Trying to choose a photo to represent our August was tricky. We have done so many fun things together as a family this summer, despite both of us continuing to work hard. Chris has been out cleaning pools every morning and we have had lots of campers and pilgrims. I have been teaching a few yoga classes and hosting and teaching French students for English immersion. But there is nothing we do that our kids can’t do too, and that’s the best bit of our life in France.

Having French students to stay means we get paid to do cool stuff during the holidays, and we have recently discovered canoeing in our local river. We have a 17ft Canadian canoe that we used on the Norfolk Broads when the kids were small but the rivers here are very different. This year, though, we ventured out with the local river association and we can now all hold our own in both canoe and individual kayaks. The river is so beautiful – wild and unspoiled – that Chris and I are seriously considering a two-week canoe trip from where we live to the sea when the kids are at Scout Camp next year.

Summer is festival time in this part of France – there are amazing events going on every single weekend. Even after five years we are still discovering new festivals, and this year we have had the pleasure of sharing them with friends from France and overseas. It is always wonderful to spend quality time with friends, old and new, for us and the children.

I love seeing the kids doing things that don’t require a plug and, apart from TV, the kids’ summer has been entirely screen-free. Not a decision taken lightly and we had our doubts, but it has been brilliant. Just removing it from the list of possible activities has saved a whole load of stress. India is not yet interested but it affects Tana’s behaviour in a way that suggests he is not quite ready. Parental decisions are often plagued by uncertainty but this one contributed to a very happy summer at Happy Coulson 🙂

Filed under: Happy Coulson

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