After having moaned about how much free time I had in my last blog post, the tables have now turned and I have had a fun-filled and very hectic last few weeks in the run-up to Christmas. I am currently sitting at Geneva airport with several hours to kill having spent a ridiculous amount on a coffee in Starbucks just so that I can sit down and write this! I can’t believe that it is already time to go home and I couldn’t be more excited for Christmas and my big birthday celebrations!
The most exciting thing that has been happening over the last few weeks (and the main reason that I have been so busy) is thanks to the ski season really kicking off. At the end of last month, I had my first weekend snowboarding and absolutely loved it despite the fact that I am now covered head to toe in bruises and I have forgotten what it feels like not to be aching! Since then, I have had 3 more days of lessons to complete my module and am proud to say (despite some peoples doubts) that I can now do turns down blue and red runs without falling over! I have committed myself to persevering by investing in a snowboard and boots, despite threats from Dad to remove me from his will.
We have also been getting into the Christmas spirit with a few trips to the Christmas market to spend our loans on presents and experience a bit of the French Christmas tradition. My spending-money has been topped up a little by the babysitting work I have been doing, picking up 2 kids from school twice a week and looking after them until their parents finish work. I have loved spending time with them,baking gingerbread men, making Christmas decorations and getting thrashed at cards by a 4 year-old!
As usual, I have had some interesting and wild nights out too, including one where we decided that the only way that we could avoid annoying French boys harassing us, was to pretend that we didn’t speak English and were in fact Brazilian! We had a lovely meal out for Olivia’s birthday with all our British friends (and one token frenchie!) at the beginning of the month. We also had Athina and Sophie round for a dinner where we actually spoke French. We even had time to fit in one last cinema trip last week to see a French comedy called ‘Les garcons et Guillome a table’.
For a change of scenery, Lucy and I went for a day and a night to Lyon for the ‘Fete des Lumieres’ and to go to a Biffy Clyro gig. We spent the day wandering round the Christmas market and the old town and eating delicious sausages and tartiflette (a local speciality). Lyon was buzzing with people and after mastering the metro system and battling the crowds, we managed to see a little of the light shows before heading to the gig. Biffy were awesome and we had the time of our lives, making up for how much we have missed decent live music over the last months. We wished that we could have stayed longer but sadly we had to return to Grenoble to actually do some studying.
Yes, it sounds like I do anything but work here, however, as the end of the semester drew nearer our work load picked up too, not that I took much notice! Despite the fact that I have dropped my Culture and Communication module (due to the fact that it turns out we have an exam on the 7th Jan), over the last few weeks I have had 2 presentations, 5 exams and a 2000 word essay to write but that hasn’t stopped me doing what I am really here for… Skiing!
Although I had two exams yesterday, I wasn’t going to waste my last weekend revising so after treating myself some shiny, brand-spanking-new, totally awesome skis I went on the Uni weekend trip to sunny Les Deux Alpes with Lucy and her sister who was visiting for the weekend. Despite the serious lack of snow and rocky pistes we had an excellent weekend to finish of a great semester and took full advantage of the après-bars and nightlife even though we were almost unable to move after eating large amounts of cheese fondue!
After chucking everything into my suitcase last night we had a flat Christmas roast dinner complete with mince-pies (courtesy of Lucy’s sister) before we all head home. It’s finally time for me to check-in so I will sign off and wish you a Joyeux Noel et à janvier!