Posted by: britgirl82 | November 28, 2012

Nearly the end of November

Already …. we are a few days away from the beginning of December, shocking times!

So what has BritGirl been up to recently? Well work, the routine of work, life, keeping the flat clean and cooking delicious meals is well and truly underway… lets face it, there are only 4 weeks until that routine stops and the fun and festivity of a trip back to the UK begins!

Last night BritGirl and her boy went to a local restaurant to celebrate the Doctorate of a friend – congratulations to the new Doctor!! It was a lovely evening full of people, food, lots of red wine and general laughter. There was even a quick get together of BritGirl’s fiance and his friends playing guitar, bass and the african drums. Boo hiss though to the bar’s neighbours who complained about the noise the newly formed ‘band’, so they only got to play one song….. one epic version of ‘Wonderwall’.

Britgirl hopes there is more of this to come.

Smiles!

Christmas shopping has also started…. slowly, but still any progress is good, isn’t it?!  BritGirl is looking forward to a Christmas market trip at the weekend… vin chaud, hot sandwiches, lots of pretty lights, lots of gift ideas and generally lots of festive spirit! What could be better?

It’s funny, although BritGirl has definitely got into the swing of life in France, the strange things, the good times, the funny times, the weather, the food, the sunshine, the scary administration, the lack of confidence, the worry about the future…. BritGirl still cannot wait until a holiday at home. It really is the high point. Time to see the friends we don’t see enough, time to spend with the family over a good meal or glass of fizz, time to take in the culture and language that we grew up with … so BritGirl officially has a big ball of excitement in the pit of her stomach for the things that are ahead of her in the next month!

Christmas market fun

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Posted by: britgirl82 | November 6, 2012

Thinking about thirty…

So yes BritGirl last posted that it was nearing the end of the year and that meant, amongst other important things, her big thirtieth birthday! Gulp!

Now BritGirl actually doesn’t feel too scared about this landmark age, lets face it, we are getting old everyday so 30 is not that much different to 29 and 264 days now is it?! But still, it is a biggy – that age of grownupness, not having another big birthday until 40 and that is definitely a serious age and leaving the twenties!

BritGirl remembers being 18 and thinking that 21 would be that golden age, then at 21 BritGirl thought it would be 28, in her naive mind 28 would be the age when you had your own house, a good job, career, family and life… so at 28 had BritGirl achieved some of this? Well, actually, now BritGirl looks back she thinks she might have done pretty good – at 25 she had her own house with her boyfriend, she had a new life in her home and had a job she loved – now BritGirl isn’t sure she would say that this was the best job in the world or even a hugely responsible job, but nevertheless her job in HR in the same international company for 5 years was pretty blooming fantastic!! BritGirl remembers the stress, worry and sometimes difficult things she had to do but this what she had worked for and what she enjoyed – so yes at 25/26 BritGirl had a pretty good run of things.

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Saffron Walden, one of BritGirl’s UK homes

So that then brings us to her dream age of 28 – hmm, at this point, BritGirl was having a crisis of confidence living in France so perhaps wasn’t all that she had hoped it would be -a new home, new city, new language, new country, new job and no longer quite the career girl she had been before.

But now, two years later and fast approaching 30, BritGirl is appreciating all that she has. OK, so no children like nearly all her other friends… but still a pretty fab fiance, an exciting mini adventure in the South of France, a job in a country where she doesn’t speak the language fluently, opportunity to explore and taste new things  – so yes, it has been a pretty epic decade and the twenties have definitely been an adventure. BritGirl can only wonder what her thirties will bring!

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So, to end this post – which although titled ‘thinking about thirty’ has actually been more a thoughtful meander through her twenties, BritGirl is listening to cracking tunes from her twenties, think Westlife, think Anastacia and of course think cheesy music! 🙂

Posted by: britgirl82 | October 30, 2012

BritGirl plans some future celebrations

Well a chill has hit the air here in Bordeaux… yep it seems winter has hit early – still in October and the temperature is closer to zero than ten degrees – this is not what BritGirl likes!!!! Craving summer!!

Ah well, that means the end of the year is fast approaching, always a nice thought!! Plans for Christmas (trips back to Angleterre for BritGirl which is always exciting), its the time of year when you can actually count the number of weeks until the end of the year AND this year for BritGirl it will be her 30th birthday!

