Monday – a day with a common theme

Monday morning saw the group introduced to the breakfast routine at the centre. A help-yourself arrangement with cereals, French bread, jam, honey, nut spread, fruit, yoghurts and drinking chocolate as well as juice and water.

Suitably fueled up, we headed for the lake next to the centre, which was a good place to get some cool fresh air and clear any remaining cobwebs.

Then we walked the short distance to the school to a warm welcome and reacquaint ourselves with the penpals. Ecole du lac had laid on juice, croissants and pain au chocolat which were enjoyed, before a group photo for the local newspaper and then a treasure hunt around the school site. The morning ended with the French children singing us two songs, one in French about a Rainbow of Languages followed by the Beatles classic “Hello, Goodbye”.

We returned to the centre for lunch.

Lunch in France is a leisurely hour and a half affair, with 4 courses; a cheese puff to start, then battered fish with cauliflower cheese, a cheese course and a chocolate dessert – and French bread. The specific dietary requirements were covered with alternatives.

So then to the coach for the journey to Poitiers.

This is a very attractive city on a hill surrounded by a loop in the river. It has many old and grand official buildings and a top ranked university.

We looked in the 11th century Notre Dame church then walked to the main square outside the Hotel de Ville, where the children were able to order drinks. Diabalos are fizzy water with added colourful flavoured syrup in fraise, menthe, peche, limonade etc.

Suitably refreshed we set off to find shops to buy postcards and small gifts before discovering a Breton style crepe and waffle outlet. Most of the children decided to have one and the menu list gave them a chance to practice more French. Crepe with Nutella was a popular choice.

On our return to the centre they spent some time relaxing and doing their journals before dinner: tomato salad, burger and chips and choc ices for dessert… and French bread.

The last hours before bed time were mostly spent playing games in the outside spaces, preparing rooms for Mr Drury’s legendary room inspections and pondering today’s “questions of the day”. The children have to look out for words and information in places and on buildings that Mr Drury might ask about. The points from this go towards the totals for the rooms.

So, as you can see, a busy, full on day, but no shortage of calorie intake!

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