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Thursday, July 28

Penultimate Jour

That's such a great word, it's so long and so useless. There really isn't a need for it but I have taken pity on it, and after all, it is my penultimate day here...

I've decided to just be late and less sociable, because the amount of times I've gone back and edited these last few posts is quite ridiculous. Slow and steady not only wins the race, but also reduces the chance of irritating mistakes, like the 'b' being missing from some words. Yesterday the key was all jammed up, but today it seems fine, so there should be b's in affluence :)

I had my last day of intensive lessons today! Intensive's only in the afternoon, so this morning we were out in the centre of Nice with the class, filling out a questionnaire. Me and my partner largely gave up after about ten minutes, and sat in the sun by the glistening sea; which looked more like a lake because it was so bizarrely calm, eating raspberries and nattering away the time.
We took the bus back to school, and it just so happened to be the same bus driver whom had driven me to school that morning: the mental one. He had short, white, thinning hair, to the extent that he could have been called bald, his shirt was half unbuttoned, revealing an ungainly hairy chest, and he wore a silver chain around his neck. I stepped on, and handed over the euro fee for my ticket, however the doors were slammed shut behind me and we were veering round the corner barely before my ticket had even printed. He wasted little time in opening and closing the doors, and seemed to have no trouble in counting out change at the same time as speeding round the route.

I went to spar during break, because it's a shop I know and trust. I'm sure the guy in there thinks I'm really weird though. The first time I went in in, a couple of days ago, I purchased two nectarines and a litre bottle of Smirnoff Ice (to share, of course. I just bought it by myself). When I went in today I bought a tube of superglue and a packet of chocolate biscuits. Just odd combinations for very valid and explanable reasons, I ran out of superglue in England and it's harder to get hold of it there, since you have to be 18. And how am I meant to keep up my 'sticking coins to the floor and laughing at people trying to get them' game without a decent bottle of superglue?

The day passed relatively slowly, with a collection of smiley faces amounting on my notebook to ensure I don't forget the artists creating them. I headed home after lessons, and then out to the beach. The sea is Pretty Damn Amazingly warm, and we stayed there all evening befôre hunger demanded that we go to the Chinese for dinner. I can't remember what I ate, but my fortune cookie was 'with oppertunity comes courage'. Ikr, how is that even a fortune?
The awkward topic of my blog suddenly arose, I mean, I love it, but is the big orange title at the top not quite visible enough? I cleared my throat awkwardly and stared into the base of my empty cup, waiting for the topic to change, which fortunately for me it quite naturally did.

After watching some dancers in the square, waiting for dinner to settle, I went out for a late night swim. That Twin, and the other one as well, had to leave a little early but I had just enough time to stay and face the water. It was almost dark, the waves lapped over my ankles causing goosebumps to ripple up and down my skin. It takes one brave jump in to actually get over it, and so long as you swim with the most of your body at least a foot under the surface then it's noticibly warmer. I only stayed in for about 10 minutes before getting out, drying off to the best of my ability in those particular conditions, and shoving some clothes on to go home in.
It's always a little awkward to put clothes on over a wet bikini, I often see girls heading off away from the beach with two wet patches on their shirts, which is humiliating but at the same time inevitable. My top was quite light coloured though, and baggy, and also the dark was favourable to my issue. The only problem was my shorts, I'm sure it looked like I'd had some kind of terrible accident as I walked home. No one asked me out for drinks this time, I think it put them off :L

As I rounded the corner by the restaurant aptly named 'hippopotomus', I was almost disappointed not to see the normal group of chefs standing outside. The last time was really quite awkward, I came round the corner just as they were about to go in, however on seeing me they stepped back out and waited for me to go by. I tried desperately to stop myself from laughing and to keep a straight face, which obviously didn't work, but it was quite amusing. I nodded as I went past, 'bon soir' ing them like a pro. They laughed and started shouting after me, noticing the grin I was trying to shove back down in vain. Bless them.

I actually cannae believe tomorrow is my last day. It doesn't seem like that long ago at all that I was sat feeling out of place in this room, wondering how I was going to survive without internet. The next time I write I'll be on the boring side of the channel, t'is a sad thought. Although, it is also the side with people I (mostly) understand, pleasant showers, comfortable beds, clean clothes, space for clean clothes, my dog whom I miss muchly, and my own freaking laptop with buttons in the right place. I swear, I'll be used to this one by the time I get back and it'll be a whole new learning process, all over again.

Anyways, auf weidersehen, amigos, wish me luck trying to navigate my way back to England, tout seule encore :S

Wednesday, July 27


It already seems like I'm going to have to leave really soon. and I don't want to! I'll miss the evenings and night times most. It's not like Blandford where everything is deserted apart from a few pieces of litter floating around in the breeze and the odd group of homeless men sat on the corner. No, here there are people out, all the shops are open, lights are on, dancers are dancing, skaters are skating, fire-eaters are eating fire etc, there are even people playing volley ball on the beach courts until past midnight!
And instead of the homeless men/women hanging around in intimidating groups, they instead sit in a maximum of two's, an idea I may propose to the council upon my return.

I sat and watched some of the volley ball, since there was nothing else to do. I'm normally equally as disinterested in watching sport as I am playing, however there was rather a good game on. The teams actually were very good, and as I got more into it I felt more and more supportive of the team on the left, I think because I was just sat slightly to the left :L
At one point the ball flew over the high wire fencing, and there was that awkward moment when  no one on the beach goes to throw it back, yet the players are too lazy to walk around and get it. I was sat quite close, and considered it, but envisioned what would probably happen and decided against. There was a flight of stairs between me and the ball that I would have to descend, and I'm sure I would trip down them, land on my face and hurt myself, yet try to make it seem like I wasn't hurt and get up and carry on, eventually reach the ball and then the second before I do someone else would grab it and chuck it back. Then I'd have to face the walk of shame back up the stairs and over to my bag, and no one likes the walk of shame.

Luckily, some other guy went over and passed it under the netting.

I walked slowly back through the squares filled with bustling tourists and market stalls selling over priced tat, that they  were happily buying. I stopped for a second as a man filled his mouth with ethanol and then breathed over a flame, causing a huge unproar to billow out over the onlooking crowd. The heat wafted over my face before a second, before I continued again.
I swear, if there was a proze for most easily lost, then I would win it. I just get distracted by pretty lights and interesting streets, and by the time I regain full consciousness I realise I have no idea where I am. It does however provide an interesting walk as I try to regain my bearings. I often end up going past the backs of restaurants, where the chefs and workers are stood slouched against a wall, smoking or chatting. They  pause for a moment as I go by, nodding or saying, "bon soir", which is another way the culture is different to England. I don't know why English people have such a reputation for manners because I doubt people in England would just casually say good evening to you in the street.

I had my lessons outside today, which might sound better but actually it was really annoying. There were flies everywhere and it was really windy, the best part for me was when I convinced the teacher and all the other students that I've been elephant riding in India.
We were talking about holidays, and all the rich people were going on about llama riding through the Austrian mountains, or camel riding in India, so I stepped up the game, whipped out a dictionary and began to spin my tale of huge elephants, who carry people with big chairs on their backs instead of saddles, and how comfortable they are. Win.
Family holiday...

I'm not normally one of the disruptive people in class, but it's hard when everyone else minus one other can speak German, and does so during every exercise we are given. It's just me and 'onry', as the teacher calls him, and we have now safely secured ourselves the title of 'The rowdy British'. It's mostly his fault though, his host family never feed him and he spends all his money on getting wasted every evening, which leaves him like a wound up bag of sugar. At one point, where I was actually trying to concentrate, he started wittering into my ear about carrots going into space, which is pretty hard to just block out.
It's so annoying, when they're all laughing and messing around in German. We decided to join in nevertheless, laughing at all the right intervals and, much to their amusment, occasionally repeating the following conversation:


I've started learning German though. They write phrases in the back of my notebook, with no translations so I have to guess and remember :L It'll be interesting to see if I do actually rememer any of it by the time I get back.

The last Fennochio's trip was fairly average, to alance out from the night before. I asked, in French, if I could just have a taste of tomato and basil flavour, but apparently it's a speciality so it's not possible. So I just bought it, and everyone took a spoonful before counting down to putting it in their mouths. It was repulsive. It slid to the back of my mouth and down my throat, leaving a trail of basily, tomatoey, dairy-ey flavour behind it. I ate around it, and decided to give it to a tramp or someone more needy than I. I'm such a generous soul :)

I always find it amusing how, in certain shops, I'll begin the conversation in French, they realise I'm English and continue in English, but I refuse to give in and power my way through with what is probably atrocious grammatical and pronounciation mistakes. So it ends up with the French person speaking English, and the English person speaking French. Pourquoi pas.

We walked along the promenade for ages, all the while I was looking for someone to pass on my pot of speciality to. It gradually became more urgent, rapidly melting, so when I saw a guy sat on the low railing by the sea I made the move.
I walked over, holding it out in my hand.
"Voulez-vous mon glace?"
"Non, merci."
He didn't even try it! I didn't even say what flavour it was, and he refused. If someone walked over to me and offered me a free ice cream I would accept, with all too little  consideration.

