Bonnie 2016

Bonnie

 

I guess the first thing that I should address is the actual getting to Belle Isle. Suffice it to say, it was much easier, as Michel had said it would be, than it seemed. The locations of the train, bus, and ferry are very close and their time tables pretty much in synch. I did it online but will admit I didn’t think it would go as smoothly as it did. So don’t let that aspect prevent you from taking advantage of a wonderful, productive week in an incredibly beautiful setting.

I am an intermediate student and my goals were to improve my conversation skills and to revisit grammar skills where necessary. Michel’s approach is personal and somewhat student directed. I wanted to be corrected while speaking and I was and I wanted homework which I received. This homework would reinforce a deficiency that was picked up during my lesson. I also prepared a written story which I would read during the next day’s lesson thereby giving an opportunity for correcting my pronunciation and grammar. A week is not a long time, but I clearly improved overall and more important was energised because I had a clearer idea of which skills to target to continue my progress.

My other question was how would I fill my afternoons. Not to worry. Michel, again, was there for me every day with suggestions and offers to facilitate my plans. The included excursion was a tour around the aptly named Belle Isle. For me the highlight was standing where Monet stood and taking a picture of the very rocks that he had painted. Really how great is that! And the visit to his friend Michel’s garden was spectacular.

Your lovely, comfortable, private house is situated so that you can easily walk to either coast and then walk along the coastline. I did this 4 of the 7 days. Another day I took an arranged tour of another one of Michel’s friend’s gardens.

What else? The perfect kirs at another friend’s bar. The delicious meals prepared by Michel every evening enjoyed while speaking French. His lessons for me in preparing crepes and far, a Bretonne cake. His own lovely garden. His delightful neighbour and her sister with whom I spent a couple of hours – all the time speaking French.

At the ferry boat as I was saying good bye, I actually choked up. I guess I’ll have to go back!