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Bonne soirée, un accueil du Paris ensoleillé. It is with great pleasure that I have, once more, been given the opportunity to report on the Boughton Leigh Junior School year 6 trip to France and regale tales of their adventures.
The day had started very early with excited children and sleepy adults meeting at the school gates. Mr Gaskell was clearly unimpressed about getting out of bed before the sun had chosen to but, armed with coffee so strong that the aroma could awaken a comatosed sloth from 30 paces, he and the rest of our traveling group boarded the bus. To resounding cheers and whoops of delight (from the parents) our driver Mark, returning for his fourth BLJS sojourn, turned his trusty steed to the south and made haste to Dover.
This trip also sees the return of Mrs Mehta (aka Obi Lynne) who used her Jedi powers to ensure clear traffic and swift progress.
Shortly after 6am Kasey drew everyone’s attention to the wonderful sunset that was occurring. Captain Drake made note to revise ‘time’ in maths and recover ‘the earth in space’ in Science!
Shortly after passing Milton Keynes a thick fog descended which, though not slowing our progress, did mean that we were unable to see Luton. So, not all bad then.
With a barely perceptible waft of her hand Obi Lynne cleared all traffic on the M25 and we were soon at the Queen Elizabeth bridge, Dartford. Once more the children’s rather interesting grasp of Geography came to light as one called it the Golden Gate Bridge and another agreed adding ‘We’re going to New York’ completely oblivious of the engineering feat that a bridge spanning from San Francisco to NYC would be!
Two and a half hours into the journey and obviously the children had devoured the breakfasts, sweets, lunches and generally a calorific intake just short of infinity and so a brief restock was required. A repeat of last year’s faux pas was avoided by staff members standing in the one stop, with loud hailers instructing the children to ‘move away from the pick and mix’. The bus was swiftly resupplied with such essentials as chocolate bars, sweets, Crispy Creme donuts, cuddly toys and key rings and our journey continued.
The ferry crossing was smooth but viewless as the continued fog hid the famous white cliffs like a polar bear in a snow storm. Once again essential purchases were made. A full English breakfast for Mr Gaskell, frappuccinos for several of the girls and a bar of chocolate the size of an ironing board for Dylan.
Once on French soil the fog soon lifted and the remainder of our journey would be bathed in glorious sunshine and clear blue skies. Making good progress through the French countryside we stopped briefly for a comfort break where Juliet could continue to hone her cameraman skills, this time filming a lady choosing a drink from a coffee machine, and Mr Farinha could declare Dyson hand dryers to be ‘the best thing about France!’
We skirted Paris and arrived at the Chateaus to a warm welcome from the PGL staff who showed us to our rooms in the newly open Pont Neuf wing. A swift site tour and it was time for dinner. The children were instructed that the red trays were for people with special dietary requirements, the grey trays for those without. One child then asked which tray they used if they were a fussy eater!! The staff shook their heads in embarrassment. That said everyone enjoyed a hearty meal.
The evening event was the Bin Bag Fashion show where, as you may have guessed, the children were required to create two outfits out of nothing but bin liners! They took to the challenge with gusto and enthusiasm (in the case of Mr Mander, a worrying amount of enthusiasm to show his balletesque dance moves on the cat walk *video evidence is available*). By popular vote Rebecca and Evie were declared winners and struck expert poses for their Vogue cover shots.
And so the first day has drawn to a close and the children have retired to their rooms with their heads full of memories, their bellies full of E numbers and their hands smelling vaguely of PVC. All that can now be heard is the gentle breath of sleep….. and Mr Farinha cursing the lack of Dyson hand dryers in the room as he has forgotten his towel.
Tomorrow we head to le tour Eiffel and a brief walk amongst Paris’ other famous landmarks. But for now I to will retire and wish you all a peaceful night.
Ever yours,
Hugh Jabellie


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7 Responses to “Day 1 Return of the Jedi”

  1. Mrs Duynstee says:

    Sounds like the usual fun has started so the children will be in good hands! PVC clothing – did they supply ‘punk pins ‘ too? Very early 80’s!
    What a shame the fog obscured the white cliffs – as for Luton …you do realise that Mrs Pook still frequents school for Zumba? You are a brace man Hugh Jabellie!

  2. Evie's Mum says:

    It’s been a very long 12 months waiting for Hugh’s next set of Blogs. You have been missed. Great to know everyone has settled in and that Evie has inherited her Mum’s thrifty dressing skills. Enjoy tomorrow. Don’t follow in your sister’s footsteps and leave your fingerprints in the ironwork of the Eiffel Tower, Evie.

  3. Frankies mum says:

    Well done Hugh, looking forward to another instalment today. Glad Frankie is finally letting loose on stage!! Have fun.

  4. Lina's papi says:

    Félicitations à l’auteur de ce savoureux compte rendu de la première journée. Quel humour ! Vraiment on a l’impression de faire partie du voyage et de connaître les personnes dont il parle.
    J’espère que votre première journée à la tour Eiffel, Notre Dame, etc… a enchanté les enfants. Dommage que le soleil n’était pas trop de la partie. Bonne suite du séjour et bon marché, demain matin, à Melun. Hug à ma Lina préférée.

  5. Mrs Duynstee says:

    Awaiting tonight’s blog – heard about the Eiffel tower and saw some pictures on the school Facebook page. Weather looked good. A picture snook through to us with Mrs Mehta asleep on the coach! Was she snoring?!? 😂
    Mrs Mehta you looked very smart in your Paris fleece!

    • Mrs Mehta says:

      Just a 15 minute power nap! My new fashion statement is now adorned with lemon juice and sugar from my freshly made French crepe!

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