A hot and quiet three weeks

I finally made it to Paris after my extended stay in London. We were slightly delayed coming through the Chunnel as more migrants had managed to get inside the the tunnel the night before. I was so glad to be back in France! I helped a woman navigate the metro and then headed to my hostel.
In the next two days I went to the Louvre (twice, since I have my teacher card and it’s free, why not?), the Orangerie and saw Naomi an assistant doing an internship in Paris.

View from one of the Louvre galleries, Paris


I then spent two weeks at a homestay near Guéret. I helped with the garden, the horses, the dogs and keeping the grandma entertained. Also having a look around the area, relaxing, walking, yoga, and sorting out much life admin for the next destinations!

Guéret


I also made a couple of trips into Clermont-Ferrand to pick up mail from the school, my payslip, say goodbye to the office staff and to see my doctor and pharmacist. I also had to put fix a problem with my phone plan, go to the post office, sort out stuff for my insurance claim and send many emails for a conference I’m heading to in Budapest in September. Thanks Jon and Jenna for having me to stay. Not many people are left in the city, it’s summer and it’s pretty hot so most people are heading for the seaside or north to Normandy, just like I’m about to. 

Clermont-Ferrand


More news next time,

Amanda xx

Ball gowns, prosecco and Wimbledon

So finally I’m going to write about my time in Oxford and why I needed a ball gown.I spent four nights in Oxford with Clare and her husband, Alasdair. The main reason to head back was to spend some time relaxing with Clare and secondly to attend a ball. Clare asked me to attend the annual Balliol MCR garden party with her as Alasdair was off at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament. The night began with end of year drinks and dancing at Clare’s college, St Hilda’s. We had to leave the party before the dancing part began but enjoyed plenty of wine, canapés and croquet all in the glorious British sunshine.


Later in the evening we headed along to the garden party. There was plenty more wine, photographers, shisha, several different bands including some kind of band with a tuba, an improv comedy troupe and as I remembered the next day, a giant cake.

The highlight of the evening was the silent disco. A couple hundred people listening to two different channels of music through headphones. Clare and I had fun trying to convince others to change to whatever channel we happened to be on.

Thanks for having me again Clare and Alasdair! 

Tuesday I was heading to Paris by bus… Or was I? The bus had to turn back part way to the Chunnel after protesters shut the tunnel and the ferries were already cancelled due to the strikes. The rest of the week would be a bit chaotic travel wise trying to catch up from the mess on Tuesday and then the French air traffic controllers were on strike for two days later in the week. I decided the only thing to do was to remain in London until I could try again on Saturday.

Hyde Park, London


As they say, grey cloud, silver lining. I got to catch up with one of my best friends, Fiona who now lives in London. Sat in Hyde park enjoying the glorious weather, visited the Imperial War Museum, out to dinner with Jess, the Kyoto garden in Holland Park, Portobello road, saw Magic Mike XXL (in English, I really wasn’t meant to get to France was I?).

Wimbledon


The highlight had to be attending day four of Wimbledon, however. I got lucky in ‘The Queue’ (there wasn’t one), and got a grounds ticket. With that I had access to all the outer courts (and being so early in the tournament there were still heaps of well known players playing on them). I saw games by Caroline Wozniaki, Fabio Fognini, Andreas Seppi and then sat on the hill to watch Brown beat Nadal.

More next time,

Amanda xx