Sunday, 15 April 2012

My Happy Place

Normandy, France. 

painted by P
I arrive and it takes less than an hour for all the stress of home, work and routine to fall away. We are lucky enough to have a house here (as I may have mentioned before) so there is no settling-in period, we are just home. The children go to 'their' bedroom, P heads for the kitchen and I collapse onto a sofa.

This Easter holiday we have had 2 weeks, but it feels like much longer. It takes 9 hours door-to-door (6 of which are spend eating and being entertained on a cross-Channel ferry) but home feels so far away in time and space.  For the children, the holiday starts on the ferry with a play room, children's entertainers and cinema. For P and I, it starts with a cooked breakfast in the on-board restaurant.

We had guests for a  week in the middle of stay. A couple with 2 teenage boys who I had only met once before. (P auctioned a week in our house at the end-of-term school ball in the summer) I didn't know how R and M would react to having 2 older boys staying in their space, but it was fine. R got on particularly well with the 13  year-old, bonding over Pokemon DS games. P kept his end of the auction bargain by feeding us all especially well during the days they were with us.
We were lucky to have bright sunny weather, even if it was cold, so we were able to go out and about. We visited a theme park and aquarium, both of which are familiar favourites.

Our guests brought Hot Cross Buns with them for breakfast on Good Friday and on Easter morning we hid 50 eggs in the garden for the kids to hunt for. M had packed her Easter basket so it was obligatory, but little else seemed to be going to celebrate Easter, so we did one of the things I love to do; browse round a Vide Grenier (empty attic, the French version of a car boot sale) Look what I picked up for 1Euro this time! I have plans for it!
I found the time to read 6 books on my beloved Kindle. I finished the 3rd book in the 'Millennium' trilogy. Gripping stuff. A really good read. I sobbed my way through 'War Horse'. R had asked to read it but I wanted to 'vet' it first. Glad I did - he's not ready for something so emotionally charged.  My cultural fix was 'The Old Curiosity Shop', by Charles Dickens. I've never read it, though I'm sure I ought to have and, having ploughed through a biography of Dickens I was given for Christmas, I decided to remedy that. It was a good story, if a little long - one of my main problems with all Dickens' novels.
Finally, I read all 2 'Hunger Games' novels back to back. Amazing. I was totally hooked, and I'm afraid I may have ben guilty of neglect while I was reading them. I haven't seen the film, but the novels were a fantastic read.

It's not easy to come back to real life, but it's only 7 weeks until June half term. In that time I have a lot to do to prepare my students and myself for exams. Hope everyone else had a good Easter.


Sian said...

Sounds perfect.

i love Old Curiosity Shop - I was surprised at how funny parts of it were

Melissa said...

Oh, Kirsty, it sounds like a lovely time. How wonderfully generous that y'all auctioned off the week & the two teenagers got a retreat, too.