Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On strike

Not me. I'm not on strike. They don't exist where I work... (sounds sinister doesn't it?). France was supposed to be on strike today, but down here you had to look pretty hard to notice anything untoward, unless you have children, of course. Would I surprise anyone if I said that the teachers took this opportunity to strike? No, I didn't think so. It was in order to safeguard our darlings' futures though. Well, I suppose that's all right then, isn't it? I don't mind having to take annual leave for a day so that my darlings are assured a job for life, working a 35-hr week and retirement on full pension at 55. YIPPEE. I can sleep at night again. Gosh I've been worried...

If the CPE (Contrat Premiere Embauche) goes through, they owe me a day's leave.

Did I go and demonstrate in the centre of Montpellier alongside my youngest's teacher, clutching my youngest in one hand, and brandishing a banner in the other? Erm.... no. I ran errands, collected an extra child, made pizza for lunch, and tried to bring a little science into the day, to make it vaguely educational by setting up a volcanic experiment using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. The boys were terribly excited at the prospect of foaming red 'lava' careering down the plastic volcano, but when we came to look for said plastic volcano - essential prop for maximum volcanic effect - it had slipped through a wormhole into a parallel universe and refused to come back. To date it is still missing. Lost in space, outside, in the boys' messy bedroom, in the garden, under the car, in a box in the garage... who knows?

We had to put aside our one educational episode until another time and the boys went outside to fire at each other from inside those boxes from the garage.

I then had a visit from Pierrette who had brought me some snazzy trousers to try on in the comfort of my own home rather than entertain the gallery with an impromptu striptease at the puces. We also chatted, and she told me how the woman on the next stand to her had had a leather jacket stolen last Sunday. This woman had brought it for a client, but it was stolen before she could sell it, which meant the client was annoyed, and she lost a valuable sale. It seems the puces is crawling with thieves who watch for moments of inattention to steal handbags placed on the floor while women look through clothes, and any decent clothes that are not knotted to clothes-rails.

I'll probably see Pierrette this way again; either go to her house, or have her come to mine. It's much more relaxed, the boys don't moan, and I can try everything on and make informed decisions on the spot.

So, when's the next strike?


  1. Hi Sarah
    we had a brief conversation about AOC lentils a little while ago. I finally got round to cooking them last night and they were very nice, even the kids ate them. I'm not sure if they are worth the extra price but we all enjoyed them and if the kids will eat them......
    On the subject of the volcano- we made one with modelling clay and a yoghurt pot a couple of weeks ago and that worked just fine. It was a true Blue Peter moment!

  2. Hi Lisa,
    I'm pleased the lentils were a success. One gets to have a pathetic gratitude to any decent food one's kids eat!
    Update on the missing volcano - it reappeared last night snugly tucked away in the depths of the sofa. I hope it enjoyed its journey...

  3. From a distance it looks like the French are out to commit economic suicide!


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