I have moved my blog to:
all old entries will remain on this blog, but all new ones will be there, so update your links/address books/brains! Ta!
My life seems to fluctuate currently between being too hot and extremely chilly. How does one solve such a problem? For example, I come back to my room in the résidence, and since the heating has been on full blast all day, it's sweltering. So I open a window. However, outside it's about -3 degrees, so I quickly become too cold. So I close the window, and after 2 minutes I'm too hot again!
However, I seem to have now mastered the trick of leaving the half of the window that is behind the (beautiful metal slidey) shutters open a few inches for most of the time, so the temperature is bearable (except when you're in bed, when you get too hot again). The next problem occurs when I go out.
It's cold outside – fair enough, it's january, and as long as the sun is around somewhere I'm ok with that. But as soon as I get on the RER to go to work, I'm too hot. Having already removed my gloves (without which my hands turn blue, but which do not allow me to do useful things with my fingers such as get out my travelcard), I undo my coat, and generally try to cool down. Then I get off the RER and it's even colder than it was when I left home, so I have to try and warm myself up again, and by the time I get into a classroom at work (pot luck – some of them have radiators and others don't), I'm pretty chilly.
Then there's my fridge. It refridgerates, but a little too efficiently. In fact, it's started freezing everything. Not terribly helpful as far as milk and fruit juice are concerned. What's strange is that it's only started doing this since the beginning of January, after I came back from the holidays. I followed dad's advice about turning it off overnight, leaving the door closed so that things don't go off, and turning it back on in the morning; which is all very well, except that when it defrosts it soaks everything in foul smelling water and then that water freezes when I turn it back on again, leaving everything covered in ice, and still frozen. I have to try and sell this fridge when I move out – I'll just have to lie and say it works fine :S What is a girl to do?
Conclusion: I hate winter! Roll on Tunisia in April…
Paris is bright and frosty, which I very much like – although I'm not good at being cold, the sunshine is cheering! On friday at Disneyland, however, it was not sunny, it was grey; it actually snowed! We must have been mad to go there. We did have an excellent day, though; we managed to do all the 'indoors'-type things, including Peter Pan's flight and the haunted house, and in the studios the shows 'cinémagique' and 'animagique', which were worth it just to sit in the warm!
On Saturday I went to meet Josh and Noura in Montmartre, as they were in Paris for the weekend. We had coffee in a little café, then went to see the Sacre Coeur. After that we had lunch in a little Pizzeria (including BIG ice creams – yum!) and Miguel came to meet us to show us all the little windy streets and shops of Montmartre, after which we all sat back in the little café for more drinks, and Noura and I went off to shop in a pretty beauty shop across the road, leaving the boys to chat!
In the evening I ran into Elena who invited me for pancakes with her, Paz and Paz's friend from Chile who is visiting. We had both savoury and sweet pancakes, and ate far too much!
On Sunday I had a lazy day chez moi, doing all the laundry, work, washing up etc that I had to do, and in the evening I went to meet Neil, Miriam, Sam and Sally and we went (via KFC) to a pub quiz in an English pub in the marais called the 'Frog and Rosbif'! I don't know if we won, although I doubt it considering the amount of guessing we were doing, as I had to leave when the marking started to get the train. I did drink beer, however, for the first time ever! It was actually ok…
Work yesterday was pretty much a waste of time, as I only had one student turn up, but I got to leave early and I went to the supermarket to buy lots of nice things on the way home :)
Other news that I forgot to mention last time I blogged (is that really a verb, now?) – Antony and I have booked a holiday! We are going to Tunisia for a week at the end of April, to a hotel right on the beach, with everything included :) I am so excited!! Apparently the weather should be warm but not horribly hot, and we'll get to swim and sunbathe and eat well and relax for a whole week in the sun. Yay!
Nothing else exciting to impart – I'll be back in London on Saturday afternoon for a few days, then on up to visit Antony on Tuesday, then back to London the follwing Monday until Thursday.
PS. I didn't like the film of Superstar – dad was right!
