Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)
Catrin's job interview
Catrin's been interviewed for a job teaching English at her old primary school in Pessac.
Our new apartment will be equipped with toilet and bathroom etc. but not with anything at all in the kitchen. Not even a sink. So we need to purchase a kitchen and engage a kitchen fitter. A friend who knows how to fit kitchens suggested buying an Ikea kitchen. "They're guaranteed twenty years and they honour their guarantee", he said. "I've proved it". Well I don't know any other kitchen laces in France, and I can't imagine there's much that's cheaper than Ikea, so I was happy to accept his advice. So it was that on Monday I booked an appointment with the Ikea Kitchen Planning Service in the centre of Bordeaux. The woman was friendly. "You've already started the process", she said, (have we?) "so that will save us lots of time". "What are you aiming for?" Something not too country, something discreet, something that can adapt to whatever colours we put in the rest of the room. She understood our dislike of
They're really different. I think I have already mentioned that while in the UK people generally find a private teacher for their instrument, or do it through a school scheme, here there are municipal music school, conservatoires and so on. The situation is a little more complex than I had first understood, because the schools vary in the rigidity of their organisation: the most, the conservatoires, next the municipals, then the associations. Our music school is an association, but it tends to apply the standards of the municipal schools with its programme of cycles, etc. Britain - grade 1 to 8, grade 8 being roughly equivalent to A-level, pre university/conservatoire. France - 3 cycles, each taking about 4 years, with 3ème cycle being roughly equivalent to grade 8. Theory of music - UK to take grade 8 you need theory grade 5. In France you study theory alongside your instrumental studies, very slowly. Catrin's flute music is MUCH more difficult than the stuff she does in theor