Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Coasting through life in France

Sea what I did there? Oooooooo

Breaking news: I'm still alive! And I've not fallen off the face of the earth or been forcibly denied internet access this whole time. Nope, turns out I'm just a lazy blogger. Secret's out.

But I think the real reason I've not been updating is because I've pretty much settled in here to the point where everything just feels pretty normal and un-blog-worthy. That's not to say that nothing has happened, just that everything's kind of settled into routine (mostly!), which I guess is a good thing. But nonetheless it's probably about time for a Rachel's-life-update, so here you are.

Where to start?... Oh yeah, I moved house! Long story short, kid got too much and I escaped. Lesson learned: kids don't make good housemates. (Maybe one day but not now!) So I've moved to Anglet (pronounced Onglette), which is adjacent to Biarritz, and am now living so close to the beach that I can get from lying in bed to standing in the sea in approximately 67 seconds (official tests to be conducted soon). Plus my new landlady cooks for me and does laundry! So let's just ignore the fact that it costs more than double the price for a much smaller space and concentrate on all the incredibly awesome stuff about it...  Like the fact that it's CHILD FREE!! What more could I want?!?! That's right, nothing.

So this isn't actually a great photo, but that's the beach, and that house with the triangle roof right next to it... that's right, you guessed it! :D
AND it's right next to a field of pretty wildflowers! <3
My lovely landlady/pretty-much-host-mum, Patricia, is so far turning out to be quite a character. As well as the fact that she never seems to stop cooking and cleaning unless she's asleep, and the fact that she keeps telling everyone that I'm an interpreter from London (close enough), she is also an incredible gossip. She loves to give her own Patricia commentary on what's happening on TV, next door, or in her employers' lives (she is employed by people to do housework), and I'm starting to notice certain phrases cropping up again and again. For instance, one of her favourites, when she's talking about something she thinks is unreasonable, is "mais, attends!" (literally: "but wait!", though I'd translate it as more of an "I mean, seriously?"). More favourites are "je te jure" (literally: "I swear to you") and "non, mais franchement!" ("no but really/in all honesty!"). I'm definitely going to know how to tell a sensationalist story in French by the time I leave! On the whole this place has been awesome for my French - I'm speaking it a lot in the evenings, plus watching French TV and listening to Patricia arguing with her daughter and scolding the dog. Shame none of that will come up in next year's oral exams...

Work is pottering along the same as ever, and has involved some pretty cool stuff, including doing the lettering for a couple of graphic novels and the scripts for some cartoon episodes (among a whole lot of other things). Plus a whole book on post-war French reconstruction architecture and design. Woop! And my boss continues to be lovely, and I continue to occasionally say things in French to the people who share our office. Good times all round.

I've been going to a lovely church in Biarritz too, as well as occasionally another one in Hossegor (nearby-ish town) called Surf Church which is in a bar on the beach and attracts all sorts of awesome people. Something quite surreal (and great!) about a bunch of surfers in wetsuits and rugby players coming in to listen to worship band. Pretty awesome!

I've also done a small amount of travelling, though nowhere near as much as I did as a language assistant (cushiest job ever!) and managed to make it as far as San Sebastian in Spain (since Biarritz is super close to the border). Well, I can safely say that it's a pretty place. I have a large number of photos testifying to that fact... But I won't bore you with too many here. Maybe just one or two...
This is right in the town centre you guys!
Probably helped that the weather was so lovely!
Wouldn't mind living here

Though I did come across this guy...  What?
Man sticking his head out on top of a baby's body and talking in a creepy squeaky voice...
Bizarre doesn't even cover it!
So yes, I think that's pretty much all I had to update on.

Oh, except that ZOE'S VISITING IN 2 DAYS AHHHH! Ahem, I'm fine (but prepare for excitement overload in my next post!)

À bientôt les amis <3

p.s. sorry about the terrible post title! I was going to go down the Life's a Beach route but HELLO CLICHÉ! So I just used that one to tide me over... (help I can't stop!)

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