November Rain.

By Guns N’ Roses right? Anyway, how are y’all doing today? I hope everything’s fantastic! Here in Clermont, it’s back to work after Toussaint and back to a routine. *Booooo!*

So lessons have recommenced, and it’s been hard to get back to a routine. I know it was only a week off, but it can really throw you off. In my case, I had forgotten where some rooms were and what time things were at. But apart from that it’s not been too hard to get back to work.

My Polish is coming along nicely, and I feel bardzo dobrze about speaking it. (That’s very good, by the way). Now that my mouth is used to pronouncing words it’s getting easier. In the lesson on Monday we covered verb conjugation, so now I know how to write most verbs in a sentence. For example, Cześć! Jak się masz? Ja mieszkam w Clermont-Ferrand. A ty? In English, this means “Hi! How are you? I live in Clermont-Ferrand. And you?” Of course, you probably wouldn’t say something like that in a real conversation, but I’m happy that I can at least write a full sentence in Polish.

With my French, I feel more and more confident speaking to people. I can’t tell if my accent has improved, because I hate listening to recordings of my voice, but I’ve picked up phrases that can make me sound more fluent when I’m back in the UK. I’ve also surprised myself at how understandable I am after a few drinks, and how I can still understand people. Even in a loud bar with blaring music. I’m taking this as a sign that I’m becoming better at French in general, considering it’s a lot different than perfectly enunciated recordings at GCSE level. To be honest, assuming enough places still actually offer French to study, listening tests should reflect real situations at an earlier stage than it is now. If people can get used to hearing spoken French with background noise and distractions and be able to understand it, it won’t be such a shock coming to France.

Speaking of shock, I surprised myself the other night by cooking something other than spaghetti bolognaise. I made a pot of chicken and rice, and if you don’t know what that is, let me educate you. It’s a delicious creamy chicken sauce with pieces of chicken served on a bed of rice. And it’s even better when made with a dash of white wine added early on. I wish I could find a recipe similar to the one we use at home, but it looks like everyone does it their own way. But trust me, it’s amazing! And it can be made with turkey so after Christmas (or Thanksgiving in America), you can use up any leftover turkey and avoid the plain and simple turkey sandwiches.

I can’t believe that it’ll be a month yesterday until I turn 20. And so that means it’s not that long until Christmas. Where has this year gone? Because it’s not that long until Christmas, I’ll have to start thinking about Christmas shopping. At least I’m living somewhere with a proper shopping centre and a plethora of small businesses to choose from. I never know what to get for anyone, because my siblings already have a lot of stuff, and my parents are difficult to shop for anyway. There are some really good places in Centre Jaude to look round, so it might be easier this year. Last year I had to have all of my shopping done by mid-November so that my grandparents could take everything across to France. But this time around I’ll be taking it all myself so I can leave everything to nearer the time and not have to stress as much. I might also do a ‘haul’ post of what I’ve bought if anyone needs ideas for their shopping (No peeking Mum!).

In the meantime, I’ve kind of been doing a bit of personal shopping. The other week I ordered a Vance Joy album from Amazon, because it was the only one I was missing. It’s called ‘God Loves You When You’re Dancing’, and I would highly recommend. I also bought some more towels (boring) because unfortunately one large and one small towel wasn’t enough, especially on laundry day. I bought some more clothes in Germany, because how could I not have a look round Primark? In a shop called Hema (the one in Clermont), I spotted some airtight mason jars. I had been looking around for something similar for my teabags and sugar because I feel more like an adult if I’m not just using the box. I also purchased an Instax camera, as I’d been after one for a while. I’m all about retro stuff, and I want to have some physical memories of my time abroad, so I’ll hopefully have plenty of group photos stuck to my wall by the end. Now, it might look like I have a shopping addiction (and you’d be right to be honest), but I make myself hold back if I don’t really need or want something. I make sure to buy things that will actually have a purpose and actually be used. Hence the reason I haven’t splashed out on a pair of expensive Bose headphones or a set of wine glasses.

I think that’ll do it for this week’s post. Next week I’ll hopefully have more Polish knowledge, a firmer grasp on British history and not a hangover. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day, whichever continent and time zone you’re in! Do widzenia!