June in France is all about holidays and exams. Thursday 2nd June is a public holiday – Ascension. And because it’s a Thursday, schools and many businesses take the Friday off too. It’s called faire le pont – to make the bridge. So nothing much will happen till after the weekend now. And hard on Ascension’s heels, comes Pentecost, so we get le lundi de pentec__ôte as the next bank holiday on the 13th June. Pentecost is when Christians celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit fifty days after Easter Day when Jesus was resurrected. It always strikes me as odd that France, such a studiously secular country on the political front, has public holidays with a religious background. I’m not complaining. I’m happy to have them. They’re not days off for us since we’re self-employed, but there’s no school and I don’t have to make the one kilometre round trip to check the post box at lunch time!

Carrying Bertie out to the field with Mum Windermere in tow

The summer holiday season for Angling Lines clients is in full swing now. We’ve had bookings on our big lake and in our gite and lakes since March, but the busiest time is getting under way. Windermere was very co-operative having little Bertie when she did. The summer’s guests will have the extra fun of seeing a little llama discovering the world.

Next week will be a sort of holiday for us since Chris’s sister and brother and their families are coming for a week. It’s a long, long time since we got together. I shall be meeting my sister-in-law Abby and my kids will be meeting their cousins Sam and Nuala for the first time. Then the following week Benj and Caiti will be at home for a study week before they take their Bac starting on June 20th. OK, that’s not holiday, certainly not for them, but it’s a good preparation for les grandes vacances (summer school hols) which start at the beginning of July since it gets me used to having to feed two hungry teens every day again. (See this post.)

The Bac is le Baccalaureat, the set of exams that students take at lycée, and roughly equivalent to A-levels, but slightly higher. They take these in two sittings. The first is at the end of their second year there (Première), and the second batch at the end of their third and final year – Terminale. Caiti is taking French this year. Benj did that last year, plus maths and science, so this year he has to cope with philosophy (sad face), history and geography (so-so face) and German (happy face)! He’s already done his German oral, and despite it not going along the lines he expected, he came out confident and pleased with

Rors watches as the scaffolding comes down

how things went. Caiti is not very excited about her French (neutral face), but she’s done well in the mocks (examens blancs), despite her difficult few months of being ill. And even Ruadhri has several evaluations coming up. He’s not bothered (happy face). He has a minimalist approach to devoirs (homework) and schoolwork in general, but is doing very well.

Oh, and a last holiday. It’s the Nouzerines fête this coming weekend. Despite pushing it right to the  line, all the scaffolding has come down from around the church, which now sports a fine new bell tower. I’ll be womanning the AIPB cake stall, with the help (I hope) of one or other children. If you’re local, then please come and support us!