Friday, 7 September 2012

Notes on La Rentrée

The French have a useful word for this time of year: La Rentrée, which literally means 'the return'.  It encompases not just the start of the new school year for children, but also the return to regular routines and work for the adults after the long summer break.  The latest Marie Claire Idées, which arrived this week, is all about la rentrée and autumn.

Marie Claire Idees and handcream
Marie Claire Idées celebrates the start of autumn
Here, the return to school has gone smoothly - as much as it can with adjusted school hours for Cam because of the extra traffic caused by the Paralympics, Olivia's molar falling out on a packed tube train on the first day of term, a request for a one-piece swimming costume (named) for the following day, a broken pair of glasses and a missing calculator. 

Everybody needs some familiarity with so much newness and busyness going on, so I made beef and onion pie for tea on the first day of term, lemon buns on the second day, and it will be plum crumble tonight.

Back to school - pie
Pie in progress
Back to school - buns
Back to school buns
Plums from the park
A sink full of free plums from the local park - destined to become a crumble

I needed that comfort as much as the children did.  As always, I felt bereft on the first day without them - the backpacks, PE bags and instruments disappeared from the hallway and the house felt too quiet and empty with no children in it.
Back to school - bags
Bags in the hallway on the second day of term. Only the green one is mine.
But we all find our rhythm soon enough.  The children were ready to go back and came home from their first day chattering enthusiastically about their freinds, their teachers, and the new things that are happening at school this term.  I found that it was rather pleasant to have some quiet time for studying, and have been pushing on with my own pre-course homework from the University.  I start in just over a week's time.


  1. I trust you'll be making some well deserved back to school buns for yourself too ...

  2. I'm beginning to think I am a bit strange being the only mother who doesn't feel sad when her children go back to school.

  3. mmm back to school buns. I like that idea. we could have Friday buns perhaps.

  4. What a handsome pie. La Rentrée is a very handy concept indeed. After weeks of child-centric activity, maternal socializing has kicked in big time. I am awash with cups of tea and catch ups. And it's lovely when the children return with actual news snippets.

  5. I like the rhythm that returns after the haphazardness of the summer break. Your bakes look lovely and I am sure were appreciated by all the family. The only fruit that did well in my garden this year were the blackberries! I have had more than I can handle and you would have been welcome to forage in my garden!!! Good luck with the your studies. I predict you will do very well Matron!

  6. Is that a Frech Horn in your hallway? One of those has graced mine for many years. These days it only visits & these are becoming more & more brief. Thanks for reminding me of the wonder & the chaos of a young family. Enjoy the food you create from your free harvests.


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