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French times

So I finally arrived in France today! As some of you know I'm taking part in the British Language Assistants scheme and I'll be working at a French school for 7 months with the aim to teach them a bit about the English language (God help them.) I don't start work until Monday but thought I'd write a blog about my first impressions etc .


The area where I am living seems very pretty and rural. It does however have a handy train station to the nearest big city which has everything possible. It is different to places that i'm used to where all the shops and facilities are together; whereas over here they seem to be very spread out. This could mean that clothes shopping will become my new form of exercise.


I have met all the language teachers in the school and most seem friendly although I doubt I shall remember many names. It was a bit awkward since they were expecting a boy to turn up due to a problem processing my application on their end so I had people asking who I was then giving me a sideways look but at least I know why now!


I am living on site with a girl from Bolivia who also seems lovely so far, despite a small matter of claiming the largest room for herself as well as all the storage space in the entire house. (The wardrobes and chests of drawers are in the corridor outside the rooms) The apartment is very spacious and good value for money at only 50 euros per month, however there are some drawbacks which I must resolve.


Firstly I've been unable to make the heating here work so far and the giant windows (you'll see when i put up pics) are single glazed so I'm rather worried about winter if it's cold now!! Secondly there's no Wifi so I'm sharing a connection wire with my flatmate which is in the living room. I'm guessing this will prove to be a problem if I want to use Skype. Since the apartment is on the college site there is also a ban on any unapproved websites which includes facebook and twitter. While I may not admit to being a social media addict I do like to keep in touch easily with my friends and family by sharing updates and photos especially when abroad.


I already feel homesick and I don't care if i'm a wimp haha. I think this will die down when i find a way to get onto facebook and get my phone working again so that i can talk to people!


That's all for now folks!

Bonne Nuit! xx


Time for an update!

So I haven't been blogging recently. This is mainly because I'm so busy with coursework and campaining. >< However all my hard work campaigning may be about to pay off...


I have been working for the Labour Party for nearly a year now and I have been actively involved in telephone canvassing, leafleting, debates, fund-raising etc. Last week I attended a mock "Question Time" at a local college starring the three parliamentary candidates for our constituency. I believe that it went quite well, and we had a chance to chat to students afterwards and ask them about their thoughts and concerns about the area.


The party agent has given me the opportunity to stand as a councillor for a constituency near by. My job now is to find a link to the area (as I live just outside the constituency boundary, so I am searching for a job there.)


Unfortunately as I am going on holiday to Kent on Monday (which I'm not really looking forward to anyway) I am going to miss the meeting in the area where I will stand. So I am rather upset about that, and I hope that it doesn't reflect too badly....



So I finally sent off my UCAS application before the Christmas holidays began. Although I do not yet know whether i will decide to go to university, I still applied for 5 courses in case I make that decision in the summer. I wanted to take French and Politics, however this proved somewhat difficult since the universities in my area are limited, and I want to live at home for the duration of my study.


In the end I found one university situated 20 miles away which did do the course I wanted, however it is unlikely that I will get in considering that I need very high grades and there are only 5 places for that course. My other four options consisted of French and a minor language such as Russian and Japanese. Hopefully I will get at least one placement before I have to make my decision...



As you may be aware, Britain has been the subject of rather severe weather conditions recently. Fortunately I do not live in Cumbria, although our school has been rather badly affected.


It was a normal afternoon and noone knew the extent at which the weather would worsen that day. It rained on and off throughout the school day causing the courtyards connecting the different blocks and the whole humanities department to flood.


Serenity and I kept away from the weather by staking out in V1 where we had a good view of the main courtyard connecting maths, science and social sciences to the rest of the school. It was interesting to watch different peoples reactions to the weather from our window.


The year nine girls like to dress as though they are going night- clubbing in very skimpy outfits, with fake ugg boots and really over the top makeup. They came running through the court yard in tears, with collapsed sodden boots, bad hair, and panda eyes. The year nine boys like to gel their hair excessively and the concenquence was that they all had white dripping hair. They did enjoy showing off to the girls and to each other by running through the shin deep water and showing that they weren't afraid...


Since the reprographics staff were preoccupied by the year 7s having a frenzy over the floods, I was sent to "obtain" some paper in their absense for the photocopier in social sciences. Upon my return it was interesting to note that a few minor fights had broken out amongst the lower years and involved our school gang "The BY10," or now locally known as the "DE56 boys" as they have entered year 11.


