Green scene weekend

28 September 2009

Linus and Lucy had their first music lesson this Saturday and it was quite a mixed experience. Lucy’s new violin teacher made me sourly miss Mrs J – he does not seem to be particularly in tune with Lucy and although he was friendly, he did not really manage to meet Lucy’s needs. She needs to be taught the vocabulary necessary for violin playing first of all. The teacher talked rather a lot and, in my opinion, did not demonstrate enough. I had to intervene a lot to ask him to physically show her what he wanted her to do. Obviously the poor man is very challenged himself with teaching a child who does not speak his language. I empathize with him, but I will watch this space and see if he comes up with a convincing strategy. If not, I suppose we will have to find Lucy a new teacher in due course. Linus, on the other hand, has a super teacher. The dishy piano teacher from the South of France was fantastic managing Linus’ first lesson and  successfully negotiated all the language problems. I was impressed and Linus was  beaming after the lesson. His new teacher seems to be a kind and very patient young man who really knows his stuff. Him and Linus are working on the Gymnopedie by Satie now and on piece by a composer who is not very well known outside of France (I think), his name is Didier Squiban. He will also practise improvising with Linus and there is not going to be any more Hanon in his life. Very different from his previous teachers, but it will be an interesting experience.

We spent the rest of the day in the park. Lucy had invited a new friend of hers from school along and we had a lovely time on the lake in the pedalo, hanging out on the grass, playing ball and cycling around. We did not get home until half past seven. While cycling home, we and saw a glorious sunset that turned the river into a super-kitschy golden stream. Lucy and I had to stop and watch, it was way too lovely a spectacle to be ignored.

Rolf returned safely from his trip to London later that evening, bearing wonderful gifts from Rob and Layla such as flying saucers and marvellous white chocolate buttons (just for me!!! 🙂  ), a tub full of brightly coloured sweets for Lucy and a bottle of Heinz Ketchup for Linus. Great gifts, we love them, THANK YOU!!!!

On Sunday, we went to see more green – just because the weather is still fantastic and I am still in need of seeing nature. We did not quite make it to the Ardêche or to Provence as I had initially planned, because we set out too late in the day (as we always do), but nevertheless we got to see some breathtaking sights. We took a just a good hours drive  and got to enjoy France’s largest and deepest natural lake, the Lac du Bourget. The lake is surrounded by the alps and we had a lovely lunch in a cafe just on the nothern shore of the lake, there was also a tiny beach and people were swimming or boating on the lake. Lucy regretted not having brought her swimming costume, but I was quite happy to just stick to treading the water there, the temperature was a bit too refreshing to my taste. I was amazed by the abundance of fruit in the gardens that we saw: Apricots, kiwis, pomgranates, grapes to name just a few. I am deeply impressed this year, probably used to it next year 🙂

Luckily, our TomTom got a bit confused on the way back and we took a very lovely scenic route along the Canal de Saviéres, which connects the lake with the Rhone. This route was well worth taking and I want to go back there some weekend to boat on the canal or just hang out, it’s beautiful there.

Just one quick thought before I go: Could it be that living in town is really quite green to living in the country side? When we got in the car to day, I noticed that the petrol tank was full to the brim and I had filled it up at the beginning of the month. This is the van. The mini has been sitting unused for six whole weeks. Our trip today was the first journey  in the car we have taken for over two weeks.

To remedy my need for green further I have also bought some herbs (Thyme, Basil and Chives)  for the kitchen windowsill, more are to follow, and I think once I have equipped all the other rooms with plants I will be perfectly happy. I never thought a bit of green can make such a difference. Have a good start to the week, I have to get the children ready for school now and I am helping out in the school libraries today.

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