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The Big O.E An epic adventure across the world, backpacker style :)

Bonne Annee!

FRANCE | Friday, 25 January 2008 | Views [1192]

Ruined monastery on Ile St Honorat

Ruined monastery on Ile St Honorat

Happy New Year!

I would like to point out that I am still in my mid-twenties, and the same can no longer be said for my 27 year old husband (although he argues otherwise!)

We've finally got a bit of a routine going in France. It's wonderful to have everything sorted out enough that we have time to appreciate what a gorgeous area we're living in, and to have been here long enough to have made friends to share it with.

Since arriving back after Christmas, we have hosted Judy and Dean (my aunt and cousin). Managed to cram in as much as possible around the rain! Had a scrummy lunch at a wee restaurant in the old town - the best tiramisu I've ever eaten. We also ate a galette des rois (as you do in January in France) and Judy found the little token inside the cake, so she got to wear the crown (it's a French thing). And we did Cannes, went to Monte Carlo and had a day trip to St Honorat (an island off the coast near Cannes). We had the most spectacular sunny day. The feeling I got standing on the top story of a 17th century monastry looking out to sea is one I'll never forget :)

Then Jon, an assistant from Nice came to stay, and we went out with some of my BTS students. BTS is like polytech. The students are 19 - 21 ish and they're studying film making (since it's Cannes). We all came back to our place for dinner and it was really fun - they spoke English and we spoke French. Till 2am.

And Chris Cheyne, the French teacher from Gore High School just happened to be on this year's training stage in Nice, so she popped over for an afternoon. Was great to chat with another Francophile with an NZ perspective on things (plus, she reminds me of my mum, so that was a bonus). We sat on the terasse of a cafe watching the old people play boules while the sun sank beneath the mountains and made beautiful reflections on the sea...

And that weekend we went out to the little medieval village of Le Val for Tali's January party. Was nice to see other assistants and to soak up the countryside atmosphere.

So I'm really looking forward to having a quiet weekend at home now! Work has been crazy - I now have four jobs and James has two. Which is much better from our bank account's point of view. It's been interesting talking with my private students. One is a 40 year old man who teaches Spanish, speaks French and studies Swedish, and the other is a 32 year old Italian woman who speaks French like a native.

The thing that has made everything too busy is the translation. The mother of the family who I babysit for is a pharmacist and doing a Ph.D in public health. So I've been translating articles from English into French (which is the hard way). And my brain has come close to exploding. What is the French for: "However, recent developments in social and political theory, particularly poststructuralism, challenge the idea of the pre-social subject who is 'liberated' by social science and draw attention to the constitutive and regulatory power of expert knowledge"???

Big hugs and kisses from both of us


Tags: Adventures



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