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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Starting to feel at home in the London climbing gym; enjoying getting to know some of the faces there. One of the guys who works there told us today that he's really keen to get the kids into the squad, even though they live out of the borough - I hope that pans out, it'll be fun for the kids to train with other people.

We are trying to be frugal at the moment, so we took cheese and crackers and bananas and apples with us today instead of buying lunch at the gym; an easy to way to save £10 or so. I am actually enjoying the challenge of trying to cut costs without making us all miserable; hopefully by the time the novelty wears off, our new good habits will be too ingrained to abandon.

We watched a good DVD tonight - Etre et Avoir. It's a French documentary, shot over the course of a full year, about a teacher who has a one-room schoolhouse in rural Auvergne, with a dozen or so children who range in age from 4 to 10 or so. The movie, although beautifully photographed, was very slow-moving, but I loved it anyway because of the way it got inside the heads of the children. And, even though Mr Lopez's teaching methods (rather strict and traditional) definitely weren't mine, I admired him. He seemed calm and centred, and I liked the way that he seemed to accept the children in his class for who they were.

Of our three children, Sophie seemed to enjoy the film most; she was fascinated by the differences and similarities between the movie's classroom and her own. Ems, I think, was more critical of the teaching methods; several times she mentioned things she'd do differently. And Stephen was just appalled by the ruralness of it all; I think he would go insane if he were put into that environment, either as a learner or as a teacher.

I am feeling much healthier, but still not great; still have that weird weak feeling. So I am going to go to be early with a very poorly written and rather boring detective novel, which I'm reading only because it's set in the Forest of Dean and I get a kick out of reading about the area where we lived for our first month in the UK. It is great fun to actually be able to picture the tiny towns and villages that are mentioned.

Well, "great fun" is over-stating it a bit.

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