As it's la Rentrée (back to school), I thought I'd just give you the run-down of the current residents of our home!
So next up for age must be Son 2's guinea pigs - if I get more time, I will add more photos. His piggies are called Lysandra, Catrina and Hester (well, what else do you call guinea pigs?) and he loves them very much.
The three big hens are next in age - we are getting three eggs a day from them at the moment! Wilson is wary of them...
Then come the two ornamental hens, who were adopted when a friend returned to the USA. One is just a smaller version of our big ones, but China, the white silky bantam, is a sight to behold... they also lay fairly well, but less than the biggies. We eat a lot of omlettes, here!
Chanel the adult cat comes next. He is at least 9 years old and is theoretically an invalid, as he has broken his hip twice. He has calmed down a bit, and we keep him inside a lot, but he still slopes off to visit neighbours, and, I am sure, gets fed by them... Six Dinner Sid! He was most unimpressed when Wilson arrived, particularly as Wilson was missing his mum and tried to get some milk from Chanel!
Raja is a few years older than Chanel. She is Son 1's adopted cocker spaniel, and has changed his life for the better in so many ways. I mentioned 'hen therapy' to Lola Nova a while ago (she agreed it exists) but dog therapy is wonderful, too...
Then comes Son 2 - at 14 he is two years older than Raja! He is in his exam year, the final year of collège. It's all a bit much for a kid who is juggling an enthusiasm for Pokemon with spots and adolescence, but we're confident he'll get through it.
Son 1 is 16 now, and in his second year of lycée. It's a better place than collège. He's specialising in science, with as much history as he can do on the side, but sadly, from his point of view, he still has to read French literature!
There's a really big gap now until you get to the adults in the household. Probably the youngest adult is Achilles the tortoise. I've roughly counted the rings on his shell and he seems to be in his 30s. He's got the wisdom of age, certainly - he gets out of his enclosure and goes for wanders, so now we've written my mobile number on his shell, and we get the occasional phone call from an excited family who've found him chomping through their garden...
And now we come to me, vintage-loving English teacher. You know me!
And finally Ben, who has an adventure of his own starting next week. His work is funding him to do further studies - he'll be off in Lyon during the week for the next nine months, coming home at the weekend to see how his family and other animals are getting on! We're all very pleased that he's got this opportunity (it's to do an MBA) and hope to be reporting on a little bit of life in Lyon, as well as in the Toulouse area, over the coming year.