Thursday, 14 April 2011

Briefly back to England we go

(I actually wrote this post on Friday 8th but my internet died from then until yesterday so I couldn;t publish it!)

The rest of the time has just sort of passed.

Last  weekend, after Mum left, the weather was absolutely beautiful. I met Luisaidh in town and, after doing our usual rounds of H&M and Zara (and buying matching sunglasses, natch), we went further into Lille, Luisaidh assuring me that she knew the vague direction of a lovely wee place we could enjoy the sunshine. And low and behold, she was not wrong. All of the bars and cafes in the glorious sunshine were absolutely heaving (no surprise there) so we cut down our cafe requirements to ‘we just want to sit outside’ and found a slightly strangely set-up free table on the street. Alas there was no cold cider to be had (this was the beverage that was calling to me!) but the waiter did assure us the wine, or champagne if we preferred, would be absolutely better. Whilst sipping our oh-so-sophisticated afternoon glass of white we noticed the bakery opposite had a constant queue that we into the street, so obviously took this as a sign of an excellent bakery.

This was our next stop. Cakes to take and eat on the grass in the 25 degree sunshine (Yes, that’s 25 degrees celcius. In nord-pas-de-calais! This is probably just an early-onset summer and it’ll now piss it down for the next 6 weeks). Now if you’re thinking that a hugely in-demand bakery with a queue out the door was a sign of variety and decadence well,’d be wrong. (At this point Luisaidh would make her strange Glaswegian cake joke about being wrong or a meringue...but with my home counties accent, it just doesn’t marche). Inside the bakery the choice seemed to be between many merveilleuses. Which we don’t enjoy.  Later realised the bakery is called ‘Les Merveilleuses’. Really that should have been a sign of the nature of cake inside. I can’t remember the name of what I ordered. Well, what I pointed to, what with being blind as a mole without my glasses on.  Luisaidh panic-ordered a Royale, which didn’t disappoint.

I’m sure we were surrounded by more English speakers than frenchies when we went and sat on the nice grassy area. Made the mistake of approaching a frenchie to take our photo though. Obviously she couldn’t possibly just yet, as she had a gauffre prepped for the eating. She did offer for us to wait until she was finished though. I am still not sure why the (gauffre-free) woman with her didn’t step in instead. She looked sceptical of the whole situation, like it was a ploy on our part to get our hands on the woman’s waffle.

All in all it was a lovely day. AND we didn’t even have to wait the standard 3 hours to get home. Result.

Fast forward a little and I actually went back to England on Monday for the interview. The deputy head okayed it all (as I was obvs going to miss lessons) and I just had to do 3 replacement lessons today (Friday) to catch up a little. I am still not sure why it is the deputy head who seems to deal with everything that needs dealing with. What exactly does the actual head do? Apart from come round and shake everyone’s hand in the staffroom, obviously.
I taught all my lessons on Friday and then rushed straight off to get my first train of the trip in the afternoon. The interview was actually at UWE in Bristol so I drove down to Bath on Tuesday and stayed with Kim overnight, so I wouldn’t have to leave at ridiculous o’clock to get to the interview on Wednesday.

The interview was fine. I think it went quite well, but obviously I have to wait to hear, so fingers crossed. The other 5 people in my interview group all actually went to UWE, which I thought was odd. I guess the job must have been advertised on campus or something?
I am majorly impressed that, sans sat nav, I didn’t get lost at all driving to the campus. Who needs a voice telling them to ‘make a u-turn as soon as possible’ when you can have AA’s route plan instructions faffing about the steering wheel whilst you’re negotiating a junction. (On another driving note...I did almost have an accident on Monday driving through Bath when a spider fell from my car ceiling and landed on my face. The less said about that the better.) Also, UWE definitely have their parking situation sorted. Students pay £3 for 4 whole days parking. It’s £1/hour at Bath!

Aaaand that’s pretty much us up to speed then. I eurostar-ed back yesterday and spent the rest of the evening watching catch up tv. I did also have a rather successful conversation with my landlady, who was very sweet. We actually chatted. And not just in the usual ‘we’ll both squint confusedly at each other and answer with ‘oui’ because we don’t really understand’ way. An actual conversation. And she only wanted half rent for this month as I’m leaving in 8 days. Result.

Taught 3 lessons today to make up for a few I missed whilst away and now have the (sunny) weekend to soak up as much nord pas de calais-ness as possible before I have to leave in 8 days. Yes, 8 days. I don’t want to go. So let’s not mention it again, okay?

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