Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christmas time, going home at last!

Wow, it has been forever since I posted! The only reason for that is simply that nothing interesting has happened to me that's worth blogging about! Yeah my life is THAT exciting, lol. So other than working my butt off, I have had a visit from my mum and my auntie. We went to the Christmas market in Lyon, which is absolutely amazing! I've been to German markets before but this is totally different. There are all sorts of unique things on sale! Funnily enough I didn't buy very much, rather my mum and my auntie bought various presents for me! Among which are a Lyonnaise silk scarf (Lyon is famous for silk) and a silver necklace. I can't wait to get them! I turned 21 yesterday, yay! On Friday I went out for a meal to celebrate, and the lovely Claire Wilson came from Grenoble to see me! After the meal we went to La Fête des Lumières, which is an annual light festival in Lyon. The lights were absolutely stunning! Forget Paris, Lyon is the true City of Lights! The pictures are just a snipped of the fabulous lights!

I can't believe I have already been in Lyon for 4 months. The time has vanished! I am going home on Sunday and I cannot WAIT!!! There are so many things from England that I miss: my mum's roasts, and just my mum's cooking in general (I have no oven here, just a hob and a microwave, so my cooking skills are incredibly limited), having a big house - I get cabin fever really easily in this one room studio! I just miss England! But there are some things about France that I won't miss, for example strikes and annoying receptionists! Being back home will be lovely even though I'll only be there for 2 weeks. I can't wait to spend Christmas with my family! It's gonna be so different this year because it's my first Christmas without my grandparents. We used to have a tradition where my mum and my auntie would alternate hosting Christmas and my grandparents would stay with whoever was hosting. It would be wrong to continue that tradition now that both my nanny and grandpa have passed away. RIP, I miss you every single day. So instead we are going to a restaurant for Christmas dinner with my granny and my other auntie. It will be nice to do something different.
So that's it from me for now!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Toussaint - Nice is nice!

