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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Working Working Always Working

I am on the last 3 weeks of my module 5 placement and as my University has changed their policy from allowing 8 sick days over 3 years to 0 sick days there have been extra shifts to do, as I also have to work at my paid employment as an HCA I have been extremely busy and tired although my lovely mentor I have for this placement has been keeping my spirits up. 

I feel as though I haven't had five minutes to myself and as Kimberly also works a lot it's been difficult to match up schedules. But I did get to go and see Testament of Youth this week at the cinema which was such a good film and a true story. The trailer is here.  

I went to Cinema City in Norwich which is in lovely listed building that's been tastefully modernised, the tickets were cheaper, the food more interesting, the seats were plushy and comfortable and not only that but I met an old school friend working there part time whilst he works on his own films. I really do recommend going to Cinema City, the website is here, you can take wine into the cinema and I didn't see one screaming child the entire time... I didn't see any children actually. There was a nice looking restaurant there too which I'd like to try out in the future. Anyway must dash, off to work... again! 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Chineasy

I thought I'd share with everyone a cool book I got at Christmas called Chineasy. 


That teaches you Chinese characters but with art. 


It teaches you by teaching one character and then building upon that. 


The video explaining it is a lot better to watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=troxvPRmZm8

In other news I finally completed my hateful dissertation, my god if I had to read it through one more time I think I wouldn't have thrown it out. I don't even care if it's good anymore, at least it is done.




Tuesday, 6 January 2015

London Town

It was finally the end of our adventures in Paris and Kimberly and headed towards the Eurostar... just look at this queue. 


Kim packed a her suitcase so large that on the way there she could not physically lift it so I had to cart the damn thing about for her. On the way back she could just about manage it but ended up with a lovely bruised knee (don't feel sorry for her, that's how she learns her lesson to pack lightly). 


As she was flying out the next day we stayed the night in London in a hotel called Malmaison which I thought was just awesome, massive shower and all the free toiletries and stuff were really nice and the brands matched. 


The room had beautiful interesting furniture, free magazines like Marie Claire left out for you to flick through. 


I even wanted to eat the stuff out of the mini bar, I took great delight in playing with the espresso machine and selecting a good apple to eat the next day. Kim was more interested in doing her hair and sorting out her luggage but I know where my priorities lie. 


Then once we'd dumped our bags we set off out to meet my dear friend Nadine at a restaurant she chose in Covent Garden called Maxwells. 


We got tasty food and shared this ginormous cocktail, so yeah that was fun. 


And then Nadine led us to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, I'd never been before so it was nice to have a look round at all the stuff there. 


It was pretty cold there, just to make it feel extra wintery but it was really busy (although maybe not as busy as it is during the day?). 


We found one stall that had a blacksmith who engraved horse shoes with letters and numbers of your choice and so Nadine, who recently got engaged, got one for her fiance. 


We got Crepes too, yum. The next morning at the hotel we didn't have to check out until 12 so we had a lazy morning and monster breakfast. 


Such a big breakfast. 


Really big... 


So that was delicious. Then we had to wait an hour or two so we went and got coffee and played cards (we're so cool). They have a pigeon scaring falcon man that wonders round, see in the hi-vis jacket?


And then it was the train home... wah

Monday, 5 January 2015

Wine & Dine

So as part of my Christmas gift from Kimberly she had organised a wine tasting (thoughtful!), we had wanted to try somewhere like this in London but hadn't gotten round to it time wise. So we popped into Wine by One. 


It was so nice there, the staff especially were lovely - that was the big contrast in France. The customer service there in general is pretty poor but every now and then it was even better than the kind we're used to. People would go out of their way to help us or speak to us in English once they noticed how crappy our French was. At Wine by One they really went the extra mile to be helpful and explain how everything worked. When you first go in you put a small deposit down for a card and put money onto it, we each put 10 euros on our cards and this was enough for us. You then put your card into the machine and choose a wine and whether you want a sample, half a glass or a full glass. The prices for each are shown. 


There were also iPads that told you a bit about each wine which was interesting to look at, they were in French but you could pretty much figure out what they were getting at and pick out names of fruit and things. 