But that's just me I guess, see you Saturday :)

Sunday, July 24

Wild Child

The reason I've been doing a sudden flood of posts is because my room mate left for the weekend to go to Paris with her boyfriend, which is lovely and romantic and all that, but the biggest plus is that I get free reign over the computer xD

Today we'd arranged to meet at the naked man statue, as has become habit, and then walk to the train station and catch a train to Cannes for the day. I think because it was a Sunday though it meant we couldn't, or it was too expensive, or there weren't enough trains or something. You can really tell I was listening to what was going on :L

The thing is, I have a proper full blown cold now. I woke up numerous times unable to breath through my nose, and with a dry mouth and lips. Pocket tissues have become a necessity, and sometimes in the evenings I kind of drift in and out of headaches. But there you go, that's my luck summed up in one, irritating personification.

We ended up queueing (that's such an evil word for spelling) for about half an hour, because the French couldn't be bothered to open any more than two desks in the crammed station, and bought tickets to a town called Antibes instead. The train was pretty cool, double decker! I never even knew such a thing as a double decker train exists but apparently it does, and I went on it.
We arrived in the port, which was just filled with rich people yachts. They were huge, and each had a name, some quite significantly more interesting than others. At the bottom of the originality range there was one called "Julie", but at the top, claiming the prize of awesomeness, was "The Flying Teapot". It was by far not the biggest, fanciest, shiniest, or triple-deckeriest boat in the port but its name was so coolio that didn't matter.

We wandered towards a castle in the distance, and climbed the broad, cracked, empty flagstones that formed a wide stairway upwards. Lizards dodged in and out of little cracks in the wall, and I wondered why there were no other tourists there. We reached a huge statue of a guy holding some kind of staff, under which there was a red sign with the inscription, "Acès interdit au public", access forbidden to the public. I pointed it out as we approached and asked, "Are we just gunna ignore that?"
It seemed than answer was yes, as everyone just carried on past it. We walked until we got to a large amphitheatre, like the ones in greek re-enactments. It was fairly hot, so a break as we sat as a lone audience of nothing was welcomed. Eventually hunger got the better of us all, and the only obvious pathway that was nearby was over a high fence on the other side.

This is where it's very useful to be a private school child. Or just to look like one. They all have the reputation of being tall (not sure why), and I'm sure if any of us were under 5'11" we wouldn't have made it. I was the first to swing a leg up on to a sticky out bit of the gateway and jump over, soon followed by the others. Once we'd all safely landed we saw again a sign on the side of the fence we were now on, "Acès interdit au public". It was then that the others finally realised we'd been trespassing, but it was fine because the only guy who saw us was walking his dog, next to a sign that said 'no dogs'.

We ambled along the gravely path, until coming to a small cliff kind of thing that led down to a rocky inlet, perfect for paddling. 'Cliff' is probably the wong word to use and gives the idea of something far bigger than it actually was, about a ten meter climb down. Only four of us went, and I ditched my bag on a rock there as we soon set the next target of a large, lone rock island just a little way out. I took off my flimsy sandals, deciding it would be a lot easier without, and although I have not yet barefooted anywhere here, my feet are still tough enough to handle the rocks on the sea bed.

I was first to make it out there, soon followed by one more, and the other two gave up. To be fair, it was quict difficult. The large rocks were carpeted in slippery algae, and the smaller stones were painful, and deeper. Every time a wave came I stood still on the foot holds I had, hoping I wouldn't be knocked over, which I almost was several times.
I climbed up to the peak of the rock, and had a victory picture. Crammed into a little nook at the top there was a large, incredibly broken umbrella. I picked it out and attempted to put it up, which amounted to a few spokes sticking out on one side, with a straggly piece of material hanging limply off of it. Proudly I stood with it in a way not too dissimilar from Niel Armstrong when he landed on the moon, which I think means the rock now belongs to me. You can go on holiday there for free any time you want though :)

I clambered back, almost losing a pair of flip flops I had been entrusted with, as I attemped throwing them over to dry land. For some reason my athletic abilities suddenly failed me and they fell into the ocean, causing an unecessarily large ruckus which I quickly solved, they were floating towards me anyway. I grabbed them along with my bag and ran back up, whereupon I noticed a stream of red flowing down my ankle and seeping into the chalky path I was stood on. It wasn't as bad as it looked though, I chose to just leave it, although I didn't really have a choice anyway.

It was at this moment that I decided I've known these people for long enough to unleash a little bit more 'weird' on them, and so posed the question, "Do you think it's socially unacceptable to go barefoot?", which prompted the hysterical laughter from several well brought up and mannerly students. They stopped on realising I was actually serious, heading down the path with my shoes in my bag. I was really quite impressed, nothing more was said on the subject until we reached the centre of town, and people inevitably started staring.
The problem was, we were starving, and my feet were already literally black. I couldn't put my shoes on with them like that, so I stood with a sugar crépe in the middle of town, happily absorbing the looks. We'd wandered around for ages looking for a shop that was open, even resorting to the desperate move of asking someone who was walking along with a baguette where they got it from. As we stood, gorging on the food, I was suddenly asked, "Does your best friend actually have that necklace too, or did you just buy it because you like it?", in reference to the small gold necklace I wore, with two round disks reading "best", and "friend". It was an actual genuine question, I think maybe she was finding it hard to believe it was possible to have friends and walk around barefoot at the same time.

Just to be clear, that necklace was a present. Yes I do have friends.

We headed back to the gare, and hung aound waiting for the next train. I think by that stage I must have looked like some kind of wild child, I had a pair of bright orange shorts, a multicoloured crop top, bare, filthy feet and streaks of dried blood caked on to the skin around my ankle. I still wasn't completely disowned however, so I think that's a good sign. I vehemently denied all accusations of being a hippy, saying the reason I do it is simply because I don't like shoes. And that's the truth, I find shoes inconveniencing and cumbersome.

They also find it hard to understand the concept of not having a school uniform. The girls have blazers and different coloured ties depending on how old you are, with a pencil skirt and emblem thingy. Both the twins are 'prefects' (I did ask what that was but I've forgotten again, it's something important though), and the boys both wear suits with their 'house colours' as well. They have to stay in school all day every day, and Saturdays too. And here's me, strolling in and out of school whenever I have a lesson/can be bothered, wearing whatever extravagant item comes to hand in the morning.
It just goes to show, private school kids aren't all that well off really.

Anyway, it's my final week :( I might be able to squeeze in one more post before I leave, hopefully.
And for those who are interested, Fennochio's update: I had avocado and Kinder bar last night, I wouldn't recommend avocado but the Kinder bar was awesome, it had actual chunks of the chocolate in it. I really want to try basil and tomato flavour, but I don't want to buy it. I wonder if they'll let me just have one mouthful for free...

Saturday, July 23

King of the Launderettes

Yep, that's me.

It was pretty much the only thing on my To Do list today (mental to do list of course, I never make actual physical lists like organised people do), so I packed a bag full of clothes and underwear and headed off down the street, in the hope that I would come accross a laundrette fairly quickly.

This might seem like a fairly optimistic outing, but actually about 2 minutes of walking in a straight line, in a direction chosen by chance, I found a worn purple sign which read, "Machines de lavage". And then underneath something about washing machines being 'mans greatest invention'. I smirked and walked through the door into the empty room, with washing mashines lining each wall, and two odd looking metal boxes attached to the only emtpy wall.

I prodded around, opening and closing doors, squinting at the sign, and then sighing in relief after realising there was a smaller sign with badly translated English instructions. To be honest though, they didn't really help me that much. I quickly worked out I needed some form of washing powder, and since I couldn't get it out of the boxes went instead to a supermarket.
I returned, and obviously still looked equally as confused, as a girl who looked not that much older than me who was sat on a bench having a headphone disco suddenly uncovered her ears and asked if I needed help. She showed me how to do it (luckily), and I went for a wander whilst waiting for it to finish.

I went back with about 20 minutes to wait, it was just me, two other girls, and the machines. The other girls were English as well, but they seemed to be doing fine so I left them to it. As time passed, it gradually became more and more awkward. I was past the point of being able to introduce myself, as I hadn't said anything and they thought I was French, so were speaking freely in front of me as I tried not to respond to or look like I understood what they were saying.

I figured out the drying machines myself, although it took three goes for my stuff to actually dry. I sat there silently 'aww bless' ing the other people in there, for example this one guy, who had washed and was drying a load of clothes, carefully folding each sock as he brought it out of the machine. He spoke a little English and told me what the best ones to use were, although I probably would have found it easier to understand if he'd said it in French :L

I finally managed to finish, and when I got back shook all the loose powder that had spilt into my bag out of the window, attracting a few odd looks from passers by below, but I just shut the curtain on them.

Last night was a lot of fun, everyone was a little burnt from the day at the beach so we enjoyed the cool air, and carried out our usual ritual. Before doing this, we went to a supermarket to buy drinks which would be a lot cheaper than from the off-lisence. I am certain that the drinking age is 16, but even so I was a little nervous buying it, as were the others who handed me the money and lagged behind, even though they are all over 16 as well. I went to the till, thoroughly expecting to be asked about my age, yet was scanned through without even a second glance.
This is why I love France. In Morrisons, I was kicked out for looking at the alcohol. I was comparing prices with a friend who is 18, and was kicked out without even attempting to purchase anything.

