Christmas, New Year and studying blues.

Long time no see.. or I guess I should say ‘post’ even though it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

I had a lovely 2 weeks at home for Christmas, the time literally flew by though and before I knew it I was back in Grenoble. I only saw about half the people I wanted to see, but those I did see made my Christmas super special. Spending time with my nutty family was great and seeing all my cousins, aunties and uncles and grandparents just reminded me how lucky I am to have such a big family – there is never a boring moment! Sitting by the log burner, eating so much delicious food to the point of bursting, watching Harry Potter with my family, rolling around on the floor with my dog, driving my car (ok OUR car, it’s my brothers’ too), being able to sleep in a cushty double bed, CLEANLINESS, having reliable internet – just a few of the things that I enjoyed about being home..

But most of all being with my family again was so so nice. We did a pub quiz with my mum’s parents who also stayed with us for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, we had a big family reunion in Oxford before Christmas which is what we’ve done every year for the past 11 years, we went to my mum’s parents with lots of family on Boxing Day, we had my dad’s parents visit after Christmas.. and most of all being back with my loony brothers was great, I don’t think anyone else can make me laugh more than they do. Of course all of it wouldn’t be possible without my fabulous parents so a massive shoutout to SJ and Robin for being the best and always showering us in love (and food).

Classic photo of me and mum above playing the ‘Say it don’t spray it’ game, what an absolute hoot, I’ve never dribbled so much in my life.

I flew back to Grenoble in time for the new year, I got up at 3am for an early flight from Bristol and got back into my room in France at 1.30pm on New Year’s Eve so I was getting ready for the night out and drinking coffee at the same time to try and stay awake.. we had a fun pre’s, as always squeezed into a small Berlioz room where alcohol gets spilt everywhere, and then spent actual midnight in Couche Tard which is a really fun bar. When I got in I fell asleep in my clothes, with my makeup on and my contact lenses in and woke up on New Year’s Day looking like a zombie! New Year’s Eve isn’t as big of an event in France as it is in England because most bars and clubs were actually shut for the night.. and ALL the takeaway places were shut, so we mucked that one up. Anyhow it’s so nice to see all my friends here again. I do however, have the post-Christmas blues, I’m cooped up in my room in Grenoble attempting to find some motivation so that I can do more of my Year Abroad Project because I am SO far behind on it, and there’s another deadline for it on the 9th January, fabulous.

I absolutely hate that students from Southampton Uni have to do this project, mine is not going particularly well to say the least. It’s hard enough trying to settle in a foreign country, fit in with the culture and society, and do classwork and assignments, without having a whopping great dissertation-style piece of work to do in French too, which involves interviewing natives etc. Years abroad are fun, YES, but also they are very difficult and I’ll be so proud of myself once I’ve completed this year.

On a more positive note, hopefully after all my work is done I can ski ski ski before Semester 2 starts. In the next few days I’m hoping to buy some ski boots, and scout out a pair of skis that I can rent for the season. The snow isn’t great yet, and it should normally be a lot better this time of year than it currently is, but with any luck in the next few weeks it’ll pick up. Make way for snow queen Annabel (I wish).

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