Thursday, 31 January 2008
After a long flight there is nothing like touching down in one of the best airports in the world. Unfortunately I would not give the Dubai Airport this rating, or least of what we saw of it. Its was over-crowed, had no seating space and gates that seemed to stretch on forever.
We made a quick transit through the terminal and straight into the waiting lounge for the Paris flight.
The flight from Melbourne was good, we had space to stretch out and all the kids were able to get some sleep. They have been really well behaved considering. Paris beacons.
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Sunday, 27 January 2008
Kick off is getting closer. Still pretty busy and we have a truck load of last minute things to arrange and tomorrow is a public holiday - great@!
Ange got back to Auckland yesterday, the kids had a great time with their nana in Timaru. We are now all staying with my mum in Torbay. It is a bit crowded but it is only for a few days.
The weather has been so hot these last few weeks, great if you are relaxing on the beach but not so good if you are moving two metres of top soil, digging trenches and gardening. I have been working through a list of odd chores on 'James' House" while Ange and the kids have been in Timaru.
Thursday, 24 January 2008
You have been granted a long stay visa but you should be aware that you might need to reproduce the documents, previously submitted to the Embassy, if requested by a French immigration officer. Failure to produce these documents could result in a refusal of entry into France.
Your visa shows 2 durations :
The number of entries indicated on your visa is multiple because the caret de sejour that you will obtain will give you multiple entries.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Yes, finally! Our visas have been approved.
Monday, 14 January 2008
I started an intensive beginners course through the Auckland Alliance Francaise tonight. I was keen to sign up earlier but would have missed the course based on our initial departure date (would have been tomorrow). The course goes for two weeks, two hours each night. There are 10 of us in the class, the average age is about 26 but this would be 18 if it were not for myself and two other students.
The Auckland branch of the Alliance is good and I would recommend joining if you lived in Auckland and were interested in anything French. http://www.alliance-francaise.co.nz/
First time my phone was not in its special slot in my handbag and I missed a call from the French Consulate!!!!
Very frustrating I was driving along and could hear my phone ringing but when I went to grab it, alas I could not find it. Anyway the Consulate left me a message saying they had contacted Paris on Friday to check on the visas and were still awaiting a reply but suggested we should hear this week.
Yahoo, I feel we are close.
Friday, 11 January 2008
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Today was hot, lots of sun: a "UV index off the scales" type of day. So with nothing else to do the Biscuit bunch went on a search for our French visas.
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
We have reluctantly delayed our departure to the 30th of January... Still no visas. It's not all bad, we are still frantically busy and the extra time will be put to good use.
Since we are pretty much homeless now, Ange is going to take the kids down to Timaru on the 16th to spend ten days with her mum. I'm going to stay behind in Auckland to get all the loose ends sorted.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
I'm relieved to report that we are finally moved out of Belle Vue: James and George moved in yesterday evening. Over the last week we have had a marathon run of 12 & 14 hour days of storing, cleaning and fixing. It is finally over - phew.
While there are still things to be done - they are mostly outside in the garden and around the house.
This picture was taken back in 2001, it was all I could find doing a quick search of the photo library.
Thursday, 3 January 2008
This entry is well overdue and it should be in both English and French. But alias you won't see any bilingual entries for a while yet.
One of the key objectives of this adventure is for the family to learn a second language. The benefits of being multi-lingual is undervalued by the NZ educational system and we believe that it will be very beneficial for our kids to be multi-lingual.
The kids have had a few lessons on how French sounds and have been learning key words, days of week etc. Mum and Dad have been learning about grammar basics, for example: verbs, which has been very interesting. Note: in this context "interesting" should be pronounced "difficult" or when applying to the masculine as "really difficult". Mona, our teacher has been very patient with us - she is a real star.
To give you an example of what we are up to, here is the basic context that I'm still trying to memorise:
|I have||j'ai||I am||je suis|
|you have||tu as||you are||tu es|
|he has||il a||it/ he is||il est|
|she has||elle a||it/ she is||elle est|
|we have||nous avons||we are||nous sommes|
|you have||vous avez||you are||vous etres|
|they have||ils ont||they are||ils sont|
|they have||elles ont||they are||elles sont|
| || || || || |
to have not
not to be
|I||je n'ai pas||I||je ne suis pas|
|you||tu n'as pas||you||tu n'es pas|
|she||il n'a pas||she||il n'est pas|
|he||elle n'a pas||he||elle n'est pas|
Well we have 11 months - lets see what happens!