I actually momentarily lost everyone else, as I waited round the corner rather than right in front of ther door where a hefty looking security guard was standing (I still feel like I'm breaking the law even though I know I'm not :L). Eventually, after 10 minutes or so, they called me and we re-grouped. They'd even gone to the trouble of composing me a song, which I appreciated. It goes something like this, to the tune of 'Hey There Delilah':

Hey there Jemimah who we lost in Monoprix,
She was buying us drinks, now we feel like such pricks
Where'd you go, where'd you go...

It works pretty well if you pronounce the 'x' in Monoprix, which we do, because that's how the Americans say it 'cause they don't know how to pronounce Frenchy things.

We wandered along, for ice cream and then to some party that was being held on the Promenade. I had rice pudding flavour, and one other one that I can't remember it's name, but it was basically ginger biscuits. The rice pudding one was actually nicer than you would think, it had little pieces of rice in it and tasted just kind of milky.

We had previously been discussing what to tell the students who arrive next week about where we're from. The only accent I can put on is a Northern English one, which if anything is less interesting than Southern England, but a couple of them can do really awesome Australina accents. He even ordered his ice cream in French, with an Australian accent, which caused uncontrollable spasms of laughter from everyone else. I think the guy behind the counter was a little bit confused, bless him.

There were huge stages on wheels being driven around, the road was closed and there were streamers, bubbles and balloons floating around, with families and people of all ages crowding round different bands or just walking along the beach. We stayed and listened to a band for a while, before I had to go back home, since my host seems to be the only one who actually listens to the curfew rules (well, she let me have an extra half hour, but that's still less than the others.)

I saw her as I strode back, trying not to be late. She called out from behind me, "Jemeeena!" (That is how every French person says my name, I've just had to get used to it), so I stopped and waited for her to catch up. Evidently this stout little 60 year old had been out partying as well. We made small talk as we approached home, the closer you get to it the smaller and dodgier the streets get. Normally I only feel inwardly nervous as I outwardly confidently walk past the gangs hanging around the corners; but for some reason, having this woman who barely comes past my elbows, dressed in a plain straight dress with a matching rimmed hat pulled firmly over her head I felt completely at ease. There's something about her, you just wouldn't want to be on her wrong side. Like Nicolas Sarkozy. He is on her wrong side.

They always watch TV over dinner, and when the political bit came on she started explaining me all the things she didn't like about him, and a whole lecture like this where I found the only thing I could say was "Oui", and "D'accord".
(Yes and Okay) :L

So yeah, busy times. I think I'm gunna go and wash my towels now I know how to use the machines, I have nothing better to do. Maybe beach later xD
See you all in a week :)
When I say I 'go to the beach', this is where I mean. Before I actually came here I thought the colour had been photoshopped, too.

Friday, July 22

Nice is Nice

I`ve given up with that joke. It`s just got to the, "If you can`t beat them, join them" stage.

Every time I think of coming back I just get a little sinking feeling, as I remember how much less French and interesting Blandford is. Of course, I then remember you guys and it soon becomes much more bearable :)
I do get incredibly angry with French drivers though. Marcus, if you read this, heed my advice and never holiday in France. It`s annoying for me but for someone whose job it is to correct these things it would be thoroughly unbearable.

It`s just like,
"Who cares whether the man is red or green, I reckon there`s enough room between that group of people for me to get through. Red light? What red light? Oops, I`m in the wrong lane. I`ll just casually glide over without indicating. Actually, I can`t decide. Maybe I`ll just drive on the lines between lanes."

Except probably in French.

Today was the first day where I`ve had the afternoon off lessons, so me and a few people arranged to spend it down at the plage. I was literally there for about 5 hours, tanning and swimming intermittently. There are small patches of neglected skin, the hard-to-reach-easy-to-forget places. There`s a streak of red running along one foot, and a diagonal line in my stomach where my shorts were uneven.

I`m really going to miss being able to just meet people and go down to the beach whenever we want. The people here are so laid back, I can go into the offlisence and buy 5 drinks (because I look the oldest, although really there is no need to worry), and ask for them all to be opened without being ID`d. The age here is 16 anyway but still, the freedom is amazing (exclamation mark.)

All the Finnish people in my class are leaving, which means my class is reduced by half. Seriously, there`s only me and one other English person in my class, and here was me expecting most people to be English. There`s the four Fins, a couple of Austriches and a sprinkling of Germans too. It makes it it more interesting though.

We go to Fennochio`s as a part of our evening routine now. It`s even coined the name, "Our ice cream ritual." I tried the cactus one, which was bright green and slightly soapy. It wasn`t entirely unpleasant but I don`t think I`d buy it again. I also tried Lychee flavour because I`ve had a minor lychee obsession ever since I first discovered them in my shop. It was pretty unsurprising really, it tasted just like actual lychees.
The next day I had the chocolate orange, which was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I may have to get some more ce soir.

It`s really great the way here, I can mix a few French words and phrases in with whatever I`m saying, and the people I`m talking with actually understand it. Because at home I text in French, or say/write something in French (as you may have noticed...) and people always ask me what it means. We have a good little `Frenglish`thing giong on. For example;
"Does anyone want to aller à la plage?"
"I`m gunna go in the mer. Join?"
"I need to go home first. A bientöt." (That o is actually meant to have a hat, not two dots, but it`s the next best thing on this keybord.)

I swear the Germans are just never excited enough about anything to need exclamation marks. I`ve looked above the 1 but there`s just a plus sign. In fact, I`ve actually scoured each row, and there is nothing. Therefore I`ve come to the conclusion that German people have no need to ever exclaim anything, which is a shame.

So I`m just going to eat, and then rendezvous at the fountain before heading off to Fennochio`s again. It`s fun walking back in the dark, with the groups of drunken men making funny noises as you go past (I have a curfew of 11 :/) The only way I can describe it is like when you try to call over a cat. It`s that kind of hissy, slighttly kissy noise with your lips. But yeah, it greatly amuses moi xD

A bientöt :)

Wednesday, July 20

Vive La France (Exclamation mark...)

I`m borrowing my room mates laptop so this will have to be quick. Also it`s a really weird German keyboard so I keep pressing the wrong keys. I actually managed to navigate my way through the airport alright, the only trouble was when we came to land. Obviously, the weather in Nice is amazing until I arrive, so the plane had severe difficulties in landing through the storm. We circled for ages , apparently using a ton of extra feul. We ended up an hour late, and I storlled over to customs, wondering primarily where the loos were, and secondarily where my suitcase was. I handed my horrifically bad passort photo over to the good-looking, dark skinned official. His face screwed up tnto a bemused look of confusion as he held the picture up beside my face.

"Yeah... I`ve changed a bit..."
"I prefer how you are now.."

Although that may sound like a compliment, a lot of the mug shots of hardened criminals are not as bad as that photo.

Also, I can`t find the exclamation mark on this keyboard so I apologise for the lack of expression.

The first day was pretty good, I made my way to school with Golshan (I think that`s how you spell it...) and we had a massive test with 100 questions. Immediately I made friends with the other English students there, so we hung in a group during break, surrounded by Germans talking to other Germans in German, etc. The main piece of advie I got was to avoid hanging around English kids. Oh well xD

I don`t even know what I was fed that evening, but it tasted alright. It`s so warm we sleep with the windows open, the only problem being that there is traffic 24 7. (Can`t find the slash button either :L), and coming from quiet little Blandford that makes things really quite difficult.

Another thing I`m finding it hard to get used to is not knowing my way around every little nook and cranny. I have always refused to be the tourist who wanders around looking confusedly at a map, and now, that is what I have become. We went on this tour yesterday, and then were ditched in a square which I now know is a 15 minute walk from where I stay.

I got on the tram, wandered up a few streets, gazed gormlessly at the map from every angle, and then began to search for a person who looked suitable to ask directions from. It`s actually very difficult to find someone, and in the end, when I did find someone and plucked up the courage to ask, it turned out she wasn`t even from Nice.

So I made like a baby giraffe and returned to my mother, although I knew there was not much she could do. Actually, it proved to be a good decision, tey located me on google maps and directed me through street view, which was useful. Technology these days :)

So far I`ve met a couple of English guys who were on the same flight out here as me, a girl who swears blind she`s English but speaks with a thick American accent, and a pair of the most preppy twins ever.  I introduced myself with my full name, and I think with my bizarre accent (that for some reason is quite posh despite having an Irish father and a heavily Dorset mother) combined they thought I was private schooled too. I get on with them really well, I like to think we'll have some kind of reunion when we're 40 and have either been massively successful, or failed in everything and are pretending to be massively successful.

And someone tell Mrs Ash, I went to Fennochio`s (exclamation mark). It was awesome. I`m planning on going again tonight because it stays open really late, and it stays hot really late. Not that I want you to be jealous or anything :P
I think I`m going to be brave and try the cactus flavour. Because it just surpasses me just how exactly you can make ice cream taste like a cactus.

Anyway, sorry if there`s spelling mistakes. There`s no English spellcheck and I really don`t have time for proof-reading. I`ll find a load of pictures that people have taken and upload them when I get back :)

Saturday, July 16

Chocolate, Ferrets, Oh and Packing...

