Thursday, 13 December 2012

In The Not-So-Bleak Mid-Winter...

This page has been suffering from a severe case of abandonment of late, and I now plan to change that. This last few weeks has been very eventful to say the least, with excursions, exams, severe yet hilarious problems, but most importantly, much enjoyment being had.

Since the last instalment, my Gcchuunnoblhh life has continued on its path of awesomeness, despite the odd roadblock and their efforts to guide said life off said path. In the last weekend of November, I spent an unforgettable weekend in La Grave La Meije (never sure which one to call it), a refuge in the middle of absolutely nowhere, right up in the Alps, surrounded by incredible scenery. There were about 40 or so of us that went with IntEGre, one of the Erasmus groups, and we stayed in a refuge in a tiny little mountain village that looked like something out of some old movie or something. After an arduous but very snow filled hike that followed our arrival, we busied ourselves with the important issues at hand, the complementary fussball table being one of them, the ping pong table the other. After a lovely evening filled with chats and new acquaintances, we played a musical chairs type game where contestants had to run around the chalets looking for various was the search for a toilet roll that eventually knocked me out, 4 from the end...they're surprisingly hard to pry out of those big roller things so I discovered. Sad times. 
After a merveilleuse soirée, the following day we went tobogganning in the snow, and some very fun antics were the order of the day, because as we all know, once snow arrives, all previously gained maturity and about 10 years of your life just go out the window in a flurry of freezing cold hilariousness. 

aaaaaand below, my election poster if I ever decide go into politics..."get berkeled" is the current slogan, however any further ideas are appreciated.

The weekend, full of new friends, fun and frolics, was followed by an unfortunate mishap with the auld ordinateur, somewhat related to the lack of recent blog activity...after about a week of being tied to the very small computer room for social interaction, I acquired the restauration CD for my laptop, and the tech-y guys in Sciences Po obliged by fixing it...and wiping aaaaall my memory en même temps. Oh well.

The week that followed brought lots more fun things, more ice skating, more fêtes, including a very Scottish St. Andrew's day celebration (any excuse for a fête I guess, roll on St. Patrick's day!). With all the fête-ing came a rude wake up call in the dreaded form of e-x-a-m s....(insert horrified face here). Italian went well, very happy with the result, and the massive History one which I had dreaded turned out ok too !! The French result is still pending, as is the panic leading up to my next 4 exams, which one would think would require me to start would think.

I bought a bike recently actually, from this lovely lady that advertised on le Bon Coin, which is actually very handy for getting stuff assez cheap. When I met her, I wasn't expecting the bike to be quite can I say...quite so.....   pink. Yes. Very pink, very purple, however she did verify that it indeed was a man's bike, and that her boyfriend had picked it for that very reason, so nobody would steal it. Fair point I guess, it is rather, as I said, pink. I decided to be manly and buy it anyway, and I soon developed a way of cycling that screams "I'm a straight man and I'm comfortable with it", which I'm hoping is the message that's being given. Fingers crossed. I spent a good two days or so going round on what my friends have now dubbed "Princess Sparkles", (originally in an effort to make fun of me but I like the name so much that their efforts somewhat failed.), until one particular day I stopped by a local favourite supermarket Dia. I tied her up, as per usual, but two minutes later, when I came out....the key no longer opened the yeah despite using three different types of oil (including sunflower oil, decided to be ambitious at first), poor Princess Sprakles is still outside Dia, enduring minus temperatures and severe snowstorms for the last week. Someday perhaps.

The next serious issue is the loss of my French seems to have vanished into thin air, somewhere I'm guessing between the tram and the college computer room, but it's making communication quite difficult. I visited the tram HQ this evening and asked if anyone had dropped anything in...she gave me a number to call in the morning... .... seeming to be completely unaware of the fact that one usually requires a telephone of some description to make such calls. Aaah the irony. I forgive her though, she is French, and it was coming towards the end of a long hard 35 hour week. But sure she'll probably retire at 60 as well. The cheek.

Last Saturday we all got the bus to Lyon, again with IntEGre, this time for the annual Fête de Lumières which I hadn't heard about before despite it apparently being a big deal. It was.
We toured the old town in Lyon during the day, stopping off for regular vin chaud, which was a lifesaver with the cold, and then went into the city itself for the lights shows. I've never felt so claustrophobic in my life. Apparently there was an estimated 3 million people in the city for the event, and I think I was probably shoved and stood on by every single one of them. The lights we did get to see were incredible, and very very well done. There was also a massive light-animal parade, as well as flying glowing fish over the river, and finally a massive fireworks display which was just brilliant. All in all, all the cold and clautrophobia were totally worth it. Voici quelques vidéos of just one of the light shows..

So a very fun, eventful day was had in Lyon, which is a great city, despite its one massive flaw compared to Gcchhuunoblhh....the lack of mountains. I don't think I'll be able to appreciate a city without these mountains for a while yet...the Christmas market is up and running in Gcchhuunoblhh which is lovely, especially at night, plus with my laptop being fixed, Christmas FM from home is now available, and coupled with the Christmas lights now in my room, I can safely say I'm feeling quite Christmassy. Pity my shopping has yet to commence. Procrastination affects many areas of life it seems...

I'm majorly looking forward to Strasbourg next week, by all accounts it has the biggest Christmas market in Europe ! Hello new bank loan. Muse should be something special too.
That's all for now, I dearly hope I haven't forgotten anything major...the memory sometimes has trouble keeping up with all the fun.. 

à bientôt !!


  1. Haha, from now on you shall be princess Sparkles. Incidentally, how does a straight man cycle? Been trying to work that one out for a while not sure I'm pulling it off... :/

  2. It's all about the body positioning. Try to stay at least half a foot above the saddle at all times, doing the standing-on-the-pedals routine where possible, avoid ringing any kind of bell and generally have your "bad ass" face on...then you will be on the right path my friend.. this is all purely theory by the way, I have no idea, i may look even less manly, who knows.. hopefully see you soon, i'm back on saturday evening !!