creamy, mushroom and Cognac sauce....mmmmmmmmm....and, gotta love French "menus", it came with dessert too!

Been thinking about how I feel about leaving France and stuff...well Katie got my going really, she was saying how she was experiencing like a "resentment" stage of culture shock where she was getting angry about people pointing out the differences between us and them, for example the sarky "bon appetit" if they DARE catch you eating whilst walking/not at a mealtime. I wasn't quite sure I'd experienced this and then today I was sat in the staffroom and got (internally) really angry with the teachers.... ike I have REALLY tried my best with them, weighing up every kiss and bonjour, and constantly trying to make conversation, but they just make no damned effort at all. Muriel has been amazing, and a couple of other teachers OK, but otherwise it's really really difficult. And the weird thing is that all of us primary assistants have had the same thing and like, we're the foreigners here, can't you, for one, just take an interest in asking us what we did at the weekend/talking about our lesson or something..... And yeah like today I asked this young teacher "Did you have a nice weekend?". Her response was "Bah oui". Literally that was it. No expansion. No question back in reply. And I don't know why it's like this. Add to this the one teacher who like screws her face up and looks like I'm talkig flipping Martian everytime I try to talk to her and the fact that there's a lot of "politics" between the teachers anyway (and therefore impenetrable "cliques" of whispering some breaktimes), and you see pehaps why I wanted to go and run around in the playground with the children at lunchtime today!

I think maybe the loss of an hour's sleep and the "manque" of my boyfriend in France might be making me a bit cranky today too.

Oh my god I'm totally picking up words from Les Americaines...cranky...I never say cranky...

And then I was also thinking about going home. And can't help thinking, despite France's problems, that I'm gonna really miss being here this summer. Got a feeling Exeter is just not going to be the same...plus there's a small chance Joe is going to be in Tazmania which really limits the attractions further! ;-) It's just gonna be working in the shop, learning to drive and panicking about the lack of Uni reading I've done and, to be honest, I'd rather stay here drinking coffees in the sunny squares. But just gotta focus on the good stuff I guess...Tescos, Boots, and the people I love!

Have started on the list of things to be done before I leave:
France Telecom
Rent (+ deposit and extra CAF payment owed to me)
Bank account

Err....what else? God, I'm sure there's other stuff...

If there's anything which will cheer me up it's gotta be this:
:-) :-) :-)

Posted by LHsugarsugar 06:36 Archived in France Comments (0)

he he he...


So told my teacher that I'm going to be observed in his class' lesson next week so at the end of (what was actually a reallly good) class today he gave them this little speech about how next Friday there would be someone "exterior" to the school coming to observe their behaivour. LOVE IT. Especially as it was him who said it and not me...excellent stuff.

The weather smells.

Posted by LHsugarsugar 05:33 Archived in France Comments (0)


Ok so I was just looking at these pics http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7316345.stm of the new Mme Sarkozy and it struck me how they are sooo representative of an aspect of France which I've noticed since day one but don't think I've commented on: the grey/black monotony of women's fashion. It's terrible! From like aged 14 they're all dressed in their black and grey, and I don't really understand because often the shops are full of cute little coloured skirts/blouses etc but nope, it's all about the monochrome AND they don't 'do' skirts. Chic? Maybe. Boring? Yes.

Posted by LHsugarsugar 15:05 Archived in France Comments (0)

Mise a jour

Just a quickie, has been a busy week, but in a pretty good way. Ah I do kinda like that feeling when everything is a little bit rushed because you have the next thing to do. I've enjoyed not having it much this year, but there's something cool about it.

So yeah am on a bit of a regime to try and get a bit more toned up in the next couple of week...cutting down on the whole snacking situation/having smaller meals etc and lots of swimming. Tuesday/Wednesday I swam loadssssss of lengths (well by my standards) and managed to get almost 3000 words done for my essay (in French) about the Union European. Was a bit of a shock as I'd written 1200 of what I expected to be a 1500/2000 word essay and then found out it's actually meant to be 2000! But yeah ca va ca va.

Teaching ok. Have been doing some evaluations and stuff which are always kinda fun...oh dear I really am kinda getting a mean side. Nah not really...well I dunno. I really am still not sure if I'm too strict/too nice or what! ramble ramble ramble...

Have bagged myself a private pupil. One of the dinner ladies at my school was looking for someone to tutor her "very bright" 15 year old daughter in English for an hour a week. So yeah first lesson next Wednesday afternoon. Will be pretty interesting I think. And, you know, 15eur an hour can't be sniffed at.

Have had that I'm finally going to have the observation of one of my lessons which was meant to happen before Christmas. Looks like it's going to be one of my best classes, CM2, 8.30am next Friday. Kinda scary but will be another good experience to have had and we shall see how it goes.

As you've no doubt heard, has been splashed all over the French and British news for the last two days, Sarkozy has just been on a big official, two-day state visit to London. He was met by Charlie and Cam, had dinner with Lizzy who was very chummychummy in her speech and set the worlds to right with PM Brown. Carla curtsied, Nicolas "gave a slight incline of his head", and they all got jolly excited about how the "entente cordiale" is becoming an "entente amicale". Apparently Gordon and Nicolas are getting on really well, unlike Tony and Chirac who hated each other. From the BBC website:
"Britain and France issued a 36-page joint communique setting out areas where they plan to work more closely together, including:

Reforming the G8 to include more members and UN Security Council to include "permanent representation" for Africa, and "permanent membership" for Germany, India, Brazil and Japan

Promoting peace in Darfur and pushing for greater human rights in Burma

New counter-terrorism measures, including scanning traffic at the Channel Tunnel to combat "nuclear terrorism"

Greater pooling of military resources, including more cash for joint research and development

Tightening up border controls at Calais, including fencing around the port

Cooperating on a new generation of nuclear power plants by sharing information on safety, security and waste disposal "
And they also agreed to give a load of money to help children in Africa get a better education. Which seems like a good idea!

Posted by LHsugarsugar 11:16 Archived in France Comments (0)

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