Friday was the last day of term for Moo, and in my infinite wisdom, I had volunteered to help out Maitress Marion with the end of term outing. We were off to one of the local arts centres to see an exhibition of interactive musical sculptures ‘Petites Musiques Bruits’. The school trips here are extremely interesting, we have been to a vast selection of events ranging from contemporary theatre and modern art to poetry readings and traditional folk craft. Maitress Marion is a firm believer in giving the children as wide a cultural spectrum as possible. She is always open to new ideas and if ever she has the chance to show the village kids something that is beyond ‘the norm’ she grabs it with both hands and both Moo and I think she is quite wonderful. She can also talk you into just about anything…..What was I thinking? 30+ excitable under 8’s in a room full of noise makers on the back of a bad nights sleep. We set off in the coach at 9.30 blunt (this is a way I have come to referring to timed appointments in France, 9.30 sharp is just far too precise), and 20 minutes later we had arrived and were being taken into the hall. What lay before us was the most extraordinary collection of ramshackle pieces I think I have ever seen collected in one space, It beat the Tracey Emin exhibition in Amsterdam hands down, all with the explicit instruction ‘play with me’. We marshalled the kids into loose groups and set off trying to contain them as they rushed around trying things out, adoring the freedom to explore without the usual ‘ne touche pas’ that is ringing in their ears. There was a wonderful piece in the centre of the room that was just a chair, until you sat in it, and then it made the most outrageous squeaking and squealing sounds as it wobbled precariously around on it’s base, and the ‘clavier couteaux’ was a big hit. Basically a long row of various sized and shaped table knives wedged between 2 pieces of wood crying out to be ‘boinged’ by small fingers. In all there were about 20 exhibits and our raucous half hour was not nearly long enough. Although I had had quite enough of the large ‘ladder of cymbals and gongs’ with their accompanying drumsticks. The children were all so disappointed to leave and couldn’t wait to get back to school to embark on their own instrument making. I have been told that the canteen was an extremely creative venue at meal time, and lunch lady Domenique ended up confiscating most of the cutlery. By the time I got back to the house however my head felt like it was splitting in 2 and it wasn’t till after a couple of painkillers and a small nana-nap that I felt up to tackling the mountainous washing pile.
And So the first morning half term saw me ’emergency drying’ socks and pants for our trip to see hubs at work in Belgium tomorrow. Dashing out to the post office to post all the cards and parcels I had been meaning to go out and post but hadn’t quite got round to yet, and ensuring we have enough snack food to keep Moo distracted on the long train journey tomorrow. All that completed it was back for a quick lunch stop, and then a surprise treat for Moo in the afternoon. Having checked the schedule and opening hours at the arts centre yesterday I decided to take Moo back for a more leisurely look around. She was thrilled to bits and headed straight for the wobbly chair in the middle. There were a few others milling around and they all took great delight in Moo showing them just exactly how all of the exhibits functioned.
It was almost 2 hours till I managed to persuade her to leave, and that was only achieved with bribery of the pattiserie variety. By the time tea and bed were managed it was all of a sudden after 9 and I still had to pack. When it comes to packing I am normally quite organised, but quite frankly if I have enough pants to make it through the week I’ll be amazed, but it’s far too late to worry about that now as my bed is softly calling from upstairs.