We missed the bus again

29 November 2009

It’s Sunday, but I just quickly have to go back to Wednesday. We never made it to the swimming lesson. First, we caught a tram to Place Jean Mace, intending to catch a bus to the swimming pool. When we got there I checked the timetable and thought that we’d be late if we took the bus – we had just missed one by a few minutes. So we decided to take the metro.  Normally, you can expect trains every few minutes. Only this time it didn’t happen. We waited for a long, long time and ended up at the centre commercial (a 10-15 minute walk from the pool) at 5pm,  just when everybody else was diving in to the water. So we decided to go shopping instead and we will cycle next week. Apart from the little swimming hick-ups everything is going well here. Rolf and I were even sociable on Friday night, we went to a party at the school. It was a nice enough evening, very multilingual, so a great opportunity to practise French, but also to chat in German and English, whenever we got stuck. I have the pleasure to announce that Rolf and I were on the table that won the evening’s quiz about rock’n’roll. I have never been on a winning team at a quiznight, so this was new. I have to admit though, that we did so incredibly well because we had a guy with an iphone on our table. (This wasn’t Rolf. He doesn’t own one). He, being a thorough Frenchman, checked our answers including the spellings and thus got us into first position. Aah, the sweet taste of success 🙂 ! Our prize were raffle tickets for every person on the table. We didn’t win anything in the raffle though.

Can you believe that Christmas is upon us? Oh, I can’t, but there is no point in denying, it’s the first of Advent today and, being proper Germans, we have to have an advent wreath. I made one yesterday and also got a bit of decoration out, along with the advent calendars I had bought for the children. So we are ready. Next weekend it’s St Nikolaus day, so much more fun and excitement to be had. Rolf is making dough for a Knusperhäuschen – a gingerbread house today. Lucy and him went shopping yesterday and bought all sorts of funky multicoloured and sugary decoration for the house. Rolf also bought some divine cheese at Les Halles. My man is rather good at that. He already went last weekend and bought some very special truffle cheese, this week he brought back some St Felicien and two other cheeses, one goats cheese and the other one – oh, I’ve forgotten the name. In fact we almost devoured the whole St Felicien, it was so perfect.  Rolf had taken advice from the vendour and specifically asked for a cheese that was perfect for eating that night. I am always amazed at how people who sell food know their stuff in this country.

We had Linus’ first bulletin de demi-trimestre,  his half term report, from school yesterday. This is all about his progress in FLE and maths. In maths, there is no problem, all his marks apart from one are très bien and the teacher’s only criticism is the neatness of his presentation of work. No surprises there :). In FLE, he is also doing well, no insuffisants there, and almost a praise from the teacher who says that his work is sérieux et régulier and that he has had une bonne intégration dans le groupe. As we have been warned that in France teachers don’t really praise the pupils but rather point out what’s not good, we are very pleased with his report. Obviously, his FLE teacher is not happy with his handwriting and neatness of work. I did not expect anything else ;). Linus is as yet refusing to adapt his handwriting to the French standards, particularly the way he writes his  ‘r’s’ does not please his teacher. Lucy, on the other hand, loves the way the French write, so she is incorporating all the little swirls and curls of the letters into her writing. Oh, I couldn’t care less, in fact I really like the ‘no fuss or frills’ handwriting they teach in Britain, but I can see how the French alphabet appeals to little girls a lot more than to teenage boys :).

Linus has now started SVT, that’s life and earth sciences, at school. I am pleased that he has some extra bits on his timetable now. I have the feeling that he is getting a bit bored with all the free periods he has at school and the limited curriculum. He says that he now misses Charters a bit and I can see why. At Charters, his days were full, organised, teacher were very approachable and I reckon free periods were a treat. Here, he still has a very limited range of subjects and I am not sure how to supplement his week, because on the other hand my son does have a certain amount of – phlegma? and I find it difficult to get him to commit to doing out of school activities such as extra sports or learning to play another instrument. But then I guess his suffering maybe not that great :).

I have a new cookbook! Thanks to Steffen and his experiments with a sourdough recipe from the book, I am now the proud owner of Girogio Locatelli’s Made in Italy. Just because I want to make proper sourdough bread too. I love the book, I spent my Saturday night drooling over recipes and learning how complicated it really is to buy and cook pasta. Is it appropriate? Should I read a book about Italian cooking in France and in LYON of all places? Yes, I think so. I just love pasta. And now I finally know why my pasta sometimes turns out to be sticky ball of wobbly starch. This won’t happen anymore now. I am a reformed pasta cook and will try my hand at sourdough in the next few days.

Have a fab Sunday!!!

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