First of all, this is a long post – get comfortable. Or actually click off it if you don’t want to waste 5 minutes of your life.
Well, this week has been a hectic one, but a very good one at that. So I came home this week, flying from Lyon last Thursday, to Southampton (Soton) – my uni city. I sat on the top floor of the double decker train on the way to the airport, yes it’s still exciting at the age of 20 to travel on the top deck! Then I got the best compliment ever at airport security, one of the men looked at my passport and saw it was a UK one, but got confused because he was convinced I was French and told me he couldn’t detect even the slightest bit of an English accent when I spoke French, and that I actually sounded French – RESULT. As I walked off he then started telling another member of staff about my French speaking ability – I was beyond chuffed, sorry to gloat.
After landing in Soton I spent a night with my bezzie, Jen. We started off our time together with a Nandos, naturally, and we then wandered around the centre and popped into a few shops, before having pizza for dinner, naturally, and then heading out for cocktails. Slug & Lettuce first, then onto Turtle Bay, lovely jubbly. English mixologists are definitely more reserved with alcohol compared to French ones, it was nice to actually enjoy a drink that wasn’t half spirit and half mixer (although obviously it’s better value for money in France, it just makes you go “yeeuurrrkkhh” every time). It was such a nice night and I was really happy to be back in Soton and with friends, although Grenoble is still my one true love at this moment in time. It felt strange to be surrounded by English-speaking people in all public places and on public transport, does this mean I’m becoming French at heart??
On Friday my dad picked me up from Soton and we reunited with a bear hug and what we do best: hysterically laughing all the way back to Wiltshire (yes my dad’s dad jokes are THAT funny). Arriving home was so nice and even more so because our new kitchen, utility room and conservatory have been finished – they weren’t finished when I left for Grenoble, so to come back to the finished product is amazing. Now it looks all stylish ooooh (if you’re reading this mum, it looked great before, I just mean it looks eeeeven better now!!). Within a few hours of being home I had ordered a new iPhone – the SE, in sleek silver. My iPhone 5C has been giving up the ghost for the past month or so, so we decided the best decision was for me to blast some of my Erasmus grant on a new one; quite literally yolo. I’m going to treat my new phone as if it’s gold dust, which is quite a challenge considering I always have been and always will be the biggest butter-fingers around. The biggest butter-fingers/the person with the most buttery fingers/the person who has the biggest butter-fingers (but then that implies I have big fingers) lol I don’t know how to phrase it, but you get the gist.
It was glorious to sleep in my beautifully spacious double bed – my bed in Grenoble is smaller than a single and I think I actually subconsciously breathe in when I sleep in it to make it feel bigger.
On Saturday night we celebrated Bonfire Night, a week early so that I could enjoy it with everyone before going back to France. My younger brother and dad had built up a hench bonfire, and we had our family friends round which was lovely. Of course we also had fireworks and sparklers – I tried to spell out “I ❤ Grenoble” with my sparkler but as always, I have an idea and can never quite orchestrate it well. And one of the fireworks was set off upside down, one shot right at us, and my little brother accidentally left the entire box of fireworks next to the one he had just set off, we luckily didn’t die. As a reward for our survival we then ordered curry because it was one of our monthly “Collyer and Calder Curry Club” (alliteration not even on purpose) nights – the nights I live for.
Following Saturday night’s food coma, I then put myself into another food coma on Sunday with the roast that mum and I made. Oh. My. Goodness. I HAVE MISSED ROASTS. Followed by apple cake and custard – my stomach was definitely having a party. My grandparents came round for the day too, so I felt super duper loved. The next day mum and I went to Bath, it was soooo nice to be back in my favourite city. We did what we do best: ate yummy food and shopped (and bought things we didn’t need, as per). Prêt à Manger do a mean Pain au Raisin, especially when it’s fresh out of the oven – yummmmmm, it literally took me right back to eating pastries in France, which is obviously all I do. Then on Tuesday I went on a lovely dog walk with my older brother and dad (and obviously the dog) followed by lunch out; sat in a delicate café in our big coats and wellies – the Wiltshire way. Of course I had ham, egg and chips (or sauté potatoes, if you will).
All in all, an absolutely great week back in England. I didn’t realise how much I missed home until I came back; yes Grenoble is amazing and I’m so happy to call it my home for the next year, but there’s nothing quite like coming home to Wiltshire: banter with my brothers, rolling around on the floor with my dog, chatting for hours on end with my parents and being able to hug them whenever I want, driving my car again, sleeping in my double bed, eating a Roast Dinner, cooking in a clean kitchen that I don’t have to share with 35 people… Nevertheless, I’m excited to get back to Grenoble tomorrow morning. 7 weeks in Grenoble before coming home was the perfect amount of time away: towards the end of the 7 weeks I was really ready to come home, but now the fact that I’m ready to go back to France shows that I’ve done things the right way – resultttt!
Ps. I am absolutely loving the fact that I now like coffee – I’ve had 2 coffees every day since being back in England, just to prove to my parents that yes, I can be an adult.