Having discovered at the weekend that Bex reads my blog (hello Bex!) and generally feeling guilty that I haven't written anything in almost a month, I have beetled up to the computer room on my way back from the musée d'Orsay (how very cultural!) to do an updatey bloggy thingy.
So, what has been happening? Well, starting from roughly where I left off (although I will attempt to put everything in a nutshell) New Year was fab – having done presents with Tom in the morning (he got a very swish new sony mp3 player doobry) I had to work 2 shows at the Palace for New Year's Eve, but at least it was my last day. After work a load of us went to the White Hart pub, and had a very merry time drinking lots of champagne, dancing, and speaking French (well, that was just me and the 2 French guys).
I came back to Paris on the 2nd of Jan, and worked all day on the 3rd 4th and 5th (urgh) so it was very nice when on Friday I hopped on the eurostar and went to visit Antony for the weekend. We had fish and chips, watched TV (I miss TV so much when I'm here!), cooked for ourselves and Hywel and had a very nice relaxing weekend.
The following week I also worked 3 days, so the other 2 were spent doing laundry and shopping etc. On the Friday I went out for dinner with Alessia, Thibaud, Dan, Ruth and Bethan (the last 2 having come up to Paris for the weekend from Rochefort) which was really lovely, and we ended up in a very strange bar called 'Urgence Bar' – the theme of which was medical; x-rays on the walls, pills and syringes in the clear-topped tables; and the drinks came served in either test tubes or baby bottles! Bizarre.
The following evening (after battling the sales in Les Halles) I went to Neil's house for tea and met Liz, who somehow I've never met before but who is really lovely! Plus she was a fan of Honk, so she also has excellent taste! :p We ended up making dinner before they went out for the night, but I was really tired so I went home instead.
Last week was again work-heavy, but then at the weekend I went to stay with Antony and to see The Wild Party on Saturday night! I saw loads of people that I haven't seen in ages (Hi Tim, Andy, Owen, Sam, Colin, Emma and all the MTW luvvies and dahlings!) and the show was EXCELLENT. I really enjoyed it, and had to force myself not to sing and dance along! I also had a really nice weekend in general – we had curry on friday night, went shopping on saturday and ate at EAT in the Arts Centre before the show, then spent sunday morning watching 'Dancing on Ice' and drinking tea before I had to come back to Paris.
Since then it's been work, work, work again, unfortunately, although last night I spent chatting to Elena, Paz and Julia, and then drinking tea and watching Desperate Housewives with Julia; and today the sun was shining, so she and I went to Nanterre ville to take some CDs back to the mediatheque (borrowed the DVD of Jesus Christ Superstar which dad told me was rubbish but I've always been curious to see, having never seen it staged, so I thought borrowing it was the best option!) and then I went to the musée d'Orsay. I bumped into Neil on the metro, he was going there too, so we got to catch up a bit.
So that brings us to now…any other news…um, oh yes, I've found a flat for next year! Very exciting, Olly was looking for someone to join the flat he's going to live in with two other people he knows who study German; Neil told me about it when I was at his house since I applied to live on campus on my own. The flat sounds really lovely, and it's not too expensive either so I think it will be a nicer option than living in a teeny room on campus with no living room! Hurrah! (Plus obviously Olly is a legend – hi Olly!)
Right, think I shall go and have a cup of tea now! I don't have to work again until next week, so Julia and I are going to Disneyland on Friday (with our year-passes, teehee!) and I should really do some laundry and reading and things over the weekend… Plans for the near future include going back to England in the holidays in February to go to the music centre ball and stay at home for a few days :)
Photos are (finally!) uploaded – the best ones, at least – in gallery entitled "RUT xmas party"
Christmas was excellent and joyful, work is long and tiring but good fun, and Antony has gone home to Wales for New Year (boo!)
I go back to Paris on Monday, must start getting ready – birthdays (mum's today, Tom's tomorrow) and work tend to get in the way though! (oh, and I have to go shopping as I have Next vouchers to spend – what a shame!)
arrived at 12.28pm.
On a more positive note, my Christmas shopping is now finished! Hooray!!
