The past couple of weeks have flown by, and there is so much that I could write about, but I’ll try to stick to interesting highlights and important updates, and as always, the photos will be able to speak for themselves!
When I got back to Lyon, I went to see the Lyon women’s football team play a league match against Paris Saint-Germain. Amélie, the university team captain, invited me. She gets free tickets because she trained with Lyon women’s academy up to under-18 level. Despite playing football and watching women’s matches on the television during major tournaments, I had never seen a live professional women’s game, and I was surprised how many people turned up to watch. There were just over 10,000 spectators, which is more than some English men’s league teams can manage. To top it all off, the match was full of action, with Lyon eventually winning 2-1. (I sense a recurring pattern…as this was the score at the last Lyon game I went to see…)
I thought going back to university for the second half of term was going to be difficult after enjoying a week of not having lessons. However, I found myself missing my new friends, and anxious to get various exam results back. I’m pleased to say I passed all of the ones that I have received my marks for, and I’m particularly pleased with my mark for the oral presentation I gave on the British Monarchy in my French language class. Smug feelings lasted only a little while though, as I realised that this is the half of term where deadlines and exam dates are all the more frequent.
I decided to distract myself with various gatherings; namely for drinks, dinner or coffee. The best of these nights was by far a trip to one of the many salsa bars in Lyon. You walk in, have a drink…or not…or three…and strut your salsa stuff on the dance floor. I went with three of my Australian friends, we ended up befriending some French students who seem to go quite regularly, and they told us to meet them there any Friday as they would more than likely be there.
I also have a little confession to make. I had a moment on 5th November when I realised I wasn't going to see any bonfires or any fireworks... I wasn't going to eat baked potato or mushy peas with mint, or stew or pie, or rolls filled with roast pork, stuffing and apple sauce, or toffee apples (not that I like them much)...I wasn't going to be able to drink mulled cider or mulled wine, or hot toddy...more importantly, I wasn't going to be able to play with sparklers!!! I won't lie, it was a little depressing. It's one of my favourite times of the year, and the first thing (friends/family not included) that I've actually missed about the UK. That night, I turned on my heater, curled up in bed, watched an uplifting film and booked my train ticket home for Christmas...
|Palais des Nations|
We actually only have around three weeks of teaching left before exams start in December and I have three essays to write before then. I’m already planning what to do/where to go to celebrate after I’ve handed them all in and finished my exams. I’m determined to make the most of the time I have left of the French half of my year abroad, and I don’t think it would be complete without a visit to one of the world’s best Christmas markets: Strasbourg. As no UCL student has actually received our Erasmus grant yet, (three months in), I’ll have to wait and see nearer the time if I can afford it!