So I'm meant to be packing and making lists and other such organised activities, but instead I thought I'd write, because I haven't for a while. I love that new thing at the top showing the number of views it's got, I actually make a point of checking it every morning along with my facebook routine now.

Gibb didn't even turn up to our psychology lesson yesterday. I had a free lesson so went home to grab some more sleep, got up a tad late and trundled into the lesson what I thought was 10 minutes late. There were only a few others sat in there, and apparently she was caught up and would be there within 10 minutes (according to some note stuck on the door that I wasn't observant enough to notice). So we sat and chatted, until 10 past 1 when she still hadn't arrived. The lesson was meant to begin at 20 past 12. Giving up, we all left and went to sit in the common room, when suddenly she appeared and dragged us back to the classroom to write down what we learnt from our reports, which she obviously hadn't marked as nothing was mentioned about Tynchy Stryder.
I was almost disappointed, although not in the slightest surprised. In the end she had to dictate to us what to write, because no one could think of anything they'd learnt. Lol.

We ended up playing consequences in French, because the projector was broken and we got bored waiting for someone technical to fix it. Eventually our teacher even gave up and joined in, which produced some pretty funny results.
I impressed even myself in managing to get the ridiculous amount of forms signed in order to get the time off school. Each teacher had to sign it for each lesson and each day, setting work for me to do. The majority of this was emailed to my school account, which I forgot to check before I left. There was one history essay to do on German politics around 1914 that I was meant to email to the teacher today, that I haven't done. If anyone would like to complete this for me, it would be most appreciated :)

Saturday dragged on so badly for me. It was just one of those days which felt like the hands of the clock were in slow motion. My boss sat out back watching cricket on the laptop, so I was left with the run of the shop. I feasted on plums, grapes, and even an apricot, which was kind of weird. Then I moved on to bigger things and had a williams pear, and the remaining cherries. After a while, I became really quite sick off all the healthy stuff, and got massive chocolate cravings. I just wanted a bag of chocolate buttons or something, and it was absolute torture to look across the road where I knew buttons and chocolates were plentiful, when I was stuck in my prison of fruit and vegetables.

It's very difficult to walk through Morrisons and not see someone you know, seeing as about 95% of the sixth form population work there. After watching reams and reams of children coming out with their packets of sweets and chocolates, and sandwiches and fizzy drinks, I suddenly saw someone who must have been just finishing work. He walked out the door and hovered next to the sign, as though he was waiting for someone.

My eyes immediately honed in on the packed of chocolate digestives he held in his hands and was eating from. Cadbury's digestive biscuits. Such was my desperation, I actually considered going out there and begging for just one, but overall concluded it might weird him out a little bit. He's one of those people I know, but I don't remember actually ever having had a conversation with him. And I think, "Can I have one of your biscuits please", is not particularly a great way to introduce yourself.
Story of my life :(

Eventually I distracted myself by folding little hats out of old receipts, until I'd perfected the method and used the final product as a hat for one of the little chicks I found left over from Easter. I'd cut it just right, so along the rim of the had it said 'Greenacres', creating the perfect accessory for a mascot.
We packed away and finished a little bit early, I bid farewell to my bosses, and drove home with an imminent stack of Things To Do.

Rather than start doing any of these things, I went out to look at some baby ferrets. I did think, as I walked down the road, of all the things I could/should be doing right now, why was I going to see baby ferrets? It was actually worth it though, they're so cute and tiny. I held each one, carefully because they do have ridiculously sharp teeth. They smell kinda bad though.

Anyway, I actually do need to put some stuff in a bag, and have a shower. And sleep actually, because lately I've been feeling quite sleep deprived and I need to have all the consciousness I can get tomorrow, having to navigate my way through the airport by myself :S

So far the only real preparation I've done is buy a ton of music for my iPod, but I still need more. And yes, I am that much of a technophobe that I do not know how to download it for free. If anyone has anything good then feel free to send it to me :)
I've made it a priority to find a computer as soon as I'm in France, and will be sure to spin you the tales of my airport experience, the French people I have to spend the next two weeks with, and probably the weather to make you all jealous. See you from the other side of the channel! xD      

Friday, July 15

It's Ideel...

I have been contemplating skipping tomorrow for various reasons, including CBA, it's summer, and the fact that I have psychology. However, I also have French, and as well as that actually quite like some people at school. Another temptation is that I'm really curious to find out if my teacher did notice those lyrics or not.
Whatever happens, it's my last day so I will soon be out of my misery xD

I was pretty yawny and watery eyed this morning, not helped by the fact I had biology first thing. We were meant to hand in our test papers, the one I didn't do/bring with me. Luckily the teacher was soon distracted as we went outside to practise sampling techniques on woodlice, which involved gathering a load up from one area, painting them green and counting them, then releasing them back.
So we headed once more for the secret 'environment' area behind a locked gate, and stood squinting in the sun trying to warm up as whilst waiting for the key to unlock the gate with. Eventually I ran out of patience and just suggested hopping the fence, an idea one of the boys swiftly took up. In doing so, he knocked half of it out of place, creating a large enough gap for the rest of us to squirm through. Moore seemed weirdly okay with this, and encouraged the entire class to scrabble gracelessly through, it's a good thing there's no one fat in our class or they would have been stuck, and embarrassed.

The handyman-gardener arrived about 10 minutes later with a key, and a bemused look on his face as everyone was inside, but kindly unlocked it anyway to make it slightly easier for us to get out.

We crouched on the dewy earth, spooning woodlice up, along with twigs and leaves, into an empty Wall's ice cream container, because I didn't want to pick them up for fear of squishing them. After a while I sighed and convinced the rest of the team we had indeed collected the entire population from that area, and that we should go and mark them (by actually painting them green). It took forever, and I had the job of keeping tally on numbers. Overall, we managed to catch 106 woodlice and paint them all green, which is not a bad days work.

I forget what the lesson was that we were meant to learn from that...

Since it was such an amazing day (weather wise...), I went down town with a few peoples to sunbathe instead of go home and check facebook, which turned out pretty well. I even saw that old woman from my shop, who came down by the river to let Toby the tortoise out of her bag and for a little walk. He shuffled along on his little legs, and she shuffled behind him still carrying her bags, not letting him more than a meter away.
Poor Toby, and bless her ^^

What added to my already rich experience of the trip was walking back through the market place. I mean, I've done it a thousand times before, but I never noticed the sign outside the fish stall. Maybe it's because I hate it so much. I hate the way it looks, just a little white trailer with ice and dead sea animals hanging all over the place, and the smell. It would be very hard to find something worse, or even comparable to the way that stall smells. Anyway, for some reason, I paid closer attention to the sign than normal.

It was white with a list of prices and offers, and then their little logo at the bottom. If I hadn't been in such a state of hilarity I may have thought to take a picture, I'm sure it's more funny visually. It says at the bottom, "Ideel fish", except the 'l' is drawn out of an actual eel. And it's funny because it says, 'eel', instead of 'eal' (just in case you didn't get that...)

After having recovered from that, I returned to school for my final French lesson, which consisted of playing Boules, and eating cake and chocolate crepes. Even after what amounted to a fairly severe degree of cheating and plotting, Frenchy's team won. Which I think is unfair, he's French, which means he practically invented that game and therefore has an unfair advantage over everyone else.
We even went back to old times before the lesson began, by turning all the lights in the classroom off, closing all the blinds, and hiding. Inventively, I chose not to go under any tables, but on the window sill behind the blind. It was good because everyone could see me, except the teacher. I waved and vaguely explained myself to passers by looking in, although you'd be surprised at how few people actually notice.

"What are you doing?"
"But everyone can see you."
"No, everyone can see me excpet Mrs Ash. And that's what counts."
"Fair enough."

She came in and sighed as she realised what we were all doing, but somehow failed to notice the snorts of giggles coming from by the window. It's really weird hearing people talk about you as if you're not there, and eventually I was unveiled, and shown a website she'd found out specially pour moi xD

It was the webite for The Best Ice Cream Shop in Nice. Bless her, she wrote down the address and handed it to me, with the strict homework of going there and trying it, every day, and then reporting back after summer.
What a babe.

Work was incredibly average, and then I took the fam out for a treat.
Yep, I drove us all to Asda. The alarm went off as I strolled out the door, so I came back and waited while a security woman tried in vain to get the grey tag off of the box, but in the end gave up and told us to just walk out and she would ignore the alarm. So I was made to stay ten paces ahead, to save everyone else the embarrassment, and just so happened to casually walk out into the car park where there were two police cars, and a ringing alarm behind me.
I thought that was quite efficient of them, maybe they've finally developed those crime detecting clone things like in that film. (My specificity levels are quite high at the moment, in case you hadn't noticed.)

And so I finished the evening round a friends house, facebooking, guinea-pig cuddling, and general criticising of the the world around us-ing, like the good old times.

Oh, and I wore this top, which is amazing.
I have no idea why anyone would design/make/even think of a design like that, but I love it.

Wednesday, July 13

My brief Arrival and Departure from Chavhood

This week has been so weird, I was released from my last lesson a little early yesterday and so arrived in town 15 minutes before I needed to be there. I bought some food and wandered along, stopping outside that odd little Christmas decorations shop to use the reflection in the window as a mirror as I tied my hair back. It was closed, but it was fairly busy on the pavement as people stepped around me. I refused to feel embarrassed though because everyone looks at their reflections in windows, just discreetly. And I'd rather be caught very obviously using it as a mirror than trying to hide it.

