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Fin de vacances

It's been a good few weeks. First I had the Year 8 French trip to Normandy. Nice to have Elspeth me for the last one. The kids were great and we had good fun as a staff. First timers Liz and Arwen were brilliant and we even got Glenn to sign up for Facebook. The coach broke down on the way home, but that didn't spoil a very enjoyable and stress-free time.

My brother-in-law and family came to stay and it was good to spend some time with them, seeing the three children growing up, doing some local visits (Newby Hall and Harewood House). The Himalayan garden and vegetable garden are amazing at Harewood. We had fun digging up potatoes and carrots from the new vegetable beds in our totally revamped garden designed by Elspeth. We've had some fabulous cabbages, spinach, carrots, lettuce, beetroot, swede, sugar snap peas, potatoes and ripening tomatoes. If you have never grown your own carrots, try it - they taste superb.

We got to Puyravault by August 10th. Our friends Douglas and Isabelle came for a few days. Anne, Tony and family had stayed at the house just before us and left us supplies of wine and ice cream. We always have fun together cycling, eating and lounging on the beach. The Leeds-Nantes route is really handy. We spent time with Jacques and Catherine, plus some of their family, including baby Perrine. We read a bit (Ben Elton for me, Philip Pullman for Elspeth), drank rosé (Plessis-Duval Cabernet d'Anjou is "the one") watched Boston Legal and The Killing on DVD, including one marathon eight episode session of the latter, cycled, walked, sat on the beach and popped over to St Jean d'Angely to see friends. Did a little decorating in the house and played the drums, though not much. Pleasant slow drive back up to Boulogne, avoiding motorways for a second time. Just like the old days.

So, back to school on Thursday and time to get the brain back in gear, with new colleagues, new classes and old friends. I bet the sun starts to shine!


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