Tag Archives: family time

A Short and Sensible (But Not Fast or Easy) Walk Around Bugarach

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A Day in the Woods

Yesterday, except for the bit where I lost my bank card and DS screamed the whole time that I was on the phone to the bank, I think we had the perfect day. The sun shone, we met some friends, we played in the woods. All Day Long.

Some friends are organising regular get togethers, just a day every week when like-minds meet up in a local park. The kids can play in the woods, the stream or on the swings, we can chat as well as join in with the little ones, we build a fire and cook together. Yesterday P kept the two eldest girls busy by mixing ash from the fire with water to make a black paste. They painted every bare inch of themselves, spread a lot of it on their clothes and faces, and had a great time. The younger ones tended to muddle around, exploring cautiously either with a parent in hand orbiting us close by. The sun shone, we found a leech in the stream (not a snake, sadly, but not an earthworm, much to P’s relief!), contributed sticks to the shelter that S has started to construct, and had fun defending their space which, according to DD, was a wild panthers’ den for most of the time.

Five hours of play later we were on our way home with smiles on our faces, the smell of woodsmoke in our clothes and two very tired children. Days like this are why we’re here, why we uprooted our family and moved to this back-end-of-nowhere part of France hoping to find a house or piece of land to call home and also find a way to live day-to-day, as financially free as possible. We’re not getting so far with the house/land but we do have a place that feels like home and the money side of things is work in progress. Yes, there are definitely challenges: the language being the main one. It’s too quiet for some with a slow pace of life but we’re getting the hang of it and we really feel the difference during the times we’re back in the UK; too busy, too many people, not enough mental or physical space. Days spent mucking about in the woods are normal here. There may come a time when we all need more than that but for now it’s perfect and I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

The only downer is that we were all so busy enjoying ourselves, there aren’t any pics to share. Next time. Because I really think every blog post needs a picture, here’s one from walk we did the other day: DD and James walked and talked while DS and me followed along behind saying, “choo choo!” Happy days.

And adult and child walking in a disused railway tunnel followed by a small child in a green helmet on a balance bike
Walking through an old railway tunnel on the Lavelanet-Mirepoix Voie Vert

Another Side Project: What’s On?

It’s Easter. In the UK this means a long 4-day weekend and the start of the school holidays. In France it means a long weekend (3-day) and the start of many activities, with the school holidays coming later.

There really is an awakening this weekend. There are so many activities on but as myself and others have noticed, finding out about any of them is near on impossible unless you either know someone who is going and who passes the information onto you or you happen upon a poster pinned on a tree, a post, or outside a local mairie’s office. And so the side project is to set up a Facebook group and website that will enable us to share information about the many great family-friendly activities in the area. I have a couple of motivated friends so now all we need is to carve out time to make it happen. Watch this space!

Until that’s up and running I wanted to make sure the full list of everything going on this Easter weekend (that I know about anyway) is all in one place. So here’s a post about it.

Friday 30th March / Vendredi 30éme Mars

16h-20h Mask-making Workshop / Atelier Masques – Puivert 11230

In advance of the Bal Mâsque event tomorrow, the second mask-making workshop is on in the afternoon. Everything supplied free of charge. See below (Samedi 31eme á 16h) for the details. See also pics of the 2016 event on the MJC website.

Saturday 31st March / Samedi 31éme Mars 

10h “Vibes” info here – Chez Adeline & Yoan, Puivert 11230

10h á 17h Big Air Session – Monts d’Olmes, Montferrier 09300

For bigger kids who like chucking themselves around in the snow, there’s an airbag up at Monts D’Olmes all day. Free of charge – just pay for your lift pass (it looks like it’s in the park so not accessible from the lower slopes. More info on the Monts D’Olmes website.

15h Fundraiser for the Twilight Dog’s Home – Moulin de L’evêque, Rivel 11230

There’s nothing on their Facebook or web pages but the signs are on the streets and I know a few people are going along, so it’s definitely on.

18h á 22h Bal Masqué, salle de la Mairie – Puivert 11230

Sunday April 1st (Easter Sunday) / Dimânche 1ere Avril (Jour de Pâques)

14h a 18h Easter Carnival / Kermesse Déguisée de Pâques – Quillan 11500

Date/time info (and description, in French) on the Facebook page.

Monday April 2nd (Easter Monday) / Lundi 2éme Avril (Lundi de Pâques)

11h Easter Egg Hunt / Pâques chasse aux oeufs gratuit – Les arpents verts Km 14, Belvèze-du-Razès 11240

An Easter egg hunt, followed by petanque competition – buvette on site. Advertised as a family event.

See the full event details on Facebook.

12h Omelette de Pâques – au Lac á Puivert 11230

Details of this one are to be confirmed (keep an eye on the MJC Facebook page) but it’s a French tradition to meet on the Monday, a public holiday, and cook/share omelettes. No chocolate eggs here!

Other Events

27th March to 2nd April / 27éme Mars á 2éme Avril – Escale á Sete 34200

Further afield (Sete) but it looks like a very nice event for anyone into boats! Info on the Escale á Sete website.

And that’s not all. I’ll update this post when I have more info.