Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Back to normal life


So my last week in France was great, we went for a meal at Pauline's house, where myself and Fern tried SNAILS...I have personally decided I won't be ever trying them again.

We went to the beautiful Versailles legs were very very sore afterwards. After visiting the Palace myself, Fern, Chelsea, Henry and Sam all enjoyed a nice game of bowling and pool. I WON BOWLING (had to get that in there).

I can safely say it was very emotional saying bye to France I must admit I shed some tears whilst in the mini-bus on the transfer back to the airport.

On our last day we decided we would go for our final group meal to Buffalo Grill (delicious), we then headed back to work where we said bye to everyone (we even said good-bye the French way - Kissing on the cheeks).

I can safely say I miss being in France, the people are so friendly! I have said I would like to go back again for the Christmas Market and to say hello to my friends at work.

I would advise anyone who would be given the experience to take it as you will treasure it forever.

Merci :)

Au revoir / Goodbye

Charlotte :) x

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I'm the Other One - Chelsea


Chelsea here, for various reasons (namely that blogger doesn't work on my phone) this is the first time I've been able to post on here. Since we are almost at the end of our placement, I don't think it would make that much sense for me to start blogging properly now, so instead here are some of my highlights from the past weeks.

Sunday 28th October - Our First Trip to Paris 

Today, we all decided to go to Paris for the day. With the help of a couple of bus timetables and the very helpful man on reception, we managed to get a bus to Saint Quentin Gare (Gare = Train Station). We got off the bus and managed to buy train tickets when one of the ladies at the station realised we were English. Charlotte figured out which train we should be on, then we all 'pooed' it and thought it was the wrong one, asked a lady on the platform who told us that needed one a different platform, and legged it through the tunnels to the other side. We were all a bit nervous and couldn't agree on which train we actually needed, luckily we saw some police officers and they informed us we were on the right train to begin with!!! We ran back round to the first train worried it might leave without us. As we sat back down, Charlotte (only slightly gloatingly) introduced us to her 'Pigeon Power' (she has the ability of a homing pigeon when it comes to finding her way somewhere), this wouldn't be the last time we made use of it!
When we finally arrived in Paris about an hour later, we were a mix of very excited and actually quite proud of ourselves for getting there. It seemed lovely, light and airy in the mild sunshine after the train and everywhere seemed to be bustling. We has all nearly starved on the train, so set off to find food, we went for sarnies on baguettes - YUM!

Then, us four girls all sat and got drinks looking across the River Seine taking it all in, it was so surreal that we were actually there. We spent the day wandering around the beautiful gardens in the centre of the city, where birds were so tame they would perch in the bushes close to where you were stood.
We the set off in the general direction of the Eiffel Tower, completely under-estimating just how far away it was! In the process we encounted a near death experience when we crossed the road only to get nearly mowed down by a cyclist. French roads, by the way, are crazy and it is definately not uncommon for people to drive across a crossing while the green man is on.
We some how stumbled across a big church called the 'American Cathedral in Paris', where we tried to speak French to a guy only for him to tell us he was American - if only there was a clue in the name (Duh!). A free classical performance was due to start soon, so as Cally is really big on music we decided to stay and watch some, which was beautiful.  
By now it was getting quite late and we were all tired, so we were just contemplating giving up trekking to the Eiffel Tower, when it seemed tanalisingly close. We carried on and it was sooooooo worth it! 
It was so impressive we agreed there and then that we would look up the price on online, and make plans to go up it another day. We met back up with Sam and Harry to get the train back to Montigny.
I can't actually put into words how unbelievably chuffed I was with myself that we got all the way to and from Paris completely by ourselves. I'm pretty sure the others must have felt the same. Charlotte obviously put it down to her pigeon power.

Monday 29th October - Mayors, Milk and Malteasers!

