Top Social

Image Slider

DAYTRIPPING IN AVIGNON: CHARMING STREETS & PONT D'AVIGNON

27 Apr 2015

Yes, that's right. I have finally taken myself off on another day trip around Southern France! This time, myself and Anna hopped on a train to Avignon, Provence, for a potter around the streets, a look at the Pont d'Avignon, and a visit to the Palais des Papes and the park. Provence is probably my favourite region in France, for obvious reasons including the stunning scenery and the holiday feel I get whenever I go there. I actually went on a short weekend visit to the beautiful Vaison la Romaine back in October with my flatmate, Rowan, and I cannot wait to go there again in a few weeks.

Now I'm not going to lie, but I think that I might quite possibly almost love the charm of this city as much as I love Montpellier. Almost. It's quite a bit smaller as a city in general, but the centre seems just as bustling and adorable as the historical centre here. 


Where Have I Been? - An Update From France

23 Apr 2015


It's been a busy few weeks, and unfortunately that has meant I haven't managed to write any posts. I'm sorry! I now only have six and a half weeks left of my year abroad and I am seriously trying to throw myself into everything I do/can do in an attempt to not waste my last few weeks and make the most of things. 

The majority of last week I spent in and out of the dire campus that is my university (don't go to Uni in France, pals), sat in one and a half and two hour lectures and 'seminars' which I still struggle to understand and which still make me want to hop on a plane straight back to lovely, organised and competent Leeds University. The fact is that no matter how many of these I sit through, I'm just not going to adjust to the length or the way in which they are taught. 

University aside, I've been enjoying myself perhaps too much a lot lately, and the term 'erasmus yolo' (cringe, I know) has been thrown about far too much, but has resulted in days and nights that I just won't be able to experience again in England. Or at least, I won't be able to experience much. Realistically, am I going to regret spending the day when it was 27 degrees at the beach sunbathing, hanging out with friends and scoffing my face with ice cream and churros? No. Am I going to regret spending that day cooped up inside a classroom where a teacher talks at you for hours and I come out having learnt nothing? Absolutely yes. 

Apart from going to uni, beach days and the usual café trips, I have also had an interesting experience with the French health care here. Over the course of a few days half my jaw swelled up, making me look like a hamster on one side of my jaw and causing a lot of agony. After psyching myself up I spent the morning traipsing around multiple dental practices, describing my problem with lots of technical vocab to a lot of people who didn't really care, before finally finding a dental clinic full of lovely people who pushed me to the front of the queue and saw me immediately. 75 euros, a ton of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory pills and painkillers later and I am finally out of pain and my face is (almost) back to normal! A stressful experience to say the least, but I surprised myself at how well I could express myself in French and it has actually given me a bit more confidence in the language. Every cloud has a silver lining!

As a place, I love Montpellier and I love France. Would I live here permanently? No. The answer to that, despite my increasingly positive attitude towards the country, is still no. Why? Because it's still just a bit too weird and stressful for me. I don't think I'll ever feel completely at home, and it still winds me the hell up on a weekly basis. Just one example of this is the fact that I received six different letters from CAF (which is a housing benefit type thing most people can get here in France) within the space of two weeks, each one contradicting another on what I had to send off to them, and how much I'll be getting. They couldn't just send one letter outlining everything clearly without contradicting themselves? Nope. I also had an ant infestation yesterday in my bedroom and that really bugged me (get it? I'm so punny). All in all, it has its positives and its negatives, as do all places.

The thing about the year abroad is that it really is what you make it, and I have no regrets about making it one of (if not the best) experiences of my life so far. The people I've met; the places I've been; the (slightly crazy) nights I've had; the food I've eaten, have all made my time in Montpellier amazing. Sure, it's been stressful. Actually, scrap that; it has been the most stressful experience of my life, but you know what? I'm glad, so damn glad. I've had to push myself out of my comfort zone so, so much more so than before and although I still wouldn't consider myself to be a particularly calm person, I feel a heck of a lot more confident about small things now. 

A part of me is dreading going back to final year at University. I know what's in store and I know that it will involve a lot of incredibly boring and tiresome days at the library and in classes. But this time I know I will be going back to University in September with more motivation, dedication, and appreciation towards my studies. I'm scared that I won't be able to do enough to reach my full potential, but I'm confident now that I will be able to try, and I'm kind of excited about that.

