mercredi, septembre 14, 2016

Espace Rambouillet

We went Espace Rambouillet on sunday. I went with the boys' school in June but A2 was sick on that day and Seb took care of him.  So he missed out the fun. I promised him that we will go visit it as a family.

Espace Rambouillet is a big forest park, home to many deers and wild boars. We walked in the forest to try to find the wild animals.After walking for half an hour, we came upon a herd of deers. We looked through our pair of binoculars to have a close up of the animals. A1 tried to walk closer to the animals silently.
In the group, there were male, female and baby deers. It was a beautiful sight. They were calm and moving slowly following the male leader. At the end were a few male deers making sure everyone were following.
We walked for another hour in the forest and came upon a group of wild boars. We kept a distance and observed them through the binoculars. A2 was afraid to go too near while A1 was trying his best to walk slowly and quietly to get a closer view.

At 3.30pm, we watched the birds of the prey show. The owls were the first to show up and they were perching near the spectators. They were pretty.

There were other birds like eagles, hawks and even vultures. They flew around and flew so low that one vulture's wing hit my head. Their wings were big and when they flew past, the sound of the wind was impressive.

The show was very entertaining and the highlight of the day. After the bird show, we went to the tree top walk at Odyssee Vert. The boys had fun walking along the bridge from tree to tree.

With that, we concluded our day at the park. There was a playground and picnic area at the entrance of the park. We enjoyed our day.
4 years ago when we visited this place, we did not get to see as many animals. The boys were young then and could not walk too long. 

Mushroom villages

The boys were on their bicycles and I was on foot with Handsome running around in the forest. The boys wanted to go further than our usual route. I agreed and we reached to this sandy area at the end of the forest. It was a long walk for me. A usual 30 to 45mins walk got prolonged to an hour and a half.
We spotted clusters of mushrooms. There were mushrooms villages popping up here and there.
Pretty little things.
Despite being mid September, the weather is still hot. We are enjoying this late summer with dinners on the terrace. Enjoying while it lasts.

dimanche, septembre 04, 2016

School has started

School started last thursday on 1 September. A1 and A2 are in the same class again. There were more than 20 kids who finished primary school last year and only 6 3-years old starting kindergarten. This reduces greatly the population of the school. As such, a teacher was made redundant.
The rest of the three teachers in this kindergarten-primary school have to divide up the classes. 

Now, all three levels in kindergarten are taught by Sophie. Florence is taking the classes CP, CE1 and half of CE2. Véronique, the school principal is having the other half class of CE2, CM1 and CM2. This gives an average of 24 pupils for each teacher.

As A1 is in CE1 and A2 is in CP, they are both with Florence. Each teacher can choose his/her teaching materials. Last year, A1's CP teacher was using an old textbook dated more than 16 years old. This time round, Seb is happy to see that A2's CP teacher is using a different textbook. He does not want to go through the same reading material as A1 for A2. 

As I had mentioned before, studying in public schools in France is free. We do not pay school fees and only pay for lunch meals. Textbooks, exercise books and note books are provided by the school for free. 
The boys have to provide their pencil cases with writing pens and pencils, ruler, compass, color pencils, erasers and such. I spent about 10€ for their stationery this year.

dimanche, août 28, 2016

A glider experience

I have my first glider flight today. I received it as my birthday present. The glider club was about 25mins drive from home. We began at 10.30am for the flight briefing. It was mainly information about the weather of the day and who were assigned to the planes.

I was assigned to my pilot Benoit with 3 other people. While Benoit was checking on the sailplane , we listened attentively to his explanation and instructions. We were also briefed on the use of the parachute in case we needed to eject from the plane in mid-air.
After that, the gliders waited in line to be aerotowed by the powered aircraft . While waiting for my turn, we had a picnic lunch. The boys played baby-foot in the club's room to kill time. They also patiently watched gliders taking off and landing. A2 even got invited to sit in a glider.

 When it was my turn, I put on my parachute and took my place. Because of my light weight, metal weights were added just below my seat. The 50m rope of the powered aircraft was hooked onto the front of the glider and then we were off.
At the attitude of 500m, my pilot released the rope and we soared higher and higher by "riding" on the wind. That also meant that the glider was turning in circles. I assured my pilot that I was alright with the twirls.

Our highest attitude was 1200m. He could not go higher as the aviation regulation did not allow in case of collision with commerical planes.Our fastest speed was 190km/h with the 40km/h wind pushing us from behind.

Today was an ideal day. The wind was strong and my experienced pilot knew exactly when to ride on it.  He even let me pilot the glider when we were very high and it was not at all easy.We did a sharp left tilt and I had a thrill. It was fun.We had a difficult time during descent as the wind was blowing us up.

The flight lasted about 30mins and we managed to go to Chartres to see the cathedrale.

The landing was just as smooth as the take off. The boys were happy to see me when I landed. They wanted to try too. They have to wait a while because they have to be at least 33kg to fit into the parachute before they can fly.

The people at the Club CVVE were very friendly. We had a great afternoon at Bailleau. After seeing my videos taken in the air, Seb shows interest in trying out too. I love this experience so much that I will try it again. Maybe at another location for a change of scenary.