Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The longest last day ever

Well, it's official, I'm on holiday for 3 weeks and honestly, I don't feel like it, what with preparing for moving day and I'm not doing anything remotely 'holiday like' during these three weeks.  I haven't even had an apero or a beer since Friday.  Oh well.

My last day at work was so eventful that I thought it only right to blog about it (yes, shock horror, Emmy is posting! :op )

My last day started at 5.30am.  I had to meet a group that we had welcomed during July to get them on the bus to the airport for their long haul flight.

I met them at 6am, everyone turned up and returned their apartment keys.  I did the same last year on my last day.  Have you ever been up and functional in a town centre at 6am? You know, I'm surprised how many people are up and about - I met council workers doing the bin round, the usual cafĂ© owners and young student types walking home from a night out - one group of young people even stopped to say hi and wished the group 'bon voyage' back home.

When it was time to go at about 6.20am, everyone thanked me and got on the bus to go.  This is where it all went wrong. One of the group leaders said 'where's my bag'? We looked everywhere, the bus driver got bags out from the storage trunk and nothing.  We realised that the innocent group who wished us 'bon voyage' where not 3 like I remember, but 4.  They had made a diversion and the 4th  member of the group had got on the bus, spoke to the driver casually and on leaving, must have casually picked up the little rucksack of the group leader which was on the front seat of the bus before casually walking off.  Everything was in there - passport, money, cards, everything.

A police car (municipale) passed by and we flagged it down (in fact, one member of the group ran down the road screaming!) and I ran after her to translate.  So, at 6.30am, I was in a police van with 5 police officers, going round the town, looking in the usual places to track the thieves down.  The police national joined us, we rode through the park, down tiny alleys.  We looked everywhere and no luck, we didn't come across anyone meeting the (vague) description I had given them.  I could feel the adrenelin of the police officers - they were pissed they couldn't capture anyone, I just kept thinking how surreal the situation was.

side note: this is the first time I've had to give a description to police officers and I realise it's REALLY hard.  Under the pressure, you realise that you have no idea - I had not taken much notice of the group as I hate with a passion stupid people in France oo try to speek Ingleesh for no reason - it's cringey - so giving the police a description was hard of 3 people that I had seen, and there was in fact 4 of them)

We got back to the bus and the group had been looking in the bins in the local area in the hope of finding the bag, but nothing.

They had to leave as they were now an hour late and they all were going to miss their flight, which was in 4 hours and it takes 1h20 to get to the airport.  On the way to the airport, they rang the Embassy and met the police at the airport to report the theft.  By all miracles of miracles, the victim got on her flight as planned with a pass from the Embassy.  The journey to the airport must have been awful for everyone, I'm so pleased she was able to get the flight like planned - it really would have been 10 times worse otherwise. 

But what's done is done.  I learnt a very valuable lesson - I can't believe someone had the nerve to get on the bus, talk to the bus driver and steal a bag like it was the most natural thing in the world.  Always keep your bag with you - or put valuable things in your pocket not a bag.

The worst thing is that the whole group is now left with the horrible last impression of our town.  I'm so angry and feel so helpless about that.

That day I felt really jumpy if someone was walking behind me and I was looking at everyone really carefully, thinking 'was it him?'. I kept thinking 'Could I have done anything more or differently'? and replaying the scenario in my head.  Horrible feeling.

You know, it really was the longest day ever.  After all this, I went to the office and then had to do a multitude of exhausting tasks in town - I must have walked about 8 miles that day.  I got home 12 hours later, and 3 hours after that I had a swolen knee and ankle.  Just to start my holidays with an extra special bang.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Jolly Good English

In reply to amber's great post about what not to say in English during an interview to a business school, I thought I'd give you my recent experience.

I recently met a french guy at work and when he realised I was British, he started speaking in English. As I usually do in these situations, I continued to speak French, only to realise that his will was much stronger than mine. I gave in and started replying in English. I had asked for some assistance on something, and he came to my office eager to help. Great I thought. He tells me that his girlfriend is british too ah ha ah ha etc etc. I soon realise that this guy is NOT a normal french guy oo speak Ingleesh like ziss.....no, it appears that this dude had taken the ultimate step. He'd swallowed a dictionary circa 1950. He uses 'jolly good' when I ask him to do xyz..... when he agrees with me he says 'quite'. A 'tally-ho'- wasn't too far out of reach. I could not believe him! I thought he was taking the pee pee, but no, he was deadly serious. My (french) colleague saw this guy today and marvelled at his 'wonderful' British accent. Yeah, right. He's never even been to the UK - so where do you think he got his accent?! Another colleague has met his girlfriend and tells me that her British accent is well, normal. My best guess is that he uses Monty Python and Faulty Towers as his only base to learn English.

The next time I bump into him I'm going to see if he can string a 'moreover, indeed, jolly good' together. Dear lord, his girlfriend better sort him out because I've heard he's going to the UK for the first time in a few weeks. I don't fancy his chances in a pub brawl, unless John Cleese is there.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

One week down, one to go

Just over a week ago I decided to make a week long meal plan and do more exercise.....and I have to say that making the meal plan has been a brilliant idea. We've eaten much more healthily, I've actually cooked more and the meals have been good! A week went by quickly though, and finding myself in this week was a shock! I had to start the meal plan all over again, but it's something I guess I'll get used to. It's definitely a great idea. I haven't been able to stick to it totally (friends came over one night, I was exhausted another) but all in all it's worth a little bit of planning and I want to keep it up!

