Monday, 31 January 2011

What is it? Where did it come from?

I sometimes start my lessons with a mystery object, and ask the class to come up with some ideas about what it is and how it could be used. This is normally a piece of science apparatus, from the back of the prep room cupboard, that they haven't yet come across. We have a lot of fun with this, and you'd be surprised by the imaginative and creative ideas that my pupils come up with.

Today the mystery object is a photograph (not a very good one) of a brass and enamelled wall plaque.

You will have to wait until later in the week to find out where this object is, and why it is important to me.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Then and now..........or now and then? did I get here? Not really a philosophical question, more a record of events leading me to where I am today.

The 'town clock'  courtesy of Google images.
It was built in 1858, the same year as our house.

My life started in the mid 1950's in Welsh Valleys, an area that with the closure of the coal mines was already beginning to decline. This decline hastened  further with the demise of the steel industry. My parents were happy that I should have opportunities, that in the post war period, were not open to them. So off I went to university and eventually ended up in the Midlands as a science teacher.

I met my husband on my first day in my first teaching job - he says he had his eye on me since my interview day! To cut a very long story short, we found ourselves a few years later with two wonderful children restoring and converting a Victorian school into our home.

On a good day, I love my teaching job (liking young people helps!) and can't imagine doing anything else. Still all good things must come to an end, so about ten years ago we started forward planning for retirement.

We knew that we loved mountains, skiing and wanted to spend more time in France. With this in mind we bought an apartment in a beautiful alpine village in the Haute Savoie overlooking Evian les Bains and Lac Leman. We had six wonderful years exploring the area but for retirement wanted something larger with more outside space. We found this very difficult to afford in the Alpes and quite by chance found a lovely village in the Touraine Sud which captured our hearts. It was a wrench to sell up in the mountains, but hopefully the right decision.
So this is how we ended up at Le Petit Pressigny..... not an old house this time, but hopefully one which will give us something to do when we eventually retire.
L'eglise Saint Pierre

Chez nous!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Wikipedia, but with SOUL!

This is the new beginning of the blog that was never meant to be. A few days ago I was 'experimenting' with blogger, and as a scientist all good experiments contain some practical work, and (if my pupils are to be believed) a BUNSEN BURNER! My practical was to write a trial blog, which somehow got published. In fact I didn't even realise that it was published until Antoinette made a comment.

So it looks like the blog is here to stay, and I need to think of some interesting (I hope) things to write about, and get cracking with the camera. Initially it will be  l'hebdo.........ish.

So, what is in a name? I think the answer must be everything and nothing!

Still with this in mind, I have decided that the blog name should at least be correct French, and have changed the name.

Over the last year it has been a privilege and enjoyment to read a lot of really interesting, informative and thought provoking posts about fascinating topics. I now know more about the history of the Touraine, its pretty villages, flora, fauna and culture. I have picked up recipes for delicious dishes, have a long list of restaurants to visit and wines to taste.  I am more aware of social etiquette and reputable tradesmen, I certainly know that there are many forms of Perdrix, but not a Perdrix Blanche. I have tried out a few delicious recipes, and if I had a dog, could find my way around the pet passport system. I've learned more about the lives of those who have chosen to make the region their permanent home and others, who like me, have a more occasional residence. It has truly been and education.

All that is lacking is a bit more time at home in Le Petit-Pressigny to explore this part of France, and experience all that it has to offer.

So a big thank you to everyone who has helped with all of this by writing so well. Your love and enthusiasm for this beautiful area burns brightly. Long may it continue!

So to sum up and pay tribute to all  (and you may be able to recognise yourselves) it is a bit like Wikipedia, but with SOUL.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

La Petite Presse

Well, this is a first, something I vowed I would never do! Blogging.......
Not because I can't, but because I thought my life would never be interesting enough for anyone else to take the time to read. I'm still not convinced, but I thought I would give it a try anyway.

I think I was wrong to imply that I would be able to cope with this blogging lark because already I have failed to be able to
  • insert a photograph
  • change my profile photo from black to colour
  • update my profile
  • think of ANYTHING interesting to write
I think my blog will likely include snippets from my life past, present and future. I'll post about my family, my work and home life ,both in the UK and in France. As the saying goes, 'some names will be changed to protect the innocent'!

As a scientist prose doesn't flow easily, as I spend most of my life writing in 'bullet points', but I'll try not to let Mr Ashcroft and Ma Lewis (my old English teachers from 40+ years ago) down too much.

Well that's all for now.....I have a blogging manual to find and read after all!