So we (and by we I mean me, after all it was my turn) have been fairly shocking at upkeeping this blog. So I thought it was time for an update. I can blame my lack of correspondance on University (I have just written a 12,000 word dissertation) but really the only person I can blame is myself, and my own absentmindedness and my inability to complete anything. Ever.
So here is a super quick photo recap of the past 3 months(ish)
Using the powers of instagram!
So we've missed a lot. There was our 2 year anniversary, Valentines Day and my 22nd birthday (yes I am old) all of which we had to celebrate via the wonders of Skype and the post! But of course I received some pretty awesome cards and presents from the overseas boyfriend. We are also planning for the summer which now has some pretty exciting gigs to look forward to, including The Postal Service who have gotten back together especially for a tenth anniversary tour and The Mumford and Sons Stopover in Lewes, which is their own mini festival and has a great line up. (Though Michael is exclusively excited for The Sons and has taken to collecting everything Mumford.)
Despite the thrills (and intense stress of dissertation) I have been involved in a pop-up event in Leeds by a collective called Up-the-Steps. Working with Louis Vuitton and ReCreative, we were aiming to get young people into the gallery and involved in art. And so ensued an origami invasion! It was great to get people of all ages attempting to create the crane and the butterflies which aren't the easiest folds to make. Safe to safe I am now an expert!
Good practice for teaching I'd say, which is good because I have an interview for my PGCE at Leeds Trinity in exactly a month today!
So I haven't really found time to do a new post since I returned to England. So this is a long time due.
I had my first mini-holiday all alone in Paris. I stayed right in the middle of the red light district in Paris, which was quite an experience, and I got accosted by a South African man who thrust a bracelet onto my wrist and demanded money (other than that he was kinda friendly), but all in all it was a good trip. I saw all the touristy things that I had never seen...
Obviously the Eiffel Tower (if you don't know these, I ask that you leave this blog immediately and go back to your little hole, never to emerge again). Then theres the Sacre Coeur, which is where I was accosted by the man with the bracelet, but the view at the top more than made up for it....
This was pretty incredible. It was quite a climb up a hill, and then a LOT of steps to get down, but it was worth it. This was at about 9.30am, on the day of my flight to return back to Leeds. I also saw what must be the weirdest building in Paris, Notre Dame. It is just a collection of odd bits of buildings. Alex and I had visited it a few weeks before, but I walked across the River to get a better view. Its nice, but odd. Then I saw Le Louvre, which was a bit disappointing. I expected the pyramids to be huge but they weren't. Was nice to see the place where the Da Vinci Code was filmed though.
So I came back to Paris for an afternoon and I found a pretty, quirky bridge named "Le Pont des Arts". Its a fad in Paris to put padlocks on this bridge with your name and the name of your love. Sounds pretty soppy, I know, but it had to be done. For those of you who don't know, the tradition is to attach the padlock to the bridge and then throw the keys into the River below, so it cannot be removed. I decided to keep the keys though and I now wear one round my neck. Alexandra has the other.
ANYWAY, I'm now back in Chevigny-Saint-Sauveur at my school, preparing lessons and whatnot. It's going well I guess, better than before as I'm actually properly planning my lessons. Theres a lot of fog though, and the round-about picture for this post shows this....
I understand that this is a bit disappointing and boring as far as roundabout furniture goes, I have many more to come. But this is an exceptionally boring and disappointing image and therefore I am also going to include the most extreme round-about furniture I have experienced so far. I doubt anything will surpass this...
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is a glorified round-about, as you can see from the delightful bus rudely passing in front of my picture. I actually queued to climb this as it was such a nice day, only to get to the kiosk to get my ticket to be told that my backpack was too big. "Casse-toi" came to mind, but I just walked off, rather angry.
So it's less than a month now til i'm home for Christmas, counting down the days already. I am finally noticing an improvement in my French however, which is good. I am still in the process of persuading Alexandra to come and visit me in December. Something tells me a trip up the Eiffel Tower on a sunny winters morning would be quite special. But we'll see. She's can't really afford the time off work, so any donations are welcome?
So last week I hopped on a taxi, to get on a plane, to get on a train and after a bit of stress navigating the Parisian rail system I met Michael in Gare Du Nord. We only had a short time in Paris, but Michael allowed me to indulge in my passion and visited Le Centre Pompidou.
So I allowed him to indulge his.