I continued along, glancing in Ottomans on the way. And guess what, my friend was there! We had a slightly awkward conversation before he offered me my habitual lollipop which I saved in my bag for after work.
I finished 20 minutes early and walked away with the lolly pensively in my mouth, wondering how to spend the rest of my evening. I didn't have a lesson until 11.20 today so I didn't need a particularly early night, and I have made a few more friends over these last few expeditions so socialising has become a real possibility.

After a few texts I arranged a soireé and wandered back up to the Milldown with a chavvy looking bottle of bright blue WKD, and watched the sun set whilst greeting the dog walkers going past. After a while we went back to Barry's house, and I actually met Barry!
His two dogs came running over to greet me as I entered the smoky, dank room. Tyson, a huge, slender dog rested his head in my hands and looked up at me, while the little black staffy jumped up at my legs excitedly vying for some attention too. Barry was sat in the corner, facing the computer screen occasionally grunting, and didn't look around on hearing me enter. He was waiting until having secured a 'base' or something on his game, and then turned and introduced himself. He was a welcoming guy, and as it turns out is one of those 'match-making' people.

As the evening progressed I became more comfortable and sociable, and ended up hearing his life story, being shown family photos and even the bible after discussing the origins of my name. Towards the end of my stay, a large, broken dragon statue sat on a shelf caught my eye. I gasped in amazement and walked over, stroking the scales and nattering about how amazing it was whilst being largely ignored. I vaguely remember some kind of lecture about what a certain part of a computer does as I sat cuddled on the sofa next to Tyson (who can open doors by himself!)

Eventually I left, to go and meet Internet Person Number 3. I'd been drinking a lot of sugar based drinks, and unfortunately forgot to go to the loo again before leaving. I paced around the car park and then stumbled down the road to find a chavvy, average looking guy coming towards me, who greeted me with, "Well someone's pissed."
We wandered round for a while, and I ripped down his every attempt of trying to appear hard and manly, picking out his every fault in these heroic tales and other such nonsense. It's so much easier to be openly critical of people after a slight intoxication. He didn't seem to be too phased by it though, and eventually I got home at a reasonable half 1.

And I'm not gunna lie, I haven't had such a bad nights sleep/morning/eating pattern the next day for a very long time. Apparently I moodily told my mother to go away at about half 2 as she came to check I was in, which was my glorious sub-conscious at work, as I have no recollection of this dismissal. I awoke at 5 in the morning, and felt like a travel sick puppy that had been dragged through customs, searched, drugged, re-awakened, placed on a ferry, shipped 1 million miles away, and flown back on a wobbly little bi-plane whilst being force fed its most abhorred food stuffs.

I spent most of the morning drifting in and out of consciousness, vowing to myself at various intervals that I'd never drink again. I tried curing myself when I first arose, with a slice of marmite toast. However, I couldn't bring myself to consume the vile brown product that I had created, and ended up giving it to the dog.

I felt ill all day, skipped sports day and agreed by text to meet up again with this third internet bystander. The issue in hand was that I needed to shake him off somehow, so I came up with a fool-proof plan:

  • Turn up looking hung-over and sick. (Not really a problem.)
  • Wear weird clothes. (Also not requiring much effort.)
  • Go barefoot (Didn't wear shoes to school so no change made.)
  • Don't be giggly and chatty (Refer to first point.)
He seemed suitably aware of my efforts, telling me I looked, 'tired', asking me why I was wearing pyjamas, and questioning my lack of foot wear, complaining that he didn't like being stared at. I listened to his tales of hard core chav fights and how he seems to have won every single one as we walked around twice through Blandford.
I'm not a total bitch though, he is actually a nice guy and some of the things he has to say are quite interesting.
Now I feel better :)

But yeah, although it seemed to be working he actually invited me out again on Friday, offering me the choice of Tower Park or drinks. Which was quite sweet, but I needed a final cut off line. This is where friends come in useful. After being leapt on, having my phone stolen and texts written out for me, grass thrown into my hair and being refused the right to even out one little 'x' at the end of the rejection, it was over. I soon received a stunning response, further backing my point, "I ain't no player".
It feels so good to have my lonesome inbox back xD (never thought I'd say that.)

My culinary skills have also been put to the test today. I was phoned and instructed to make a special type of rice pudding, with raisins. I scrawled down the instructions, and heaved myself down the stairs to make a start on what seemed like an impossible task.
The first problem I encountered was that I couldn't find any rice. I stared blankly in my line of vision before giving up and reaching instead for a bag of cous cous which read, "A great alternative to rice." So I added the other ingredients, then remembered the raisins.

We didn't have any.

There was a box of mixed nuts, that happened to have raisins in, so I picked them out one by one and began plopping them in.
Obviously, it was at this point that I found the rice. So I got a sieve, and sieved out all the cous cous, and dumped it in the sink. I got out a fresh pan, and began pulling at the top of the plastic package to open it. The bag burst open and split down the sides, covering the surface, floor, and pizza I was also about to cook. Like a true Brit I kept calm(ish) and carried on, ignoring the spilt rice and putting some in the pan and the pizza in the oven.

It actually turned out okay, there were a few peanut shells in the slightly under-cooked rice pudding, Jim almost broke his teeth on the clumps of hard rice he found in his pizza and the kitchen was left in an unholy mess. Other than that, I could probably be a chef. Also, I played the "I'm ill" card to get me out of cleaning up.

So it's all pretty successful I think. 3 days till Nice! Only downside is I hate packing :/

Monday, July 11

Men and Things

1 day down, 4 to go, and I'm already dying. School has become like the food technology exam last year. Food technology had been grindingly boring, I made the same dish 5 times with a slight difference each time, and was sick of it. To this day I have not cooked, eaten, or even looked at potato gnocchi since then. I was, despite my total lack of interest, enthusiasm, and motivation, on target for an A, and to be honest I really wasn't worried about it. How hard can an exam about cooking be, right?

So anyway, I had 16 exams last year, and cooking was the last one. 2 hours long, hot outside, and the prospect of a summer of freedom when finished proved to be too much for me to take it seriously. I flicked through the pages and pages of questions, listlessly playing with my empty Tropicana bottle. The label proved to be more interesting reading material than the exam paper, and I ended up designing a fish pie with a fruity orange and passion fruit topping before drawing all over the back to use up the rest of the time.

And that's what school is like at the moment. I just don't have the patience or energy, so when I was set the homework of writing an entire psychology report, I wasn't best pleased. At first, I actually put a slither of energy in. I got about a page into it before giving up and going to bed, meaning this morning I had to compensate for it. The page long discussion had reached two paragraphs, and I had 10 minutes left. I got annoyed and truly believe she doesn't actually read the things anyway, so I typed into google 'Tynchy Stryder', and copied and pasted the whole of 'Stryderman' into the middle of it, to bulk it out a bit.
Actually, it wasn't an entirely random choice. Songs like this I often find just fill the verses up with words in any order, so long as it rhymes and has enough syllables. So for the same purpose of needing words, I put it in my report.
"The data collected is fairly valid, because the evidence gathered is from a primary source when the case was being investigated. She's like oh there's Stryderman, top east London writer man, if anyone can then Stryder can, got her caught on the web like spiderman."

So I handed that in with a yawn and wandered off. In every other lesson I just sit there staring, and thinking about how I can't wait to be in Nice already. There will be sun, French people, and a beach. What more could you possibly want? Okay, maybe fewer French people but that's something I can live with.
My mother walked into my room earlier as I was sorting things out to bring with me, and closed the door behind her. This in itself is a bad sign, of some kind of 'talk' or piece of 'advice'. I stopped and looked up suspiciously, as she stood there holding a pile of sheets with an apprehensive expression.

"Mimah... When you go to France, you will be careful, won't you?"
"Yessss, I'll be careful. It's not like there'll be psychopath murderers everywhere, it's a tourist destination."
"Well... I mean..."
"You know... Men and things."

I can't even remember what I said after that. All I know is that the conversation came to an abrupt halt and I got on with whatever it was that I was doing before. I'll have to make sure I remember, while I'm there, to be careful of these 'men and things'.

Oh, and happy Ant Day everyone. Today is the day that all the ants grow wings and swarm all over the place, getting in your hair, face, clothes, in your bra etc. Very embarrassing to walk down the street, screaming and squirming every 2 seconds. I'm still paranoid I have one on me, in need of a long shower to cure it I think...
What's even the point of them having wings?!

*And just in case you were wondering, I actually got a B for that food exam. Some examiners obviously have adventurous taste.

Sunday, July 10

Secretly... I Would ;)

I think I'm starting to get a Zimbabwean accent from my bosses. I don't know if it's just me, but my accent does change if I hear someone who has a different accent talk for a long time. It happened once before in science when I had the American teacher, I said something and really surprised myself because it came out in an American accent, my ears didn't even recognise it as me.