Yep indeed, in just over a month BritGirl will reach that milestone… but what to do? Having celebrated two birthdays in Bordeaux already, BritGirl is hoping to mark this year with something slightly different. Every year, BritGirl organises a party for her boyfriend’s birthday with silliness, dancing and far too much alcohol, usually for BritGirl’s annual celebration it is a meal in a nice restaurant and day together – birthdays in December are fairly rubbish!!!

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One full party fridge!

This year, so far, BritGirl has a trip to Paris planned with friends as a start to the celebrations! Yep BritGirl is hoping to celebrate the big 30 with good friends, a trip to the fashion city of the world and one of the most romantic cities (something BritGirl has never quite understood!)… so thats the beginning, but what else? BritGirl is still a bit uncertain what she should be doing on the actual day when she leaves the twenties behind her and moves into being a ‘real’ adult…. Hmmmmm….

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One of BritGirl’s favourite Parisian haunts!

 

 

 

Posted by: britgirl82 | October 25, 2012

My best girls, really are the best.

A weekend in the UK…. done!!!!

What a trip, we seemed to dash around to a million different places less than 76 hours, from Harlow, Rickling Green, Shepshed, Kegworth, Derby, Long Whatton, Stevenage and Luton… phew!!!!

We had a lovely time, saw a lot of important people, ate some good food (always important) and made good progress with wedmin!! We organised some of the decor which was good to get out of the way, we tasted wine with good friends and made our drinking decisions and … most importantly, we ordered dresses for my sisters! Yep our Bridesmaids are sorted in terms of dresses, we now just need to think about shoes, hair etc…. the list could go on for a long time!

It was a nice day, although one sister was poorly sick we still manage to potter around two wedding shops, the high street, we drank fizz and tried on dresses and I think we made a great choice – the dress is elegant, sexy, lovely and just right for both of them!! Not at all like the dresses I previously posted about… although I would still love something as crazy as that!!

We ended up buying their dress from the boutique where I bought my dress from, so this makes it all much easier and less stressful, dress fittings can be in one place without too much travel or organisation!! Especially as I have now realised, I have Christmas and then the hen weekend and then the wedding… yes that is it, 2 trips before the big day!

We now have the invitations to print and prepare and then some musical/administrative tasks before Christmas, but I am feeling quite organised… I hope this feeling is not misplaced!

Last important thing to tell you all is Andy based. To thank my sisters for being so wonderful and possibly in some act of boyfriend rivalry in competition for the best boyfriend award Andy bought both my sisters and my Mum a bunch of flowers when he saw them at the weekend, I know shock horror, who knew that Andy knew florists exist…. well wait a second, these were not just any flowers… take a look…!!!

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Clever or what, a balloon bouquet!

 

Posted by: britgirl82 | October 23, 2012

Autumn Autumn Autumn

Hmmm yes, you read the title, you guessed it, Autumn has arrived in Bordeaux! Although today I am typing from a sunny and warm city (I didn’t even need a coat when I was out today) last week was quite a different city….wet, grey and a little sad.

BritGirl made her annual trip to the shoe shops to buy her new pair of water proof shoes, she is sad to report that the flip flops have most definitely been put away until 2013… the umbrella is now in her handbag instead!

Weather seems to play a big part in city living… remembering back to the UK when BritGirl lived in a village and went everywhere by car, the weather seemed fairly unimportant (lets face it, its not often that warm and gorgeous on that side of the Channel), however, now in Bordeaux BritGirl is a public transport girl with the TBC pass  – she hops on and off the bus and tram with confidence and ease….  even taking a gamble on a different bus line in the hope it will get her to the area of town that she wants!

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One of the last sunny days before the grey skies rolled in!

Now, public transport here is considerably cheaper and better organised than back home in Cambridge but it does still have its downside… standing outside in the rain waiting for a bus which never seems to come, random trams breaking down right when you don’t have time to wait or even walk and of course the joys of having to share your early morning/evening commute with everyone else. BritGirl is somewhat anti-social and does get fed up with people who seem unable to use earphones and therefore make everyone else listen to their (usually bad) music, the smells and sounds of public transport can also sometimes leave it less than desirable  – but this is not all the time and something you just have to grin and bare (BritGirl possibly might be that weird girl in the corner of the tram, looking into the distance with a strange smile on her face…!)