One minute to go. Chances of delivery not looking good.
I went to Mark's 21st birthday party last night at Guesthouse West in Notting Hill (his uncle owns it and gave him the party with a free bar as his birthday present! How good is that?)
It was very swish and we had a very nice time – a mixture of people who didn't know each other (Mark introduced everyone about a million times, as he kept forgetting who he had introduced to who as he got more drunk) so the conversation was easy! Plus we had sushi and cake, and all the alcohol we could drink before 11pm. Amy was a bit worse for wear by the time we went home, I was quite tipsy but only as hyperactive as the people around me! Once I got home I was OK, although I'm not sure Antony was terribly happy about me phoning him at half past 12 and keeping him awake…! (Love you honey…)
I don't know what happened to Mark and the others (we left first, as we had to get the tube home) but Mark's friend James promised to look after him so I assume they had fun and got home alright…Mark if you read this let me know if you survived!!
(I know I promised photos of the RUT xmas party, but haven't had chance to upload them onto my computer yet – suffice to say it was a very good night…!)
I am waiting for a delivery. The parcel is my brother's christmas present. It is supposed to be delivered today a.m, which gives them 14 minutes to arrive with it before I start to get annoyed! It's a pain waiting for deliveries, because you feel like you can't do anything in case they turn up in the middle of it. And invariably they turn up either at the worst possible moment, or not at all so you're hanging around for nothing.
If it doesn't arrive I shall be VERY annoyed, and they shall hear of it. Oh yes. Grrr.
Last Friday night I decided to brave the karaoke bar with Tamara, Miguel, Anna, Dina, Paz and Bryan – much fun!
Miguel started the night off with a rousing rendition of 'I'm too sexy', complete with giant afro wig and sunglasses…
Anna sang "What's goin' on" (small girl, big voice!) and then Gillian and her boyfriend turned up just as I was singing "Please Mr. Postman" (yes, by myself – terrifying!)
Before we left we all sang, very badly (as is customary) Bohemian Rhapsody…oh dear! Very embarassing.
The weekend was very nice – Antony came to visit me! We went Christmas shopping in La Defense, and generally had a snuggly time.
On Sunday (after taking him to the airport) I went to see the new Harry Potter film at Les Halles – everyone else had seen it and I was desperate to! I enjoyed it apart from the very cheesy ending and some of the kids' acting.
I worked at St Germain on Monday (only 1 student this week – I worked with one of the teachers for the rest of the afternoon!) and at Antony on Tuesday, singing 'The 12 days of Christmas' numerous times starts to get tiring, I found! But it was interesting trying to explain Turtle Doves, and why the Hens are French, and what 'a-leaping' is! Tuesday was the last meeting of the year of the assistants (plus Julia's friend Karlo) at the Christmas market – lots of giggling and mulled wine drinking ensued! (although perhaps not in that order…)
I came home on Wednesday afternoon, and started work back at the Palace last night, just in time for the Christmas party tonight…! Pictures and stories to come… L xx
largely because I'm too lazy to bring my computer to the library most of the time! Plus I am very busy and important (!)
Sunday was really lovely – nearly all the assistants from the IUFM met up at Anna's place (a kind of 'foyer' – little apartments with a massive shared kitchen) for brunch after Julia, Tamara, Beatrice and I went to Auchan (the supermarket) to do the shopping. We (the assistants) haven't really met up all together since our training so it was good to see everyone. We had all sorts of croissants, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, coffee, ingredients for crèpes, bread, jam, meats, eggs, juices – a real feast! I made scrambled eggs, and Anna's (French) boyfriend took care of the crèpe mixture. Everyone had a great time, laughed, ate too much and sang various songs (I think the mulled wine might have had something to do with it…!) We plan to do it again in the new year, perhaps with an international theme, where everyone brings some food from their country of origin – Anna and I reckon fish and chips! Not really, probably Christmas pudding and mince pies.
