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Getting a bit more organised…..
- House sorted. Our friends Monique and Remmy with their children Leandra, Quinn, Micah and Ilena are coming here to housesit and have a mini adventure of their own. We met through www.couchsurfing.org a couple of years ago; we have visited them in Woerden in the Netherlands and they have been a couple of times to visit us here. A nicer family we could not wish for to live here and look after the sheep, hens, and now some stick insects with eggs. And almost a couple of kittens that Katie tried to come home with last week. May is a risky time here as regards the acquisition of small animals. This year we have come away relatively unscathed. We have in the past had to put straw behind the sofa for a sheep, and take in a cockerel given to us in a cardboard box on the doorstep.
- Car sorted. It’s been sold. And lots of other stuff. For competitively priced commission-based sales we recruited Adam who is doing a fine job.
- In an effort to build up a travel fund, Katie has also brokered a deal whereby she picks up all stray poop of any origin in any location and looks after all the animals for 2 euros a week. We have pledged to teach her the art of negotiation whilst on our travels.
- Education. We are trying to strike a balance between useful things to learn in life in general and the stuff you have to learn if you want to pass exams. Because they are noticeably different. There is an official website in France www.academie-en-ligne.fr which can be accessed for free and provides the curriculum for each school level, from starting primary school to doing the Baccalaureate at 18. There are also exercises to do after each learning module, followed by corrections. Our plan is to help the boys follow this in the order that they choose. If they want to follow it. But we also want to encourage them to write a journal, and breathe in (and out – Standard Grade biology) and experience and find out about each of the places we visit. Katie will do likewise, although hers might be more of a picture diary, and we have some curricular activity books for her to do as well. Jen is going to start a DELTA English language teaching qualification which for the first 8 months is done online, just really because she is a bit of a swottypants. Neil is going to make sure that he knows everything there is to know about fixing things. A far more practical ambition.
- Katie, Adam and Matt will also be contributing more to the blog, and Adam will translate posts for our French friends. Right now, Matt is up in Paris spending every waking hour (literally) at the Roland Garros tennis stadium ballboying for the French Open. Tired, but loving it. And Adam is trying to commit to memory the myriad of facts and figures which need to be regurgitated for the Brevet end of collège exams next month.
- Route not sorted, intentionally. We want to leave it fairly open. The only fixed dates are flights we have now booked to Thailand (yay!