It's amazing how quickly the time is going here, I have already had the Toussaint holiday! That's a week off at the end of October, leading up to All Saints' Day, for those not in the know. Most of my friends went home for this week, but I went to Nice! My dad's cousin Ann Marie arrived in Lyon on the evening of Saturday the 23rd, and I met her at the station. That was a nightmare in itself, because I had no idea which platform she would be coming in at, and Part-Dieu, Lyon's central train station, is busier than New Street! We eventually found each other though, and we went to a cafe by the station. The next morning, I met Ann Marie at her hotel. I foolishly decided to walk, which was a big mistake. I crossed the river and then got incredibly confused and lost! I couldn't phone her because I didn't have any credit on my phone! I eventually found a taxi though. Once we finally met up with each other we walked to the old town. We both loved wandering the cobbled streets and hopping around the cafés! We found the most amazing shop which sells all sorts of funky patterned things, from ashtrays to hairbrushes! We visited the Cathédrale St Jean, which is very impressive both inside and out! We each lit a candle for my granny. We also went up to the basilica at Fourvière, which is a gorgeous white building on a hill. It looks like a castle, and is even more beautiful on the inside! I'm not religious but I always feel moved when I go to pretty churches and cathedrals! That evening we had dinner at a pizza place at Place Bellecour, and for some reason launched into an academic snobfest, because of me being a student at a high ranking university, and her having a degree from one - she has an MA in History from Trinity College, Dublin. We met at Part-Dieu on Monday morning and got on the train to Nice. It took us 4 and a half hours, so I'm glad I decided to book us into first class! We arrived at 3:30 and after checking into our hotel, which Ann Marie had stayed in when she went to Nice 11 years ago, we went out and explored a bit. We found all sorts of restaurants, and a very convenient market store where we bought some white wine and crisps. I had a vocab embarrassment while in this shop: I asked the shopkeeper for a corkscrew, but said the wrong word! I asked for a "tournevis" - which is French for screwdriver! I should have asked for a "tire-bouchon." Curse those second year vocab tests! Thankfully we did manage to ask the man to open the wine for us. We found a lovely Italian restaurant near the hotel, which we went to that night. I had lasagne and Ann Marie had spaghetti bolognaise, which in her words was "bloody amazing!" The next day, we went to the old town. You may have noticed a pattern here: Ann Marie and I both love old towns with cobbled streets, quaint cafes and unique shops! So we did our usual thing of wandering around, looking at the shops and cafe hopping! We found a shop which sells chocolate covered olives! Strange or what? In the afternoon we had a picnic on the beach and watched the planes landing, while trying to guess where they were coming from! It was fun because every plane took a different flight path. Our restaurant of choice on Tuesday evening was a place near a church called L'Abbaye (The Abbey) where I had steak and AM had mussels. She loves them! It was so hot there because there were heat lamps. We were roasting! On Wednesday, we went to Monaco and Monte Carlo. It was the best day trip ever! We saw the famous casino although we didn't go in, and we had drinks in the Café de Paris! We paid €11 for a coffee and a lemonade! I took a coaster from there and it is now blu-tacked to my wall! We also walked on part of the Grand Prix circuit, and went on a boat across the harbour. Then we went on a tour bus and got to see loads more! We visited the Prince's palace, which is one of the most stunning buildings I have ever seen! I wish I could have taken photos in there, but we weren't allowed. After arriving back in Nice we went to yet another restaurant! Ann Marie and I had a very interesting conversation about what I want to do after uni, and when I said to her that one of my options was going into teaching, she pretty much begged me not to waste my skills on a class of 40 odd kids! She told me that she messed up by not making good use of her degree, so she wants me to take time after I graduate to really think about what I want to do. So I promised her there and then that I would live my dream because she didn't get to live hers. The next day, we had planned to go to Galeries Lafayette, but it was closed for stock taking. We both thought this was completely pointless, because stock taking can be done out of hours, there's no need to close the shop to do it! So instead we wandered around some more, and went on a tour bus. I really enjoyed that! We had a very surreal experience while on the bus - we got caught in the middle of a strike! We had heard that there would be a protest from 1:30 to 4:30, and because of this we were stationary for about half an hour! While the bus wasn't moving, a protest van passed us, with 3 people on it and a man speaking through a megaphone telling people to come to the protest. Yet another strange French experience to add to the ones I've already had! We got to see loads on the bus though, including a beautiful Russian church. That was the only church we didn't visit in Nice. We found one called La Chapelle de Sainte Rita, or Saint Rita's Chapel. I had to take a picture of a design in the window, because my granny's name is Rita! Ann Marie suggested that I use this picture to make a Christmas card for her. So that's what I'm going to do! For our last night in Nice we went to an American style steak house. We returned to Lyon on Friday morning, and arrived at 2:00. We had another look around the old town and then went up to see the Opéra and the Hotel de Ville. Ann Marie absolutely loved this - the Hotel de Ville is one of the most impressive buildings in Lyon! We sat in a café outside it and watched the people go by. It sounds weird but I love people watching! There's a fountain in the square which Ann Marie said was like Rome's Trevi Fountain. Amazing :) That night we went back to the pizza place at Bellecour. A perfect end to a perfect week! I always love holidaying with Ann Marie :) On Saturday morning we met at Part Dieu and went to the shopping centre there, which I like to think of as the French Bullring. We had drinks in the cafe at Galeries Lafayette, and then went to some homeware stores to look at the Christmas decorations and other things. After that we went to the cutest café ever, it had all sorts of novelty clocks on the wall, including a digital one which was showing the time in Sydney. Why that was, I have no idea! We got back to Part Dieu in plenty of time, but we were waiting for what seemed like forever for Ann Marie's platform to be shown! There were lots of delays, not only departures but arrivals too! Eventually the platform did show up, and I said goodbye to Ann Marie on the platform. I had the best week ever in Nice, and I would definitely go back!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Finns, fêtes and forgetfulness

