On the Saturday, I went with the family to F's annual work BBQ at his can factory! We ate sausages, saw how cans are made and the children stuffed their faces with sweets and had countless rides on the merry-go round!
Later on, I went with the family to another BBQ at some friends of theirs. The lady was English, married to a French man, and they have two little girls who are completely adorable. They have a really gorgeous house with a little garden so the children had fun playing while we sipped sparkling rose and chatted! They are really nice people, and yet more anglophones in this city! It's been so surprising to find so many here! Their one year old daughter took a bit of a shine to me, and I ended up spending ages bouncing her around on my hip 'dancing' to Michael Buble! Ha... However, I think this is what did my back in as she is a pretty heavy child! I left the BBQ early to meet my new... 'friend', JB in town. We had a really nice evening, waled in the park and hid under the trees while a thunderstorm passed overhead. There have been SO MANY thunderstorms here so far this summer, and when it rains, it really rains!! That cleared up and we went and got a drink on the place and watched the 'sound and light show' on the buildings of the place. It's pretty cool, they project all these images and things onto the buildings and play atmospheric music - hard to describe really, but very cool. They do it every night in summer and I have since taken my lovely sister, Alice who arrived on Monday.
Anyway, after a really nice evening on Saturday which ended up with sharing a bottle of wine with friends and talking till 2:30am, I woke up on Sunday morning with a really bad back.... It felt like something had shifted in my upper back/trapped nerve and it was really very painful to move :(
I went to church and did my tutoring in the afternoon but by evening I was feeling too bad to go to bible study so stayed in and Skyped with Betsy which was a complete joy and eased by back pain no end! - Miss you girl!!!
Monday morning came and I felt even worse. Little Alice was feeling under the weather too, so F+S took the boys to school and creche and we both stayed home and watched DVDs.
Later on I went to the doctors - first time in France and it was really different, like an office in a big old house. Not only did he look at my back but gave me a full-examination...slightly awkward! Anyway, he said he didn't need to scan it but that something wasn't right (this is what I could understand) and he prescribed me two types of pills + paracetamol + rest. (The last one was going to be a bit difficult.) Anyway, a week on and the pills have been working and it is easing up, but it's still not right - ouch!
So, on Monday evening, my dearest sister arrived!! It was AMAZING to see her get off the train at Nancy and to have her here! We got back to the apartment and had a drink and caught up on all the news! She came right after finishing her A levels and I think this was her first bit of freedom!
We had such a good week when she came! The weather wasn't amazing, but we had a really nice time together and she loved the children!
On Tuesday, it was the National 'Fete de la Musique' where all types of music is performed in towns and cities all over France. Little Alice had her flute concert out doors after school, and we packed a picnic and all the family went to see her! She was so good after only a year learning the flute and I felt really proud!
Then afterwards, we rushed off so I could get ready to sing with choir. We sung in the 'Temple Protestant' right in the centre of town for over two hours - it was awesome! So many people wandered in and out and it was a really great atmosphere! Afterwards we went out and about to see what was going on, and I have literally never seen so many people on the streets! It was packed, with music on every street corner, some really good, some just mental drum-n-bass blaring out of speakers, people playing guitars, African drums, jazz-bands! It was such a great atmosphere! We were starving so we went and got some food from the kebab shop - the good kebab shop - and headed down to the place to see the light show, although it wasn't so effective with all the other music going on! Later we wandered back through the old town taking in everything that was going on, with the last bit of light still in the sky. We got back home around midnight - it had been a long day and the next day was Wednesday!
Wednesday was cool though - Alice tagged along with the normal stuff, and in the afternoon, she helped the children make stuff out of felt and sparkly things! Little Alice wanted to make a pencil case, but Stanley decided to make leg and arm warmer things... I'm not really sure how to describe them, but they are pretty special and he throughly enjoyed dancing around wearing them!
In the evening, we went out for dinner :)
On Thursday, Alice helped me out with some singing and stories at the school - much to many of the little girls' delight (it was like two me's and Alice experience the mobbing I get practically every time I go into that school!) Afterwards we wandered into town. I showed Alice the park and the animals (she loved JoJo the 60 year old Chimpanzee!) And we had a picnic on the place. Afterwards we hit the 'soldes' (sales in France are amazing) before getting absolutely drenched in a crazy downpour!
I handled the kids in the evening, and we ate dinner with S and watched Gavin and Stacey. Good times!
On Friday before she left, Alice and I had breakfast out and had just enough time to hit the Musee des Beaux Arts - which is definitely worth a visit - before she had to get her train. We were both really sad to say goodbye, it's been so good to spend some real quality time together.
Love you Alice xxxxxx
|Alice found a knitting shop...|
|In the park|
|Crazy feature in the Musee des Beaux Arts|