One year 8 girl, dressed in a flowery cardigan and really fashionable white leggings with pumps came running through the court yard following her friend. Then stopped, looked down, realised that she was in a great puddle and shrieked. Her friend was rather unsympathetic to her plight and was reluctant to enter the water and drag her out.


A town close to us unfortunately had a "minor tornado" which knocked down a garage and a few fences.

A passer by noted "the dustbins were flown around like cotton wool."


So far the weather here isn't critical, although the weather forecasters would have us believe that it is, in fact, a national crisis.


The fair.

This week I have been on half term from my sixth form. Our annual fair came on Thursday and I have been down every night with different people. It has rides for people of all ages ranging from Hook- a- duck to rides which you would find at theme parks.


The first time I went with my aunt and uncle who were reluctant to go on anything as they were 'too old' and my aunt claims to have vertigo ever since she forced me to go on Tropical Fever (a ride which spins you in endless loops) the previous year.) However my uncle did manage to win a deformed bear on a darts game and my aunt came on the dodgems with me in the end.


The dodgems this year were rather unpredictable and would start reversing if you moved the steering wheel overly, meaning my aunt drove backwards into a guy with a rather odd knitted bobble hat. After this, Hat Man and his friend with a stripey leather jacket ganged up and kept ramming us into the corners on every turn and we kept bashing them back. When my aunt finally allowed me a go at driving I bashed Hat Man's car at the back and caused his hat to bounce of his head, much to his horror. As he was fussing with it and trying to regain his manly pride, he ended up crashing into a safety man who was standing on the barrier at the side. At the end of the ride, we were shocked to find out that Hat Man and Jacket Man were actually worked on the dodgems as safety men and had been on a break.


Fortunatly when I returned to the fair with Tears and Serenity, we did not see either of the "safety" men, but allowing Serenity to drive the dodgem was very bad judgment on my part. The sign on the wall clearly reads "this way" and there is a rather large arrow indicating the correct way to drive. So Serenity drove the other way. We crashed into a rather large ginger man who took an instant disliking to us. After realising her mistake, she accidentally caused the dodgem to reverse and cause a pile up which we drove out of leaving the ginger man trapped and shaking a fist at us.


The worst part of the fair was definatly the glass maze. As I'm not a fan of fast rides, the other two suggested we went on it instead. Due to the fair being close to halloween, they had given it a "spooky" feel. Unfortunatly I did not know that this would include them placing false tarantulas inside the glass walls (and I have total arachnophobia.) Thanks to this, Serenity had to lead me by the hand around the place like a blind woman whilst I looked at the floor and shook a lot.


The other rides were less dramatic but still lots of fun. We also went on cyclone where it spins three of you around and you all squash the tallest person on the end. The tallest person in our car was Serenity who kept yelling at us not to squash her, but to no avail. She then said it was all my fault which made me laugh and lose grip of the bar causing me to squash her even more as I couldn't regsin my composure.


I took loads of food back home from the fair including chocolate apples to muliticoloured candifloss for everyone. I can't wait until it comes again. :)


Here are some bad quality pictures which I took on my phone.

The first is of Alpine Express.




This is hook a duck.




This is another kids ride. :)




I did try to get pictures of speed etc, but they came out even worse due to all the lights on them. :/


Laser Quest. :)

My friend had booked 5 places at the sports centre for today to play Laser Quest. (Apparently it is called "laser gaming" in the Netherlands.) Two of our friends cancelled, which meant me bribing someone which I had met at the convention to come along as well. We got assigned rather interesting names, mine being 'Macro' and later 'Vortex.'


We were the Red Team, and chose the start of the maze as our base. One member of our team 'Element' lit up under the UV lights due to his white shirt and so was ambushed quite a lot. My other friend 'Napalm' was reluctant to move much since she'd chosen to come along in designer clothes. Therefore she stayed by a window spot and (somehow) managed to come first in our team scores. The person who I'd bribed into coming along 'Falcon,' took the whole event rather seriously and seemed to think that he was a ninja. His strategy seemed to be rolling around the floor and squatting a lot.


The Blue Team only had two members but seemed to be very experienced. Apparently "the bob girl" had a vendetta against Napalm and kept following her. Amongst the other players there were also two young boys of about ten and their father who made up the Green team. The two young boys believed that they were on a kamakaze mission and would come running and screaming into our base and then would leave as soon as they had been deactivated to "regroup."


