Rain and strikes

7 September 2010

It’s raining in Lyon! This is the first day of rain we have had since returning from our holiday on the 21 of August and I am already sick of it. This morning we really enjoyed the cosiness of the flat and our breakfast with rain dripping on the roof and the drops tapping on the windows. Now it’s almost 11pm and I am so pleased that the chance of rain is only 30% tomorrow. (How do they figure this out in the forecast?) But I am hopeful to see the sun tomorrow.
As the teachers have been on strike today Lucy was at home all day, Linus just had his English lesson. This is because the English teachers do not normally go on strike, they are different from their French colleagues in that the English section is privately funded, so they cannot go on strike: it’s us parents, and not the government, who are paying for their services.
Anyway, cycling, swimming or any other outdoor pursuits were out of the question today, so were any trips into town. This was because public transport happened to be on strike as well today. Oh, and so were the staff in the canteen at school. So we stayed within the immediate radius of our appartement. We made it to the hairdresser’s who is very close by, the fourth I have given a try since our arrival in Lyon. And this man is surely interesting. He is running his business as a one man enterprise. He is also a painter and uses his tiny shop to exhibit and promote his art. He is cheap (that is, his haircuts, because I think 10 Euros for a haircut is really sensational) and good at what he is doing. You can also browse a catalogue of his works while you’re waiting for your haircut and he is an absolutely lovely, charming, entertaining and interesting person to talk to, who does not immediately give me the feeling of being somewhat dim with my ‘creative French’. It was great talking to him, it was like a free French lesson thrown in with the haircut.
The rest of the day we spent being creative. I made pate a choux filled with cream and cherries for the children – I haven’t dared doing this for years, because mine always used to stay superflat, but today I was lucky as you can see:

Linus and Lucy tucking in

Linus in particular LOVED them. I shall have to try to repeat this success.

Lucy and I were also creative. Over the weekend, I have sewn two handbags for myself, because we are going to a wedding in a couple of weeks’ time and I did not want to splash out on a new handbag. Lucy found my bags brilliant, so she wanted one to go with her BRIDESMAID’S outfit!!! YES, she will be a real bridesmaid and she is soooo excited. I bought some pretty fabric yesterday and this is what we produced:

Lucy's bag for the special day... she wants to carry her 'Harry Potter' with it... just in case the wedding gets a bit boring 🙂

Lucy is now really into sewing, she did a great job. I just adapted the pattern, cut out the pieces and pinned them together for her. Lucy did most of the sewing, I just did the tricky bits for her. She is very proud of herself and wants to take a course on sewing with my mum, who is a fabulous tailor (unlike me, I just do quick and dirty 😉 )

By the way, these are the bags (and the apron) that I produced over the weekend in an unexpected outburst of creativity:

My stylish little bag to go with my dress for the wedding

My very first try at sewing a bag. I love it, it was so easy to make and is super practical, because it is so light and yet still manages to hold the universe that I normally carry around with me.


My new apron made from leftover fabric. It's quirky and not cut properly, but who cares when you can wear big colourful flowers when making dough or cooking???

But I think I got the sewing out of my system for a while now. It did serve me well to forget about my worries with the school, though, but I have now seen Linus’ timetable and, thank goodness, it’s is pretty busy this term! My only gripe is that there is no Spanish on it, but we are working on that. I have to say, I am much assured now and less freaked, I am hopeful for a good year. Linus’ attitude towards school is brilliant and he seems to like all the teachers he has met so far. I think it’s strange how I have always taken education for granted, I think it is not until you end up in a place where you are extremely concerned about the lack of tuition, that you suddenly realize how precious good schooling is. This last year has been such a challenge for Linus with all the changes and the chaos. The other day, he actually mentioned how interesting it is to see the new pupils at the school trying to come to terms with the complicated organisation and language challenges. He helps his fellow students out, I think, as he empathizes with them and this in itself is a valuable experience. With regards to his own schooling, I am not entirely sure that we are out of the woods yet, but I think we are in a much better place than last year. And the school is, because the last proviseur left it in a very good state. I am now hoping that his work will be continued, but I haven’t spoken to ‘people in the know’ yet, I hope I will meet some next week and find out more :). Anyway, I will keep you updated…

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2 Responses to “Rain and strikes”


  1. You are not alone with your worries. A German colleague of mine who also lives in France was absolutely livid yesterday and is considering various scenarios she is so worried about her children’s education. At the moment she is “home schooling”, as she puts it.

  2. birolilu Says:

    Yes, it isn’t easy…are your colleagues children still fairly young? I wouldn’t dare to home school Linus…. We have the option of changing to an entirely privately run international school. However, that would be the last straw, because we cannot really afford this place…. Ah, education. This whole experience makes me appreciate all the support and educational opportunities I have had with BaFoeG and sponsored courses in Britain. I hope our children will be able to enjoy some of that too: For Linus it is just another four years at school and so ‘university’ slowly but surely appears on our radar….but I am pretty sure that this will not be a French university :)….


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