Long time no entry!
05.01.2008 10 °C
So here I am. Back in France.
Had a lovely time at home. I really do love Christmas- haven't grown out of it one bit. Loved giving and getting lots of presents on Christmas day, and all the yummy food, and christmas shopping in town on the 22st and annual get-together meal with old school friends on the 23rd, and New Year's Eve/birthday celebrations with Tom, Katie and the others....but the best of all bit this year was just being with all these people...Exeter friends, Oxford mateys thanks to a random but very exciting reunion in Exeter, Mum, Dad, Alex and the rest of the family and JOE! Poor Joe has lots of horrible exams on his mind right now so sending him good luck vibes! Unfortuanately this meant we didn't get to see as much of each other as we might have in an ideal world, but planning an awesome trip to Paris on the 25th to 27th January-his 21st/end-of-exams/our 4 year anniversary....couldn't need any more excuses! And I think I will do a week at home/in Bath in February; it's so cool having 2 week long half-terms, means can do that and still have time to travel somewhere over here, and then I'll prob hang around out here at Easter and travel a bit more and hopefully persuade Joe/parents to visit at some time.
Anyway, back to the present. So yeah Rachel and I flew back yesterday- I'd already seen her once during the hols for her 21st celebrations at Sidmouth-muchos fun, but it was cool to catch up and Rachel got herself a French-Albanian admirer on the bus back to Perigueux. I settled back into Englishness at home amazingly quickly and really feel like I've got out of the French habit...dammit why is it so much easier to lose than it is to get?! Really want to make an effort this year...but then nothing changes, also want to do more Uni work (gonna do my couple of essays soon I think, see if that gets me back in the roll), make more French friends and go swimming. But have plans for some French friends (a couple of potential language exchange people/checking out the maison des associations tomorrow) and going to pencil swimming/studying into the diary for each week. New year but old resolutions eh?!
Lesson planning tomorrow..."Buying fruit" and "Penfriend letters" I think....fun fun fun! Tomorrow is the 6th of January, Epiphany, the day the Kings came to see baby Jesus, celebrated in a typically French form: CAKE! I have to write about this because I'd hate to let down my Morge boys who apparently enjoy the regular lowdowns of what I've been eating. Yeah so tomorrow all the Frenchies (and of course me, immersed in the culture as I am) will be eating a cake- either a big round, fruity one "La couronne (crown) des rois" or an apple one "La galette des rois" which has a little trinket inside (kinda like Christmas Pudding I guess)- the person who gets the trinket will be made king or queen of the meal according to Wikipedia!
The 9th of January will also be an exciting day as that's when the "soldes" (sales) start. The sales here happen twice a year between dates specified by local government and are meant to be pretty good...may have to do some cultural immersion there too, ha ha!
Lynn and I polished off a bottle of Montbazillac, a local sweet wine today...mmmm....
Le Monde recently had an article on what will change in France in 2008 http://www.lemonde.fr/web/articleinteractif/0,41-0@2-3224,49-993716@45-4774@51-993805,0.html. The smoking ban in bars etc (as in England) came in on the 1st January, from September all primary schools will have 4 day weeks (no more Wednesday or Saturday mornings), public transport systems will have to offer a "minimum service" even in case of strike etc and all high schools will be required to have two automatic condom machines, at the price of 20 centimes per condom!
Alors, oui, Bonne annee a tout le monde et mes meilleurs voeux pour 2008!!!