Monday I had to work at St Germain – only 2 of my 7 students turned up, so it was a quiet afternoon! In the evening I went to choir (here at Nanterre) and it was nice to sing again, even though the French people's pronunciation of the English words leaves a lot to be desired ("Oveuh all zee erss but wun…")
Yesterday I was working at Antony which, as always, was delightful – the teacher Catherine used me as a bit of a Parrot, reading questions from the board to demonstrate intonation – and we talked about Harry Potter and J.K.Rowling. Afterwards I went to go to aquagym with Miguel and Elena, but the teacher didn't turn up so we couldn't go in. We then went to La Defense to meet some of the other assistants at the Christmas market for mulled wine and much talking and laughing :)
Today I have been Christmas shopping (top secret!) with Miguel, and bought my Eurostar tickets to come home (yay!) – I'll be back this time next week, and am returning to France on the 2nd of January in time to start work again on the 3rd (yuck!) May be going to the cinema this evening, more soon!
Disneyland was SO much fun – there were hardly any queues, too, so we did loads of things! I'll update some pictures into my galleries now, so take a look!
Found this in the book I've been reading by Kate Fox ('Watching the English' – highly recommend it) and thought it would be of interest to some (as tea is a staple for many students…), particularly Andy Inglis!!
Tea is still believed, by English people of all classes, to have miraculous properties. A cup of tea can cure, or at least significantly alleviate, almost all minor physical ailments and indispositions, from a headache to a scraped knee. Tea is also an essential remedy for all social and psychological ills, from a bruised ego to the trauma of a divorce or bereavement. This magical drink can be used equally effectively as a sedative or stimulant, to calm and soothe or to revive and invigorate. Whatever your mental or physical state, what you need is ‘a nice cup of tea’. Perhaps most importantly, tea-making is the perfect displacement activity: whenever the English feel awkward or uncomfortable in a social situation (that is, almost all of the time), they make tea. It’s a universal rule: when in doubt, put the kettle on. Visitors arrive; we have our usual difficulties over greeting protocol. We say, ‘I’ll just put the kettle on’. There is one of those uneasy lulls in the conversation, and we’ve run out of weather-speak. We say, ‘Now, who’d like more tea? I’ll just go and put the kettle on.’ A business meeting might involve having to talk about money. We postpone the uncomfortable bit by making sure everyone has tea. A bad accident – people are injured and in shock: tea is needed. ‘I’ll put the kettle on.’ World War Three breaks out – a nuclear attack is imminent. ‘I’ll put the kettle on.’ You get the idea. We are rather fond of tea. We are also very partial to toast. Toast is a breakfast staple, and an all-purpose, anytime comfort food. What tea alone does not cure, tea and toast surely will.
Today I have not gone out because I have a rotten cold – v sore throat and bunged-up head, yuck – but am hopefully going to the christmas market with various Germans later (!) Maybe mulled wine will cure my cold…
Having brunch with all the assistants tomorrow at Anna's place, so will update on Monday :)
am back in Paris safe and have lots to do! (The weekend was very nice and I highly reccommend 'Mrs Henderson Presents', by the way! It's a very charming, very English film.) Tuesday I was working at Antony-val, and went to Aquagym afterwards which was hard work! Seems to be very good for you though, and can be fun.
Today I just pottered around, really, did some laundry and tidying, reading, work, wrote a postcard to mark, etc. They changed the locks on our rooms today, too, so I have a new key (since the pass-key to the residences was stolen about 5 months ago this is a little late but better late than never, at least if I'm going to be burgled they'll have to break the door to get in now…!)
Tomorrow I am going to go to the library in Nanterre to do some researching for my uni essay (at last!) and to the supermarket, I also need to go to the post office and then in the evening I should be going to the Christmas market at La Defense – the cheesy type with mulled wine and twee stalls! Looks pretty though, so I'll take pictures.
Doesn't sound very exciting, I know, as days go, but then on Friday I'm going to Disneyland!! Julia and Tamara (both assistants) are desperate to go so how could I refuse?! Then at the weekend I'm either seeing Harry Potter or going to Cergy to see what it's like on Saturday, and then all the assistants are meeting up for brunch on Sunday (then probably going on to a museum – as it's the first sunday of the month they're free). I think that makes up for my mediochre days today and tomorrow!
