I spent my two-week Christmas break at home with my family and friends. It was such a wonderful fortnight, made even more so by the fact that for the first time in years I didn’t have to worry about revision for January exams, or finishing off essays due in January. It rushed by so fast though, and in no time at all I found myself back in Charlieu, almost as if I’d never left at all.
Great things about being home:
- Being around my friends and family all the time. Living alone can be peaceful and easy, but it’s also quite boring.
- FOOD! French people have a stereotype that British food is disgusting, but I enjoyed the comforting, delicious home food so much! (Roast dinner, English Breakfast, Fish and Chips, Pie, Curry, Chinese Food…)
- I went to the doctors, the dentist, and the optician. Not very exciting but the thought of the hassle and paperwork involved in going to those places in France is literally sickening.
- Familiar places, familiar places. It is so comforting to take a familiar walk with someone you’ve known for years.
- I was able to sort out my university housing situation for next year. It took quite a lot of organisation, and three of us took a trip to Birmingham, but it was worth it!
- TV. I managed to catch up on Planet Earth II, and was finally able to understand the hype. The Outnumbered Christmas special was great, and I was able to watch the first episode of this series of Sherlock at home.
New Year’s Eve was also fun! A group of us went up to London for the evening, and we found a great bar in Camden to have a few drinks in. We saw the New Year in from the top of Primrose Hill with a fairly large crowd of jolly people, and watched the various firework displays unfold over the city.
I took the eurostar from Lyon to London on the way home, and the eurostar to Lille followed by a TGV on the way back to Charlieu. This meant my train journeys themselves were pretty long, but I was able to avoid the hassle of airports. I could also bring as much luggage as I wanted, which of course meant that I took WAY too much.
This week has involved a lot of planning for me. I`ve been lesson planning, and I did a fun role-play activity with my students last week in which they created and acted out their own television adverts. I’ve been finalising the paperwork for my university house next year. I`ve also been planning what to do with the rest of my time in France, and I`ve got a couple of fun trips to look forward to! I`m going to Barcelona with my friends in less than a month for my birthday weekend, I`m going skiing with my family the first week of February half term, and am hoping to meet up with my home friends in Paris early March.
On Saturday, Maddie, Hellie, Val and I went to St Etienne for the day, which was great. Maddie and I stayed the night at language assistants Hannah and Leah`s flat, which was so kind of them. They gave us some great recommendations for coffee and dinner (we had some delicious pizza), and told us how to get to the Musée d’art Moderne, which was free for students! It had a large collection of exhibits, ranging from artwork by Picasso, to a little room of decorated mirrors, and work made using neon paint and fluorescent lights.
I hope everyone reading this had an equally great Christmas, and is looking forward to 2017 as much as I am.
Featured image was taken on a walk around Horseshoe Lake in Sandhurst.