September has always been an important month for me. As a teacher and trainer, it was always the start of a new academic year, an opportunity for a fresh beginning.

But the most enjoyable part for me has always been buying new stationery! Whether as a pupil, student, teacher or mum, there is nothing to beat buying new notebooks, pens and so forth.

I also see September a bit like January. There is the opportunity to set new goals, start new projects or join new classes, whether they be languages, dance, exercise – whatever takes your fancy.

We usually return to France in September and this year was no different. Except that we knew that there had been another leak from one of the pipes that carries the water from the mains to the house. Luckily, the lovely Dan who checks on our house when we are away for any length of time, discovered the leak and turned off the mains water.

Our main concern was if we would be able to sort out the problem before the arrival of our youngest son, closely followed by eldest son and girlfriend. Luckily, we were!

Our return to France wasn’t just about repairs, of course. It is always a delight to have the whole family together. We were blessed with glorious weather and stunning sunsets.

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When we first return to Castelnaudary, I am always uplifted by the sight of the Canal du Midi and the port. I love the reflection of the sun on the water and seeing which boats are moored.

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Unfortunately, youngest son was the first to leave as he had to return to Uni, but we still managed to fit in a visit to Toulouse with the eldest, plus girlfriend. They love Toulouse, particularly the shops! We left them to their retail therapy while we meandered down to the river. Temps were in the thirties, so we wandered at a gentler pace. I love that every time we go to Toulouse, we spot something fascinating that we haven’t seen before. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see this:

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This is an art installation by Mark Jenkins as part of the Rose Beton Festival.  I have to say that I found it fascinating but creepy, in equal measure.

Every time we visit Toulouse we spot something new. We came across the Musée du Vieux Toulouse down a side street. It is housed in the most beautiful building but we didn’t have time to visit on this occasion.

When we are in Toulouse, we have a favourite crêperie but it is closed on a Monday. Having done some research, we decided to try another one which happened to be in the same street as the Musée du Vieux Toulouse, ‘Le Bol Bu’. I loved the quirky interior, and my sweet pancake was probably the best lemon and sugar one that I have had in years. The range of teas on offer were amazing but we stuck with cider!

September also seems the ideal time to try out a new blog theme. Have you noticed? What do you think?