This would be our first day at work, (sort of - it turned out to be more of a orientation day). So we all felt a little nervous and unsure what expect. 
Since it was our first day, Pauline (our French contact) was giving us a lift to the 'Hotel de Ville' (French for town hall, pronounced a bit like 'hotel devil' - Lol!). We first had to use the free shuttle from our hotel to the train station Montigny, where Pauline would meet us. Before heading to the 'Hotel de Ville', we went to the office at the train station to buy travel passes for the month, which was difficult to make sure we got the right ones, if it wasn't for Pauline we wouldn't of stood a chance! Pauline could only fit four in her car at once, so it took two trips to get us all to the Hotel de Ville. On the way Pauline pointed out various buildings including the University ones. I was in the first car group, so while we waited for the others, we were introduced to the Deputy Mayoress, Michèle who showed us around the Hotel de Ville. She also introduced us to the Mayor, who was very nice and welcoming, asking us about ourselves in French. The boys were corrected on their pronunciation of 'Oui', as Pauline later explained they had been pronouncing it in a slang way that was is like saying 'yeah' - oops! 
Fern and Charlotte then arrived and were briefly shown around. Then we all headed back to Montigny town centre, this time over two cars, I traveled in  Michèle's car, who showed us where her home was near the town centre in case we ever had any problems while in that area, which was a really touching thing to offer.
Pauline then showed us around the main shopping area, and took us to get the necessary photo ID's for our travel passes. So, I have a very flattering picture, where it looks like I've something weird going on with my eyes!
We ate lunch out at a place called 'Flunch' (which always makes me giggle for some reason), which was quite nice. We all just wanted heaps of veg, as we hadn't had any in days (we didn't think to get any on that first night when we went shopping for bits!)
We bobbed in a few shops, then Pauline took us to the main supermarket and I attempted to do my first ever food shop by myself (or at least Cally attempted to do my first ever food shop by myself!). Me being me, I didn't go with a list or anything, so ended up with loads of random stuff that doesn't even make meals! I am still quite proud of myself though! Luckily the minibus that collected us from the airport collected us from outside the shop, as the handles on one of my bags went just walking to it!
Once we'd got back in and had something to eat, me, Charlotte, Sam and Harry decided to try and find some French culture in bar we had seen near our bus stop. Once outside we happened to notice it was all boarded up, so we carried on walking. About 20 mins later we were about to give up, when we realised we were right near the supermarket and the McDonalds. Someone mentioned that in France they serve lager in McD's, so we all trooped in. They all pooed it when it came to ordering and ended up ordering meals just to get a drink - lol! I only wanted a hot chocolate but didn't even have a clue how to ask in French. Sam said it was a "chocolate show", which I was just not believing! So me and Charlotte said hot chocolate and they seemed to understand, until I got my drink. I got a cup of warm milk, somewhat confused I realised that there was a little packet with a chocolate ball in it. So in I dropped what I assumed was the choc powder, much stirring later it still hadn't dissolved  so I crushed it. Much to my dismay and the amusement of the others it was merely a Malteaser! They were just totally peeing themselves! Seriously though who would order that! Is that what the French think of us English? To be fair I still drank it though - Lol! We have since established a hot chocolate is called a "chocolat chaud" (which is actually pronounced "chocolate show!" Sorry Sam!)
So really that was just another typical day for me: buy travel pass, meet Mayor, do food shopping and drink milk containing little floating chocolate ball!


Tuesday 30th October - First Day at Work!

Our first full day at work. Cally and Sam would go to the Technical Services section in the afternoon to meet their teams and Fern to the reception where she would be working. 
So we spent the morning together as a group coming up with information on our job roles back home and any questions we had for Pauline both about the work would be doing and France in general. At lunch we decided to stay at the 'Hotel de Ville'. We went to the staff canteen area which was where we noticed one of the big cultural differences between France and home. The tables were few, but very long and people chose to sit next to each other, rather than in little clusters. We also noticed that people didn't rush their food and made full use of their 2 hour lunch. (Yes we get it too! Which is a nightmare, I'm bored after 30 mins back home anyways!)
In the afternoon Pauline introduced us to one of our main tasks, organising all the books, documents and gifts relating to each of the six different towns Montigny is twinned with (including Denton). This would prove to be quite a big task!
That evening was my first attempt at actually cooking something for myself since we arrived. Pizza baguette, which was quite a achievement considering the only oven/grill we have is inside the slightly dodgy microwave that causes a power-cut whenever you try to use it. It wasn't too bad either, well it wasn't burnt and that is an achievement for me!