We had a twenty minute break after our two sessions during which two of the teams left. We then had one final game, just us versus the greens.


After our final game, we headed into town to get something to eat. Unfortunatly I had to leave early to attend a Labour Branch Meeting, which after getting lost rather a lot I managed to find. :)


Dark Lady's departure.

Yesterday my grandparents and I took Ffranses round Kedleston Hall which is only two miles from us, and is where the film The Duchess was made. We got the chance to listen to a talk from a woman acting as the Hall's housekeeper and see some of keira Knightley's dresses from the film. I really enjoyed the day out and I think that she did as well.


Today was the day that Ffranses returned to Wales. She has been here for 16 days, and I think that we got along really well for saying I'd only met her in town for an hour or two beforehand. I don't think that it has sunk in yet that she's gone, and it still feels as though if I go into my room she'll be there making things out of cardboard and felt X3


Unfortunatly I didn't get to see her off as she left at 10am and I had a full day at sixth form. She was still in bed when I left but I think she understood what I said to her at the time. XD She managed to forget her coat as well, so I hope that she isn't getting too wet because it is raining quite heavy here.


Hopefully I shall see her, Temmy and maybe some more ED folk at The Midlands Expo in February. :)




ED Meet Part Three

Today was the final day of the ED meet, and it was certainly be the most memorable.

Ffranses and I had planned to have a dinner with everyone, but since we were charged double on the bus by some nasty lady, and she charged Ffranses adult fare, we were down to two pounds each spending money. XD


After we had walked to the station to meet the rest of the group, we eagerly anticipated the arrival of Daichenzian. Most of us were surprised when he actually turned up and followed us back to town, but he soon decided to walk ten paces ahead (although not knowing the way) and distance himself from us completly. The girls and I wanted to make an effort to speak to him and make him feel included but he was rather an intimidating character. Ing tried later on, but to no avail.


Ing, Tressen, Shadow and loc all went on the big wheel in the centre of Derby whilst we waited for them outside the Quad building.


Next we all decided on a shopping trip, and started of at Waterstones where Ffranses searched for language books, Ing for Sci-fi and loc for manga. Next we went to HMV and looked all around for sountracks and eventually found them. Then lastly before going into the Westfield centre we visited the Disney Store. Which of course, loc, Shadow, Dai and Tressen refused to enter for the fear of being seen entering it in public and tarnishing their images.


Upon entering the Westfield centre, we planned to go to Lush (where Ing, Temmy and Dark Lady got stolen and flattered by a rather good sales woman) and a few other shops. We sat on the comfy chairs and ate dinner whilst loc and Shadow shopped in WHSmith and Daichenzian wound his pocket watch.


As the centre started to shut down for the day, Temmy Ffranses and I decided to mark the occasion by skipping towards the exit and got some rather odd looks from fellow shoppers.


Finally the group dropped Ffranses and I off at our bus stop and waited with us until it came. We had a lot of group and themed photos whilst sitting and chatting on the wall. Somehow Tressen managed to start walking, do a spin in the air and faceplant the ground. Unfortunatly noone caught it on camera, otherwise we could have recieved £250 from 'You've Been Framed' 8D


Before we got on the bus I went round and hugged everyone individually which creeped a few people out I think...


The bus was just about to pull away when we saw Ing pulling her hood over her face like a ninja and doing a pose for the camera. XD


I think that the meet was a huge success and was extremely enjoyable. I hope that there will be more in the future.

Currently Ffranses and I are trying to persuade Temmy to come to Midlands expo in February, lets hope that it goes ahead.


Everyone is travelling home this afternoon so will be back online shortly.

Just pictures to come now!!!


ED Meet Part Two

So yesterday was the J-Culture Con!


I arrived with Ffranses and my friend Rob at 9.30 and we went to get a Starbucks expresso before the doors opened.

I was shocked to see the huge increase in fans from last year, there must have been double at least.

Whilst we posed for photos with every anime/ manga character imaginable we got word from loc that they would be slightly late. They arrived about half an hour into it, but made it in time for the welcome. Both loc_zsu and Shadow Dragon made the effort to cosplay and you could tell the level of work gone in to their designs. loc_zsu went as Jamie Maddox and Shadow Dragon of course went as Xoshia.


