Today is the first day of the new school year, here in France. They call this season the ‘reentre’ – pronounced like ‘entree’ – as in the first course of a meal – but with a soft throaty ‘r’ at the start.

This is my favourite time of year – or it was back in NZ, where it happens in February. It is throwing me off balance, more than usual, this being in the northern hemisphere where the seasons are the other way around…

Autumn has begun. The weather has turned, as if someone flicked a switch, but it’s warmer than it looks, as I discovered, sweating in my thin cotton shirt on the way to the hospital this morning. I had my birth-follow-up appointment (three months later because they take summer holidays rather seriously) with my OB/GYN. All is well, hurrah, enough information on that subject.

So, why is it that I love the going-back-to-school bit of the year? Is it just because I’m that much of a geek? Well, sure, that’s part of it. I always did like school – and then I went and became a teacher. The first term, with all it’s dreamy high expectations and endless possibilities, is lovely. The first few weeks, with all that crisp new stationary and all those books without dog-ears, all those lovely organised term and year plans, smooth and perfect photocopies, hole-punched and snapped into everyone’s brand new binders… ah, sweet nostalgia. I do miss teaching a little.

Of course it all spirals out of control and by the end of term the marking pile is higher than the computer screen and the roll book is no longer up to date, and I’ve started up email correspondence with too many parents, and veered from that lovely term plan. So I don’t miss teaching too much.

It seems like the time of year to be making plans and goals and resolutions, but I’m in the middle of lots of good stuff and don’t feel the need. I am fine-tuning my submissions to agents – going over and over and over my synopsis. I actually have several. There’s the blurb-like synopsis, which is very short and teaser-y. There’s the normal synopsis, with or without giving away the ending, which is about a page long. And I think I might need to write another one – a blow by blow, scene by scene breakdown, that tells the entire story and summarizes every conversation.

I found a few more things to change from my first chapter – which is good, of course, to find them now before I’ve sent anything, but also a little discouraging – my confidence that it’s ready to go has taken a bit of a knock.

But I will continue onwards. Tomorrow, I’ve decided, is the day I’ll actually send these over-thought, over-edited emails. And then I’ll be nervous and useless all day, wondering if they’ve been read, and if they have, what the agents thought, and if no news is good news. My scatter-brain-ed-ness will be unfortunate because our first french lesson of the new term is tomorrow afternoon.

Which reminds me, I must finish the homework this afternoon. I’m on the last chapter, but not far into it. As long as the babies stay asleep (I don’t think either of them actually are asleep but they’re quiet and, fingers crossed, headed that way) I’ll get that done now.

And then there’s the monstrous pile of dishes in the kitchen. I’ll need a coffee beforehand but I better save my pain au chocolat as a reward for after.