It's been a while since I posted, so here's the latest update from Lyon. On Saturday I went to an Irish pub (they are everywhere here! English ones too!) with a bunch of my German friends, and some of my Aussie friends also turned up. The pub was quite good, although I didn't actually drink. It was quite strange hanging out with the Germans, because most of them speak English and French as well as German. One guy even said to me that he didn't know which language to speak to me in! But I did get to practice my German, which will be vital for when I go to Erlangen. On Sunday, I went to a restaurant in the old town called Les Pampres Rouges, to celebrate Miranda's birthday. As well as the girls from Birmingham, Alex's conversation buddy, a lovely girl from Grenoble called Pauline, and a Finnish girl called Hanna, went to the restaurant. I had a delicious salmon and pasta concoction, and then had an ile flottante (floating island) for dessert. Overall a very enjoyable meal. We then wandered up to the Hotel de Ville and got the metro to Croix-Rousse (Lyon's old silk weaving district, and the highest part of the city) and chilled out on a ledge looking at the view. As for the rest of the week, it's been pretty average. Getting better at understanding the lectures, although I haven't made any notes yet because I've been recording lectures. I really need to listen to those recordings! On Tuesday Helen, Alex, Charlotte and I went to Hanna's flat for wine and cheese on her birthday. She lives in the most amazing flat in a really nice student residence! It was actually one of the ones that I looked at when browsing to find a flat. She has the most amazing view, it's really pretty even though it's quite urban. But you can also see the Fourvière (a huge basilica on the top of a hill) and the mock Eiffel Tower next to it. The best part is that she has a balcony! So we sat outside drinking wine and eating cheese until about 9:00. Good times :)

That was all the positive stuff that has happened this week. Now onto something a bit more negative. This morning I had one of my scatterbrained moments: I completely forgot about my English/French translation class, and only realised when Charlotte texted me telling me not to worry if I'm late. I decided not to bother going, but later I was really scared that I wouldn't make it to my 12:00 class on time, because there had been an accident on the tramline, so the line terminated at a stop that was 3 or 4 stops away from uni. I then had to get a replacement bus. Grrrr. And now I will say something that I never thought I would say about Lyonnais public transport: BLOODY PUBLIC TRANSPORT!!!!! Other than that, the week's been good. I need to start researching for my essay for Birmingham, but it would help if I had the slightest clue what I want to write about! The word help springs to mind.....

Sunday, 26 September 2010

My first week of lectures

So here it is. After having finished the intensive language course, I am now an official student at Université Lumière Lyon 2. The welcome week and my first week of lectures were interesting in many ways. We had a meeting with Lyon 2's Erasmus coordinator on the 13th, after which Helen, Miranda, Alex, Charlotte and I went to the campus at Bron (Lyon 2's second campus, which is about 40 minutes on the tram and much bigger and more modern than the campus which is 10 minutes' walk from my flat) to look at timetables and choose courses. I opted for English to French translation, Ancient History, German "civilisation", German to French translation and French to German translation. I was most relieved to find that I have Mondays off, but unfortunately Wednesday was the most brutal day I have ever had in my life. I will never complain about starting at 9:00 in Birmingham ever again. I started lectures at 8, and because all my lectures are at Bron, I had to get up at 6a.m. in order to get the tram on time. Which brings me to another frustrating discovery: the French seem to believe that trams should be crammed full of people until there is not a single square inch of space left. I literally could not move. I then had 5 consecutive lectures - actually I lie, because I got the wrong room for one of them and only realised after half an hour of waiting outside said wrong room. I decided that there wouldn't be much point in going to the right room, so I went to the cafeteria and took a long lunch break. The cafeteria at Bron is very different to that at the campus on the Quais (so called because it is close to the bank of the river Rhône); the Quais cafeteria is quite casual, whereas the Bron cafeteria feels awfully like a school canteen. One of the irritating things about this cafeteria is that the cashiers do not have change, since the idea is to pay for meals using what is known as a carte CUMUL (Carte Universitaire Multiservices). I do have such a card, but putting money on it requires a French bank card, something which as yet I do not have. By the time my day finished at 5:45, I was infinitely glad to return to my flat, and even more glad that I only had one class on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday evening I found myself in a bit of a rut, because I hadn't met anyone new since I finished my language course, had barely spoken any French, and was feeling like I didn't know what I was doing here. That was soon remedied by a very long Skype call to my friend Becky, who is currently in Strasbourg. I love her so much, she really made me feel better.

You may have noticed that I am continually discovering irritating things about France. The sad fact is that although lovely, France (and indeed the French) can be incredibly irritating. I haven't yet received my French bank card, so I had to go to the bank and ask them about it. They told me that I would have to collect it from my local post office because it is my first card. Well why didn't they tell me that in the first place! What is also irritating me is that I am expecting a parcel from home containing my new UK credit card and my British Airways membership card. After it not having arrived at reception, my mum had to phone the post office, and then I had to phone La Poste, who said that I could only get information about my parcel from England, but the post office at home said I could only get information from France. Helpful........not. So now it has been sent back to England and will hopefully arrive at my local post office soon.

