Thursday, 29 May 2008

Peace & Quiet

A day at home with no school run at lunchtime. As rare as ....a day at home with no school run!

Nic is off with her SVT class to go and plant some lentils beside a pond (I kid you not!).

And LeeLee took the hint and asked if she could take a sandwich to college.

So what shall Richard and I do?

Sigh. Must be time to fill in our 2007 Tax Return. Deep joy.
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Guess what! Richard persuaded me that I really needed to be taken out to lunch to celebrate my birthday instead!

It is the prerogative of ladies of mature years to celebrate early - so I agreed. The deadline for our tax return is tomorrow - plenty of time!

We went to La Forge in Bedarieux and it was very good. After many days of storms and torrential rain, the sun shone and we sat outside on their terrace. And they certainly do some business at lunchtime. They ended up bringing tables out from the inside restaurant because so many people arrived and wanted to enjoy al fresco dining.

We enjoyed starters of avocado/smoked salmon and prawn/asparagus followed by main courses of duck tornados wrapped in bacon (and still pink inside) and porc traverse (which was meltingly tender!).A wide range of cheeses to choose from (about 10, all of which the young waiter knew by name!) was followed by desserts of tiramisu and creme brulee (with citron vert). All excellent and once again we ate too much. Wow. Was I tired this afternoon. Even though I had slept until 11:00am.

It is a hard life - retirement. But someone has to do it.

PS
Got the tax return done as well!
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The college/lycée got a new Headmistress about 18 months ago. And she has certainly brought in some novel ideas. Just about all of which have been a success.

The latest one involves the shop they run in the Foyer for drinks, etc. The decision was taken not to install vending machines because the establishment wanted control over what the children were likely to buy. That was novel in itself! A school that does not want the kids to just buy crisps and sweets so that they make loads of money from a captive audience?!

She decided to introduce the concept of refunds.

For example, they sell cans of soft drinks for 1.20 euros. And if the child brings the empty can back with the ticket they were given when they bought it, they get a refund of 0.20 €.

Why? I hear you ask. Because the new Headmistress was not happy about litter on the school premises. And it has worked! Not a dropped crisp packet or an empty can in sight!

There is a little student café near the entrance to the school which sells all the things students might want to eat/drink. But the school has undercut them very successfully. There, a can of drink costs 1.50€, and you do not get the option of a refund.

I LOVE to see great ideas that actually work!
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This is the same Headmistress who has banned the use of mobile phones anywhere on the premises except the playground.

Cynical? Think the kids will just ignore this rule? Not on your nellie!

Every time, and I mean EVERY time, a student is caught either using their mobile or even if it just rings, the phone is confiscated for the rest of the term and a parent has to make an appointment with the Headmistress to get it back.

Love to be a fly on her wall when she lets rip at them.
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LeeLee had her second French Oral Bac Blanc this week and thinks it went very well. She had a great discussion of her various texts and the examiner said she had enjoyed such a stimulating and varied dialogue.

Me. I am not sure just how stimulating I would find discussing the works of Molière, Voltaire and all the other French writers on the list. But maybe I am wrong. (yeah, right!)
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LeeLee and Nic were quite indignant this lunchtime, telling us about the importance of volley ball.

A lot of kids play it down here. Specifically a lot go to after-school clubs and also sign up for extra tuition.

Our two have always said - no way, not interested!

Now they realise what fools they have been.....

For your Bac result, your marks in sport get taken into account (coefficient two, I think).

Any external activities/clubs that you take part in can also be included in your Bac marks - if you wish. With coefficient three.

So, for example, if you take the time and make the effort to join and do well at a volley club (which abound down here) you not only boost your sports mark by being good at sport obviously, you also can ask to have your performance in your 'external volley club' assessed by an examiner as well!

Easy marks according to LeeLee! And most of her class take advantage of this, much to her chagrin.

We live and learn - just a bit too late for LeeLee!!

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