Saturday, 28 November 2015

First week in France, with Scott - Including Lucy's AS Results! (Friday 7th - Sunday 16th August 2015)

On Friday 7th August, we got up at 6am, set off at 7am and drove via the Eurotunnel to France, arriving at Bel-Air at 6.30pm French time. Driving through France I missed a call on my mobile, so rang back - it was the Fire Service asking if I'd sent in my application form yet!
Mum and Dad were at Bel-Air with Ann and John - Mum's Australian friends. Ken and Bev were there with three of Juli's kids - Danny, Annabelle and Hollie.
It was a gorgeous sunny evening, and we had time to sit out and chat. It was nice to catch up with Mum and Dad.

The kids got straight down to playing football with Danny!

Mum and Dad, Ann and John were leaving on Saturday morning, but not before Dad got his accordion out for a tune at breakfast time!

Saying goodbye.

We stayed around Bel-Air for the first day, apart from a quick Super U shop. Harry and Tom played on hay bales in the field opposite. I decided I would read the whole Book of Mormon in the three weeks we'd be on holiday. I also studied nearly a whole Fire Fighter assessment book.

After church on Sunday 9th August, we went for our usual walk to Auray, taking a packed lunch with us. Scott's ridiculously large sandwich.

The kids doing press-ups on the bridge!

This picture of the boys totally makes me laugh!! Jack was trying to prove that he can keep his eyes open for photos, Tom was doing I-don't-know-what, and Harry looks like he's wet himself (Tom had just poured water in his lap!)

At church a family was visiting on holiday from the Netherlands, and I got it into my head to invite them for dinner! I'd put on some slow-cooker curry in the morning, and just cooked another curry on the stove to go with it. We didn't have much by way of dessert except icecreams!
While we were waiting for them to arrive, Lucy and I went out and sat on hay bales and hung out in the garden.

The bread oven is looking good!

Ken and Dad are going to build a mezzanine level in the roof.

The Dutch family came, and we had some conversation with the parents and eldest son and daughter who spoke English, though the youngest two boys and girl didn't speak English and were a bit shy of us. The youngest boy then fell off one of our bikes just as dinner was ready, cutting his knee up, and didn't stop crying for about an hour! It was all slightly awkward. They sat on the patio, cleaned up his knee, then had a bit of (by then) cold dinner.
We had planned to go to Lizio for the annual village fete (Ken had a stand there with his paintings), but we found out at the last minute that you had to pay to get in, which wasn't what we wanted to do on a Sunday. I felt bad about inviting them all this way, having told then how nice Lizio was, then not be able to go. In the end most of us went for a walk to Yvon's wood to feed the fish. Their little girl enjoyed herself a lot, so I was relieved. On the way back all the kids messed around on the hay bales for a bit.
The mother decided they should take their son to hospital to get his knee checked out on their way home, so we googled for them the medical centre near Auray. I didn't think his knee looked bad, and it turned out to be fine (they emailed us a few days later when they were back home, to say thank you!)
They were a really nice family, and when they were gone we joked about how they would look back on their holiday and reminisce about the odd English family who invited total strangers for dinner, made them drive miles, eat not-the-best cold curry, green beans and ice creams, not be able to do what they planned to do, and let them use their lethal bikes!! Oh well!

On Monday 10th August the weather wasn't as good, but we still went to the surfing beach and it was fine.

11th August - Jack with his two little friends! He spent hours and hours this holiday entertaining the girls. He's also become friendly with their big sister Emmaleigh, and was in communication with her throughout the holiday!

12th August - I bought a darts board from Super U at the beginning of the holiday which was quite popular. Hollie was very proud of her bull's eye!

Hollie and Tom having a game.

Harry hanging out with next door's dog, who was definitely looking a bit old and tired this time.

On Thursday 13th August it was Lucy's AS Level results day! She had given permission for Ellie Hurrell to collect her results and text them to her. It was a nerve-wracking morning of waiting!!
Finally Lucy came into our bedroom to tell us the news...
3 A's and a B!!!! Pretty flippin' brilliant!!!!! It was also lovely because Ellie got the same!

Suffice to say, Lucy was pretty pleased!

Here are the grades we had all predicted for Lucy!! She exceeded all of them!

After lunch we headed out to Le Domaine de Kerguehennec for a celebratory walk! It was Lucy's first time there.

Tom in particular got rather filthy from playing hide and seek!

We then decided to go for a walk round the lake.

Lucy and Tom being caged dinosaurs, Jurassic Park style...

Lucy hanging out with 'her' dog.

The kids doing exercises in our living room.
I needed to prepare for the various fire fighter assessments I'd have when I got back to England, so spent quite a lot of this holiday reading the Fire Fighter Assessment books I'd borrowed from Becky Wakefield, doing practice written assessments, honing my maths skills and trying to get fit.
To prepare for the treadmill fitness test, I would run to Billio down the long hill, through the village and up the steep hill through the woods. I'd then collapse at the top for a few minutes and run home again. Either Lucy or Tom would come with me. I did this between 1 and 4 times a week. It was pretty hard work but I felt really motivated. I remember running along on the way back once, absolutely hating it, and desperate to stop and walk, but really giving myself a pep talk and telling myself to imagine this was the assessment and that I wanted it.
I also did press-ups, sit-ups and arm exercises with the big water bottles most days, which rubbed off on the kids!

 Blokus on Saturday 15th August.

Sunday 16th August was Scott's last day in France. We went to church in the morning, taking a change of clothes and picnic lunch with us. Scott looking a bit beardy in the car park at church! (He left the charger for his shaver at home!)

We only go for sacrament meeting (which has been good this year, with the new head sets with which we can hear someone translating into English for us - usually a missionary or English branch member). Waiting in the foyer for Sacrament meeting to begin.

After church we drove to Le Bono - further down the estuary from Auray.

There was an art show on, which we took a look at.

Boys chucking rocks into mud... hours of fun!

I took a load of photos of Lucy and Jack just messing around having fun together, which I love!

We didn't make it as far as to where the estuary opens out this time - we were all feeling a bit weary, so just sat and messed around here for a while before heading back.

Jack's stunning photography!

In the evening, we all drove to Rennes Airport (which we've never used before), dropping Scott off for his flight back to Southend, and I drove back to Bel-Air. He had work on Monday morning.

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