As for the rest of the lectures, I have found them fairly good. Lectures here are 1 and 3/4 hours, and I have been struggling to concentrate for that long. Many of my translation classes have been interesting, but confusing at the same time. All I can say is thank goodness I have not discovered a French equivalent of Robert Evans. Those of you who study German will know exactly what I mean. It turns out that I am the only English person in my English-French translation class.  I wonder if this means that people will soon be coming to me with all sorts of questions. So far the only class I have found to be not very interesting is German civilisation, which seems to be a history class. You may think this would be interesting, but I have studied so much German history already, particularly in Landeskunde (I shudder at the memory of this) and Texts in Context. Speaking of, the first thing we have been learning about is Luther and the Reformation. When I discovered this I was struck by a wave of déjà vu, having studied Luther to death in Texts in Context. Yawn.

Anyway, I am probably boring you now, so I will leave you on this somewhat dreary Sunday in Lyon, and I hope that wherever you all are, you are having a more enjoyable time than me.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Withdrawal symptoms.

I have been dreading this day for a long time. The reason takes a bit of explaining: I am a huge fan of Strictly Come Dancing, and today there was a special launch show for the next series. Unfortunately, BBC iPlayer can only be viewed in the UK. So I am sitting in my flat suffering from a bad case of SWS: Strictly Withdrawal Syndrome. I'm sure many of my friends will understand this, and perhaps are suffering from it too. I must find some way of keeping up with Strictly while in France! Maybe YouTube....

In other news, I went to the cinema with Helen, Miranda and Charlotte today, we saw a film called Copains pour Toujours, which is the French title of a film recently released in the UK called Grown Ups. It was quite funny and not too difficult to understand. I also went to Ikea, and bought various things, including a toy mouse. I think perhaps I was inspired to do this by my friend Becca, who bought a white one called Gosig Mus, and even made a Facebook profile for it! Mine is called Fabler Mus (yeah, weird Swedish names, I know!) I may create a profile for it, as Becca has done, but I have no idea how to!

Now for an update on the PRUNE (that's my pre-university language course): I had a bit of a stressy breakdown in class yesterday because I didn't know what to do for an exercise, even though it was quite simple. I was incredibly tired because of the Erasmus party on Thursday night, which by the way was crowded, hot, smelly and some of the people were a bit weird. Overrated I think! As my friend Tess' dad says, fatigue makes cowards of us all. She was very friendly and helped me to calm down, and very nicely walked me back to my flat. We were also set our first major project, 750-1000 words about the necessities and restrictions on the protection of what the French call "patrimoine" - translates roughly as heritage. It's due in on Thursday - yikes!

I will potentially be going to Annecy tomorrow with the PRUNE, as there is a guided tour of the city offered as part of the course. There are limited places though, so fingers crossed. I went to Annecy last summer and loved it, so I'm really hoping to go again. 

Tomorrow afternoon, if I get back from Annecy in time, or even if I end up not going at all, I will be going to "La biennale de la danse" which is an event that occurs every two years in Lyon, where people gather and dance along a street. It should be very exciting!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Presentation, Part-Dieu and a very Englandish day

I was very nervous this morning because today was the day of my first presentation in French, not counting the many tables rondes that I have done in Birmingham. Yesterday we paired up and were given a list of cultural places in Lyon. Each pair chose a place to research and today we all had to give a short presentation on our chosen place. My partner was an American girl called Tess, who incidentally is also the person I have spoken the most French with. We did our presentation on a place called Le Théâtre des Célestins. Overall I think it went well, and this theatre is now on my list of places that I want to visit while in Lyon. After that, my day went downhill by a long way - I got absolutely SOAKED walking back from uni, because I had only gone out in a T-shirt and trousers and taken my umbrella because it was raining when I left. I wasn't expecting it to turn into a torrent! My feet got drenched because I was wearing open shoes, and my bag also got wet. So when I got back I had to take everything out. Great. Just fantastique! It feels like England today! How depressing. I then changed my shoes and put my raincoat on, and Helen and I went to Part-Dieu to meet up with the rest of Birmingham's Lyonnaises. We had a good wander around the shopping centre and traipsed around Carrefour for ages. I finally managed to find a colander. No longer will I have to use a slotted spoon to drain things. HALLELUJAH!!!! And now I am being incredibly sad and watching French and German Disney movies on YouTube. Well, c'est la vie, as they say over here!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Picnic in the park

