Can’t think of a title. Can you?

Isn’t it odd how one child can affect an entire class? In my class of 3eme there are 26 students; one of them, let’s call him L. , has psychological problems (I don’t quite know what these are, but I guess, in my old fashioned way, I’d call him EBD – emotionally/behaviourally disturbed) If he decides to be helpful and quiet, the class runs smoothly, as I truly believe most of the others are “on my side”. But if L. is in a strop, the others seem to take that as permission to kick off as well. Today he was quiet, and so the class went well: I don’t know if he learned anything, but at least it gave the others an opportunity to learn, without being interrupted by me constantly asking L. to stop talking/turn round/not throw things etc etc. And without others following his lead. But I don’t want to just sigh a sigh of relief because he was quiet. I want to be relieved that he learned something too. I really wish I knew how to deal with him – the other teachers just sigh “Oh, L. Yes, he’s a real problem.” and don’t give much help in how to deal with him. The Director says “Tell me if he misbehaves”, but…I’m not sure how helpful that is – and if I keep going to the Director with tales of low-level misbehaviour it makes me seem a complete wimp.

On another note, my Mother in Law arrived yesterday for a week’s stay, with Mr D’s Australian Cousin arriving on Thursday. It’s always nice to see them – I get on well with MiL and Australian Cousin. AC is actually working in London for a year (or maybe two) and so we’ll probably get to see her a couple of times. Which will be nice. They will be going out for walks, I think, while I (sigh) go out to earn the sous! Mind you, I’m not a great walker, so maybe I’d rather work. (No, on second thoughts, I don’t think that’s the case). I’m not working at the weekend though (huzzah!) so we’ll go out then – although Michel across the road has offered to show Mr D how to make vin de peche so we may go and do that. It involves rosé wine and peach leaves left to macerate.

I finally sweetened and decanted my nut wine – a month later than I should have done. Green walnuts collected around St Jean’s day (21st June, I think) were left to macerate in a mixture of red wine and eau de vie, with cinnamon sticks and lemon peel. After adding sugar and bottling them, we have to wait another couple of months before drinking. Last year, one of my students gave me a bottle of his father’s nut wine – which MiL drank most of!!! – so this is replicating his recipe. I hope it’s as nice. I will give MiL her own bottle!

We’ve been invited up to friends on Sunday – it’s coq-au-vin time. We’ll be eating Speckled Jim, which is sad in a way, but as Clare’s a good cook, she’s sure to have done him justice! Speckled Jim was one of our cockerels who went to live with Jean and Clare on their smallholding, as we falsely thought he was plucking the backs of the hens as he had his Wicked Way with them. We have since discovered that it’s Tikka (the Top Hen) who is keeping all the others in order by pecking their feathers out. She’s a rather unpleasant bossy chicken: I don’t give her the scraps when I go up to fed them. She terrorises the others into handing over their scraps instead. Having said that, she’s the only one who has produced any chicks (one of which we’ll be eating on Sunday. Speckled Jim, we salute you.) Photos of hens will follow, when I download them, but we have Raoul, the cockerel, Tikka and Masala, French and Saunders, Rosie and CouNou. They love bits of ham and were fighting over a scrap of paté en croute, but have got rather blasé about left over bread (of which there’ll be a lot today as I didn’t realise Mr D had bought a baguette, and I bought a flute. So we’ll be breaded out at lunch.)

Talking of lunch, I’d better go and make the guacamole. It’s a “Bit” lunch – carrot/sweet potato/pumpkin soup, guacamole, left over salmon and home made houmous. Bits of Stuff. And lots of bread!

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