Happy Bastille Day, everyone!
Until I left France, I would never have imagined spending the 14th of July doing mundane things like working, cleaning or shopping. Although I did not attend a fireworks display yesterday or go to a village ball like I would have in France, today was pretty special.
After playgroup, we went home. I only had a few minutes before it was time to go again. I put on a beret and stripy top. I packed garlic butter, snail shells, a tin of snails and French sweets. I then headed to Crevette’s school whilst Solène was looking after the girls.
For the past few weeks, Crevette and his classmates have been learning all about France, and their excitement was palpable when I arrived. We started with a session about what they knew and what they wanted to know. They were all desperate to tell me everything they knew, and it really made my day. Some knew how to say “hello” or give their name in French. Others could count to 5 or 10.
One of the children asked me what my favourite French monument was. Tricky question! I answered that I would probably recommend going to see the Eiffel Tower, as it is probably the most recognisable French structure. I added that my favourite monument was the cathedral in my home town, Reims, where French Kings used to be crowned.
The next question was about what I missed most from France. With hindsight, I should have answered “my family” but I must have been hungry at the time because I said, “bread, cheese and food in general.” As we were on the topic of food, they had a look at the garlic butter and I asked them to guess what might be in it. Apart from the parsley (“parsnip?” “snails?” “plants?”), they guessed what ingredients were needed to make garlic butter. The tin of snails went round the class and they were not impressed!
After playtime, the children were back for an intensive lesson for beginners. In just over an hour, they learnt how to have a short conversation. They can now give their name and ask for ask for someone else’s. They can also say how they are feeling, count to 12 and give their age.
As they were leaving, the children ate croissants and tried bread with the garlic butter Crevette and I had made. I thought they might not like it as it was so garlicky, but they all asked for more and quite a few of them requested the recipe. My little man was so proud.
After school, one of Crevette’s friends came home with us for a sleepover and they made cards for their teachers,
and Crevette ate most of them. Wriggly looked at the one I gave her but refused to try it.
After dinner, Crevette’s friend declared, “You are really good at teaching!” Compliments coming from a 7 year old are so genuine. They are worth all the praise any adult might give.
The children in Crevette’s class made cards to thank me. They were beautiful and I will treasure them for a very long time! I love the accuracy in their drawings of me. Bless them!