You know it’s nearly la rentrée (the return to school) when…

  1. You’ve just got into the swing of the holidays.
  2. You get your allocation rentrée scolaire. This welcome payment to lower income families is a huge help when it comes to kitting out the kids for the year with the books, clothes and sports gear they’ll need.
  3. You notice a definite chilliness in the early mornings at exactly the time you’ll be waiting for the school bus in a couple of weeks’ time.
  4. The liste de fournitures (school equipment list) that you’ve been carefully minding all holidays disappears just as you’re about to set off and do that essential shopping.
  5. The sample magazines arrive with every post. There’s a relentless campaign to get you to sign up for yearly subscriptions to mags at this time of year with the bribe of decidedly naff free gifts but only if you agree to take on an unfeasibly large amount of them.
  6. The kids put on a sudden growth spurt so nothing at all from the end of last term fits them any more.
  7. You realise you haven’t ticked anything off that ‘to do in the holidays’ list you drew up…

Yes, it’s la rentrée!