After initial greetings were exchanged, I managed to get hold of Serenity who was just arriving. After everyone had been introduced we went off in search of Tears of Blood leaving Dark Lady to enter her cosplay contest (she was by this time somewhat of a celebrity as she'd decided to go as Pikachu.)


We met Tears and her boyfriend for a quick hello and they left before Proximax arrived. The group then had a chat inside the assembly rooms and posed for a few photos in the window seat. Since Prox was rather hungry from his long journey, we went to Westfield to get him some food. We got some rather bizarre looks, me being dressed as Yuki Cross from Vampire knight and Temmy wearing the most beautiful Japanese dress ever.


After returning to the convention I didn't see much of the group again, apart from Temmy who went around all the stalls with us and we had a long chat to her on the stairs.


The rest of the group were sat at a round table whilst Emily was teaching Ffranses and I a rather odd anime dance, and I assumed they'd gone to see the bands like everyone else but it turned out that they'd left.


Ffranses and I stayed until about 6pm by which time we were half asleep already. XD

I think that overall the con was a huge success, I think that it was s shame for the group to leave so soon as Temmy wanted to see the bands, but I'll get to see them again today of course. :)





The ED Meet Part One.

Today Ffranses and I went to the trainstation for a very short pre-meet.

Unfortunatly my aunt had booked my hair appointment at 3:45 so we couldn't stay as long as we'd have liked but it was fun nevertheless. We met Ing, loc_zsu, Tressen, Shadow Dragon and Temeraire in the Upper Crust cafe which had lift style music to mark the occasion. Ffranses and I were feeling a bit under the weather (Ffranses having had two nosebleeds beforehand) and we've both had colds all week, but we had a fun little chat with Ing to cheer us up.

We were also sat next to the door from the cafe onto the platform which was signed "NO ENTRY" but hadn't been on the other side, so everyone getting off a train wanting a bite to eat kept pulling at the door to no avail and looking bewildered. Which was also entertaining. XD

We didn't discuss very much as the two men and shadow seemed to be a bit hyper for some reason. Hopefully I'll get a chance to meet the people behind the usernames tomorrow when they've calmed down a bit.


Ffranses has been enjoying my school very much, as she is going to serenity's biology lessons. Unfortunatly she has been living in the libary for four out of five periods and getting evil glares from the librarians. XD


On Tuesday we travelled down to London with my Grandparents. First we visited my Great aunt in law and her daughter in law before going on to our Miyavi concert whilst we left my Grandparents at the mercy of her cooking.

We queued in the Miyavi line for 2 hours, but despite this we managed to lose our place because we were seperated into two lines, one for people with bags (which needed to be checked incase we were music pirating) and one for people without.


After I got seperated from Ffranses, they searched all through my bag and said i could go. Feeling like a terrorist I then made my way to the box office, but was denied an audience with the woman (who had my ticket because it was too hard for them to send it in the post like everyone else's) because I'd been in the wrong line. I tried to tell them that I'd had a bag but it wasn't a good enough excuse apparently. After queueing for a second time, and getting my ticket from a woman of about twelve, I was told that I couldn't go into the concert because I was in the wrong queue to put my bag in the cloakroom. So I queued a third time, and was charged two pounds to trust some stranger with my bag which was compulsary. I then told the security guard that she was a "right piece of work" and met Ffranses. :)


Fortunatly we were stood next to a really nice tall girl who let me stand in front of her so that I had a good view (as even with my heels on i must have been one of the smallest there.) Apart from a few churlish outcries from some miserable people in front (who even wears a fleecy coat inside a concert?!?) the experience was extremly enjoyable and Miyavi was brilliant!!!


Thought I'd better start a blog on the whole affair. XD

I was supposed to start this last week but I kept putting it off.


Ffranses arrived last Saturday (and got very lost at our train station.)

Sunday nothing really happened since we were both up talking until the early hours of the morning and so we slept in late and I finished my homework for the rest of the day.

On Monday, Ffranses went to my school for the first time and I arranged for her to take biology lessons during her stay. I planned for her to stay in the art department a lot (since she takes double art) but this was not to be. Apparently she would only "distract Hannah and put her off doing any work" and the art department is "low on funds" and so her sitting in the corner doing her work would be entirely inappropriate. The head of art also told me that I was encouraging sixth formers to bring their friends into the art department and make it a place for socialising. Therefore she suggested that Ffranses should do her work in the common room.


We shall how the rest of the week progresses. :)