This is my first attempt at blogging and I'm not really sure where to start. Firstly, I thought I'd just give you a bit of background about me, my family and what you can expect to discover from my blogs.
In the UK I was a mother of 3 and an IT trainer, my husband Gary was a Lecturer in Horticulture and between us we ran a Guest House on the Kent Coast. We moved to France 7 years ago and now I am a mother of 5 and we live in a watermill which we will be renovating for the rest of our lives. To try and make ends meet, we rent out 3 holiday apartments and run a Garden Centre and Landscape Gardening Business. In our spare time (huh what's that!), we run a Gardening Club which meets monthly and we occasionally host French students to help them learn English.
Our eldest son was 14 when we moved here - a difficult age to move country. He won a scholarship to a private school in England when he was 11 and was a day pupil at the time. We decided it made sense for him to stay put and become a boarder and spend his holidays at home with us in France. That has worked very well, he got top grades in his GCSE's and A levels and is now studying for a Masters in Chemistry at Bristol University. This September (2011) he'll be studying for a year at a University in Montpelier and I'm really looking forward to hearing his first hand experiences of the differences between Uni in the UK and France. I will of course share them with you, so watch this space...
Our second eldest son was 10 when we moved here and went straight into the final year at a State Primaire. It wasn't an easy first year but luckily, thanks to a really good teacher, he had sufficient French at the end of the year to go on to College. He spent 2 years at the local State College (which wasn't very good), so we changed him to a Private College where he's done very well. He's now 17 and in their Lycee section about to enter his last year (Terminale) studying for the BAC S (Science).
Our third son was 2 when we arrived, so he's only known French schools. He's now 9 and about to enter CM1 at the local State Primaire. Our fourth son is 6 and is currently at Maternelle and will be starting Primaire in September '11. Finally our fifth child (a daughter at last) is 3 and she too goes to the Maternelle.
So that's us in a nutshell and over the coming months I'll be expanding on subjects affecting expat families in France - education, health, babies, toddlers, young children, teenagers and adolescents, childcare, holiday clubs, activities, days out and anything else I can think of. I've got so much info in me I think I might burst! Hopefully some of it you'll find useful, interesting and/or entertaining. If this sounds interesting to you then please check back from time to time to see how I'm progressing, if it doesn't then sorry, but you can't please everyone. Any ideas for topics you'd like me to cover will be very welcome.