Monday, 12 November 2012

Autumn in Grenoble

So I come home from my first day back at work after 2 weeks half-term (its a hard life!) to some post from England, and it doesn't get much better than a letter from your favourite little girl with a bar of your favourite chocolate! First off, THANK YOU MILLIE MOO FOR THE LETTER AND CADBURY'S OREO CHOCOLATE!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 It was only a couple of days ago when I was saying to someone the thing I miss most that I can't get out here is Cadbury's chocolate, so thank you muchly for making my day. I'm writing this blog now with a cuppa English tea and some chocolate! Wow, how many times can one person say "chocolate" in their first paragraph?! Mmmmmmm Chocolate!!!!! I was going to come home and have an orange and be healthy. This is not going to happen.

I've had a rather productive last couple of weeks. The last week at school before half-term flew by and wasn't much different to the 3 weeks before, so I won't bore you with same ol' same ol' details. Half-term, on the other hand was quiet and relaxing and fairly productive. *Smiles proudly*. I've planned 2 lessons, complete with powerpoint presentations, vocabulary exercises, comprehension checkers and other fun activities. What's worrying is how much I enjoyed doing this. I'm pretty sure that the novelty will wear off eventually. I've also started researching my dissertation and thinking up questions to ask students on my chosen study topic so I think I deserve the chocolate... :)

I went to Voiron with the head of the department and she took me to see where the monks make the liqueur "Chartreuse". A very enjoyable tour and tasting session done afterwards. I bought some Chatreuese verte (55%) and some nut liqueur (23%), had a couple on a night in on my own and proceeded to find out they weren't nearly as good in reverse. :p It had snowed a couple of days before the trip and by snowed I mean we had 6-10 inches fall in 16 hours in the city centre. Apparently, it rarely snows in the centre. And it doesn't usually snow until late Novemberish. I tried so hard to be all excited about the snow but I have an inherent hatred towards it so it was like living a nightmare. So pleased I'm not in Canada right now!!! Hopefully by the time it snows again, I'll be a little better prepared for it and so will Grenoble! Anyways, because it was so cold, M-Yvonne took me for hot chocolate and macaroon. HEAVEN ON EARTH!! Absoluement parfait!

I was invited for tea at 2 other of my colleagues' houses this week too. Its been ace, I haven't had to cook anything and I've got to speak French for hours on end. I met Nathalie in Vizille (the town where she lives) and we spent a lovely afternoon walking around the park where the Revolution started in 1788. I felt very at home (despite speaking French) as the park felt very much like one you would see at a country house in England, it even had deer! When we arrived at her house I met her family and even helped cook the crepes we were going to be eating for tea. Lots of jokes were made about my crepe making skills. Apparently, I made them too think and they were a pancake, not a crepe. Humf. However, I spent 6 hours with the family and managed 99% of the time to talk in French. *Very proud* I did struggle massively with the French news though. HOW FAST DO THEY SPEAK?! Is that so they can skit over all the bad stuff that is happening without anyone realising?! I did manage to explain our electoral and political systems though. I think.

When I went for tea at Isabelle's, I mixed English and French 50-50. Her daughter and her friend were there as well and they both study English so it was good for them to practise too. I had my first Raclette. OOOOFT! We should have those in England! Basically, melted cheese with whatever you like; potatoes, ham, salami, chorizo. YES! Might actually have to buy a raclette machine to get me through the snowy winter ahead.....

It's just under 6 weeks until I'm home and I'm actually glad that I didn't fly back in the half-term just gone. I'm really loving my time here, actually living my dream, and I think if I had come home I would never have done the stuff with my colleagues. I'm looking forward to the Christmas markets and light switch on here, and finding some cool stuff to bring home as presents. Yes Mum, I'll buy a bauble. I'm also now looking forward to coming home and seeing everyone though and spending time with the family over Christmas, and seeing the Coca-Cola advert. I miss that. :( I'm only home for a week before I'm flying back out to Grenoble for NYE with the Boss and a few days together before we both have to return to work. So looking forward to seeing how France sees in the New Year!

Much love to all, and thanks again Moo for the chocolate!!!! <3