Thursday, 3 October 2013


Posted by Rosie

One month into secondary school and Tom seems to have settled in very well at the College Dumond D'Urville in Condé-sur-Noireau.  In fact he is coping far better with the early starts than I thought he would!  He has to be at the bus stop in the village for 7.15am and his first lesson starts at 7.50am.  School then finishes at 4.35pm and his bus gets back here at 5.50pm ... or rather it would if he actually took it but more often than not he has something on and so we need to go collect him.  Driving to Condé, 13kms away, several times a week can be rather time consuming but luckily friends and teachers have come to our assistance.  So: -

Monday - Tom has music theory (Solfège) at the music school in Condé at 6.45am.  I was thinking he might have to walk down there but with the weight of his school bag (pupils are not allowed to leave anything in their lockers overnight!) and the fact winter is coming I wasn't overly happy with this situation.  But, his music teacher from school happens to be married to the head of the music school and he is happy to take Tom down to the music school.  Tom does his homework there and catches up with any reading (never a problem for him) before his lesson and then every other week Etienne, his music classmate's Dad brings both of them home so I only have to do one week in two.

Tuesday - Tom has athletics in the next town, Flers.  He does not have time to get the bus home to get back for the athletics bus but he can't hang around at school unless he is in arranged study time which he can't leave part way through to catch the athletics bus.  So this time a friend and his athletics trainer have come to our aid.  Tom can go to his friend until 5.30pm and then to the athletics trainer's house ready to catch the minibus.  Both luckily live very close to school.  I just need to remember to collect him from Condé at 8pm!

Wednesday - throughout the week pupils have several study periods when they can do their homework.  Tom's class happen to have 2, first thing on a Wednesday morning so he actually does not need to be in school until 10am ... although that means I would have to drive him there.  Yesterday, whilst shopping I bumped into the Mum of a girl in his class who lives nearby and we have arranged to do alternate Wednesdays.  She was as pleased as I was to reduce her trips to Condé!

Thursday - it's back to the music school for a saxophone lesson at 5pm and once again M. Fioult, Tom's music teacher takes him down and I pick him up at 5.30pm.  He is then home at about the same time as if he had taken the bus!

Friday - Nothing!  Just lessons with a study period at the end of the day when he can do his homework so he finally gets to take the school bus home and enjoy his week-end. 

Except come Saturday there is another trip to Condé (or Flers if there is no bus/lift) for athletics and then to Flers in the afternoon for Ben's rugby (although a friend takes Ben and I only have to collect him) ... rugby is also on Wednesday afternoon when my friend cannot help so I tend to stay and walk the dogs in the woods over there.  

Then there are all the trips up and down to Lénault to take and collect Ben from his school bus. In fairness Ben does cycle up and down when it is light and not raining but with the days shortening the poor old car will be up and down to Lénault as well as Condé and Flers rather a lot.  Luckily thanks to friends and teachers this will considerably fewer times than it would otherwise have been.  Thanks everyone!

I still reckon I need the T-shirt though.


  1. Taxi, indeed. I'm sure life didn't used to be this complicated when I was young - but perhaps I have just mercifully forgotten it all. How good to be able to share with friends ad neighbours, though.

  2. I am also hoping I may not have to do the Monday run evening run at all due to music timetable changes. Fingers crossed because much as the route to Condé is very pretty I don't feel the need to see it every day!


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