Village Fête

P1050108The village of Bournazel celebrates its traditional fête in the week leading up to the second Sunday in August. Everything culminates in a 600 person meal on the Sunday night followed by fireworks and a disco.

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It all starts with the flags

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Put up with the usual respect for health and safety!

On Wednesday a night walk attracts 100 plus and on Thursday night a “night market “. An opportunity to eat really local. Producers of “aligot”, organic vegetables, pork and veal, and ice cream, provide an opportunity to taste their products whilst sitting under the plane trees.

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Friday is Paella at the local restaurant and Saturday “apéro concert”.

Monday is  VERY quiet!



The weather in May here usually seems designed to enable us to make the most of the ridiculous number of  bank holidays (4 this year, a mere 2 next year!) but this year despite having had barbecues in April, May has hardly been full of opportunities for al fresco dining. What’s more it has been even more capricious than usual. Given where we are, at the crossroads of  several geographical features and weather fronts, we are pretty used to sudden variations, but this month has been spectacular that way: the most extreme being a daytime high of 32 turning into a night time low 24 hours later of 4!

Despite, or maybe because of, that I have never seen such an incredible display of spring blossom or so much noise from baby birds, nature seems to have really thrived on the mild winter and changeable spring climate. The eves of every house have swallows nests, the trees droop under the weight of acacia flowers, the night is alive with the sound of baby owls. May is often a lovely month here and in the UK. but this year has been really special, now if only the rain would stop so I could go out and enjoy it!

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What a difference a decade makes, part 2

So, as I said in part 1, a decade ago the mornings looked a little different to how they look now!


6 get up; prepare son and self.

6.45 leave house and struggle through traffic to nursery

7ish (very ish, given the traffic variables!) have son dragged screaming from arms.

7.05 ish start drive to work, this was always the big variable! The drive, if done in the middle of the night, from St Albans to north Watford is 15 minutes, but given that the towns are on junctions of the M25, the M10, and the M1…….well what can I say, an average journey time of an hour, but you need to leave an 1 hour and a half to be sure.

? arrive at work, usually running and clutching my mobile, giving instructions, trying to avert the latest disaster caused by students or staff!

8.30 morning meeting

Teaching and admin and firefighting until 6/7 or 9.30 (if evening classes)

Fight way back home, dinner, marking, preparation, large amounts of wine, bed!


7.30 get up, (son, now 13 prepares himself! ), breakfast, leisurely shower, check Facebook.

8.35  leave for work on foot, going via chickens to let them out and collect eggs.

8.45 arrive at work, receive instructions

1.45  break (didn’t get one of those in UK!)

3.30 back to work

5  leave work!

How things have changed! Not only that but here are a few photos of the “commute”

P1020533P1000318  The village of BournazelP1000311Dawn over the fieldsP1030726 P1020663 Le chemin de l’écoleP1020593 0c4dc-p1020886