We’re off to France


We will be spending the autumn in France and this blog is our way to stay in touch with family and friends while away. Hopefully you will find this blog worthwhile, we look forward to your comments.

The plan:

Of course we are just going on a jolly aren’t we?? Not quite….

Patience has been given some money to come and work at the University in Grenoble. She hopes to use the time there to regain here energy after her illness earlier this year and to put some new spring into her research.

Leo will interupt his PhD, although he is hoping to do a fair amount of work while out there. This should not be a problem, as apart from having direct discussions with supervisors and colleagues, it can all be done remotely.

The girls have been registered at an international primary school, and although they are possibly a bit anxious about leaving Portobello for such a long period, they do seem to look forward to the trip. Hopefully they will confirm this on their own pages on this blog.

The schedule:

We plan to leave on the 10th of August, taking the ferry from Newcastle to IJmuiden in the Netherlands. We intend to stay with Leo’s family in de Kwakel for about a week and aim to do some fun stuff there ( hang out with the cousins, lot’s of cycling, boating, visits…. to Amsterdam, Apenheul, Efteling…. who knows). After that we’ll move on to Fontainebleau near Paris, where we will stay with Patience’s friend Marie. The forest of Fontainebleau is famous for it’s bouldering (rock-climbing without ropes on large boulders), so we’ll probably do a fair amount of that. Hopefully we can squeeze in a visit to Paris as well.

The girls will start school in Grenoble on the 1st of September, and we aim to arrive there about a week before, so that there will be some time to settle in, explore, have some more fun and make ourselves feel at home.

Beyond that we are hoping to be able to make use of our time by having loads of short trips into the mountains. We have just bought a new family tent so camping is definitely on the agenda, we might also go and stay in a mountain hut. Leo is bringing his climbing gear so hopefully we can explore some of the local crags to do some rock-climbing. Finally, we might even get some snow towards the end of our stay and be able to do some skiing.

We haven’t booked our return ferry yet but we expect to be back in Portobello around hogmanay.

One Response to “We’re off to France”

  1. Mary Jane Elton Says:

    Hello all of you,
    Hope you have had a fun time in the Netherlands and I guess you are in France. We too are thinking of buying a tent but this time one that is easy to put up and does not easily get blown away. I bumped into a strange object covered in black plastic in the Dalriada garden last night. It felt like a huge concrete christmas tree. Terry the owner says it is a giant shell which will transmit interesting sounds. This must be a Big Things on the Beach idea!

    MJ xxxx

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