Now that it’s term time, our lives are governed by school buses – la ramassage scolaire – again. Monday is the worst day. I have to get two teenagers, one of whom is as not a morning person as it’s possible to be, to their bus stop 10 km away by 6.45 am. That takes some doing believe me. Everything has to be ready the night before. We briefly wondered about getting Caiti dressed the night before too and possibly even sat in the car in readiness. Yes, she’s the one who can’t get up!

Ruadhri’s bus is at a much more civilised hour. At 8am a new, shiny, white minibus pulls up at the gate at the top of our long drive. It takes Ruadhri on a very roundabout route picking up his widely-scattered fellow pupils, first past his old school at Nouzerines and then on to his even older (maternelle) school at Bussiere St Georges. He changes bus there which means he has 10 minutes or so playing time in the yard until the bus for St Marien comes. Then it’s a quick run to his new school.

When I first got the timetable, I was a bit upset he’d be spending so long on the bus in the mornings. But someone has to be first on, and whoever planned the route was good enough to organise it so that Ruadhri is first off in the evening. He gets home at about ten past five, just twenty-five minutes after getting out of school. He’s enjoying taking the bus. As an incredibly bad traveller, I was worried he be green by the time he got to school, but so far so good.

Benj and Caiti reappear on Friday evenings. Their timetables mean they can get the early coach back, pulling into Le Poteau about 6pm so we’re home ten minutes later. And then we can have two days without worrying about missing a bus …