Thursday 1st November - Paris Again!

Today was a national holiday, so we wouldn’t be in work and so had planned to go up the Eiffel Tower. We overslept (slightly), but still maintained that we would go to Paris and up the Eiffel Tower. At least until it started hailing, thundering and lightening, the thinking was: tall metal structure + lightening = not so French fries! We settled for spending the afternoon in Montigny and started by grabbing some grub in a Italian Restaurant – I am still very proud of the fact I managed to order a my pizza in French AND asking for it without champignons (mushrooms!)
After a bit of wandering around Montigny, Fern and Charlotte suggested we try to find a haunted house that Pauline had told us about, so some Google mapping later we caught a train to Paris. Once off the train we had to use the Paris Metro (underground) system to get around, something I and some the others were quite nervous about, as our French teacher had warned us about using the Metro's late at night. Luckily we were a fairly large group and it was still early evening. We got off the Metro at another large train station in Paris, once outside again, I felt really happy as I always love being in a city when it's dark (it's something about the atmosphere I think!)
It took us a little while to find the haunted house, including some dark alley-ways that were quite scary looking in themselves and had us turning straight back around! With the help of a lady who spoke English in a Supermarket, we found the right place. There was a pretty huge queue and after speaking to one man who had been there a while it looked like there was potentially over a two hour wait. The boys and Cally didn't really fancy that and I was already looking for an excuse out, because I'm a total wimp! So after making plans to stay in contact, we broke off. Unsure what we wanted to do, we went into a bar near the train station to decide. We liked the atmosphere and welcoming staff, so much that we stayed. There was a gentleman playing piano and the waiter realised that Cally could play and we all persuaded her to give a little performance! We had a really lovely evening and just missed getting the same train that Fern and Charlotte got home, so got the next one. Charlotte and Fern had a equally good night and said they would go again, but they had queued for over two hours.

Thursday 8th November - Eiffel Tower

Today we had arranged to meet with a couple of the guys who came on placements to Ashton, earlier this year - Frederic and JB. They had very kindly offered to take us up the Eiffel Tower (2nd Time lucky! Although we weren't for letting the weather stop us this time!) and be our tour guides for the day.
Everyone was quite nervous, (apart from me - I went up a just over a year ago on a school trip), but for just 12,50€ they couldn't make many excuses and had to conquer their fears! We went right to the top and although it wasn't the clearest of days we saw some really lovely views and got rather good pictures. When I came with school last year, we came up at sunset which was beautiful, but all the pictures came out too dark, so it was good to go up during the day.
I went in the gift shop that is half-way up and did something totally out of character, and went mental getting a load of gifts, I can't say exactly what I got - for obvious reasons. Infact I spent that much that my card declined when I tried to pay, and it took a second attempt before I realised why and paid in cash - quite embarrassing! I really don't know why people say you can't take me anywhere! :O
At the bottom we met back up with Frederic (the only one to completely wimp out) and Charlotte and Fern left, because they were not feeling too good. The rest of us walked a little while and got some yummy food from a street vendor. Frederic and JB took us to a specialist gaming bar, which they told is the only one of it's kind in Paris. It was full of people that I can only assume were 'computer geeks' and had lots of different games being shown on large screens, it was quite interesting and different to anywhere I've been back home.
We didn't stay out too late, as we had work the next day, but it had been nice to see our French friends again.

Thursday 15th November - Versailles
We had planned to go to Versailles today and see the Chateau. Fern and Charlotte didn't feel up to it, so it was just me and the two boys (Harry and Sam) . It was just two stops on the Train and a short walk, before we were stood in front of the  massive castle. We posed for loads of pictures and got loads of the building itself (which is why I'm so gutted I can't upload them). Went spent a couple of hours inside, and barely saw any of it, it's so huge. We did get to see the famous "Hall of Mirrors" and the King's rooms, though and took loads more pictures.

