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Post 1

You can call me TC

smiley - erm well. Hmm my French is pretty fluent, but somewhat stagnant, and getting - Heaven forbid! - rusty. So I'm looking for a way of spending time in France with real French people doing something I enjoy. Music for example.

French courses would probably not be what I need. Just talking. Once I get going I'm fine, and hope to get rid of the German accent I've developed over the last few years - I used to speak almost without an accent at all.

I've googled for all sorts of things like "vacances musicales" and even found just the right sort of thing, which claimed to be "pour toutes ages" and turned out to be all ages from 4 - 17!

In Germany and in England you get activity holidays for adults- surely the French do that sort of thing, too.

So - what else can I search for, or have you heard of an organisation that offers such things. My problem is that if I go on holiday with my husband, we never seem to meet people. He's not the extrovert type and would never go into a bar of an evening and just talk to the person behind the next glass. Which I would love to do, but it would be rather awkward, leaving hubby in the tent or hotel room while I went boozing with complete strangers.

The alternative is, I come and bother you for a week or two. Although God knows how I'd explain that to hubby!


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Post 2

Whisky

Hi,

Sorry I didn't notice this post yesterday.

I can't think of anything off the top of my head but I'll have a wander around a couple of travel agents this weekend for you if you want... I'll probably have a better chance of finding something aimed at the French Market than you will from there.




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Post 3

You can call me TC

That is kind of you - I am happy to google myself, but I've run out of ideas as to what to search for. I'm not sure I can really afford this, but just going to France isn't enough.


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Post 4

Whisky

Haven't had much luck for the moment, all I've come up with so far is Club Med - which offers mainly sporting themed all-inclusive holidays (how sporting do you feel?)

http://www.clubmed.com


....

stop press... I was just about to press post when I did a final google and came across this dutch/french website - which might be of interest to you...

http://www.artedu.nl/fr/

Might be exactly what you're looking for.






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Post 5

You can call me TC

Yes - yes! yes! yes! - thank you so much. It is what I am looking for - and seems quite a decent price. Except that the only date for "vocal coaching" is 17 July and I'm in a big concert on that day! However, it's given me a bit of an idea of what to expect.

Although I feel I meet the requirements they stipulate (you don't even have to be perfect at French - it is for Dutch people, too, after all) but you have to have experience of solo singing. This could have been the start of my career. Watch out Patricia Kaas!


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Post 6

Whisky

smiley - ok I'll keep looking - see if I can find anything else...


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Post 7

Blue Bird

Sorry, I don't mean to "bug" into this conversation, but I am a traveller in many ways.
All over the World is known: "Bed and Breakfast" shortly: "B and B" where you are in a friendly family home, definetely chatting at the early morning meal.
If they are really friendly it can extend further in the day.
I have had one such thing in London.
Highly recommanded. Blue Bird smiley - smiley


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Post 8

You can call me TC

Blue bird, you don't know my husband. We spend weeks in foreign countries on holiday, both knowing the language, (France, Italy, etc) and perfectly able to communicate, but he never spends a night in a bar chatting to a local or anything like that. Which, quite honestly, is my idea of a perfect holiday. We go home not having spoken a word to anyone beyond "do you have a room for the night" and asking for a loaf at the baker's.

Anyway, Whisky, I went finally to book a week's activity holiday with artedu recently. It seemed to be the perfect solution: a gorgeous house in the Auvergne, superb cuisine, judging from the comments of previous visitors in the guest book. A week learning to sing, all in French - and my husband could do the photography course.

I sent off all the details and got a call back, asking which course we were interested in (there wasn't a box to fill this in in the form). The organisation is in Holland, I knew that, but while I was on the phone to them, I asked who had put their name down so far, and who usually takes part in these courses. It turns out that they are usually 90% Dutch and the teacher for the singing course is a German girl.smiley - wah

I told them I was sorry, but I had hoped to be speaking French all week. The Dutch are great people and great fun, but if I want to speak Dutch, I can go to Holland.

... back to the drawing board. Thank you for the tip, though, it really did seem an idyllic place. We may still go to France though, and if we pass your way, we'll possibly drop in!


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Post 9

Whisky

smiley - sadface

Sorry it didn't work out...

Of course, if you do pop over here I could suddenly decide that I don't speak any english and force you both to speak French smiley - winkeye


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Post 10

You can call me TC

We may well do that. Watch this space.

I can imagine that French adults aren't into that sort of thing so much. The Dutch are very gregarious and always active, and the French have their colony holidays as kids, and probably don't want to do that sort of thing any more as adults. Tant pis pour moi.


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Post 11

Whisky

The only 'organisation' I know of is Club Med - and although I've never been on one of their holidays - I must admit I wouldn't be tempted.


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Post 12

You can call me TC

Not my sort of theing either - I reckon I'm too old anyway. And I'd probably end up with a bunch of Dutch or Germans anyway.


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Post 13

You can call me TC

I've been looking at an alternative for a while and have now booked. It's in the Alps - Le Grand Bornand. It's a Ski Chalet Hotel sort of thing with a summer programme. It sounds a bit like a club, but I've booked anyway. They offer things like hang gliding, pottery and walking holidays, as well as singing. I hope it helps my French. I use French a lot now and have become relatively fluent again, but the conversations at work are all very similar and when I have to express myself outside that box, the old memory gives up a bit.

On verra.

Bonnes vacances, toi aussi.


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Post 14

Whisky

Looks quite good... When are you going? I noticed someone offering singing courses on the website...


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Post 15

You can call me TC

We went in July - sorry, I meant to come back here and report.

Actually, it didn't improve my French as much as I had hoped, although I did learn quite a bit about singing. I had no problem with the French - they just had a bit of a problem placing my accent! Everyone was really nice. The French are sociable - almost gregarious. And extremely friendly and helpful. And totally defiant about keeping to any rules of hygiene. (Details on request - it's not as gory as it sounds!)

The food at the auberge we were at was much better than the usual French food - there was always a fresh salad for starters and usually fruit after the cheese.

It was in Le Grand Bornand - a tiny village in the Alps. We were practically the only foreigners.

We did some really great things - I can go into detail if you like (sunset picnic, son et lumière across the whole mountain range visible from the village square...)

Perhaps I really should look for a language course after all - I need to be forced to put my thoughts into words, instead of choosing the lazy way out and expressing what I'm capable of and sometimes not quite touching on what I was actually trying to say, but edging round it.


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