Homesick – at last

1 December 2009

I’m writing to get it out of my system, this homesickness that has sneaked upon me during the last few days. It probably doesn’t help that it’s been November (thank goodness it’s over today), that we all feel a bit under the weather with (swine?) flu. I spent Sunday in bed, mostly sleeping and although I am better now, I still have aching muscles and feel tired. Anyway, I feel homesick because of Christmas! I am surprised myself, but I actually miss the English Christmas… and that’s when the run up has only just started! But here I am, missing mince pies, bemoaning the fact that there won’t be a Christmas production at school.  Religion is totally banned from French state schools and so there won’t be Christmas carols or a tree, but at least the children are doing a christmassy craft activity during the week before their holidays. I will really miss the Christmas production at Swinley, I love it when the children get all excited and sing their songs that they have been practising for weeks along with music from a CD on a wonky sound system :). It’s great to listen to it while you sit on an tiny child’s chair in a crammed hall and afterwards help out in the kitchen to serve mince pies and drinks to the other parents… Here I will be going out to a ‘Holiday lunch’ at the Paul Bocuse Institut (that’s a training place for chefs) this Friday. Do you notice it’s not even called a ‘Christmas lunch’? This is because someone complained about the religious notion and therefore the event has been renamed. But I am looking forward to it. I bet the food will be great and it’s not even expensive either. And I am sure there will be other events here that put me in the right spirit. The children have already asked what we will be doing about Christmas eve. Will we be going to church? It’s funny how this is so important to them once a year :). I have suggested going to the cathedral for the service, but then, we don’t know the songs and won’t understand much! I reckon that there are some ‘classics’ that are also sung in France such as ‘silent night’, so we could sing along with that. I think we should give it a try. Do you notice that we are kind of set in the way we celebrate our Christmas? We have quite an eclectic mix of German and English customs when it comes to Christmas and now we have to reorganise ourselves… Luckily we still have supplies from last year 🙂 When we moved in August, we found two boxes of forgotten Christmas crackers, which travelled to France with us. That was a lovely surprise and I look forward to the ‘christmas cracking’. I never cared about them too much, but suddenly it’s fab to have them. Mince pies we can make ourselves. They sell the mincemeat at Les Halles. And who knows, I am sure there are some really nice French customs that we don’t know about yet and that are just waiting to be incorporated into our annual routine. What is nice here is that the decorations are not quite as mad and colourful as in Britain. So no blinking multi-coloured plastic Christmas trees, it’s all a bit more, how can I put this…. stylish and restrained (in a good way) ?

I am so glad we have this blog…. it helps to get some things straight in my head about settling in France. It saves us a fortune, it’s my personal shrink :). And I am not that homesick anymore, but rather looking forward to discovering Christmas in France. Guess what, there will even be snow, at least in the mountains.

I shall finish now and get on with my day. we have an earlier start today because Lucy wants to go to school on her inline skates. I will be on my bike, carrying her satchel and she holds on to the rack. This way we zoom along, it’s good fun.

 

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2 Responses to “Homesick – at last”

  1. Nicola Shaw Says:

    re. the SAVS Christmas production. After what seems like weeks of Rebekah constantly singing the songs from this years offering if I never heard some of them again it would be too soon! But of course I can’t wait to go the production in a couple of weeks time and if it didn’t happen would be terribly disappointed …

  2. birolilu Says:

    Hey Nicola, you see, hearing these songs for weeks on end seems so lovely from here when there is no Christmas production in sight :). But I see your point: I think I am wearing my pink shades at them moment which tint everything in Ascot may be just a bit too rosy… Hope you have lots of fun! Love Birgit


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