Birthday Girl

Mrs Evans, the school governor who takes a special interest in foreign languages, has been a great asset to us on this trip.

She celebrated her 70th birthday today. Happy Birthday Judith and best wishes for many more to come!

I’d like to be, under the sea…

It was very hot (31 degrees) in St Cyr today, so a trip to the coast turned out to be a great plan.

The La Rochelle Aquarium was excellent, children and adults found it fascinating. Pictures below.

After our pic-nic lunch we tried out some French ordering ice-creams from an astonishing ice-cream shop. The most amazing array of flavours you have ever seen! (and you will see some of it in the pictures to follow).

We walked along the walls of the old port, then via a park back into town, where we found a café bar which was happy to allow the children to practice their French, in fact the server helped them. (see Twitter for some pics)

On the way back to the centre, we made a lightning visit to the local Auchan Hypermarket for some sweet things, some of which might make it back to you 🙂

Futuroscope tomorrow, which is always a good day. If it is as hot as today, the water attractions might be very popular.

Tuesday’s Activities

We have a new logo!Here is the design, chosen by all the children in a democratic vote.

More on this later.

We like to have a quiet relaxing time here at St Cyr…

So today after breakfast we walked to school where we split into 4 groups to do a rotation of activities: working in teams to design a logo for our twinning, tasting local food, playing sports at the local ‘stade’ and making tarte au pomme at an amazing restored, wood burning bread oven in the village. Plus there was lunch to eat, a trip to the lake to meet some of the French families, dinner, our journals…

So to the activities.

The children worked in teams of 2 French and 2 English to design a logo that incorporated symbols of both our countries and villages. The designs were selected by vote and all the children voted for the top four. The chosen design which you can see above was designed by this team:

Well done girls!

The food tasting included local specialties, meat, cheeses, desserts, but most important of all les escargots!

Virtually all the children tried them, some more than one!

The wood burning oven was amazing. It’s over 200 years old and has recently been restored by a group of local people who are keen to preserve traditional country ways.

At the ‘four au pain’ we made apple tarts, which were then put into the oven at around 300 degrees to cook for about 15 minutes. Later, when they had cooled, we were able to enjoy our work. Miam, as they would say here.

This evening’s room inspection went very well, I will try to get some pictures of the next one!

As I write (9.30pm French time) many boys, including Mr Drury are watching the first half of the England – France game, but the children will need to go to bed promptly for an early start as we head for La Rochelle in the morning.

Here’s Ella’s thoughts on the visit so far:

This has been an amazing 3 days for me and I hope it is for everybody else. I can’t wait for the next 2 days! I have enjoyed spending time with my friends especially my roomies ERIN E and ERIN Q. I have even tried 2 snails which were kind of nice.

Hi this is Erin Q.

I have had the best time in France so far! I have loved meeting my penpals and sharing my bedroom with Ella and Erin E. I have even tried snails which were disgusting!

Hi it’s Erin E.

I can not believe how much fun I’ve had over the last few days and can’t wait to see what awaits me over the next days. I especially have enjoyed my room mates Ella and Erin Q. When we achieved 9 out of 10 in room inspections we were over the moon! I am particularly looking forward to Futuroscope and La Rochelle Aquarium.

Monday Evening

Hello and welcome to ‘the story so far’.

Sunday was pretty uneventful (oh how we wish we could have said that on the last couple of year’s trips). Trains were on time, except the last leg slightly was delayed by speed restrictions, caused by the effects of high temperatures. But we were only 20 minutes late and a warm welcome was waiting for us from school and centre staff (and families) when we arrived at the accommodation.

After a snack the children were pretty promptly in bed and asleep.

Monday morning: A good breakfast was enjoyed, followed by walk down to the lake for about half an hour, then it was on to the school.

The French children saw us approaching and were waiting excitedly for us to arrive. Many happy reunions with the children who visited us in March, then on to croissants, pain au chocolat, pain au raisin, chausson etc.

Ms Hingley has a job for life doing ‘A sailor went to sea sea sea’ with ever smaller children!

Football and other games were played in break time and the children just mingled well. Then our children and the french searched the school for various features and named them in French & English.

Then it was back to the centre for lunch ‘sur la terrace’ in the open air, before a brisk walk to the local station at La Tricherie to catch the local train into Poitiers.

With the help of local teachers Barbara and Martine we were given a guided walk around this historic university city, including a stop outside the ‘Hotel de Ville’ for a group shot, then down to a lovely park, and back to the shops for some fabulous ice creams (ordered in French-ish) and to the Chocolat and Macaron, where certain commercial transactions took place.

Finally back to the station and return to the centre.

This evening we have had a meal of crudité followed by pasta with salmon or vegetable sauce and fruit salad!

Since dinner, the children have been writing their journals and will be relaxing around the centre before a fairly early night.

On Tuesday we are at the school all day for a variety of activities – no details yet.

We calculated that we’ve all walked about eight and half miles in total today, and in some fairly warm temperatures, without hearing any winges, so well done to the children. And the sun lotion has been ESSENTIAL and well used already.

That’s it for now, more (with hopefully some contributions from the children) tomorrow.


It’s nearly time to go!

The weather forecast in Poitiers looks very good for next week, so bring plenty of sun lotion, sun hats etc!

Our revised schedule for Wednesday looks good…

…that’s all you’re getting for now!

See you Sunday morning!