Tuesday, 22 January 2013

22nd January 2013 - Laval, France

Word of the Blog: être sur la lune: to be away with the fairies

Technically, updating this blog once a week is one of my New Year's Resolutions. I find it ironic that I'm starting to keep my New Year's Resolutions as other people are probably starting to give theirs up.

My last update in November seems a long, long time ago. I've since then not only worked on a teenage course, but an adult one as well. I also went to Rennes with Mariant. We had a great weekend, eating crepes, being tourists (making sure to get "people we can run faster than" to take our photos - direct quote) and because we're female, shopping.

In Rennes, I'm pretty sure this is the Maire, or the Town Hall, for those who don't speak French.
The only slight, hilarious-in-hindsight downside was getting back to Laval. N roads, the French equivalent of A roads in the UK, have this fun habit of telling you the name of every little hamlet you go past, but completely missing out the names of the important towns, meaning it's quite easy, so naturally we did.
We eventually made it back to Laval, and before long it was December, and I ended up on the local radio as Valentine, my journalist puce (or good friend in English) insisted on interviewing Mariant and I in our native languages to show her boss she speaks Spanish and English. The Christmas lights in Laval were gorgeous tho, and because the local government didn't turn them on til 1st December, people were still remarking how beautiful they looked in the week before Christmas, something I've never heard before as in the UK they get turned on so early, everyone is sick of them by the time December actually rolls around.

Christmas lights over the New Bridge in Laval, meant to look like the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, but made me think of the Grand Hall in Beauty & the Beast

With the Christmas lights being turned on, and the beautiful firework show that accompanied them, the weather became rapidly coldly, which gave me and my friends an excuse to drink as much mulled wine/cidre/sangria/caribou (a mulled wine and whisky mix from Quebec, as far as I'm concerned, the Quebecois can keep it, but Valentine loves it) at Laval's Christmas market, and O'regeans, which despite various efforts on our behalf, is still where we'll end up when we go out 9 times out of 10 (must admit 2 euro mulled wine is a massive factor in that...).

Mariant, Carlos and Valentine after the Christmas Market
Our international Christmas dinner soon followed (UK starter, French main course and Spanish dessert) and before I knew it I was back in the UK, running across London to get an AIDS test in order to obtain my Russian visa. (Massive thanks to the lovely girl behind me in the queue at the Visa processing centre who told where to get the test done!) It was only looking at the visa itself that it started to dawn on me that I'm actually going to Russia, which is exciting and yet absolutely terrifying at the same time.

My lovely puces
A Bond's evening in Cheltenham and a pizza/wine night in Bristol and suddenly I'm back in Laval and in exactly a month I will be sitting in a Moscow airport about to head East. I can't believe my time in France is nearly over, it's passing so fast (and more importantly, the French Year Abroad essay is not progressing fast. I'm hoping to get it done before I leave France, as I know I will be running round seeing people and making sure I've packed enough socks in the week or so I'm home).

So, that was a flying update of what's happened in the last three months, I really, really hope to update next week, thanks for reading!!

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