We've been doing a little thinking lately about what we want to achieve this coming year. We have nearly officially been here 6 months and we've done so much. But there is so much more we want to do! Here are some of the things we're hoping to achieve over the next 12 months...
To Learn French!
We've made a start on this one but very slowly. Reuben is getting the best exposure to the language being at school full time. Unlike Andrew and I he's not going to have to work very hard at learning. We've already started to hear him speak to other children in French when playing, and the odd word comes out when he plays with Jacob at home. Jacob can say 'au revoir' and often says 'cou cou', the French equivalent of 'peepo'. When he starts school towards the end of this year he'll get the same exposure as his brother so for now we're working on grounding his English.
Michel Thomas to get through. I listen to the CD on the drive to my English class in Cahors every Wednesday as it's the most uninterrupted time I get! I'm also looking at apps to download (if you know of any good ones do pass them our way) and am looking at simple French books that we can start reading. Reuben has a few on his shelf but we also have a good library in the village which we should spend a bit more time in. I also need to get over my fear of just talking to people as let's face it, that's the best way to learn.
Mini Monde is starting to take off, in particular Mini Musique. I started teaching piano lessons to primary aged children at beginner level. I would love to start a recorder group and hopefully there might be the opportunity to take this into local schools. Mini Musique Baby classes have started both publically and privately in a crèche nearby. Mini Hire we're hoping to kick off when the holiday season starts up again around April time. There are other ideas we have floating around, we don't want to reveal too much but will definitely keep you updated!
Andrew has been working hard building his Media Man client base. He has had work regularly since September and has been building websites, helping people out with their iPads and computers. He's given Excel tutorials, and has also started to install satellite dishes. He also has ideas on how to grow his business but also to help the local community.
The amount of eggs we get through in a week is quite ridiculous and keeping chickens has been on our radar for a while now. We're reading Chickens by Suzie Baldwin and Choosing and Keeping Chickens by Chris Graham which Andrew got for Christmas. We have allocated a spot in the garden and have had lots of recommendations of where to buy chickens from as just about everyone we know keeps them. Andrew has got plans to build a chicken coop underway! (Though I have always liked these from Omlet!)
We've been on a bit of a health kick since January began. It's not that we ate unhealthly last year but we've made the decision to eat less meat (and drink less alcohol!) To help us on our way I bought the book Pulse by Jenny Chandler. It's full of great recipes for chickpeas, lentils and pulses I had never even heard of before. It's the inspiration we needed to create new vegetable based meals. We continue to eat together as a family and I like that we are able to cook one evening meal instead of one for the kids and one for the adults as we used to in London. We will continue to make more of an effort to shop in local markets rather than supermarkets.
We've been so focussed on work since September and everything has shut down a lot since the end of Autumn. We're really looking forward to longer warmer days when we can explore the beautiful land around us. We want to take the boys on their first camping trip, head down (well...West) to the beach, and find the best of what the area has to offer. It will be so nice to be able to do this before the craziness of Summer kicks in and everything gets really busy. We'll share with you any gems we find on our journeys!
What do you have planned for 2014?!