I realize it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I hope to remedy that with some posts which I’ve scheduled for this month. There’s been so much that has happened, but I’ve been too distracted by the lovely weather to write about it. The weather in Southern France has been incredible. The sun is brilliant, and the weather seems to become increasingly more hot as the days pass. There are GORGEOUS flowers blossoming everywhere in Agde, from soft purple lilac blossoms to vibrant blood-red climbing roses. Also, wild poppies and pansies and yellow flowers growing along the road like weeds. Riding my bike along the river and around town has been a dream. I’m aware that we’ll be leaving Agde in a little over a month from now, so I’m preserving every sensory experience of this place in my pocket of memories, already dripping with nostalgia.
As I write this, I’m supervising the kids as they swim outside. The kids swam during their lunch break, and jumped into the pool following their afterschool gouter (snack). It was a glorious 22°C under a clear blue sky. Although, a breeze picked up this late afternoon.
So what have we done during this silence of blogging? Well, we’ve done a lot of homeschool. Three out of the 4 kids are finished their math curriculum. We’ve done some science reading and a lot of Horrible Histories reading. We’ve yet to tackle our writing projects, but hope to do so (and finish my written final evals) before we leave mid-June for a slow trip through France 2 weeks before we fly home to Edmonton at the end of June.
Tomorrow we’re flying to London to visit the Queen….just kidding. I’ve always wanted to say that, as well as sing “London Bridge is falling down” on London Bridge. But truthfully though, we are flying to London tomorrow for the weekend. Peter won First Prize in the children’s category of Take the Family Travel Writing Contest last fall with his Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia submission. He won a free weekend stay for a family room at any YHA London hostel. Lucy got second prize for her Gondola Ride in Venice submission and won a 1 year YHA Family Membership. We’re flying cheap with Easy Jet and have a weekend packed of sightseeing planned, which includes a tour of the Tower of London, a Horrible Histories Barmy British show at the Garrick Theatre. To cater to the Harry Potter fans in our family, we’re going to tour the newly opened Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio. Needless to say, we’re all excited to experience London.
So now the update:
During Grandma and Grandpa’s visit, we travelled to Lourdes in early May during Easter Holy Week. Lourdes is a small town located in the foothills of the Pyrenees and well known as the hometown of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old-girl recognized for her miraculous visions. We spent a night there and visited the grotto where Saint Bernadette had visions of the Virgin Mary. According to the story, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernadette several times and told her to dig in a particular spot of dirt from which a spring started to flow from the earth. Miraculous healings have occurred to many who drank and bathed in this water. I’ll post more photos of our trip to Lourdes on the blog this month. Below is a picture of Peter collecting the miraculous spring water into a little glass vile.
Barcelona is one of our favourite cities. It’s gorgeous, artistic, young, multi-cultural, and vibrant. Their metro is really clean and well run too. We visited the Sagrada Familia again and attended Easter Sunday mass in the crypt there. We walked down the famous La Rambla and visited the Picasso Museum. The above photo is of the ceiling of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Basilica. Below are the Spanish Easter cakes at a bakery close to the hotel we stayed in during the weekend.
Le Loup Sentimental School Spectacle
Edmund and Lucy performed in their school spectacle Le Loup Sentimental. It was a really good year-end school show with beautiful songs, dancing, acting, a homemade video projected on the back screen, and the music teachers playing their instruments filled with emotion. The show presented different children’s stories of the wolf character such as Little Red Riding Hood (Chaperon Rouge in French), the Three Little Pigs, etc. Lucy was one of the Little Red Riding Hoods and Edmund was a little goat. Super cute!
Violin and and Cello Recital
Lucy and Susan played Frere Jacques with their friend Faustine for their music school’s strings recital. It’s called an audition in French.
The kids swam in the ocean a few times already this month. We’ve noticed the water getting warmer with each trip we take to the beach.
My friend from high school, Sherene, came to visit. It was so good to see her and spend time showing her around Agde. We rode our bikes everywhere and spent May Day (May 1st – France’s Labour Day) in Cap d’Agde.
A pic of Susan and Sher arriving at the top of a difficult hill on our way to Cap d’Agde. Ouf is right!
We caught a mini May Day parade with stilt walkers dressed in flower costumes. On May Day, it is customary to give family and friends flowers. The Lilly of the valley is the symbolic flower of May Day in France.
Lucy’s 8th Birthday Celebration in Paris
Last weekend Lucy and I met my friend Sherene in Paris. As Lucy’s birthday gift, we visited four art museums, the Paris catacombs, and ate some REALLY good food. My little 8-year-old artist indulged herself in sketching art work which inspired her. We visited the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Musee l’Orangerie, and Musee Pompidou. Lucy really likes impressionist art, especially from Degas and Monet. Although she still names Leonardo da Vinci as her favourite artist, and we were lucky to catch the temporary exhibition of Leonardo’s The Virgin and Child with St. Anne at the Louvre.
Lucy was so looking forward to sketching Degas’ Little Ballerina. She zoomed straight to it as soon as she laid her eyes on the little ballerina from across the room. A post to come!
So there you have it. It was a good month!