You could also purchase a full bottle of any of the wines to take home with you. We started on the whites, moved to the Rose and then went to the dessert wines. Neither of us enjoy red wine so we skipped that out but they had a large selection, over 100 wines every day that change all the time. 


Some of the wines were really cheap but some where crazy expensive and the staff there were telling us how it was a nice way for people to get to try expensive wines without committing to a bottle which is true. I also thought it was a good place to figure out what you do and don't like wine wise if, like me, you know bugger all about wines. Earlier that day we'd browsed around Paris which was lovely, we'd done Versailles in the morning so we had nothing else on the agenda. We found ourselves walking down a bit of a designer street with shops I didn't dare go in in case we broke something hideously expensive. 


But we soon made it back into the normal shops, I particularly enjoyed this sweet/biscuit shop we found. Mainly because they gave out samples... 


And then we decided to go into a diner type restaurant (because we'd been talking about diners that day for some reason). 


It was surprisingly nice there, I got some old fashioned cloudy lemonade. 


And a tasty burger, I thought it was sweet how in France they couldn't resist making fries a little nicer with some herbs. Bless them, they just want their food to be nice, and it really was. 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Versailles

The day we went to Versailles was pretty wet and windy, we got the train there from Paris and got in using our metro tickets and then... well no one checked them so we got there for free - bonus! 


We had to wait in a really long queue to get in, luckily we were in between two couples with umbrellas so we were shielded from the freezing cold wind. And then in we got... it was very gold. 


It was also very Marie Antoinette, it was restored to her era and it was pretty obvious that people were more interested in her than all the kings who didn't get much of a look in in the souvenirs department. 


The tour led you through a pretty large amount of the palace I thought, and all the well known rooms. It was pretty busy as you can see but no where near as rammed as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre or Disney. 


The ceilings and chandeliers were lovely. 


This is Marie Antoinette's bedroom, outside the gold railing is where she'd go when she was ready for all the ladies to attend her. 


There were a few bedrooms they let you see but without anything in them like hair brushes or clothes or any personal items it was hard to imagine them being used. There were a few portraits of Napoleon thrown in for good measure about the walls. 


I always think Napoleon looks a bit like my dad. Anyways, we stopped by half way for a quick lunch which was nice and then by that time the weather had improved. 


Unfortunately the gardens and the Petit Trianon were closed for the weather. We'd prepaid to see them so we went for a refund and chaos ensued... Perhaps you'd better ask Kim what happened on that matter. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Disneyland & Fondue

On Boxing Day we got up suuuuper early and joined a tour operator's coach because we went to...


Disneyland! Aaaahhhh


I had been to Disneyworld before but my parents took me when I was 3 so I can hardly remember anything, but Kim's been before and has also been on a Disney Cruise randomly enough... I didn't know those existed but there we are. 


It looked lovely, everywhere was really decorated so it felt all Christmassy. 


But other than that it was a lot like any other theme park. 


The queues were just like any other theme park too sadly, even on Boxing Day it was rammed. We did the Buzz Lightyear ride with no line. 


But then it was queue time... next to French people... smoking... in front of the no smoking sign. Ugh. 


After this we could not go anywhere without queueing, rides, food, toilets... everything. 


And as nice as everything looked and all the staff were... 


And the tasty food was... (how many hot dogs did I eat this trip?? Millions)


And the rides were... there is a limit to how much queueing with French people trying to push past you and smoke in your face that I can take. 


Don't get me wrong, we had fun. 


Small World is still my favourite ever. 


But there were definite improvements to be made. And yes yes we could have bought fast passes to every ride, but why should we pay extra to go on a ride we already paid to go on? Ugh! 


There was a Walt Disney Studios Park too that we had a look round. 


And that wasn't as busy so we thought, until we spotted the 170 minute queue for this... err no? 


We did go on a lot of smaller rides though. 


We had booked transport to and from Disney with a tour operator and we got back really late. Luckily a restaurant I found on Tripadvisor let us in without a reservation, Pan Vin Fromage. And we had fondue... oh my god. Literally this was the best meal I've ever had in my life. So so good. 


If I'm ever so ill I need my food fed to me or liquefied or I'm on death row and need a last meal - give me this please.