(banana and nutella crêpe)
The highlight was going to Montmarte and visiting two iconic sights from two of our favourite films. The Moulin Rouge itself and Le Café des Deux Moulins, which is the café on which the film Amélie centers around. Although it was both surreal and lovely to be sitting in a café from one of our favourite films, we both felt a bit disenchanted. It was so much smaller than it seemed in the film and it didn't maintain the hues of golds and greens that Amélie portrays. But I suppose that's just real life for you, it was lovely none-the-less.
We then spent the rest of the weekend in Dijon, where I finally got to enjoy some French food which I've been so jealous of Michael having. Cheeses, fine wines and an expertly cooked steak at Hotel Le Sauvage. I think it's fair to say that food and cooking (and drinking) are a big part of our relationship! We spent a whole day wandering round the city centre, looking in the little shops that sold flavored liqueurs and thinking about what cocktails we could use them in. I think it's fair to say that by Sunday I was not ready to leave Dijon.
So I'm starting my proper lessons this week at school, no idea what to do. I can do what I want, on any subject I want..... it's difficult no? Classes of 15/16 year old french kids. The only good thing about this week is the knowledge that Alexandra is coming on Thursday, and we have a day in Paris and then she's here for the weekend.
Been scoping out the pretentious arty places for her to see on her stay. For example, the château (always makes me think of gâteau, but no, its not a cake) of Chevigny Saint Sauveur:
I took this arty picture just for her. Either side of this path are grotty high rise flats so it's kinda ruined in real life but oh well. I've also decided that in each of my blogs I will include a new roundabout with odd furniture. This weeks is a naked woman with fountains in front of her:
I also discovered that the globe that is on the roundabout on my last blog actually lights up at night! It's beautiful. Why do we not decorate our roundabouts at home huh? It just solves road rage. It makes roundabouts happy places and not hubs for hatred and anger.
So yeah it's Paris Thursday so I'm sure the next blog will contain pretty pictures, and there will be more interesting stories about mine and Alexandra's times à travers la mer. It's just been pretty boring this week in Dijon, weathers the same as England. Although they do have a 'beach' next to a lake. So it's a fake beach. But I'll leave with this image.
So I've been majorly slacking on writing my first post. It's my last year of University, so with that and working hard at the bar job I have in Leeds has taken it's toll this week! So while Michael has been swanning around in beautiful sunny Dijon, I have been stuck in the studio or working through the night and barely seeing the lovely weather of Leeds, ahem, not. Today has been my first chance to chill out and write a blog post!It's a little weird not seeing the person you used to practically live with everyday, and having to communicated through Skype and letters. There's something nice about it though, maybe i'm just a silly romantic.
(look at his grin, aha)
Leeds really hasn't been incredibly exciting, though my new house (which I share with my housemate Beka) is lovely and so homely (photos to follow shortly!) I did make cupcakes today though, supposedly Red Velvet but they look a little anaemic, and not very red at all. More food coloring next time I think! They taste amazing though, so who cares.
So, I have arrived in Dijon. Here I am wearing my delightful new t-shirt from my girlfriend, outside my Lycée. Usually its the 13 year old kids stood where I am smoking in every break throughout the day.
So at the end of my first week I have been asked all sorts of random questions, I think its fair to say the whole of the school probably know me better than most of my friends. I also got asked twice if I had children, which was slightly odd considering some of the boys in this school look older than me.
The french like to furnish their round-abouts with odd features such as this globe. One can literally drive around the world in about 10 seconds. Puts 'around the world in 80 days' to shame. They go the wrong way round in France though.
I experienced the French queuing system today, which consists of a crowd of people who have no manners or understanding of the term, 'queue'. One woman actually pushed in front of me to use the ticket machine, only to then let me go in front of her because she was using her card and it would take longer. Where is the logic there?
At least the city is nice. The buildings are an archeological mismatch, but they are quite nice. Its all quite old fashioned and a bit chester-esque.
In the bottom picture sort of dead centre theres a very odd building which is almost tudor like. Its nice though. I wonder if after a few weeks/months I'll become more fond of the french species. We shall wait and see. 2 weeks and 6 days 'til Alexandra experiences Dijon. Can't wait.
This blog was started to keep each other update when we're having to live two separate lives.
One from Alex in Leeds, Uk, where we both go to University, and the other from Michael as he teaches English in Dijon, France. This is the comparison between the lives of a couple separated by the channel.