We went for a walk in the Gardens which are also 'mahoooosive'and looked into hiring a little golf buggy thing, but they were quite expensive. Me and Sam were up for hiring a boat to go one of the lakes, but Harry didn't really fancy it, so we all went for something to eat in one of the little restaurants. 
After the food, we thought we had better head back, as Sam had boxing practise with one of his new work friends that night.

Hope you enjoyed reading,
 'Au Revior!'

Chelsea :)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Last Week in France by Charlotte

Désolé!! (Sorry!!)

There has been a gap since my last blog due to technical difficulties!

So here is a quick summary of last week...Myself and Fern tested out the local doctors due to not feeling too well this turned out to be our worst nightmare ever as there was a doctor and a dentist within the same building block!

We are slowly making a full recovery!!

Last week I bought many souvenirs for my family and friends back home and this was very hard as some items were clothes so I used my initiative and tried them on for myself to take a rough estimation whether they would fit the person intended for (and yes I did this for the male items as well).

 On Saturday we all headed into Paris to buy the last of our souvenirs and then I cooked tea for myself, Fern, Chelsea and Henry.

 Sunday we decided to head into Notre Dame to visit the cathedral which was beautiful I then bought a new suitcase to travel home with and was proposed to off a random man in the street...eventful day I would say!!

Sunday evening myself, Fern and Chelsea went to watch the latest Twilight in the cinemas in English with French sub-titles we were all rather proud of our selves as we could understand the odd sentences. Due to me and Fern being so emotional yes we almost cried and shouted at the cinema screen!

Monday we all headed into work followed by a relaxing night in the apartment.

We have a busy week planned this week for example tonight (Tuesday) we are all heading to Pauline's tonight for a meal and to hand her, her thank you presents that we bought on our lunch whilst spotting Pauline in the supermarket and hiding from her!

Wednesday evening we are going to go and test the local bowling centre so we can see who is really the best!

Thursday we are planning to head into Versailles and then the evening will be sent packing with a early night ahead.

Friday morning we are planning to be up nice and early to finish packing our last things and to head to reception to meet Pauline who is going to look after our cases until the transfer later in the day. We are going to then head into Montigny where we are going to enjoy our last few hours in France as a group and have our final group meal!!

I can safely say this experience has been amazing and I would suggest anyone to take the leap into life and finding out who you are and what you are actually capable of...I was shocked and am glad I have been able to have this experience.

Thank you to everyone who helped this happen.

Merci Beaucoupe!!

Love Charlotte xx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Hello world!- No photos, R.I.P. Camera.

Since my last blog I've been into Paris quite a bit. I think its wonderful! Yesterday I went early and walked around for about 6 hours, and I found I didn't tire as there was so much to see.

I found two art exhibitions in succession. The first being a 'Chanel- Little Black jacket' Exhibition which was free. Photography based, quite impressive. 
Then an amazing exhibition names 'Bohèmes'
Take a look. It's beautiful,
Bohèmes Musique.

And after this I walked and walked again and found a Brasserie
in the area of Bastille.

"The Bastille area which was once a working class neighbourhood was the site of the onset of the French Revolution in 1789.  Today, the Bastille area of Paris, France which falls under the jurisdiction of Marais, in the third, fourth and fifth arrondissements of Paris has become one of the trendiest places in Paris."

I sat, it rained, I wrote, and drank wine. 

Best day ever!

Signing out, Cally.


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Settling Into French Life, Week 2 - Charlotte & Fern


Here we are the end of week two, another eventful week in Bois d'Arcy.

Saturday we decided to have a girly chilled out day as we were both feeling slightly homesick...So we headed into Montigny where we went shopping and bought face-masks.
We then returned to the apartment where we slapped on our glorious masks...