People always get my bosses accent wrong. They come in with guesses like Australia, New Zealand, and most commonly South Africa. They have actually had very interesting lives, so when a woman came in and bought some carrots whilst carrying a bag which contained a tortoise called Toby, it dragged up some fond memories of the farms and pets they used to have. The next two hours were filled with her basically telling me all about it, with the occasional interruption. One of these interruptions was me being asked if we needed any more lemons out, and I replied, "I'll just go and check outside."
But the way I said 'side' came out exactly the way she says it, I don't think she noticed but I did a quick double take as I walked outside, repeating it in my head. I don't know how to write what it sounds like but it's kind of like a curvy 'aa' sound instead of an 'eye' sound.

After re-stocking the lemons, there was a sudden influx of customers, and for some reason loads of people wanted the tops cut off their bunches of carrots, more than normal. I always use the little knife I keep in my apron, ever since What Happened.

I used to just grab the leafy tops and twist them so they all broke off with one satisfying crunch, until one day. A normal looking old man came in, and wanted the tops off. So I grabbed them and tore them off in the normal fashion, to which he laughed out loud at and said, "I wouldn't like to be your boyfriend!" A few other people looked around, smirking, and I just tried to ignore it and carry on.
As he was paying he leaned in closer over the till and said in a hushed tone, "Actually, I would, but don't tell anyone ;)"

Yep, it was creepy enough to justify a winky face.

The evening was much better than any evening I've had for a while. I was picked up from work and I drove to Dorchester and back, like me and Marcus used to do in the good old days. Then I was preparing for a night involving a bike ride, blog post, shower and sleep. As it happens, very few of these actually occurred.

We went out later that night in a group of three, which rapidly grew to 5. Town was actually quite lively, there were couples and groups of people everywhere, and a fight broke out on the other side of the pavement, which I tried (and failed) to not stare at. The police came down and sorted it out in the end, with two riot vans. When I say 'fight', I mean a largely verbal argument between a man and woman.
Ah well, I guess they go by the saying 'prepare for the worst, hope for the best.' Which coincidentally is what my father told me to do when driving :L

So the evening progressed to us just chilling in an alley way out of the police's sight, drinking and chattering. Seriously, the term Blanny has never been more personified than at that moment, I just needed to replace my bright pink tights and parrot-patterned shorts with a pair of trakkies. It was great, we wandered around a bit and I even tried some beer, which I have up to yesterday abhorred.
I was later escorted home, moaning and whinging about wanting to stay out, and laughing hysterically to the extent that I almost made myself sick. I remained home for an adequate amount of time to convince my parents I was fine and going to bed, before slipping on the dogs lead (because he hates me going out without him at night) and sneaking out the door to meet up with a few others at the end of the road.

It was kind of cold but we kept up a good pace, only having to stop whenever the dog wanted to wee on a lamp, or Felix's house. We came to stop on a bench up on the Milldown, listening to music and I just shared whatever other people were drinking because I was in one of those 'don't want my own drink' moods. It was good fun, and we moved on again an hour or so later after seeing some rabbit poachers starting to search the field, which was scary (for me.)

At first it was just a dim, circular light in the distance, occasionally dipping out and then coming back again. I watched intently, and it started moving forwards. Then a bigger, more powerful, white one appeared from what I guessed to be the car park, and began to sweep the field, lighting it up in the pitch blackness that we were on the edge of.
Next, there was a pounding of running feet right in front of us from left to right, which is absolutely terrifying if you can't see more than a metre ahead of you, and have no idea what it is. It could have been a fox, it could have been a flock of rabbits. Either way, Jess was going mental and barking, which I thought would only greatly annoy the hunters, so we rapidly left, stumbling over roots and the uneven path.

We came to stop away from the field, on a pavement amongst a quiet bunch of houses. I stopped drinking because I could feel my bladder becoming ever more incontinent, but finally had to admit defeat and go to the only toilet available (excluding all the bushes.) I walked through the door into 'Barry's' house (I have no idea who he is but apparently he was passed out on the floor somewhere), and into the loo.

There was a pile of shoes at one side of the closet-sized room, and the floor was covered in ominous brown stains. The sink looked as though it would fall off any minute, the rust was caked around the taps and plug hole. I tentatively locked the door, and when I turned around was faced with a crudely written poster blu-tacked to the peeling wall. It read something along the lines of:
Kindly do not use the hand towel for wiping your arse. If you do I will make you come back here and suck the sh*t out of it. Barry.

So I quickly finished and washed my hands without drying them, and left before actually coming into contact with any of the other inhabitants. I went home a little after that, and crept back through the door at 3am, silently hoping I wouldn't wake anyone up as I actually used the front door.
Everyone else was fast asleep, so I just got changed, crunched a multi-vitamin to prevent a hanging in the morning, and crawled into bed with my dog and phone lying loyally beside me.

I had an awesome lie-in, and a refreshing breakfast and a large drink of water at midday. Then I drove to Barford Farm with Jim and a load of his friends, confirming my desire to never have children. Babies can be cute, but children? No. Just no.

Friday, July 8

Six and a Half

Yesterday I went bird watching.

And actually, it is more fun and less nerdy than is popularly believed, at least it is if you go with people you like. It was for a biology trip, and I thought I might as well go because it wasn't that expensive and went from 7-11pm, so it would save me from facebooking all evening. I got back from school and had even written 'night jar' on my hand so I would remember to turn up at the school again on time, and decided to have a quick power nap.
I dozed for a while and then eventually returned to consciousness x amount of time later. I'd kept my phone in my hand because I'm just protective like that and when I slid up the screen the time showed 6.59pm. 1 minute to get ready and go to the school.

I leapt up despite the cardboardy, acidy way I felt that is inevitable after a nap, and dashed for the mirror. I pulled the messy strands of hair down a little flatter and rubbed off the smears of black under each eye, before shoving my phone and a key into a bag and leaving. I didn't even bring my vaseline!

I was so efficient I was less than fashionably late, and arrived at 7 past. Quickest get ready and arrive time ever.
Once there we were introduced to two guides, and it turned out miss Reed had followed us there too, even more pregnant than ever. The guides soon became the centre of attention, as I judged their style, physical appearance, way of speaking, and body language. Following the judgement we named them Hippie and Mr Brown, Hippie because his teeth looked like he cleaned them in a river and was wearing a floral shirt, and Mr Brown because he was dressed entirely in brown, from flat cap to socks and shoes.

They were a charismatic pair, Browny would take off his hat and then flop it back on again whenever he met someone, and both of them had that kind of beard which just says 'I like nature'. He then began to try and attract a mate by waving two white handkerchiefs around in the air, which impressively pulled in a few night jars. They made a really weird whirring noise and flew really close to us, which was pretty cool.
We also saw a whole load of deer, even an albino one, and Browny said that when they do that thing where they jump on all four legs it's called 'pronking'. Much to his amusement I almost immediately forgot the word and referred to it as 'poncing', but really I think both fit the purpose.
I wish I could pronk :(
I was kind of glad when we turned around to head back, and climbed into the minibus with relief. People were being dropped off at home as it was quite late, and I just thought it would be easier to get out near the end of my road and walk the rest of the way, but Mrs Moore bless her is so protective. She drove as close as possible to everyone's house, and when she saw me walking actually considered getting out and escorting me to the door. Luckily, after being reassured that my mum's mobile was on, she let me walk the 30 metre journey alone in the dark.

I'd been kind of worn out all day, there was a charity day in which I had been forced to take part and sell cakes, which actually wasn't so bad as I thought, but still, it was like 3 hours of unpaid work. We were all meant to stay and listen to the 'gig' 5th lesson as well, but by the time our little group arrived with Bailey the entire hall was crammed and stuffy with the whole of the school inside, and there was the deafeningly loud music of a year 9/10, over-excited 'cool' band playing. So we lingered by the door for a while behind Miss Bailey, looking for an excuse not to go in.
Once she'd turned her back we just ran for it, and spent the afternoon quite pleasantly sunbathing on a grassy bank just out of sight. The only teacher to question us was a newbie, and after realising we were 6th formers said, "Right, I'll leave you to it then..." Trust win xD

Today was really quite boring compared to that. I went to the doctors again and waited for ages to be called in. She was half an hour late in the end, and I mean really, there is a limit to how long you can play 'Guess the Illness' for with the other people waiting. One interesting thing though is Alex's secret which was passed around the trusted few over lunch. Have you worked it out yet?

Wednesday, July 6

Lone Wolf Retail Therapy

So today has been ridiculously epic. I only had one lesson in the morning which I thought I was late for, but it turned out I was actually early. It was history, and bless Harrison, he works so hard on these lessons. We were doing role plays, which at first made me groan and want to give up, but after being fitted out in a costume I soon got into character and became Jean-Luc, the peasant shoe maker from Alsace.
After showing us how to fold one of those hats, he was really getting into it and showed us how to then turn it in to a boat. I've forgotten how to do that though, but I don't mind because I love the hat so much.

