I have now been back in Nancy for a week, and I can almost see the weeks that are left here mapping out in front of me. There are 12…maybe even 11 as we haven’t completely arranged when I will be leaving yet. In some ways, I just want to be back at home with my family. In others, I absolutely love all the experiences that I’m having here, all the people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and just being able to do things I can’t at home, and being away from my old life. Also, this weekend it’s been 27oc: summer is definitely here in Nancy!
This week has been ok, pretty good really. I haven’t done much apart from look after the children during the week, but it’s gone well. Alice went off on Colonie on Monday at lunchtime, and after that, I got to rest a little after my journey back and hardly sleeping the night before. Then I went to get the boys – Stanley had been at the activity centre.
It was choir as usual in the evening, and as we were preparing for our concert this weekend, it went on for an hour longer than usual. Thus I was eve more tired the next day, and I had Stanley all day!
Looking after Stanley by himself turned out to be a really nice experience though. When he has my full attention, he is so sweet and so much better behaved. We took the tram to the swimming pool and we had so much fun together, although I discovered the French’s love of the swimming hat. Stanley had one, but I didn’t think that I would have to wear one. I was wrong: I was not allowed to swim without one. Luckily they have swimming hat vending machines, and five minutes later, I was bobbing around in the kiddie pool with Stanley, both of us wearing swimming hats! I felt very attractive. However, everyone has to wear one so it’s not so bad! Stanley absolutely loved swimming and he was so cute splashing around! Afterwards, we went to the play park, the headed home for lunch. Seriously underestimated how long it would take to walk a tired child home from the tram stop – man alive! After lunch, I made him have a little sleep, and I even got to close my eyes for a few minutes too! We spent the rest of the day playing in the back yard and watching a DVD until it was time to get the little one!
I spent the evening in relaxing with F+S. The fact that no-one’s been about much this week has meant that I have got to spend some good time with the parents which has made me feel happier about being here. I find it a bit strange when we hardly see each other, and I think that next week will be a bit like that! I have been having trouble sleeping though. I think I got so used to how quiet it was back home that all the noise of the cars outside and from other apartments has been bothering me a bit. Subsequently, on Wednesday, I was more tired than ever! Thankfully, Stanley was at activities again, so I had the day to myself. I can back from dropping the boys off and curled up on the sofa for a bit. Later on, I went and had lunch with Krista. It was great to catch up! She and Betsy had been in Nice, and she had just got back on the sleeper train. (Betsy had continued travelling and gets back tonight.) She was back for 2 days before heading off to Scandinavia for nearly three weeks with the family….lucky!!!
On Wednesday night, I went to bed really early, and felt a lot better for the next day – a full day with Stanley! We went to the market in the morning and bought too much fruit and veg…then Stanley dawdled all the way home and my arms nearly fell off!
We spent the rest of the day at home, and I helped Stanley with his writing and tried to start teaching him how to read. He liked it, but after a while he got a bit bored and confused, so I let him go off and play.
When little one came home, we had a really good dinnertime. I have implemented the super-nanny tactic of star charts for good eating, and it’s working a treat! Both boys sat up and ate all their dinner. They usually make a fuss, leave things and can never sit still. This tactic has been working really well and now they are eating well without the star charts too!
By Friday, it had started to get really hot. I took Stanley to the park, and we ran through the fountain and got soaked, but it didn’t matter at all because we dried off really quickly! As a treat for eating so well all week, we went to a burger restaurant. He loved it so much and I got my French fry fix! This week has been a lot better than I thought it would be and the children are back to school tomorrow. On Friday night, F, S and I had a really nice dinner and I caught up on sleep!
On Saturday morning, I went to do my tutoring at the house of 7 children!! The three kids I teach are so great, really sweet and so clever. They have all been put forward at school and their English is amazing. The oldest girl is already taking her ‘bac’ this year at 16 years old -most French kids take it at 18 or 19 – and she will start University in September!
After a nice family lunch, I went to meet Laura. We had a drink on the Place in the boiling heat and then went and sat in the park and chatted. It was so nice to be out in the sunshine!
There was no Groupe de Jeunes last night, so I stayed in and filled out job applications, spoke to my lovely Mum on the phone and ate with F+S. After, I watched a film and went to bed.
Today was really great. I went to church in the morning, and it was great to be there again after quite a long while!
Afterwards, I went back to Isabelle – a lady from choir’s - house for lunch. Another girl from church, Elsa, also came and we had a BBQ in Isabelle’s garden with her husband and Son. They live a little way out from Nancy in a beautiful house with fields and woods around. It was so nice, and they are such a lovely family!
Afterwards, we got ready to go to the choir concert. It was in this tiny little village church – I have no idea why – but it was so beautiful! We practiced for an hour before, and then gave the concert to a church full of villagers at 4pm. It went so well! It was amazing acoustics and it was great to finally perform all the songs we’ve been practising! We have quite a few more gigs coming up now too!
Afterwards, we had drinks and aperitif before heading back to Nancy.
I’m now off to Betsy’s for a late bit of dinner and a much-needed catch up!!
I hope you’ve all had a good weekend!