Plus I have been watching some episodes of Lost today, that Mark sent me, and I'm totally hooked – I've got up to the end of episode 5, must watch more so I can catch up with Antony! Antony's gone to see Harry Potter this evening – I'm jealous! I have to wait, so I'll have to not let him talk about it on the phone.
Off to have dinner and watch more Lost methinks… Lxx
Grannie has asked me to read the following poem at Grandpa's funeral on Thursday, and it's rather moving so I thought I'd share it with everyone;
Do not go gentle into that good night (Dylan Thomas)
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
"To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be."
(Anna Louise Strong)
A little bit about me
1. Whose thoughts would you most like to read? Antony's – just to see who else he fancies! ;p
2. What have you lost that you'd most like to retrieve? Currently my Bill Bailey DVD…
3. What's your favourite red thing? My hair (well, it's just about red!)
4. What are some things that irritate you? Ooh, many things – people being ignorant, full of themselves, people saying 'haitch', ready-to-eat sandwiches having mayonnaise in them (I don't like it and it spoils so many nice fillings!)...etc etc.
5. What's your favourite boy's name? Harry
Girl's name? Bethany
6. What's on the walls in your room? Various postcards – mainly black and white ones, a calendar, a big photo of lilies, a timetable of dance lessons at the centre de danse du marais, and a collage of crazy playing cards that Mark sent me.
7. Name a CD you own that's a guilty pleasure (one you adore, but pretend not to for fear of irreversible negative social consequences). Umm Hear'say's album…I wouldn't say I adore it but it has some happy memories attached :)
8. What item of your friends' would you most like to have for your own? Mark's phone (any of them – he's always got a gorgeous new one) or Julia's sunflower candles because they're really pretty!
9. Where will you be in five year's time? Well if I knew that, life would be a lot simpler…
10. What one thing would you most like to accomplish with your life? Be as happy as possible and make some other people happy too :)
11. What's your favourite scary movie? None of them – I don't like scary movies!
12. Who's funnier, Jim Carrey or Bill Murray? Tough one. Bill.
13. Have you ever been in a school play? Yep – my first role was the messenger in the nativity play (saying everyone had to go to the town where they were born for the census) but I've been in loads. Was it good? Were you good? Of course!
14. What's the furthest place you've ever travelled to? India
15. Have you ever won a trophy? What for? Yep – for getting the most credits (like house points) in my year in one term at school
16. Name a book you'd recommend to a friend. Why? There are so many, but the book I'm currently reading is fascinating – Watching The English, by Kate Fox
17. What's the stupidest thing you've ever done? That's for me to know, and no-one else to ridicule me about :p
18. What's your favourite cartoon? Why? I'm not sure if it counts as a cartoon, but the animation Pocoyo is SERIOUSLY cute! But I think actually Winnie the Pooh is my all-time favourite.
19. Which animal do you most resemble in appearance and habit? a cat.
20. What mesmerises you? Flying.
21. Name something about yourself that people don't expect. I can do a very passable train whistle impression.
22. What's your favourite place on campus? Why? The arts centre, because it's a great place to meet people, eat and drink, read, see great plays and music, or even just sit and be – all of which are things I love doing. It always has a lovely atmosphere.
23. What everyday item is the most well designed? (Fit for purpose and aesthetically pleasing.) Not sure what sort of 'everyday item' this question means, but for me, my mac laptop!
24. What's your favourite time of day? Why? Early evening – fading light, one can start to relax after whatever one has been doing during the day.
25. What is the best thing you have done in a seminar? Listen to some really interesting ideas that I never would have heard anywhere else.
26. What is the best moment you have had in a lecture? Realising we were studying two Asterix albums – both funny and fairly easy to analyse!
27. What was your biggest mistake in your first year? Not doing enough secondary reading to get a higher grade – that said, I had so much fun, I don't really regret it. My first year mark didn't count anyway, so I reckon I was well-balanced. (If we're not talking academically, then kissing one of my hallmates in the union in my first week probably wasn't a great idea!!)