Sunday Fern and the other girls decided to head towards Paris...took them longer than they expected as they decided to get the wrong bus...DESERTED. They then only had one hour to spend in the Louvre Museum before being asked to leave. Once they returned home we all had spaghetti bolognese which I (Charlotte) had been cooking throughout the day.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we enjoyed participating in our job roles at Hotel De Ville (Town Hall).

Wednesday - Fern's BIRTHDAY. We celebrated this event in style as we knew that Fern has never been away from here family and friends around her birthday as Myself (Charlotte) and Chelsea decided to decorate the apartment for her and buy her a very special birthday cake. That evening the whole group went out to the Curry House in Montigny that the boys had earlier tested for us.

After the meal we all found a local brasserie and went for a few drinks before returning home.

Thursday, we decided to have a wonder into Paris where we decided to journey to the top of the Eiffel Tower. What a beautiful view it was from up there.

 After braving the Eiffel Tower we decided a treat was necessary...

Friday night we just spent relaxing the apartment watching films in bed.

Saturday we both decided it was time to find the local laundrette where we couldn't understand what to do so a very kind gentleman who didn't speak any English helped us to figure out what we was to do...He practically did our washing for us.

We then returned home to eat some very traditional...HOT DOGS :) we then spent the rest of the night in bed watching films and relaxing ready for another busy week ahead.

Merci Beaucoup

Love Charlotte and Fern x

Bonne Nuit :)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A boys Saturday. by Sam.

It was a Saturday and I wanted a bit of a day to myself. I woke up at around 10:30am, had a pan au chocolat as always and decided that I would go for a run as Henry had been for a run a couple of days before and I was feeling guilty for not doing it myself. Henry didn't want to go this time, so I put on my running shoes and went on a run around Bois-d'Arcy. I ran for about 55 minutes with some small rests in between (mostly due to me being extra cautious near crossings as I get confused with which way cars are coming and the fact that the French motorists seem to have a liberal and inconsistent approach to crossings.) 

I eventually found a woods and ran through them, and then back to the apartment. I hit the shower and then I explained to Henry that I was going to go into Montigny to get a tan at the Sunbed salon I had excitedly spotted from the bus on a previous journey, much to the girls amusement. He was happy to watch football on his laptop and drink some beers he had just got from Lidl.

I got the bus and a French woman asked me something but I didnt understand and didnt know what to say, so I assumed she was asking me for my seat for her friend so I moved to the front. I was really embarrassed and realised I must of seemed rude. When I got off the bus the same lady asked me "Parles-tu français" and I smiled and said no, she understood, smiled and said thank you so I felt better about my mistake. I then found the Salon, but I was nervous to go in. I realised from a poster that the sunbed was referred to as a "solarium". I went in and asked the lady in French if I could go on it, she showed me a leaflet pointing out the price and times and I agreed. She showed me the machine and explained to me that it would start automatically. It was a really fancy machine, im used to stand up ones, and it was quite surreal getting in it and having very blue UV lamps on my face and quite a loud audio system blasting my ears with what was supposed to be relaxing music!. 

I felt invigorated after my pampering session and I had a walk around Montigny. Looking at motorcycles, scooters and discovering the main park. An Asian wedding motorcade went past with a ribbon clad Porsche Panamera revving and beeping its horn repeatedly with the following relatives less impressive cars attempting to do the same albeit with less flare. I chuckled to myself thinking of how similar the scene was to what I had witnessed when I had attended an Asian wedding in Manchester a few weeks ago. I decided to head back as me and Henry had discussed eating out tonight, I noticed that restaurants were just starting to open 
at 6.00pm. 

I got back and Henry was watching the Man City match and on his ninth little bottle of biere blonde, we checked the bus time tables for what time we should go out and get back. I managed to find some online reviews for the local Indian restaurant  which were very positive, and I found the menu and opening times. We agreed to go out for a curry, we put on our shirts and headed to the bus stop, just about making it in time. 

