La compétition

To do a post about our first gymnastics competition in France does not make much sense, because it was almost the same as what we knew in Cape Town. We sat long on hard seats and the program ran late. The parents were friendly, we drank ‘tuckshop’ coffee and we ran around with our cameras. One difference was that the ‘tuckshop’ sold croissants and pain au chocolat… with the chips and chocolates. All that was really different was that the hall was WARM (with 6 degrees outside). We were remembering sitting under our blankets in Oudtshoorn or the Velodrome. : ) The gymnasts walked around in their leotards and Alfie did not hang his big jacket around their shoulders before they compete.
They played lively music for the gymnasts to march on, but the judges didn’t get any mention or music… that they can learn from South Africa.

This was actually a very relaxed competition, don’t know if they get more serious later on. France has 26 regions, which are divided into 95 departments. Our region is Ile-de-France and is divided into four departments of which Paris centre is one. We are number 95, Val d’oise. This competition was for Val d’oise only and to qualify for competing in the Ile-de-France competition. The girls did well. Franci was first on beam and came 4th overall. Mandi was first on floor and came 8th overall… fell off beam twice : )

the girls were pretty and Fred the coach was his usual calm self…

...and just as the ACS coaches would do… tells you with a smile that something was bent, but it is OK…
 

…a nice day in Goussainville, close to Charles de Gaulle airport.

Cergy’m club won 14 medals and the next competition is in two weeks time. A team competition where the club will compete as one team.

Advertisements

The ‘chick’ from Versailles

My niece and her friend visited us for the weekend. A relaxed, happy time spend with them. Young people. They woke up late, played monopoly and spend time on computers. : )

On Saturday we did the tourist thing and went to Château de Versailles. A lovely sunshine day, but only 5 degrees. So, geared with gloves and scarves we went.

The buildings are beautiful, gold, marble, and more. The gardens are so big you can call them parks. A four hour walk and we didn’t see all of the gardens. We will have to go back in summer. I am sure it will be covered with flowers then and the fountains will be giving their displays.

And to quote my young niece, Marleen: “This is the chick who lived here.” : )
(aka Marie Antoinette…)

Let’s tackle 2012.

It feels strange to start a new year, but all activities are actually halfway already. Obviously, because the school year in France starts in September and finish end of June. The schools reopened again yesterday after a two week break over Christmas. The school calender in France has three terms, with a two week break in the middle of the first two terms. That means 4 two week holidays and two months in July and August. Not too bad.

We are still waiting for the snow. It would be unfair to let us be so cold and you don’t even see snow! : ) It is the coldest month now, I’ve heard, and can feel! Mostly about 5 or 6 degrees in the day, but we do get a lot of sunshine. At least then it does not ‘feel’ so cold, as when it is a grey day. But we know that spring is coming next! I have daffodils flowering in my garden already!

The first gymnastic competition for the girls is end of January and another one beginning of February. And the competitions carry on till June when it is the France finals, but that’s for later. The girls had to learn a whole lot of new elements in their routines. Mandi said that she’s probably one level up and Franci almost two, so we will see how it goes. It will still be exciting to see how things work here.

We also want to move closer to Danie’s work end of June. Where, we still don’t know, but we’ve started to look around over week-ends. The girls would love to stay at their gym, the boys want to stay at their school, and Danie has to stay at his work : ) The only problem is that those three things are in three different directions. I think in the end we will just consider the travel to work and start in new schools and a new gym. But, that also, we will see what happens.

And, I am trying to be really organised in the house. : ) There will always be bread (baguettes) in the morning to pack for the boys and Danie, never run out of milk, and I won’t have to go to Carrefour every day for whatever is needed… ok… So, I did my first ‘drive’ shopping at LeClerc. Buy on the internet and say what time you want to pick it up, then you just park at a ‘scanner box’, scan your bar code and in a minute or two someone comes and load your shopping in the car. Nice. That’s for all the boring things you have to buy every month, toilet paper, washing powder, and so on. Now, my weekly list is much shorter. First week went well, so let’s see!

…and just some interesting things…

parking in Paris…

you mess, you clean up…

‘traffic’ signs in the river for the boats…

pictures made from post-it cards in office blocks…

graffiti is everywhere in Paris…

and for those of you that watch 7de laan, a bookshop with this name…