The only non-epic part to my day was after that. We had another university thing which I painfully sat through, reading student blogs on the best cures for hangovers rather than do a personal statement. Towards the end of the lesson I glanced at the screens either side of me. Both had paragraph after paragraph of writing about aspirations and goals, I flicked back to my screen where there was a blank document open, apart from the introduction, "guten abend". Oh well xD

So I ran home, filled my iPod with some more good music, and ran for the bus with money and my debit card in case things got serious. Explorer tickets are just such an exceptionally good idea. I first went to Poole, blocking myself out from everyone else by putting in my earphones. It's funny, my iPod is kind of broken so that when I use earphones only parts of the music comes through. In some songs the voices sound like they're coming through water, or kind of eerie and ghostly. It's quite entertaining, but I'm sure the novelty will wear off. If anyone knows anyone who can fix it, tell me s'il vous plait :)

Almost immediately as I entered the Dolphin Centre, a small salesman started talking to me. He was asking about the films I watched and started talking about the deals on some website or something. I tried my best to stop myself from laughing as what he was saying was going straight in one ear and out the other, and he just stood there at least 2 feet below me, with a serious, intent expression. After a while he said, "So do you think this would benefit you?" and I was just in one of those, "Yeah why not" moods. So I gave him my email address, and then he asked me to verify I was 18. His response to me not being 18 was "crikey", bless him.

So I then moved on to Bournemouth, where I went to H&M and then decided I should probably try and avoid going bankrupt, and head home. Before I did, I wandered around for a while, just enjoying the amount of people (I even saw someone with an afro and properly hyperventilated in front of him) and shops.
It's a wonder how any foreign students ever manage to immerse themselves in English, when they all come here at the same time, blabbering away in German, Polish, Spanish, and Chinese. Maybe that's what it'll be like when I go to France, and I'll actually come back fluent in Dutch or something.

I'd managed to avoid all the leaflet-ey people standing in the street so far, by refusing to make eye contact, but as I came to the town centre I was suddenly called over by a beardy man of an adequate height.

"Hey, beautiful! You look like a friendly person. Can I talk to you?"

What a way to start a conversation :)

"Yeah, sure!"
"Firstly, how old are you?"
"No way, you're way too beautiful to be 17! Are you sure?"
":L Yea I'm sure.."

And so my conversation came to an abrupt halt, as you had to be 21 to sign up for/buy whatever it was he was selling/giving away. So my new friend bid me farewell with a cheery cry, "Stay beautiful!", and I went on with a smile.

I couldn't really lurk around for that long, my bags were weighing me down and acting like a sail in the strong wind that had built up. I needed to turn around and walk back in the opposite direction back to the buses, but I was too embarrassed to just turn around on the spot. So I kept walking until I came across an appropriate shop to go into, browse, come out and walk back down. It took a worrying amount of time before I found a shop fit for the purpose, and I ended up having to go all the way to the top of the hill to a grubby looking Co-op. I casually walked to the end of an aisle, inspected a bag of peanuts, and left.
It was smooth.

I was exhausted on the way home, my head jolted up every time the bus went over a pothole in the road, which stopped me from falling completely asleep.
Altogether, if you need a break, go shopping by yourself for the day and spend a shirt load of money. Some people call it shopping like a loner, personally I prefer the term 'lone wolf retail therapy'. And it works, you get everything exactly your way, which is nice every now and again :D
Yes, I did buy a top with a giant moustache on it...

Tuesday, July 5

Sanguine Days

Of all my inhumane amount of lessons today, the one thing I learnt was never to trust the weather.
Like, ever. I left this morning in an optimistically thin cardie and no umbrella, and returned this evening damp, with flat, frizzy hair and a borrowed umbrella that I got once most of the rain had stopped.

There were visitors in our lessons so we were made to sit in groups and look like we were having discussions and stimulating debates, when really I'm sat there being bored, staring at the clock whilst the others gossip about what happened in the last episode of One Tree Hill. I took a few notes on the video we watched that was also being fast-forwarded every 3 minutes before literally being saved by the bell, screwing all my bits of paper up into my bag and leaving for a quick break.

I really don't know how the topic came up, but we got on to talking about the world's youngest mothers. There's this girl from Peru who had a baby when she was 5! How does that even work?
By the end of the day I had completely run out of energy and motivation, and I had a biology lesson. I kept announcing at intervals that I was hungry, but regrettably turned down the only offer of nourishment that was offered to me- chewing on paper. We were in the computer room which made it doubly boring and once again the school showed off its amazing technology college status.

I was sat there. getting work done and taking it fairly seriously, (well it was serious if you ignore the "I would love to drop biology" title at the top of the page. I only just discovered the strike-out feature on Word, which greatly excited me.)

So anyway, I was just getting into the Zone when someone from the other side of the room suddenly said they could smell burning. There was an odd crackly sound like when you have a fresh bowl of Rice Crispies, and then apparently some smoke came out from behind one of the computers. Luckily, my teacher is a complete hypercondreac, and immediately started phoning technicians and running around to warn people.

She whacked the big emergency red button (yeah we actually have one!) which turned off all the computers and made us all evacuate. Finally, as we stood outside in the corridor, an overweight IT assistant had managed to lever his way out of his adjustable leather chair and puff up the stairs, over to the computer and asked what the problem was. A flushed Mrs Moore explained the problem while he nonchalantly strolled over to it, unplugged it and told us we could come back in.
We went to a different room anyway, just in case it spontaneously combusted or something.

Then at precisely half three, when I was due to walk down to work, it started to tip it down. I took my time before leaving, took a trip to the staff loos, hung around, even phoned home in the hope that someone might be able to drive me down, all to no avail. I didn't even have a scarf!

So I made like a true Brit and walked out like nothing was bothering me. Although things were bothering me. I was rapidly becoming less dry and my hair was adopting a mane-type style. Moreover, my stomach was rumbling at me and I had no food, and due to the rain I was walking at a pace achieved only by those with legs longer than is convenient, which was causing me to be horrifically early.

So I stopped off in Spar, and bought all that my light purse would allow. It was pay day today so I really was down to my last pennies, and ended up getting a ridiculous bar of fruity, oaty stuff that I swear was half made up of air. I dashed across the road and stood in the driveway to Garden World (where I have never seen anyone go) to shelter as I nibbled and waited for the rain to stop.

It didn't.

So I arrived somewhat bedraggled, which didn't really matter because I was packing away in the rain anyway. Then my boss lent me the mystery umbrella to walk home with, even though it had slowed to a drizzle by that time. It's a nice umbrella, it didn't blow inside out at every breath of wind, and is bright red with roses on it. It comes from a time long before my bosses, I remember it from the days of long hours and no heaters. Anyway, I have now adopted it xD

Nothing really all that entertaining happened all day, I kept checking my phone and didn't receive a single text all day. Everyone's out of school having a life, which is highly unjust. On returning home I placed my phone on the desk beside me so I would receive any incoming contact straight away. I had given up all hope when suddenly, my speakers made that glorious Morse code kind of ticking noise and my phone began to buzz on the table. It was a call, intriguing, and an unknown number too, even intriguing-er.

"Okay... Bye."

Whoever it was has sensitive hearing, how could she tell from one word that I was the wrong person? I guess unless she was trying to phone a man. But still, I could have stolen his phone. Or found it. Some people really don't think things through.

Anyway, who needs a phone when you have MSN and facebook. Well, I do actually, but still, people talk to me there a lot, which is nice. I have friends from all over the place, even people who are half French, half Portuguese, and living in Luxembourg (or possibly some other country beginning with L). When I say 'people', it should really be 'person'. I only know one, which is coolio, because if there was more than one of the same person life would be just that little bit more boring.

Monday, July 4

Post Script

I'm not sure how I managed to forget, I think it's just because I posted that late last night/early this morning, depending on how pedantic you are. Anyway, merry independence day! I'm never sure actually whether we're meant to celebrate it or not. I can see how, from an Americans point of view it's probably something they'd be happy about, but for us, it marks the day we lost a massive part of our empire. England used to be so cool.

Also, happy-my-100th-post day. I looked back, and my first post was on the 4th January. It's quite embarrassing looking back that far. Anyways, 100 posts in exactly 6 months is pretty damn accurate, for something that wasn't at all planned. I've ruined it now by making this my 101st, but hey, 101 is a good number. It reminds me of 101 Dalmations, and I love that film.

These are just a couple of my best Facedowns. I'm hoping to get some more soon, Tesco checkout is the ultimate prize. I'm thinking Roz's checkout, see what her reaction is. I bet in all the extensive training they had they weren't prepared for what to do if someone lies on your till xD

Sun, Sea, and Sand

Really, way too much sand. I love my car, but I am not willing to crawl around inside of it hoovering up after everyone else's sandy, disgusting feet have been in it.

I so wish we were on summer holidays right now. I was awoken at a reasonable time this morning and asked if I would drive everyone down to the beach ('everyone' being my family :L), which of course I accepted. It took ages for them to get ready, I wasted as much time as is humanly possible, walked the dog, spied on the neighbours, flicked through chatroulette.

I hate leaving/returning home with the dog now, I always creep around the edge of the road and check to see whether the neighbours are out or not. I don't want to giver her another opportunity to make a snide comment about my beautiful Jesse, dogs chase cats, that is an inevitable fact.
He's so cuteeee!

I apologise for that slight 'I love my dog' digression.

So after about 20 minutes of hanging around I went and sat in the car, with all the doors and the boot wide open, and the radio on loud with the bass turned up. I hoped this might embarrass them enough to rush... I thought wrong. Panicking about suncream and buckets and boats and all these little inessentials, they continued to gather things together and slowly make their way into the Marcusmobile.

