Singing with the Voices Choirs

Who would have thought that 9 months into living in France I would be singing into a microphone on stage in a local theatre, with a choir that I only joined 4 months beforehand! Last month I gave you a brief introduction to the Voices choir that I joined in January. On the 19th April the three Voices choirs all performed a concert in the theatre in Villefranche. The adult choir that I'm in sang 6 songs: Ma Révérence, Skyfall, California Dreaming, Barbara Ann, Armstrong and my new favourite, Petite Marie. All the three choirs got together to perform 'We Will Rock You' (which could have done with slightly more rehearsing but I think we just about pulled it off!) at the end.

We were all pretty nervous before going on stage but by the end we were buzzing as it was such fun, and we would have been quite happy to go back on stage and do it all over again! At the very end of the concert a video was shown of the teen choir recording Beau Malheur. You can see the video here and I do recommend that you have a quick look as they all have really good voices! Our next concert will be in June as part of the Fête de la Musique, a festival which takes place all over France.

The concert had a small write up in the local paper, at the bottom of which you might notice my name. Why? Because I have been asked to head a new adult choir from September which I am really excited about! It's early days but I'm looking forward to choosing the repertoire and I already have one person interested! I'll keep you posted about all the developments.

What have you been singing recently?

Becky x

Picture of the three choirs on stage singing 'We Will Rock You' taken from here.

Worldwide Culture Swap - Parcels from America

We've already shown you what we sent around the world in our Worldwide Culture Swap packages. The first two packages we received came from North America. The first, from Southern California. The family included a little information pack about who they were and where they lived. There were two children the same age as Reuben and Jacob and the 4 year old boy, like Reuben, had a love for Thomas the Tank Engine. There was a picture of him surrounded by his train collection which Reuben was very impressed by. There were postcards of Southern California, pictures of transport trucks (especially for the boys as they're transport mad) and an American flag. It didn't take long for the boys to tuck into the sweets (the Butterfinger chocolate bars being a favourite) and start colouring in with the magic paint book (no paint...just use water!) It was such a great first package to receive and it got Reuben excited about where the other packages might come from and what they might contain.

In our second package from North Dakota we received all of the above...another American flag (our collection is growing!) a jigsaw puzzle, sunflower seeds, brochures of the area and more sweets. A keyring with sunflowers, a fridge magnet, and a piece of dried wheat which Reuben thought we could turn into weetabix! The package was another lovely insight into a part of the world that we previously didn't know anything about. It was interesting to receive two packages from America showing two different areas on the same continent. It can be easy to think of America as a whole but each state can vary quite a bit.

Our final two packages were from South Africa and Spain which we will tell you about soon!

Have you taken part in the Worldwide Culture Swap? What did you receive in your packages?

Becky x

Visit our Facebook Page to see more pictures of the boys discovering their package.

Spring Plant Fair in St Antonin

Despite glorious sunshine all week the rain fell on Sunday for the Jardin Noble Val in St Antonin. We went to the same fair last September and next time it's on, if you're in the area, I thoroughly recommend going as there is a lovely display of flowers, fruit and veg plants, ornaments for the garden, and local produce.

With wellies on feet and umbrellas in hand, Andrew was on the lookout for tomato plants, and I wanted flowers for the boxes outside our house. I favour the pinks and purples when it comes to flowers though the bright colours of spring were all around us. We resisted a fig tree (we really don't have the space) and other fruits to concentrate on vegetable starter plants. As well as 4 varieties of tomato plants Andrew also got aubergine, courgette and chilli plants. We currently have seed trays all over the house containing sweetcorn, beetroot and peppers ready and waiting for the right moment to plant outside.

What will you be planting in your garden this year?

Becky x

Visit our Facebook page for more pictures of all the Spring fairs and markets we visit!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all! We wish everyone a very Happy Easter and hope you all have a lovely long weekend with family, friends, food and lots of chocolate!

Becky, Andrew, Reuben & Jacob x

(These Easter cupcakes were decorated by me (Becky) at a Cakes In France workshop, which was so much fun and resulted in far-too-good-looking cupcakes. How can we possibly eat them?!)

Chocolate Eggs and Bunny Rabbits!

If you were to walk into a French supermarket this week you'd be greeted with a wall of chocolate and giant bunny rabbits as yes...Easter has arrived. Today we stocked up on a faily modest amount of chocolate as we have an Easter egg hunt planned for Reuben & Jacob, along with some Easter themed crafting. I'm all for chocolate at this time of year but there's only so much you can eat, so we'll be trying some of the following Easter activities with the boys, and my mum, who has arrived for two weeks of family, fun...and perhaps the odd night of childcare?! (As Andrew and I haven't had a night out without children can't actually remember!)

I've been saving all our egg boxes recently as I'd quite like to have a go at making this Spring wreath. The Easter Bingo sheets have been downloaded and laminated ready to play with Reuben. We have the rice crispies to make chocolate nests and I'd love to find the time to try and sew a couple of these cute looking juggling chooks!

Last week I stole a quiet-ish moment with Jacob in the loft to make these Easter bunny treat bags. I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that mine look like slightly spaced out bunnies that may not be quite alive! There's a little hole between the ears so that they can be filled with little eggs or other chocolate treats. They're so easy to make, even with a 2 year old round your feet, and you can find the full tutorial here.

What do you have planned for Easter? Family fun, crafting and eating too much chocolate?! We'd love to know how you celebrate.

Becky x

Apricot & White Chocolate Cereal Bars

Last week I was on the lookout for a sweet treat that Reuben could help to make but that we would all of course enjoy eating! After making Shutterbean's Chocolate Chip Cookie Energy Bars I was all for a recipe where no baking was involved and turning to Annabel Karmel's 'Top 100 Finger Foods' recipe book I found these...Apricot & White Chocolate cereal bars.

Reuben helped me weigh out all the ingredients and he chopped the apricots. I then left him to mix them all together with daddy as I went out to work for the afternoon. When I came home there was a big tray of the cereal bars in the fridge and Reuben was eager to give me a slice. They were good! Lighter than the energy bars we made due to the rice krispies. This recipe is great as once again so many variations can be made using different chocolate or dried fruit.

I've been using Annabel Karmel recipes since the boys started weaning. If you have kids and are looking for mealtime inspiration do have a look at her website as it's packed full of recipes for all ages!

Becky x

Worldwide Culture Swap - Our Package

You may remember that we signed up for the Worldwide Culture Swap, a cultural exchage programme where you're teamed up with families around the world and you all swap packages sharing information about the country you live in. We were excited with the idea of receiving parcels from around the world, but first we had to put a parcel together showcasing our little corner of France. So what did we decide to put in our package? All of this...

We put together a little booklet with information about our family and our move from London to France. It also contained fun French facts, pictures of our village and popular French food, and a list of French words that the families could learn. We also included a bookmark with the French flag and colouring pages of the Eiffel Tower, a postcard from the area and leaflets of local activities. We bought little French books from the supermarket and filled little bags with French sweets. The French flashcards came from Little Bilingues (which you too can download for free!) and a copy of the The Quercy Local would give them an insight into the English community in area. We sent some Euro coins, stickers, and a CD of some of our favourite French songs.

It was great fun to put together! Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as we will let you know what we received from America, South Africa and Spain! If you're interested in signing up to the programme you can do so here.

Have you taken part in the Worldwide Culture Swap? What did you send in your package?

Becky x

Culture Swapper
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