I can't believe I've been here a week already, and it's my first real weekend in Lyon, since last weekend was spent moving in. Yesterday Helen (the girl who lives in the same residence as me) I went to a big park in the north of Lyon called Le Parc de la Tête d'Or. Incidentally, there were no golden heads anywhere! (Sorry, really bad linguist humour there). It's absolutely huge. It puts Oxford's Uni Parks to shame! Plus, there is an (albeit small) zoo there! H turned into a bit of a child around the animals, which I found very amusing! There were Asian elephants, bears, several types of monkeys, flamingos, pelicans, some sort of crane with a weird crest on its head, and a massive crocodile! Its head was poking out of the door to the indoor enclosure and the rest of it was inside, as if it couldn't be bothered to come out any further! There was a lion enclosure but sadly we couldn't see the lion. We had a lovely picnic there with baguettes that we had bought from Carrefour, as well as crisps and some weird cereal bars that I bought, thinking they'd be similar to Go-Ahead bars, but these were crunchy rather than soft. I have decided that I absolutely adore French children! There was a little boy with his father, and the boy kept saying "oiseau" (French for bird) and pointing at the birds. Too cute! I also discovered H's hatred of pigeons; she referred to them as flying rats. I'm not too keen on them myself. As I sit here in my flat I am wondering what to do today, as this is Europe and EVERYTHING shuts on Sundays. I'm sure I will find something.
Until next time!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

One very exhausting day.

Today was my first official day on my language course at Université Lyon 2. I had 2 hours of lessons this morning and in the afternoon we visited the Institut Lumière, which is a museum about the Lumière brothers, who invented cinema in the 17th century. It was really fascinating and our guide was really good. He had a funny lisp and was really excited about everything, but he was a bit weird because he would pronounce some words by separating every single syllable. I don't know whether he does that to everyone or whether he knew that we weren't French/thought that our French wasn't good enough. What I didn't understand was if this museum was so fascinating then WHY were a certain silvery haired Birmingham professor's lectures on French film so incredibly boring? After the museum visit we all went our separate ways. I went off with some Canadians and a couple of Germans to get a drink and we sat by the Pont de l'Université where there are a couple of skate bowls, to watch some kids on bikes and scooters do tricks. Some of them were doing really cool things! At 5:00 there was a welcome outside the university, where there were French style canapés and macaroons and things. I tried a couple of things with salmon and a weird bread-like thing. The macaroons were lush, and I tried a weird looking jelly/cake type thing. I asked somebody what it was and she said it had rum in it! I thought it tasted a bit boozy! I stuck around for a while, mingling with different people, and then after most people had left, I went to SFR to try to change my phone contract. But they still wouldn't let me change it because I had my bank details on a piece of paper but they wouldn't accept it, they said I had to have a card, which I don't have yet. I sure hope my French bank hurries up and sends it to me!
I am now absolutely shattered and my feet ache, so I will end this post here.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

My first weekend in Lyon

So here I am. Lyon, the gastronomic capital of Europe. We arrived on Thursday evening after an incredibly bumpy flight (our tea was spilling all over the place!) Checked into our hotel and then just chilled out with room service. The next day we had it all to do! First we went to the Orée AJD (which is a refugee centre, we got sent there by the bank people in July. Random I know) to collect the post to do with my French bank account. I had been sent everything I needed except the most important thing: a bank card! So after that we went to La Banque Postale - a massive bank/post office - and put some money into my account. Next we went to SFR to get a French SIM card.That was much more confusing than I thought it would be. I couldn't remember whether I should get a Pay as you Go contract or a monthly one, so I asked for Pay as you Go, but I've already run out of credit and I can't use data. Boo :(

