The End of an Era

Today marks the end of an era as it was Ed’s last day at primary school – for me it seems like only yesterday we walked into the playground for La Rentré (Sept 2006 ) – a playground that seemed to be full of a huge number of really big kids! It was daunting for all of us but he made it, in fact not only did he make it through that first scary day he made it through the first week, the first term, the first year and then another four years (all in the blink of an eye).

Over the years I have been foolish/lucky enough to help out on various trips:

Arcachon near Bordeaux where in 3 days we climbed the Dune du Pilat (the tallest sand dune in Europe), had a boat trip out to the sand bank and bird sanctuary and learned all about oyster production and the reforestation of the Landes.

The Loire (possibly my favourite school trip ever) 3 days spent visiting many of the chateaux and their gardens including Villandry, Chaumont and Chenonceau. Memorable for the fantastic gardens (not sure the kids were as grabbed as I was) and the sound of my group of 6 screeching out ‘Big Nose’ in heavily accented English every time we saw a portrait/statue of French royalty!

3 days in Brittany where it was very wet, but we still saw the stones or ‘menhir’ at Carnac, had a boat trip in the Golfe du Morbihan before spending a wet day on Ile-aux-Moines (pretty, but not much to do with 50 school kids in the pouring rain) and had a guided tour around Guérande medieval walled city (in the rain). Did I mention it rains a lot in Brittany?

I’ve also helped out with swimming lessons, their annual orienteering day held in the local forest (a vast public space where they are allowed to roam free!) and other educational day trips. These have been hard work, exhausting, but great fun and really good for my French and knowledge of French history and geography.

I’m sure there isn’t such a great need for parental help at the college (secondary school) but I’ve already got my foot in the door as that is where I help to run an English conversation club during the lunch hour. We now have 2 months of summer holidays to spend together and with family and friends but I know that in the blink of an eye La Rentré will be upon us again.

Wow! Sounds like you’ve been on some great school trips. Ours have all been pretty dire :frowning: