French Grammar and Périgord Vert

Around 4pm this afternoon my internet connection suddenly went down – don’t know why, just did. Now it says that the user name/or password is wrong, which has happened before. Of course they are wrong, as I know this is usually a line problem.

So, while I await a connection I thought I’d write my blog offline – especially as I’ve not been writing regularly.

This morning I started back on my French course after our break in Brantôme (more of which anon). It’s a shock to the system to wake up at 6.30am after a nice lazy week of waking up whenever and even taking a sieste in the afternoon. It was damp and cold this morning, but not too miserable. Which made the ride to classes a little slippy. I didn’t want to take the risk of running out of fuel on the return trip so made a slight detour to get some fuel at Ormoy on the way in this morning.
Even though I left a little later than usual I still arrived in Corbeil (where my classes are) at 8.30am. Amazing the change that having all the kids on holiday makes to the roads. They are off for 2 weeks, so it’s at least going to be a quiet trip in the mornings. To be honest that’ll be a mini holiday in itself.

The teacher gave me back the test I did just before going on holiday “expression écrit” – which he was mainly pleased with despite a few mistakes. This morning we analysed a text then did a “dictée” – when the teacher reads out a few paragraphs chosen from the text which we then have to write down. Out of all of that I made maybe 4 mistakes, so I was quite pleased about that.

The only snag is that I’m still trying to get my head around French grammar and all the groups for the adverbs, verbs, pronoms etc. I know I’ll get there, but it’s taking a bloody long time!

So on to the holiday. After all that build up we just had a quiet time down in Brantôme at Thumpah’s Dad’s place down there. It’s a lovely town in the Périgord (south west of France) – although definately preferable when the visit is outside the Summer season. In fact perhaps even before the Summer it can get a little bit too busy. Once we went on New Years Eve for the weekend and the place was totally dead. But it was peaceful. Trouble is, an 8 hour drive is a bit much for a weekend.
Anyway as I said, we had a quiet time. Apart from the first few days when it rained almost continueously, we managed to go on a few walking trips. We also went into Périgueux (the city of that region) for a walk, then went to the cinéma there to see “Man to Man”. Was quite a good film – but of course I saw it dubbed into French. Kristen Scott-Thomas not surprisingly dubbed her own role in the film, she can speak French fluently.
On the way down to Brantôme we stopped off in nearby Nontron to buy our groceries for the week. Whilst looking around the supermarket we came across 4 or 5 shelves of English food. I shouldn’t have been amazed as there are so many English people living in that region now, but I was anyway. We bought a few things, beans, HP Sauce, biscuits (chocolate caramel digetives, Hob Nobs & Custard Creams), a tinned steak & kidney pie etc… vowing that on the return trip that we’d stop off on the way home to buy a few more things.
Of course it’s great to find English food, but it’s so expensive even so. For me it cheers me up no end, because I ran out of my last stocks of HP sauce and a few other things about 6 months ago.

Anyway the trip back was quite uneventful. Having the Ford Focus makes it that much easier compared to when we had the Renault 5.

Article about English food in France…

Trip to Brantôme…
Stopping on the way down to Brantôme, the other side of Orleàns

Rainy first morning Chipie was desperate for a basket… any basket… Maison des canards Off to the hauters of Brantôme Nearly at the top… Looking down on Brantôme Our Chipie Back down hill… Centre Ville La Dronne Snapshot of life in Brantôme

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