Cyclists really are a massive hindrance to drivers. As are motorcyclists and other drivers. If the roads were literally only for cars, and I was the only one with a car, then everything would be so much easier. I'm thinking of attaching a camera to the front of the car so I can catch everyone who speeds. Eg, every motorcyclist in existence.

For a while, it did seem like I was the only car in the road. The sun was shining, the sky was clear and the road stretched away from me out into the horizon in the distance.

Then I checked my wing mirrors.

After having noticed this pile up of traffic behind me, I pressed the accelerator all the way to the floor. The pitch of the engine rose slightly and the speed increased by about 2mph. So instead I just relaxed and enjoyed the view, ignoring the mirrors. Every time we came to a straight, half a dozen cars would zoom past, and I would criticise either their speed or make of car, or if that was all good, make an offensive comment about the driver. That's just how I roll.

It was pretty stress-free, apart from the fact that I had both parents alerting me of every sign and bend in the road, even after informing them several times I do in fact have my own pair of eyes. About half way through the journey I eventually lost patience and told my mother to stop nattering in my ear, so she obliged by instead loudly announcing the bends, signs and speed limits but aiming it at anyone else in the car but me.

Once at the beach, after getting all the 'I'm thankful to be alive', 'Phew we made it' jokes out of the way, we inflated the dinghy and headed out. It was so sunny, I just leaned on the side and squinted through the sun at everyone around us. We'd gone out quite deep and were bobbing up and down in amongst the big sailing boats, with their posh owners sitting on deck sunbathing and drinking champagne. I figured they would probably be jealous of me and my Big Dick, so gave them a wide berth as I floated around.

My family once again demonstrated where I got my weird gene from, as my mum sat there casually with a napkin hanging out the top of her vest, apparently to stop it from blowing away; and my father sat with one of those straw mats resting over his head and down his arms for shade, as he complained about the number of chavs there were in Asda.

On returning home the focus turned to getting out to France in the summer. I last minute booked to go on a French course thingy in Nice, which looks pretty damn awesome but at the same time absolutely terrifying. I have a test to fill out first, which I may or may not have used google translate for...
I have to find my own way through the airports and to some old woman's flat who will feed me for the two weeks or so. I'm hoping all the other people doing it won't be really posh private school kids. Summer schools seem to me to be a fairly private schooly thing. And also I hope they have plenty of internet access xD

Anyway, this test which supposedly only takes half an hour has taken almost 3 hours. Meh, I blame you.

I was intending this summer to be fairly expense free, however it's turned out to be quite the opposite. If any of you happen to have any odd jobs that need doing, washing the car/walking the cat/keeping your grandma company, let me know and I'll do it for a reasonable fee.

Over and out xD

Saturday, July 2

5 Days 1 Post

Well my week has been long and confusing. Monday evening was the worst, I got home and was confronted with an entire evening of I don't know what. I ended up eating twice as much as normal, and exercising twice as much. I actually bought myself a puzzle book from Miles of Value which has a load of crosswords and sudoku's in it to try and replace my internet craving, but that didn't really work. I sat listlessly at my desk most of the evening, staring at what was in the place of my laptop. A French dictionary lay open at the word, 'emulsion' (saying that word just fills me with a certain sense of power), alongside my puzzle book and two Inflatable Boat manuals. One is in Spanish.

However, having outlined already what seems to be a fairly sad existence, it's not all bad. I managed to get invited out somewhere every day of the week, which is a success.

Also, I discovered what a luxury life you all lead. Admittedly I used my iPod to check my blog with and make sure these automatic posts were working, and it was great! I'd come home every day and read a new post from the previous week that I'd completely forgotten about. I did of course read all my followed blogs too, well, some of them anyway, which provided me with a lifeline.

I regained control over my facebook earlier this evening instead of Sunday, and was warmly welcomed back with comments such as:

  • "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!??!?!?!?"
  • "JEMIMAH WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! You are not allowed on the internet."
  • "Oh Jemimah. You've failed. Miserably. Couldn't take it?"
Although, I did return to one fairly winning comment as well. 

"I know you probably don't remember me much, but I've been reading your blog since at least two months back and it made me want to make my own.
I love your blog, dude."

And if you like music/reviews and eventual rants about it by narcissists obsessed with their own opinions- :  :)

So ha, internet win. So many people make a huge deal out of people on the internet and will go to great lengths 'educating' children about internet friendships. Well, really it only insets an unnecessary fear. I've met 2 people in person from the internet and although both turned out to be a little unusual in their own ways, it greatly increased the interestingness of my life in general. 
Anyway, a brief outline to my week:

I was invited down to a pub in the afternoon whilst I was at school. On that particular day I'd chosen to not wear shoes and was desperately avoiding Mrs Moore as I'd told her I'd go and put the pair I'd brought with me on after she moaned at me (I didn't have any with me.) So it was fortunate timing, I was due a lesson with her and couldn't really be bothered to spend my entire lunch walking home, getting shoes, and walking back. So I informed everyone of how I'd suddenly fallen terribly ill, and walked into town. It was a good afternoon, and I arrived home in good time so as to not arouse any suspicion. Then I had the dentist, and got vaguely embarrassed at the reception when the woman asked me what my dentists name was and I had absolutely no clue how to pronounce it.
But would you know how to say "Lakshmi Balasubramanian" by memory?

Tuesday was interesting. I was invited to an 80's dinner party, and wasn't really sure what to wear. After having turned down my mother's offer of a Margaret Thatcher suit, I instead opted for a bright pink and blue playsuit that I got from H&M a while ago. I can't really move in it, but I love it. I tried prawns for the first time, and they're weird. I don't like them because they look like little creatures, like caterpillars or something. I do like them because they do actually taste quite nice, and are enjoyable once you get the idea of a squirmy little sea animal being in your mouth. There was that dance game on Wii as well, which as usual I completely embarrassed myself on. Although, I did manage to come 3rd in one of the games xD

Hhm... Where do I start? I only had one lesson, which was French. We'd all had to write French manifestos to compete with Sarkozi as homework and I got voted in as president. Win! I sat in our section of the common room for a while, before me and a few people set out to meet and have lunch with Willie, a devoted follower of this blog. 
When questioned by Mrs Bailey into our sudden disappearance and return, there was just an awkward exchange of glances, clearing of throats and mumbling until she lost interest and moved on. Skilfully dealt with.
He'd given a bizarre trail of landmarks and clues to reach his house, so we made Jemma drive us round until we thought we'd found it. The four of us (somewhat sheepishly) turned up on his doorstep and were promptly invited out to the garden where we were treated to refreshments. He seemed a little disappointed that Dustin couldn't come. Maybe next time.
We sat out drinking punch and eating hotdogs, garlic bread, and alphabet potatoes whilst discussing motherboards, David Cameron and Micheal Jackson for about an hour, before once again hitting the road and returning to school.

As it happens, I did skip out on that biology trip. I think my teacher's kind of hooked on to the fact that I'm giving up slightly, there was a slight hint of realisation on her face after I explained to her I wasn't going on the trip, the day after I'd skipped the last lesson. She's pregnant though, I'm sure a lot of things are annoying her right now. I finished work at half 8, bought a diet coke and stood waiting for my little red car to pick me up. It has an amazing drinks holder, it took the half empty can of coke without spilling as I drove to Salisbury with no majorly embarrassing mistakes, but I did lose an L plate, which was annoying. I picked up the bro and ignored his screaming and shouts of "I'm scared", whilst lurching around in the back seat exaggeratedly. Later we went out on the Big Dick and floated downstream, took a stealthy loo stop in some posh person's garden (for him, not me, it's not a regular habit, promise) before furiously paddling to get back upstream. I prefer going up first. 
We'd come to a crucial bend in the river and my arms were aching and pains were shooting up and down my back, so when I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket I gladly stopped, stretched my leg out straight on the side of the dinghy and answered. "Hello? Oh hey, yeah I'm good thanks, you?" I tried to blank out the grunts and splashes as he helplessly attempted to keep the boat from falling back, but all to no avail. I hurriedly ended the conversation and we got out soon after, to avoid the swan family that was eyeing us up.

I felt refreshed in the morning, after a ridiculously early night. I'd driven to and from Salisbury twice in one day, and had no internet, which I recommend for early, sleepful nights. I went round Sarah's for a bit before we and Nicky headed out to take photos for her art project. It was pretty fun, she needed reflections of things so we messed around by the river, and then by shop windows. I got a text from my boss asking me to come in early, which was kind of annoying but I need the money, and nerdily actually quite like my job. The doctors had the results for that blood test I had ages ago, but it took me about 5 tries to actually get through to them. After all they only confirmed what I already knew, I'm not quite normal.
I was in an odd mood in the evening, as I was left to provide my own dinner. I ended up walking to Tesco's and buying fish fingers, alphabetti and potato smileys. Because there is nothing that smileys can't cure.   

I dawdled back and sat on a bench in town for ages texting people, because it was warm and I couldn't be bothered to walk anywhere. Oh, and I completely ruined relations with our new(ish) neighbours. The dog chased their cat and reduced it to a growling mess in a hedge, so she got really annoyed with me. To be honest though, who even likes cats? They suck. Get a dog, that's my advice. I might purchase a small puppy and post it through her letterbox when her cat dies, which it probably will quite soon if it's as bad as she made it out to be.