Thursday, 1 December 2016

Au revoir novembre | Blogmas Day 1

Here we go again. I'm attempting to blog everyday until Christmas.

Yes, I attempted JanuBlog at the beginning of this year and yes, I failed by day 20. However, I've been crap at updating my blog over the past couple of months and I want to be able to reflect on my time in France when it's all finished. I've had the busiest couple of months, and I'm now forcing myself to take time out to reflect on it all.

So, every day until Christmas Day, check back on my blog at 6pm UTC / 7pm UTC+1 for a new blog post!

Anyway, November.

November has been all about settling in to ma vie fran├žaise, exploring my little city and generally, doing lots of work. Although I only spend around 16 hours a week in my schools, I take 13 individual classes. Each class requires around 2 hours of preparation, so most of my November evenings have been spent planning activities and making PowerPoint presentations. Lots of my friends in Lille are required to do much less preparation than me - some don't have to do any lesson planning at all because the teachers at their school do it for them. It can be difficult to not be jealous, but I feel like the lessons I'm planning involve activities that I'm comfortable with and passionate about; and I'm definitely building up a strong rapport with my pupils. 

However, November hasn't been all work and no play, and I've definitely been making the most of living in Lille. Most importantly, Le Waf opened in the city. Le Waf is the first dog cafe in Europe, and it's the most magical place I've ever visited. Full blog post on Le Waf is coming soon. Not #spon, it's honestly the happiest place in the world. 

This month, I also spent a weekend in one of my favourite cities, Amsterdam. I feel so lucky to be living in Lille, a city with transport links to so many other places in Europe. There, I was united with two of my favourite people, Brigitt and Iza. Because they live in the Netherlands, we don't get to see each other enough and I'm hoping that I'll get up to the country to see them again soon. I've also been doing lots of general relaxing this month. I've been spending lots of time with Lauren, Luke and Jess watching TV and eating pizza - my personal favourite occasion being when Luke came round and we forced Lauren to watch ICW's Fear and Loathing, one of the biggest wrestling shows in European history. It was a great show, despite it being strange seeing Daniel on my TV as he worked at the show. Even Lauren (kind of) enjoyed it! A group of us spent an evening having drinks and dinner, followed by the Christmas market and going on the big wheel. This was one of my favourite evenings this month, as it was great to catch up with everyone again (especially Jess R, who lives too far outside of Lille to come to every meet-up). I've been to the cinema to see Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them - which was released here before it was released in the UK, and I've been spending some time on my own enjoying the city; taking walks, exploring parks and little places "off the beaten track". We've not had much rain in Lille this autumn and I've definitely been taking advantage of this.
mes amies sont trop belles

December is my favourite month because I'm such a Christmas lover, and I'm SO excited for the month ahead!! Lauren and I are planning a girly daytrip to Arras for the Christmas markets (perhaps with Luke aussi). The Lille Galdem plus Luke have also booked a daytrip to Bruges in Belgium for one of the most famous Christmas markets in Europe, as well as their annual ice and snow sculpture festival. Four days after Bruges, I'll be returning to Belgium. This time, however, will be to Brussels to fly home for Christmas!!! I'll be back in Scotland for just over two weeks and although I love France, I haven't seen my family in three months and I can't wait to see my parents and brother again. My brother is actually spending a weekend in Germany just before I fly home, so he's coming to visit me in Lille for a few days and is flying home with me. 

I don't have much planned for when I'm home, but the plans I have are very festive. The day after I come home, I'll be helping my Mum put up some of the Christmas decorations; something I'm usually not trusted to do! I've also volunteered to help my Dad cook Christmas dinner this year! Living on my own has definitely changed me. I can't wait to visit Glasgow's Christmas markets (probably numerous times) as well as voyage to Edinburgh for a day trip for their huge markets with Daniel. I'll definitely be seeing Alison for our annual Christmas cocktails, and catching up with Katie as she's also coming home for Christmas from Switzerland. Aside from these things, I'll be relaxing and generally spending time with my family, friends and Danny again.

So, last month was great and next month will be even greater, and I'm excited to reflect on it all on my blog.

See you tomorrow for day 2 of Blogmas!

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