As for the exercise, I have been trying to stick to the 30 day shred, but haven't managed to do it every night (see excuses above) but...

...I have lost almost 2kg in 10 days! (1.8kg) I'm rather pleased!! I don't know if it's the healthy food I've been eating or the exercise, probably both. In any case, I would like to keep it up after I get back from Mexico!! Final 'weigh-in' will be just before I go this weekend, but at least I know I will feel better in my bathing suit!

Shame nothing can be done for my transparent pale British skin. I gave up on that a long time ago! factor 50 suncream will be my best friend during my holiday! A girl can't have everything!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

time for a change

They say a change is as good as a rest, and as I need the latter badly, I thought I'd give a change a shot!

Remember last year, we were meant to go to Mexico to spend a week with our friend and a week on the beach, but the volcano in Iceland ruined our plans like it did for so many other people? Well, we booked to give Mexico another go this year! I'll be spending my birthday on a beach with a cocktail in hand!! yippee! Unfortunately, we're only going for a week this time because we figured the house we're buying needs attending to (more on that another time), so although we're off work for two weeks, we'll go away for only one of them! I'm very excited! Last year I felt like I didn't deserve to spend 2 weeks in a far off land as I wasn't working (i guess I got my comeuppance!) but this year, hell, i deserve it! I've now been working at my job for nearly a year (as a side note, if I had gone to Mexico last year, I may not have been given the chance where I work now) and I really need a rest and some time with my Frenchie.

As a result of upcoming holiday, I've gone into 'oh my god, I'll be wearing a bikini in 2 weeks' mode, and have decided to tweak things in the kitchen and tweak my muscles also. I bought 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels who in the trainer from the Biggest Loser. I browsed the internet for ages looking at all the reviews and success stories and thought I'd give it a try! All the reviews say that you're in pain every day, but you learn to love the burn. Day 1 was yesterday, and although I didn't find it that difficult, only breaking a sweat at the end of the 20 minute workout, boy, today do I feel the burn!!! I really want to stick to it, so after this post has been written, I'm changing into my trainers to do Day 2. Something tells me it won't be as easy as yesterday!!

The other thing that I'm working on, is cooking healthy meals. I am not ashamed to say that I have never liked cooking and will gladly, and regularly do, leave it to my other half to do. Usually we just look what is in the fridge/freezer and then make a quick meal around this. It's very uninspiring and I always feel crappie about the situation. So, today, for the first time, we went to the supermarket with a detailed meal list for the week with corresponding ingredients to buy. Ju was totally miffed because usually I hate shopping, which means that he has full reign on what we get - meaning that we come home with random things that don't go together but are totally yummy of course. I plan to stick to the week's menu (I took ideas from low fat recipes) and see if I am more motivated to cook, if we enjoy our meals more and importantly, if we waste less food. This has been a big problem - we, like many others I imagine, end up throwing lots of things from the fridge away because we didn't get round to eating them before the expiry date, or often, we just totally forgot that we had the items there in the first place.

We'll see if I can keep the motivation up during the working week - I'll be coming home, doing exercise (eek, every day) and then cooking, every night. If that's not change enough, I don't know what is!! Wish me luck!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

moving on up, moving on out!!

I'm back in the UK - it seems like this is the only time I get to blog these days, so now is a good time to update (excuse any qwerty type typos) So, a lot has happened since new year! Our week in the UK over Christmas was great - we didn't have too many problems with the snow despite the ridiculous amount there was on the ground! New Year was spent in France - a big tradition where we eat silly quantities of food with all J's friends. This year was in fancy dress which made it more fun. we got dressed up as pirates, but our friends won with their amazing costumes of 'the incredibles', even the baby got a costume! Every year it's at a different person's house....and maybe, just maybe it'll be at ours next year because.... ...we've just bought a house! We visited about 25 houses in total since the new year, which was exhausting and we found the one at the beginning of February! We signed the compromis at the end of February and now we are in the banks getting a mortgage sorted out. Fingers crossed we'll get the keys mid-April but it will probably be more like mid-May because the mortgage insurance is being slow de chez slow. The house is a semi-detached 3 bedroomed place in the suburbs of the city I live in. I can't wait! There is a lot of work to do and I'm sure I'll be talking about our progress! The best bit is that there is a garden (and it faces south) We promised ourselves that last summer would be our last without a garden and things have held true! This year we will mainly be eating BBQs and soaking up the sun on deck chairs!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Moving on, moving on up

Yes, remember me? Yes, I'm Emmy of Emmygration. I used to blog a lot, but then I decided reading yours was much more fun and so I slinked off into the sunset, urm, I mean Picarde fog.

I haven't forgotten you blog, it's just that I've had other stuff to get on with. I'll have some time on my hands at the end of the week and I promise will do my best to update as I may have a few bits of news!!

Until then, keep posting!

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