It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote a blog post, but I’ve been too busy to write until now. I’ve enjoyed Lyon’s Fête des Lumières, had MORE extremely stressful car problems, got in the festive spirit, and found a university house to live in next year. Phew.
My stress started when I attempted to go to the supermarket on Tuesday, and then couldn’t because my car wouldn’t start. My neighbour and I worked out that it wasn’t the battery, so we couldn’t jump-start it, and I needed towing to the garage yet again. This ended up being a HUGE deal because my neighbours couldn’t borrow the tow-bar they used to tow me last time. I ended up emailing everyone all the teachers I knew asking them if they could help, which made me feel like a desperate charity case, and didn’t actually help anyway. In the end I was able to buy a tow-bar myself in Lyon over the weekend, which then meant my neighbours could help me like they had before.
Not having my car for almost two weeks while I worked out how to get it to the garage and then while the garage fixed it really made me appreciate how awful the local bus service is. No buses run on weekends or after 6pm, and the bus runs about 4-5 times a day Monday-Friday. The bus also takes almost an hour, whereas driving myself takes literally half that time. Thankfully, I was able to drive my repaired car out of the garage on Saturday the 17th, meaning fixing my car is one less thing I need to worry about over the Christmas holidays.
My lessons over the past two weeks have mostly been about Christmas in the UK: our traditions, food, and the John Lewis Christmas advert. Most of my students loved Buster the Boxer, thought Christmas puddings looked disgusting, and worryingly about half thought this lady was my Grandma. I’ve been to several Christmas meals, one at the University in Roanne and one at my lycée, which were delicious and good fun.
The (literal) highlight of the past few weeks has definitely been the Fête des Lumières. This celebration of light takes place every year in Lyon around 8th December, from Thursday-Saturday. I went to see the amazing light displays around the city on Friday and Saturday night, and I wasn’t disappointed! There was a huge range of displays, from colourful, dancing robots, to films projected on buildings, and rows of beautiful candles. It was a great experience seeing the city lit up at night, even if Lyon was absolutely overflowing with tourists. It was lovely walking to different parts of the city and seeing different displays light up the night in interesting ways. My favourite was the Roman amphitheatre, which had rows and rows of candles bought for charity flickering in the night (see featured image), as well as a stunning film with jets of fire which illuminated the larger theatre.
I eventually made it back to the UK on Saturday 17th December, travelling by Eurostar from Lyon to London. No rest for the wicked though; I headed to Birmingham on Sunday evening to meet Ellie and Libby and go house-hunting. Being in Selly Oak also gave us a great excuse to eat all the food we’d missed whilst in France- I had chicken pie, fish and chips, and Chinese food. Delicious.
It’s lovely to finally be at home relaxing, and I’m really looking forward to spending Christmas with my family. It’ll be great to catch up with all my home friends too.