“You might be quite impressed by the shopping in Val, but us Brits who live here year-round would do just about anything for an M&S, a Next or any other of your local high street shops. Even Boots the Chemist takes on a whole new attraction!
So when we were invited to London by the British Infantry recently, my biggest excitement wasn’t the event itself but the chance of an afternoon in Oxford Street! Not even really the thought of buying stuff (though that too of course), but the being able to spend hours browsing in every shop…….
Dragged poor Jock along as well, though he escaped pretty quickly and headed for the boys’ toys in Regent Street (Hamleys and Apple)!
At first I was like a kid at Christmas but no-one told me how long Oxford Street is, how hot and stuffy it is in London in June, how many people there are or how busy the shops would be.
Primark was the last straw. I’d heard so much about it I just had to see for myself, but it was a nightmare – people everywhere, boiling hot, so much stuff you couldn’t find anything if you know what I mean. So straight in the first taxi and back to the hotel, found Jock and went to relax in the sun at the bar across the road – a much better idea.
When we got back home to Val I did all the shopping online– M&S and Next deliver to France now!
If you’d driven through Val at the end of June, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Pied Piper had paid us a visit or that you’d stumbled into the set of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There wasn’t a child over 6 to be seen anywhere in Val.
For the older kids, nothing unusual about that – from the age of 11 the local children go to school down the valley in Bourg and only come back on Wednesday afternoons and at weekends.
But the primary school children, aged from 6 to 11, were all away on school trips, and here in France or at least in Val the school trips they get are brilliant!
This year Jack’s class and the class below (so the 9, 10 and 11 year olds) had a week in Paris visiting all the famous sights. The 3 younger classes went to the Ardeche, about 3 hours south of here where the little ones had a circus school and the older group learned to kayak.
In previous years our children have had some amazing trips – even sailing in Porquerolles (a car free island off the South coast) one year and sand-yachting near Montpelier another time.
Certainly makes my only school outing 30+ years ago in Scotland – a half day walking up the Lomond Hills – look pretty boring in comparison!