Snow and the start of semester 2.

Unfortunately there was only so much lazing around I could do before having to make my own timetable and start lectures again.. so on Monday lessons began, but for a couple of weeks it’s like a ‘testing the water’ period so you can chop and change between lectures until you decide what you really want to do. I’m doing my core Italian class again this semester, ‘Français professionel’ where you learn how to act and speak in a business environment in French, for example mock job interviews, job applications etc, ‘Thème et version’ which is a French/English Erasmus translation class, ‘Grammaire française’ which is, yes, French grammar, and a second year translation class too wherein we translate old French and English literary texts. I have managed to work my timetable so that I have one evening lesson on a Monday, the rest of my lessons on Tues, Weds and Thurs and then Fridays off! So long weekends away are definitely an option!

Last Saturday I went skiing in Les Deux Alpes again, and it was phenomenal – the snowfall they had had there was unbelievable, I stood in some snow that went up to my mid-thigh, and skiing through the fresh snowfall was quite amusing because our skis really didn’t move much to begin with because the snow was too deep. I had a lesson whilst we were there as with our university skiing card the lessons are free, and provided by students themselves who are trained up. I’m going again tomorrow too, and going to do a lesson again – I know how to ski and have been several times but the lessons are really good for improving your techniques and confidence! Luckily my knee held out when I went last weekend, in fact it didn’t hurt at all which was a relief. Skiing got quite scary when we had to ski through heavy blizzards though where you literally couldn’t even see the piste markers whilst skiing down, and my Buff kept freezing to my face.. at the glacier (top point of the resort) it was -25c, and yes me and Ciara still went up. I have since bought more warm skiing clothes – sock and glove liners, and more thermals, because oh my goodness I was not prepared for -25c…

The snowfall in Les Deux Alpes was mirrored by heavy snowfall in Grenoble, we got several inches of snow and it was so much fun, snow is just normal to the Grenoblois though so it doesn’t really amaze anyone here whereas us English lot got so excited by it. Since then though it hasn’t snowed again, and the snow that is here has frozen into lethal ice; the French don’t really like gritting pavements and roads half as much as we do.. so everywhere you walk it’s genuinely like being on a big ice rink. Walking to a bar last week Ciara and I basically slid there along the ice; in said bar I danced too enthusiastically and actually split my favourite black jeans, and yes, on the crotch.. sorry TMI, but typical Annabel really isn’t it?

The girls and I got together this week to cook together – we try and do it weekly, and we made an amaaaazing vegetarian curry. We used: butternut squash, red pepper, carrots, onion, garlic, spinach, chickpeas, chili, chopped tomatoes and then seasoned it ourselves with spices – it was so so delicious. I’d never really experimented with homemade vegetarian meals until coming to France, where some of my friends are vegetarians! We then played Monopoly after the curry, and yes, I swept the table for once in my life – I had over £6000 in my hand at the end of the game, oh if only it was real.

Then last night we got everyone together and we all went out to an Erasmus event at a nightclub in town which was fun; the DJ sprayed foam everywhere lol and I got so much in my drinks so they tasted nice and soapy. I had a drink in each hand – both free with the ticket; that’s what they tend to do in France, you buy the ticket to a nightclub event which normally costs 10€ and it includes two free spirit+mixer drinks! Think I definitely still prefer the cheap nights out at Sobar and Jesters in Southampton though… The only money I spent last night (apart from the pre-bought ticket) was on a taxi home!

Anyway, time for a bed and movie day today (oh and I should probably do some work) before a long day of skiing tomorrow, I can’t wait! My new ski boots were great last weekend, and my rented skis are perfect, so all in all I am having a great time skiing, and forever feeling so lucky that I live so close to so many good ski resorts!!

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