Marie's ZumbaOk, so this doing something new every day is proving more difficult than I anticipated. I’m doing work experience at a gym in Tarbes so I can get my English fitness teaching qualifications validated. It has been fairly arduous getting to this point, battling with the French administration, so I thought the actual teaching would be easier…

But I am being reminded, painfully, that I haven’t taught exercise to music classes for almost 10 years. And now I have to do it in French. Physically and mentally drained after teaching four classes a day, and a mentor (pictured teaching Zumba) who has yet to learn the art of positive feedback, I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. But yesterday was better and I even got a pat on the back!Lahitte Info committee

I revisted another former career in the evening when I went to my first committee meeting for our local newspaper, the Lahitte Info. I was roped into this after admitting I was a journalist in a former life. It was a surreal experience with lots of “Tais-toi!” (shut up) and me trying to judge the right moment to venture forth with a tentative comment. Really enjoyed it, though, and feel honoured to have a byline in the April edition.

Another first was today giving Wolfie her spring shave. No more Dial-a-Dog-Wash for us. Two hours later and Wolfie was bare. Missing a small piece of ear (oops) but otherwise unscathed. Robert, the local farmer, said it was a very good ‘coiffure’. That’s both children and dog successfully self-sheared. Oh well, if the teaching doesn’t work out…

Wolfie pre-shaveWolfie shaved

Today's jobs

Ah, the wonderful sound of work. Today, sawing and hoovering upstairs as the workways put up a new wall and door between the family bedrooms and guest accommodation. It’s going well and the door looks great so I have no idea why Seamus is looking so grumpy. Chris is in the smallest room in the house… tiling the pilgrims’ toilet.

I taught two French fitness classes this morning and have another two tonight. First is the scariest class – Aerogym – a hardcore combo of aerobics and toning set to music. Teaching yoga doesn’t require me to coordinate movement with a beat so I am finding it quite challenging.

Most days here we do something completely new, which requires us to do the best preparation we can and then just jump right in without thinking about it too much. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Try it!

Our first pilgrimsHow fitting that the first Happy Coulson blog should blossom into life on the first day of Spring. Our first pilgrims, two charming German girls, left this morning on the seventh day of their walk along the Chemin de St Jacques towards Spain. We weren’t supposed to be opening until after Easter but the local tourist office phoned and we couldn’t say no.Our workways

Fortunately, our gorgeous Australian workaways didn’t mind sharing the dorm room. Seamus and Chell have been with us for four days and fitted straight in – Chell has just done her yoga teacher training in India so she’s coming to all my classes!

The sun is shining, the mountains look amazing and there is wood being chopped in the meadow. Happy days at Happy Coulson.

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