 

Posted by: britgirl82 | October 23, 2012

Travelling around France

So, September saw BritGirl and her fiance travel across France – with a snazzy weekend in Cannes and then a weekend in Perigueux (her fiance then managed a few days in Paris too, but BritGirl didnt quite make that so lets not mention it!).

It was all lovely family times, a weekend on the Cote d’Azur with the family-in-law and a lot of sunshine! It was lovely and hot with a cool sea breeze and  the beautiful shining blue Mediterranean and it’s big ‘jim palaces’ (!). Seriously, the boats were huge and the shops were crazy(diamonds galore)… BritGirl is not sure if she is really a fan of Cannes and it’s eliteness, but she was a fan of the nearby Islands which were more natural by far and just pretty pretty pretty….

The pretty Isle Marguerite

Cannes was a welcome change of scenery and a kind of break with beaches, heat, swimming pools and good meals out – all with nice time spent with the in-laws.

Very quickly afterwards BritGirl found herself in a very different location. After a quick train trip, BritGirl and her fiance found themselves deep in the Dordogne and all the pretty countryside that it has to offer! BritGirl’s parents had hired a gite for the week and BritGirl and her fiance escaped for a few days of croquet, MORE good food, a fizzy weekend with champagne (or cheaper options) every evening, sunshine, swimming and general relaxed being! BritGirl couldn’t have asked for more, it was so peaceful, fun and lots of laughter with the parents and possibly too much good food and drink!

See…. beautiful countryside!

So, phew, after 2 weeks BritGirl had travelled to very different areas of France and spent some very good times with her family in the French sunshine… usually with a glass of French wine in her hand. This is another good part of life in France… the ability to explore the country so easily and even for a weekend to feel like you are on holiday!

Posted by: britgirl82 | October 23, 2012

Summer catch up

Goodness 2012 has not been a good blogging year for BritGirl has it?! Seems like BritGirl came back to the blog early in the year, only to stop half way through… now.. why was that?

Well, BritGirl has been busy making wedding plans (eeeee, exciting times), busy working – lots of teaching, lots of new students and LOTS to learn – it has been a good year for work, BritGirl feels a lot more settled at work and even in France… yes, BritGirl has possibly even become a little French!

Although she reminded everyone quite well how British she was with a lovely tea party to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee earlier in the year. A lovely afternoon was spent sipping Gin and Tonic, Bucks Fizz or even tea whilst nibbling on a sandwich and watching a very wet and dreary flotilla make its way down the River Thames- thankfully we were all in sunny Bordeaux watching on the TV not from the wet and grey banks of London!

Very patriotic!

BritGirl and her now fiance then spent a week back in the UK in June, which led to too much eating, drinking and driving up and down the motorways to visit friends and family!

A trip back home to Cambridge

Otherwise the summer months just saw BritGirl working (August was actually one of her busiest working months, quickly dispelling the myth that ALL of France is on holiday then!) and visiting the beach every now and then…. who could turn down trips to Arcachon, the Dune and even Pays Basque  – ahhh…

Bassin d’Arcachon – of course!

You just can’t beat the summer trips to the beach, park, quais and local countryside – it might have taken BritGirl a while but she is starting to appreciate the French life! 🙂

 

Posted by: britgirl82 | August 28, 2012

May May bring sunshine!

Ahhh May the month when it should feel sunny and warm-  anything better than the horrid damp squib of April!

And Britgirl was in luck, the sun did make an appearance! It has been quite a busy month in total, with work and life but also a nice day out along the river with boats and street art AND most importantly a weekend in the Pays Basque with her man!! So a very excited and very HAPPY post follows!

So sunshine and the river, Britgirl and the boyf spent a happy afternoon along the river, looking at boats, crafts and very cool exhibitions of art (see below). The sun was out and it was blowy – perfect for blowing away the April cobwebs, to not think about work and to make exciting plans for the future – weekends away, trips back to the UK (of course) and the little thing of a wedding!

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Celebrating the river and boats!

