Sunday, December 07, 2014

Out and about, and on having free time again

My weekend companions, 2012-2014

For the past three years, most of my free time has gone into completing the Cambridge DELTA course. This advanced qualification in English Language Teaching introduced me to the great thinkers of language teaching theory, enabled me to examine my teaching practices and learn about a slew of new ones, and inspired me greatly.

It also took up a hell of a lot of time. A few carefully scheduled breaks notwithstanding, I worked on the course 10 to 20 hours per week from January 2012 until last month, when I finally finished my research paper, the daunting Module 3. And yes, I was still working full-time.

I could even go to the circus now if I wanted to!

So finally, after what seems like a lifetime of solitary Saturdays and Sundays spent reading, writing, and studying, my weekends include an incredible element again: guilt-free free time.

Now I can once again get out and about to enjoy some of the many activities going on in Aveyron, not to mention the endless possibilities for exploring the backroads.

The Trio Wanderer at the Grange de Floyrac in Onet-le-Château

It always kills me when people say there is nothing to do in or around Rodez. After living in the area for nearly 20 years, I feel like I have only scratched the surface of potential activities.  Concerts, plays, art shows, great restaurants, special exhibits...I'm always seeing publicity for events I would like to go to. 

And the past few weeks, I have been going to them. 

Last weekend, we saw the internationally known Trio Wanderer play a concert of trios by Haydn, Fauré and Brahms. Thanks to the Association du Vieux Palais, a series of top-notch classical music concerts is held in Aveyron every year. We used to go to quite a few, but that went by the wayside during my course.

The Clairvaux church ready for a benefit concert for the Téléthon

This weekend, on Friday I got together with a few expat friends to see a local village choir sing for the Téléthon. A Dutch woman we all know was performing in this festive fundraising event in the lovely Romanesque Church of St. Blaise Clairvaux.

This afternoon, we will be heading to Imaginarium, the first edition of a comics festival organized by the Cubik bookstore in Rodez. 

This new free time is a bit disconcerting and may actually take some getting used to. 

Of course, if I don't know what to do with it, I also have my blog back.   


Nadege said...

Welcome back Betty! I am looking forward to re-discovering Averyron through your eyes.

Betty Carlson said...

Thanks Nadège! As far as I can tell, I am the only English-writing blogger still around in Aveyron, and I almost fell off the map...

Jennifer Greco said...

Isn't it funny how much of the goings on that we overlook? I'm sure there are plenty of events to keep you busy in the coming months.
Enjoy your free time and I look forward to reading more!

Betty Carlson said...

Jennifer, I see these possibilties pass by, but there is always too much work and, the past years, there has been too much studying! I can't wait to get totally back on the Rodez/Aveyron scene!

Katie Zeller said...

I'm always telling myself to get out and see more and do more.... but there seems like there's always stuff to be done at home. Must change that. Love the concert / church. We used to go to one in the Vendee that was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Dear Betty,
I have very much enjoyed looking thru your blog return. It made me excited to go back to France and visit any and everything--which we plan to do with you as an excellent guide!! with every best wish--an excited summer of 2015 traveler from the USA.' Sincerely,

Carol Carlson

Betty Carlson said...

Katie maybe for you, like for me, distance is an issue. We live 20 minutes from Rodez -- not that far, but it does mean I seldom feel like going back out after getting home from work, for example. Most events around here are at 8:30 or even 9:00pm -- so late by American standards, and I think I have stayed American on that one!

I have noticed a few more concerts being scheduled at earlier hours, especially on Sundays, and am hoping it will be a trend. said...

Welcome back!!!
Melanie @

Sarah said...

Well done on finishing the course! It must have taken a lot of dedication.

Enjoy all that lovely free time. :)

French Girl in Seattle said...

Bonjour Betty. I am so happy you stopped by today and introduced yourself. I had no idea you were following French Girl in Seattle! I decided to come over and check out your blog and was not disappointed! You live in a beautiful corner of France, and one many foreign visitors never get to. I was also interested to find out you have been studying for the Cambridge exam. Good for you! I know that is a respected diploma in Europe, and it will prove a valuable addition to your resume. I will be looking forward to following your blog from now on. Is there any way I can receive updates via email? Merci et à bientôt, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Betty Carlson said...

Thanks for your comment Véronique. I'm sure there IS a way you can receive updates via email, I just need to find the right widget!

Perpetua said...

Studying AND working full-time? No wonder you had no time to blog! Congratulations on completing your course and enjoy your free time.