Okay, so I’m a couple of weeks late in writing this due to Christmas, etc. but as I’m now preparing (or at least I should be) for the big move to Spain, it’s time for the final update on my time in France.
My final week was a busy one, full of tuneless carol singing, emotional goodbyes and lots of food! My penultimate Friday was spent fielding questions about the verity of Father Christmas from my bébés (the primary school) whilst they begged to impress me with their performances of ‘Happy Birthday’ (it was cute, even if it wasn’t my birthday!). My favourite question from an inquisitive 7 year-old was “Est-ce qu’il y’a les voitures en Angleterre?” (Do they have cars in England?). Needless to say, these cute little French children have made me a little broody for a French-speaking child… (Don’t worry Si/mum/dad) and have confirmed that if I do ever become a teacher it will be at primary level rather than the hormonal adolescent secondary level.
That evening, it was our staff Christmas dinner, an amazing four-course dinner cooked by the school chef (who is wasted on cooking for unappreciative school children!). The meal included sushi, lobster, lamb with gravy (!) and potatoes with foie gras, finished off with the little cream pots that the French are so good at and not to mention copious amounts of wine! The headmaster also presented me with a gift, which I presumed was a box of chocolates until he insisted I open it there and then (believe me, I did not want to share my chocolates!) and it turned out to be a beautiful watch! After the meal, in a bizarre twist of events, our headmaster then insisted that we all go to le mourillon for drinks, where he bought us all (as he proudly stated) ‘sex on the beach’ cocktails…
On the Saturday, a group of other assistants descended on my flat to cook our own Christmas dinner, with all the English trimmings for the benefit of our American/Canadian/Italian friends. After spending a good amount of time googling bizarre things to try and work out if our turkey had giblets or not, we managed to pull off a pretty good spread if I do say so myself, including homemade stuffing and bread sauce.
The rest of the week passed quickly with my amazing idea to have ‘Christmas parties’ with all my classes (I.e. make a million mince pies, get the children to bring in lots of e-numbers and play party games for an hour) – I even got a couple of gifts of wine and chocolate from some of my pupils: another reason to be a teacher? After a final mad dash to say goodbye to everyone, finish my Christmas shopping and pack my life back into two suitcases, I headed on a hellish journey (bomb scares, delays, queues, bad weather, etc) back off to old Blighty.
Anyway, here I am again, back at the start, about to head off to Spain… I suppose it’s better late than never to say: Thank you for a brilliant 4 months, Toulon, for 4 months of amazing friendships, food and travels!
A la prochaine fois!