Normandy Blog Day 3
Thankfully we woke up to clear skies and the rain had subsided. Students were even happier when they clocked the hot chocolate on the breakfast buffet. Another early start, but lots to see and do again today and everyone was really well organised and on the ball this morning so we were able to get away before nine.
Our first stop was at the goat farm where we had a very warm welcome from Jack, the owner of the farm, who has been producing goats cheese in this region for the past thirty years. Students were taught all about the cheese making traditions of France and particularly about the goats cheese produced on the farm we were visiting. Various cheeses were sampled and, on the most part, the students really enjoyed the cheeses they tasted. Some went back for seconds! Parents will be able to taste the same cheeses upon our return so get the crackers and chutney ready! After this we then met the goats themselves and we were able to milk the goats in the fields and try the milk that is used to make the cheese. We nearly ended up bringing two of the baby goats home with us! We stayed at the farm and had lunch in the glorious sunshine that had decided to break through the clouds.
A short drive up the road was our next destination, the traditional French bakery. Here we were greeted by Eric on the African drums, the eccentric but very engaging baker who was going to be teaching the students all about the bread making process and his business. Eric is excellent at encouraging the students to use their French and it's safe to say nobody was able to hide from him! We donned our aprons and Eric led the class through how to make traditional sour dough and this was then baked in the huge, original wood burning oven. After twenty minutes of bashing away at the many African drums, the bread was baked and ready to eat. Some students opted out of the eating, but donated theirs to refugees living in sheltered accommodation who Eric visits weekly. We thanked Eric and set off on the next leg of today's journey.
The next item on the itinerary was ten pin bowling! En route we took a short stop at Pegasus Bridge, yesterday was primarily the WW2 day but we thought it would be nice for the students to see such an iconic landmark and to get some pictures. Pegasus Bridge was a key enemy position that the allies succeeded in taking just before the D-day landings commenced.
We arrived soon after for a game of bowling which was good fun and everyone had a laugh. Mr Tallett started off well with a promising strike, but struggled to keep up his form. It was agreed that Miss Moir needed to 'go to spec savers!' There were quite a few strikes across the group and everyone left in good spirits ready for the evening meal back at the hotel.
After refuelling we headed to the park which quickly went from civilised entertainment to raucous, competitive games... and that was just the staff! It was like the scene of a carry on film... and all over a game of boules, who knew boules could be so aggressive? Mr T spent most of the game in the sin bin alongside our coach driver Pat. Faolan and Lucca were the most crooked referees we had come across and Miss Moir was suspected of bribery... The game led to the coining of the phrase 'The Ashdown' which can only be described as a crazed Nelly the elephant. I'm sure students will be keen to demonstrate this on their return. After a later evening than we anticipated, we headed back to the hotel with huge smiles after an evening of fun and laughter.