We got to Montigny and entered the "Punjab" restaurant. Everything felt very familiar, it looked just like a curry house would in the UK. We were seated and given the menu with all the usual dishes we have grown up with in Blighty. No poppadoms were present though. I ordered the sheek kebab starter, plain nan, and chicken madras. Henry ordered mixed pakora starter, garlic nan and lamb keema and we ordered saffron rice for two. The beers were quite hidden on the drinks menu, it was more spirit and wine focused, but we managed to find Heineken and "Bière indienne" which turned out to be UK brewed "Kingfisher" as the English speaking waiter jokingly told us. 

We were given three dips which the waiter asked me if I, being English recognised them. I enthusiastically answered "Yes, lime pickle, imli (Tamarind Chutney) and mint yoghurt." The starters arrived looking delicious and served just like in the UK with my portion of sheek kebab arriving on a sizzling cast iron platter sitting on top of pepper and onion slices complete with a wedge of lemon!. The freshly baked nans arrived with the starters which is something we were not used to and we would of rather had them served with the main, but they were delicious and we decided to save most of them anyway for our main dishes. The mains arrived in little golden balti dishes, each sitting in a little holder with a tea light under neath.

The food was really delicious and a taste of home, we paid up, tipping generously and decided to try and find a bar where we could continue some leisurely drinking. We stumbled upon the "Theatre Bar/Brasserie" which seemed to have the most patrons and the most similar layout to what we would expect a bar to look like. A live band was playing familiar and some not so familiar rock songs in French and English. We went to the bar and I noticed a collection of die cast model mini's and pictures of London buses, and the walls were also displaying old British motorcycle marque adverts, photographs of Fidel Castro, Elvis Presley and the iconic Che Guevara outline and even a large maggi "bouillon kub" picture (equivalent to an oxo cube to those not in the know, I actually use these maggi stock cubes at home) all adding to the ambiance of a hip place to be

We ordered a grande Heineken for me and a bottle of desperado for Henry. We found a seat and this continued for the rest of the night as we tapped our feet and sang along to such great songs as fortunate son, all shook up and a particularly good rendition of "zombie" by The Cranberries. We checked the bus times and the last bus would be at 0:45, we headed to the bus stop but then realised that our time tables must be out of date and that in fact the bus would be arriving at 1:18. We wasted some time by going back upstairs from the Bus stop to the snack machine and I got some Oreo's. Eventually the bus arrived and we got back to Bois-d'Arcy only to be spotted out of the window by Charlotte and Fern.

We went over to theirs and crept in very quietly not to wake the others and we were hoodwinked into watching an awful rom com with them in bed (rest assured no hanky panky ensued lol). It finished to my and Henrys relief and we headed back to ours for a good nights rest after a good night out. We planned to have a nice relaxing day of rest on the following Sunday, and as of writing this I can happily declare that we did ;). Sauna time me thinks...   

Friday, 2 November 2012

Bonjour! Salut! Bonne Journée!

"I'm in France!"


 "I wish I'd ordered Wine..."
"... Me too."

Our 1st day was a lovely one. A casual walk around, surrounded by art, music and SUNSHINE!!


Day 3

 We were sent to meet our new workmates, all of which are very accommodating but speak as much English as I do French.

Luckily for me, Horticultural practice seems to be universal,
But communication still seems like one long game of charades.

Listening and trying to communicate with everyone around you in a different language is exhausting.
But with so much practice, I hope I can say that I'm slowly improving.

One of the guys, Frederic, who came from France to England has let me borrow his guitar for the duration of our trip. Life is good.

01 Nov

"Le Modern- Piano Bar"
After the owner of the place noticed I bloody loved it he asked if I'd like to have a play of the piano... "Non, non, merci beaucoup..."

"You have to, who else can say they've played in a Peruvian Piano Bar" - Chelsea.
So after a little bullying, I got up, played badly, and sat back down again. HA. 

The End.

02 Nov

Today I went trawling the streets of Paris ALONE. Alot more daunting than I thought it would be.  
There were hitches before I even started, all were language related.
I felt very small.

But I found the notorious 'Shakespeares Bookshop', visited a beautiful chapel, and also found a Vinyl shop where the guys in the shop let me play on records and cd's and told me of other artists to look up! I'll definitely go back soon, I think I made some amis :)!
(photos yet to be developed)

Signing out, Cally.

