Time out in southern France

It was time to dust off my rusty French and take a hiatus from life in Canada. With my husband and our 10-year old black Labrador, I now live within the magical grasp of the Alpilles in Provence, in southern France. Initially, we planned to stay six months; it was not long before I arm-twisted both of them to stay for a year, or longer...

Madame L's French class

Our Year 7 French teacher was a tall, thin, Mauritian woman. She had coffee-coloured skin with faint liver spots. Her wiry, grey hair stuck out at all angles. I remember her peering over the class through her bottle-bottom glasses and blowing raspberries and puckering her lips like a fish to demonstrate pronunciation.