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Wooden sculptures along the Garonne

So mid May, Britgirl and her boyfriend planned a getaway – out of the city, out of the usual life and into something nicer, fresher and altogether much needed!! Friday evening in a HOT Bordeaux (temperatures of 31c plus are a little shocking after a wet month!) they set off in their little hire car from the station – a bit frought because they WANTED to get to the destination without spending hours in the car hire office or even hours on the autoroute… but 2 hours later, they ended up down a very dark country road (arguing somewhat about directions, time and distance)… but ah ha, they found their little chalet and were nicely welcomed by the owner – a nice British man called John!

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Cabin No 1 – Chalets du Moulin @ La Bastide Clairence

Our home for the weekend was a lovely (if bijoux) chalet set amongst the Basque country – we arrived in pitch black so there wasn’t much to see, but in the light of day it was beautiful – green fields, trees, cows in the distance, goat bells ringing, a beautiful open air swimming pool and a lovely porch to enjoy it all on. Bliss- for two people who sometimes feel stuck in the city amongst the grey and buildings, there is nothing quite like a breath of fresh air and some countryside!

Britgirl had a FABULOUS weekend, full of different cultures, food, scents and sights – amazing views across the Pyrennees, time in beautiful Basque villages – St Jean Pied de Port, Esplette (of course) and one of the favourites – St Jean de Luz! The problem for Britgirl is now to decide which photos you should see!  Every evening was spend on the chalet porch appreciating the peace, quiet and country air…

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Espelette – home of the Basque pepper.

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St Jean Pied de Port

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The beauty of St Jean de Luz

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Britgirl enjoying the Esplette prettiness

So there are not many more words needed, Britgirl loved her weekend in Pays Basque and is currently planning how best to do it all again – the countryside, the amazing food, the peace and quiet and the quality time with her boyfriend out of the usual routine/hum drum of la vie!

Posted by: britgirl82 | August 28, 2012

April became a washout!

Britgirl may have returned to sunny and warm times in Bordeaux but it was not to last! For 4 weeks it rained and there is something about Bordeaux rain that makes it different to good ol’Blighty rain – maybe its the black, rolling clouds? The thunder and lightening which is fairly common? Or maybe just the sheets of rain pelting down and drowning you within seconds? Either way, April felt like a fairly depressing month all because of the weather!

Thankfully work was busy and Britgirl has been dashing from one corner of Bordeaux to another talking English. She has now become fairly good at navigating the “transport en commune” – from a bus to a tram and then back again – although it has to be said, in a fairly soggy April she has been missing life with a car – waiting for a bus with a brolly isn’t quite the same as nipping into a car nice and dry!!

So from a dull, rainy Bordeaux Britgirl thought about her wedding and even sent save the dates out – that is definitely something to cheer up a grey sky!

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Sunnier times!

 

Posted by: britgirl82 | April 4, 2012

April… already!

Wow…April 2012 has come around quickly.. this means it is nearly a year until BritGirl gets married – crazy stuff!!

But meanwhile in reality – what has happened..  BritGirl had her first UK trip of 2012 last week which was lovely; managed to see the parents, parents in law, brother and girlfriend as well as a very good friend in the Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant in Covent Garden, London no less!!! Was lovely seeing friends and family (as always) and even nicer that the sun shone and Jamie Oliver provided a delicious meal… and fairly hunky waiter too!!

Eastbourne seafront in the sunshine!

Eastbourne seafront in the sunshine!

A day in London with the sun was fab, as ever BritGirl loved wandering around, taking photos, watching the world go by and thinking that London really is a fab city…. not sure it is a place BritGirl could live, but definitely somewhere she could spend more time… especially in the sunshine!!

BritGirl's London skyline

Back to Bordeaux where a sunny weekend awaited BritGirl – perfect!! A lazy Saturday was spent in the park with a picnic and good magazine, then Sunday saw an epic Spring clean in BritGirl’s apartment, way over due but a good feeling afterwards – Sunday was finished with an impromptu bottle of wine in the park with friends…. what weekend could be better?!!?

Unfortunately, it wasnt too last, the cloud and cold have come back – not in the extremes of the snow seen in Bordeaux earlier this year, but still – from 25c to 13c in a few days is a little unnecessary – BritGirl is now hoping for a sunny Easter weekend to enjoy more good times outside… and maybe even some Easter Eggs?!!?

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