19.03.2008 12 °C
Have had two of my best friends here this weekend which has been really really cool. Miss them! Matt was here Friday to Sunday, and Megan arrived on Saturday and has just left so time for a blog update.
Matt sent out an email to the rest of our little group from Uni about his part of the weekend and so, for one night only, I'm going to copy it here because its basically everything I'd want to say, Guest Entry!
"Met Lucy at Bergerac Station yay!
We had a walk around Bergerac including my favourite part of stopping at a lovely café in the sun and eating some fantastic chocolatey nuttey cakey thing. (Lucy rather outmanned me by having Beer while I only managed Coke...) Then we caught the bus from Bergerac to Perigueux, which is a rather strange, but lovely, blend of Roman, Mediaeval and Modern (there was originally two different towns, a Roman one and a mediaeval one, which were joined by an Act of Union... but I won't regurgitate the guidebook anymore...)
Burgers (and lettuce hehe) for dinner and then an evening at a café with all of Lucy's assistant friends (the excitement of the day being the presence of the Education Minister Xavier Darcos in the same café, who was - until Sunday - also Mayor of Perigueux. Unfortunately he has fallen to the anti-Sarkozy sentiment sweeping the country)
On Saturday, Lucy, Molly and I (Molly is one of Lucy's assistant friends, an American) went to Limoges to have a look round the city and meet Megan, who was flying into Limoges that day. I have to mention the French railway network (those not interested may skip to the next paragraph...) it's so fantastic, on time, cheap, fast, and with a brilliant polyphonic jingle to announce the trains... seriously... am well impressed.
Limoges is a lovely place, though the twenty-degree heat we had had on Friday was fast ebbing away with clouds rolling over. Had a look round its cathedral and museum, and its fortified bridge, before heading to a café
to wait for Megan (whose plane had been delayed). Then it was a train back to Perigueux, a walk round the city, dinner and a film - yes George, I rolled out the old "Wedding Daze", so plenty of Isla Fisher appreciation was
Sunday was a pretty lazy day for us, lazing around in the morning, having bakery products for breakfast (thank you Lucy!) and playing the "Sleep With, Marry, Cruise" game. Then we looked round Peri's museum of archaeology, which while a little disorganised is full of some brilliant things, as well as some rather creepy Russian artwork - though I'm pretty sure you'd have liked it Jo! Then some more lazing around, BBC iPlayer, and out for a FANTASTIC AMAZING dinner at a café/restaurant in town, the main course of mine and Megan's menus being the tastiest duck and potatoes you could ever have had. Plus, plenty of different sorts of cider were tried (YUM) and am now considering importing some from France because, quite frankly, Strongbow/Magners simply doesn't match up!
Lucy had to get up early and go to work on Monday, so me and Megan had a wander round Peri and then I got (just about) the bus from Peri to Bergerac, and - taking advantage of the situation at Berg station - grabbed a taxi
man who did a fantastic job of understanding my ropey French. After deciding it was the airport I wanted to go to, he promptly nearly killed me as he tried to write down some times to pick someone else up and strayed across lanes
at a junction causing much uproar and hilarity from the Frenchies around, rushing to press their horns. Then a little wait at Bergerac, sitting amongst the hundreds of middle-class-daily-mail-reading-second-home-owning-bourgeois in the departure "lounge". This included one man, whose ex-wife was flying on the same flight, telling her to stop asking him questions about her money because she never gave a "flying F***" before. Nothing like British eloquence. "
So that brings us up wonderfully to Monday evening. Was a shame about the weather, which kinda sucked on Saturday and Sunday, but can't be helped. Megan and I chilled out for a bit, had dinner and then went to the cinema to see "Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis", which is a comedy (film) about a family who move from the South to the North of France and therefore encounter the crazy accents and bad weather of the people of the Nord Pay de Calais. It's absoultely ridiculous, but very funny and has been so so sooooo popular over here. The cinema was full and the Frenchies were absolutely loving it. I think the rubbishness of French TV means the cinema is more popular over here, a greater demographic of people seem to go regularly. I guess money just goes into different things; French cinema (of varying degrees of success) rather than high-budget BBC dramas etc. Anyway yeah then we went to the Irish Bar where there was a really good atmosphere, live music etc what with it being St Patrick's Day (which the French really seem to go in for).
Tuesday I worked in the morning and met Megan at the Vesunna museum and then we got a train to Brive. There's not much there, but we had a really yummy lunch and enjoyed the improved weather and a few really cute shops. It's a nice ville, with an interesting church but otherwise nothing spectacular about it. Am starting to feel a bit French-'ville'd out, they're all starting to get a bit similiar...Church, place, river, cafe.....
But thats good because I have a few weeks to knuckle down to Uni essays and swimming before parents are here and holidays roll round again. Looks like I'm prob not gonna see Joe until the holidays now which sucks, gonna be a while, but can't be helped and not long left now till we'll be back in the same country for good.
ANYWAY, so yeah afternoon in Brive and I had a little nap on the train (both on the way there AND the way back!). We tried to have foie gras for dinner with Megan's yummy omelettes, but I don't have a tin opener (most things come with ring pulls) and managed to get a nice little slice out of my finger while (somewhat unsucessfully) trying to prise the lid off with knives. We watched Gavin and Stacey and enjoyed our last chance to catch up on each others lives for a while!
On other news, just haven't got into teaching these last couple of weeks. The kids seem so so soooo chatty, and kinda bored of my lessons or something but I feel like I've tried everything and am desperately wracking my brains to try and find something which will work.
Election-wise socialist Moyrand and his list just beat Sarkozy's minister Darcos here in Perigueux (50.42% , 49.58% resulting in 30 seats to 9) which was a pretty big thing for the town and also reflected a national situation of "political" (i.e. Anti-Sarko) voting. It certainly cheered up a load of my teachers on Monday morning, and in Trelissac (the suburb my school is in) there were 5 votes between the two lists at the final count! Close call!
Easter next weekend...on Saturday we randomly ended up at a little service thing outside the cathedral with all the locals waving "palms" (which looked like random leaves cut down from the bushes in their gardens). Not sure we'll be doing much, but I'm kinda feeling ready for some time to myself, was FANTASTIC to have visitors etc, but now need to tackle the to-do list.