et maintenant nous avon terminé

Well, by the time I post this, we will have finished our week-long course at the Coeur de France school of languages in Sancerre.

Although I’m beginning to write this the night before we finish, I know I can say that I have enjoyed it. It has been hard work – although we both slipped into English much more than we should have, I reckon that we’ve learned a lot. Certainly, much of the vocabulary I already have has not been utilised, so once I manage to revise and absorb everything I’ve learned this week – I should be a little more conversant (ha ha) with the French language.

My problem has been, and remains, listening. Understanding what has been said to me – mainly by shopkeepers – is still a little hard. However, I am understanding much, much more than I did.

Earlier in the week, we visited a chévererie [see blog post] and bought three crottins. Last night (Mercredi) we had the youngest – jeunne – for tea, crumbled onto a salad. I also tried grilling the oldest – affine – and managed to create a lovely golden colour on the top of it, but it still didn’t melt through. Apparently, when left long enough, it becomes as hard as Parmesan and no less tasty (even my failed attempt to melt it was tres tres tasty!)

Today (Jeudi) we visited the market in Saint Satur, which is just at the bottom of the hill from Sancerre. It is a small but busy market with long queues at most of the vegetable stores. Queuing to make our purchases (on behalf of the teacher) allowed me to ‘listen’ to the questions and responses being made, which was both informative and enlightening. I bought a ‘fine’ piece of Morbier and on instruction from the teacher, Sharon bought twelve apricots and three peaches 🙂

Thursday night was spent with a teacher and two small families. The nine of us prepared and cooked dinner together, which despite my earlier reservations, went well. The menu included amuse gueule, prepared by the youngsters (consisted of dried apricots stuffed with Roquefort cheese and pieces of crottin de chevre); Quiche Lorraine (prepared by one of the mums), Clafoutis aux cerises (made by me and the missus) and chocolate mousse made by another couple (but interfered with by me).

I’ve never made clafoutis before, so the fact that it came out tasty and looking good was a great sensation! The mousse had lost all of its volume and consisted of nothing more than eggs, butter and chocolate – but ‘boy’ did it taste good! The company was good and we had a pleasant time, despite me earlier reservations.

We’re off on our way to St. Gengoux-les-National tomorrow (Saturday) for a rest and for our real holiday. We’re told that we will have NO INTERNET – this may be the last post for a while.

Our last day at school was concluded successfully and we said our goodbyes some hours ago now.

On reflection, I have not covered any more this week than I’ve covered on previously unsuccessful attempts at learning the language: the difference has been that we have covered two terms work in a week – without having to wait a week between each bit. We also had individual, pointed and firm instruction, with mistakes being picked up immediately – according to need. Today (Friday) we touched on past tense and future tense as well as practicing dialogue and getting involved in longer/deeper conversation.

I’ve enjoyed my week here and despite her absolute lack of any French at the outset – I think that Sharon has too. At least she’s smiling 🙂

More info at:


One response to this post.

  1. […] month Sharon and I visited a language school in France. One of the social events we attended was a cook-in à la française. The dish I was asked to prepare was […]


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