After all that faff, we went back to the hotel, got one of my suitcases, got a taxi to the hall and started to move me in, only to discover that I should have made an appointment. Typical French not telling you things unless you ask! So then we had to sort that out and they wanted ID and all sorts, but we had already given them these things in July. Gah! Eventually we went up to my flat and checked over the inventory. Everything seemed in good order, but the shower head doesn't stay in its bracket and the bathroom tap leaks. Once we had unpacked, we then went to the Carrefour which I thought would be fairly close, but the walk felt like about 6 miles, and when we got there the shop was rubbish! So we bought some sandwiches, got the metro back to the flat, had a bit of a break and then went to Part-Dieu where there is a HUGE shopping centre, 3 floors and nearly as big as the Bullring! The Carrefour there was much better; we managed to get quite a lot of stuff. After that mission we went back to the hotel, chilled out for a bit, ordered room service and watched Valentines Day. Incredibly cheesy, but a great movie! Yesterday it was back to the flat with the other suitcase for even more unpacking and yet another trip to Carrefour. This really is just like shopping for first year all over again. Then the next disaster happened: I was filling up the sink so we could wash up my new cutlery and plates and things, and the tap head just flew off, spraying water everywhere! It went both on and under the floor tiles! I went to reception to explain what happened, I even broke down and started explaining in English! The lady said that she wouldn't be able to call a plumber in until Monday. Once again, typical French, no sense of urgency whatsoever. So she gave us a whole load of towels and we had to mop all the water up and do the washing up in the bathroom. Later on while I was cooking pasta for Mum and I, the electricity tripped out! Just great, another issue. We ended up having to put the sauce that we had made in the microwave. It actually turned out quite well in the end. After dinner Mum helped me put everything away and then went back to the hotel, leaving me to spend my first night in the flat. It sure was weird! It took me ages to get to sleep, and I'm sure I dreamed that I was back in Birmingham at one point!

Today, I discovered the true meaning of the European Sunday. Literally EVERYTHING is shut. I even had to ask a random French girl for the code to get back in the building, because reception is closed, therefore the front door is locked. After we had found that out we got a metro and a tram out to Bron, where Lyon 2's other campus is located. The journey was surprisingly quick and it was nice to get out in the fresh air after having been backwards and forwards to Part-Dieu for two days straight. It being a Sunday the whole campus was shut, but we were at least able to get there and see what it looked like. The building is much more modern than the campus that we saw in July. When we were on the tram on the way back, a man sitting on the other side of the aisle to us started talking to me, just because he had heard us speaking English. He seemed friendly enough but he was very odd and he slurred his words a lot so we had to listen very carefully in order to understand him. The craziest thing was that he thought Mum was my sister! When we got off we found a lovely market at Perrache. Definitely worth a better look. Then we came back to the flat and had lunch and now we are just chilling until Mum needs to go to the airport.
Overall, my first weekend as a Lyonnaise has been full of ups and downs, but very exciting.

Monday, 23 August 2010

3 days to go.

Oh. My. God. Just 3 days to go before I officially become a Lyonnaise! (That's a girl living in Lyon, for those who don't know!) I am getting more and more excited and more and more terrified by the minute. I spent most of today packing, and it is a nightmare. I swear, packing is the creation of the devil! It's all very well having a generous 23 kilo luggage limit on British Airways, but my wardrobe in Lyon is tiny, even smaller than the one I had at Victoria Hall! Oh well, an excuse to go shopping! I will be doing more packing tomorrow, because there are still things to pack but my case already weighs 16 kilos! Oh dear..... The next couple of days will be very busy indeed! We fly from Heathrow on Thursday at 3:55. Crunch time!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

My arrival to the world of blogging

Hi everyone,
I'm new to the blogging world, so I will introduce myself. My name is Megan, I'm studying French and German at Birmingham University and in just about two weeks time I shall be flying to Lyon to begin my year abroad. I am excited but also very very nervous. I foolishly left all the paperwork to the last minute, which led to me getting the biggest earful of my life from my parents, and then several weeks of stressing trying to get all the forms filled in and sent off. I also have to sort out the German paperwork before I go to France, which will make the next two weeks even more stressful. Oh the joys! I think the most difficult part of preparing for Lyon, besides dealing with French bureaucracy, which is the BIGGEST nightmare I have ever had, will be trying to decide what clothes to take. I will be living in a studio flat in a private hall, which means that my wardrobe is absolutely tiny. Not helpful. D-Day, so to speak, is Thursday the 26th of August. 11 days and counting! You may ask, am I scared? That would be the understatement of the century!
Watch this space for news of how my life as a Lyonnaise develops!