A Family-Free Easter Weekend

8 Apr 2015
The title of this post makes it almost sound like I actually wanted my Easter weekend to be free from any family - which I didn't. I did, however, have a fantastic if not slightly unusual weekend with friends, sunshine, British chocolate and homemade chicken goujons.

Easter Saturday consisted of a very ambitious trip to the beach with my friend Jaz. We saw the glorious sunshine, we made a plan, we hopped on the tram to what we hoped would be a sunny beach, and we hopped off the tram onto what actually turned out to be a very cloudy and windy beach. Never the less, a beach is a beach, and it was still warm and lovely. We ended up on an hour and a half long walk along the sea.

When Mum and Dad visited last weekend they brought a very much appreciated British chocolate feast with them. Fortunately for my flatmate, I am very good at sharing (/don't think even I can handle that much chocolate) and donated half. We managed to save most of it till Good Friday and now, as predicted, Rowan has quite a bit left and I have nothing. Story of my life.

On Easter Sunday Rowan's family popped in for a visit on their way to Provence, I skyped my whole family and my best friend from home, and then went over to Anna's for dinner. Evenings spent with a small group or even just one person, yummy homemade food, dessert and wine are my absolute favourites, especially here in France.


Easter Monday was 19 degrees for Montpellier, so myself and Anna decided to grab a bagel and soak up the sun on the grass by the river. Unfortunately, despite having burned on Saturday due to my lack of suncream, I still hadn't learnt my lesson by Monday and consequently burned half my legs, half my neck and one arm. Yay. Clever me.

All in all I have had a surprisingly lovely Easter Weekend and I hope you all did too. Here's to more sunshine, more happy days and perhaps a little less sunburn...

Watching Lately

2 Apr 2015

I am a sucker for great TV and great movies. I think going to the cinema is one of my favourite pastimes and I absolutely love snuggling up on a big sofa in front of the TV (as do most of us, I expect). Lately I've had quite a lot of spare time and not a lot of commitments, so I've managed to revisit a few old favourites, and start some new shows which are constantly being recommended to me.

Away We Go
- This is such a gentle, light-hearted movie where not much happens, but it's great because not much needs to happen. It's definitely one for those down days when you need a cute, simple 'feel-good' movie.

Kiki's Delivery Service
- I would consider myself to be a big fan of Studio Ghibli movies, but when I look at how many there actually is I really haven't watched that many. My favourite used to be My Neighbour Totoro, but after being told that I would absolutely love Kiki's Delivery Service I finally gave in. It is so, so adorable, and slightly less weird than a lot of his other movies!

How to lose a guy in 10 days
- This has always been in my top ten chick flicks, but I haven't actually watched it in years. So when my flatmate confessed to never having actually seen it (-_-) I sat her down and showed her how great it was. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are a fantastic duo, and the whole movie encompasses a sweet (but not too sweet) romance, along with a fanstatically hilarious storyline. Now she realises where I get a lot of my sayings from..

About Time
- It just makes you happy to be here, ya know. It makes you want to appreciate each day more and find the good in everything. This is also up there with my favourite feel-good movies and it's also adorably funny. And I love the fact that the main male actor isn't unbelievably and stereo-typically attractive, I don't know why and I am all for a beautiful male lead but it's kind of nice, given the nature of this film.

Parks and Recreation
- I love Amy Poehler. The only reason  haven't ordered her book yet is because I'll be back in England in two months and I can't bring back too much. I was completely (and shamefully) unaware of this hilarious comedy despite the fact that it's been around for years, but my sister introduced me to it and now I'm hooked. It's the perfect light, silly comedy which requires no concentration and just seems to get better and better! 

First Dates
- I hate awkwardness and I really, really hate cringey moments. As in I will literally run out of the room when something truly awful and awkward happens on TV and if it's in real life then well... So I thought I wouldn't be able to handle this programme, but it's too funny to miss. I have found myself running out of the room when it gets too embarrassing for the couples but all in all it's a great watch and makes me feel a lot more chilled about dating than I did before!

Raised by Wolves
- A very new, kind of strange, kind of crude but at the same time hilarious comedy from Channel 4. This programme is centered around an unconventional family and it seems to be surprisingly original.

Gossip Girl
- I re-watched every single season of this last semester and I am so not even remotely ashamed. It was almost even better the second time, almost.
Yeah so as you can tell, I like films, I like shows. What're your current favourites? Not that I need anymore to add to my 'To Watch' list...