2012: The Roundup
I was sick over New Year, so saw 2012 in with my blankie over my head and a bucket next to my bed ! Sim had his knee reconstruction, so I became nurse and driver. It snowed, a lot, and I learnt how to drive on that slippery white stuff. We ate galette, and celebrated the Chinese New Year. Australia Day came and went with meat pie and Foster’s beer. I went to my first French Cup match (which we lost !), and I finished my first semester at the CIEF with a near perfect score on my A1 diploma.
February was icy and white, with a cold snap that lasted nearly two weeks. The highest average temperature for the whole country was 3° and I experienced my first -14° ! I spent a week with Sim’s brother and his family, and visited the school where Pierrick teaches. Les Enfoirés performed at Lyon. Sim was busy with physiotherapy, we had our 2 year anniversary and I started my second semester at the uni.
March was a bit of a blur ! My course was really difficult, and I spent a lot of time studying (and cracking the sh**s) ! France was getting into election spirit, the weather warmed up, and we looked after Tutcho again. I visited a few international schools on their open days, and celebrated St Patrick’s Day with an English school. The garbage men went on strike, and things got a bit smelly !
April was awesome, because Mum, Dad and Chelsee came to visit (and the garbos went back to work) ! I had two weeks off at Easter and had a blast showing 3/5 of my family around my new home. We visited Beaune, Dijon, Besançon, the Beaujolais region, St Sym, St Etienne, Paris and, of course, Lyon. We went to the football, ate at a bouchon and Brasserie Georges, did a dinner cruise, saw the grand opening of La Confluence and wandered Lyon for hours on end (in the rain) !
The sun came back out in May, except for the long weekend I spent at Hossegor – it rained ! I saw Coeur de Pirate in St Etienne with Sim’s cousin and an Australian friend. I had exams, and finished off B1 with a 16 out of 20. I spent a lovely morning at the préfecture and renewed my titre de séjour, and François Hollande became the new président de la république. And on the 22nd, we welcomed Léo to the world, Pierrick and Nelly’s second child, a (not so) little brother for Evan.
June = summer ! I bought a season ticket at the pool and used it nearly every day, taking advantage of all the kids still being at school. Sim took me to Disneyland and we ran around like kids all day – he even wore Minnie Mouse ears ! We went to a big family picnic and ate ourselves silly, and we danced around the streets of Lyon for the Fête de la Musique. I started a 4 week summer course, because I just couldn’t get enough French grammar…!
I continued and finished my course in July, the sun kept shining, and I went to the Rhône pool most lunchtimes. I made some great new friends, and together we spent a weekend visiting Avignon, Arles and St Remy de Provence down south. We celebrated the 14th with a boozy picnic on the quai. Sim and his cousins organised a weekend for their grandparents at Pierrick and Nelly’s place, and we had a great time visiting Besançon and Rioz, playing pétanque and cricket, and yes, you guessed it – eating !
August oozed along, one long, hot summer day melting into another, and I took off to Italy for a week with Clo. I did some nanna-sitting, as opposed to baby-sitting, with a beautiful old lady named Madame Juliette. Léo sent me an email (what a clever baby !) and asked me to be his godmother, which I accepted ! Lyon had a heat wave, but we were on holidays down south, so missed the worst of it.
September kicked off with another family gathering, this time a weekend in a gite at Chissey lès Macon. Anne-Gaëlle and Raph (Sim’s sister and her boyfriend) announced that they had a bun in the oven. I got back into the swing of studying, after a few weeks of waiting for simple administrative procedures to be carried out (hey, it’s the French way !) and started level B2 at uni.
In October, Sim and I started the process to get PACSed. The weather was still reasonably warm, and I spent a great day tour guiding with Australian friends. We got free tickets to a Europa League match, Lyon v Athletic Bilbao, and watched the Spanish go down to the French 2-1. I started tutoring a couple of French adolescents in conversational English. We spent some quality time with our nephews, I studied hard and La Vie à Lyon turned one !
I had mid-semester exams in November, and pulled through them reasonably well. Sim and I got PACSed, and we had another Aussie friend come to stay. I got another tutoring job, this time with an English boy. The trees turned orange and gold, and the big ferris wheel went up on Place Bellecour. I went to Halle Tony Garnier for the first time, to see The Black Keys.
December arrived, and so did my bro ! We spent a great week together (nowhere near long enough !), and visited Grenoble, Annecy, St Sym, drank kir royals and cider, and ate quenelles, raclette, tartiflette and cervelas. It was the Festival of Lights, and we loved the eskimos ! We saw The Hives at the Transbordeur, and St Etienne go down to Lyon in the Derby. Pierrick ran the SaintéLyon, and I changed my resident status. I had 11 final exams, all in one horrendous week, and got gastro at the end of it ! Christmas came and went, with lots of love and bonheur (and gastro, but not me) ! Now we’re getting ready to head back to Grenoble to welcome 2013 with just a few of our closest friends.
Wishing you all nothing but the best for l’année prochaine !