Week One...Let Loose In France - Charlotte and Fern


After finding Fern stranded outside the airport and running to her rescue we set forward to attempt baggage drop off and passport control for the first time ALONE...

Once landing in France we met Pauline our French Host we set forth to our luxurious apartment...

Sunday we decided to head out to Paris which was an experience in itself just trying to board the right trains and buses. We managed to get to the Train Station easily the issues then arised trying to buy tickets and finding the right train. We managed to get on the train jumped off scared and then it turned out to be the right train...TYPICAL!

On arrival in Paris we set out to the Louvre Museum where there were singing birds all around! 

We then decided it was time to head in the direction of the Eiffel Tower...FURTHER AWAY THAN IT LOOKED! After walking for about 2 hours to the Eiffel Tower we stood under the amazing land-mark knowing that one day we are going to have to go up the tall metal structure.

Monday time for our Work introduction...

Monday evening we decided it was time to complete our first major food shop...this was fun for us as we didn't know what some of the foods were and spent the time looking at the pictures! Kiwi turns our to be called KIWI...WINNN:)

The result of the all the girls individually food shopping..

Tuesday was our second day at work where we wrote down any questions we had for Pauline about our job roles and queries about the Hotel De Ville (Town Hall)

Wednesday we decided to do some group bonding, instead of being on the streets on the night of Halloween SPOOKY

Thursday was a bank holiday in France so we decided to set out for a Haunted House in Paris...the other guys all chickened out when it got to queuing :) So we both got scared whitless just waiting in line to enter the Manor...Monsters grabbing you from behind, crawling, jumping and screaming whilst walking around a compressed space...Its safe to say myself and Fern dreamed about them monsters all night long. Watch out for the Le Manoir De Paris blood chucked and holy water drenched.

Friday we decided to complete another major food shop and spend the day just relaxing :)

We will be back soon to keep you updated...

Love Charlotte and Fern :) x

Avior :)

Day 2 - A trip to Paris

On the second day of our trip to France, the decision was made by the group to trip into the little known town called Paris. This gave rise to many potential issues, such as how do we actually get to paris!? What train do we get!?

We got the right one!!!

Girls being girls sought popular tourist attractions, such as the louvre!

Sam and myself decided to seek a quieter example of parisien life....

Accompanied very nicely by....

After sampling the french cuisine, it was decided a walk was needed! So we rang the girls and arranged to meet them at the eiffel tower. This would have been easier if they had not told us the Eiffel tower was near the isnt! Some hours later, with sore legs...

Thus concluding  a great day in Paris with a more than picturesque moment, more trips maybe required!

Au Revoir

Henry :)

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Day 1, Sam

As we eventually all met at Manchester airport it was clear we were all abit nervous about the trip. Me, Charlotte and Henry had a beer each to help settle our nerves. We boarded the flight and soon we were on our way. Air France were kind enough to include free refreshments and biscuits during the flight which we were all pleasantly surprised about. We got through a bag of boiled sweets that Chelsea had brought with her as we all were suffering with our ears popping and Fern and Charlotte played Sudoku to try and distract them from the flight. After an hour and a half we smoothly landed at Charles De Gaull. After swiftly getting our luggage we headed to find Pauline who greeted us and took us to the taxi that would take us to our apartments.

We put our luggage in a separate van and boarded the taxi, we were then heading out of the airport zone and onto the motorway, which to our dismay was very congested due to rush hour.  I was excited looking out of the taxi window at the different road signs and I pointed out the old concord that is mounted on stilts just outside the airport. As we went along the motorway we also spotted the France 98 football stadium, and we had noticed how many of the high rise flats had neon lit company logos on the top of them. We caught a tiny glimpse of the Eiffel tower and we decided we would go to Paris the next day.

When we got to our apartments we checked in (though my and Henrys room only had a double bed- a mistake that would later be rectified), Pauline told us that she could take four of us to the supermarket to buy some amenities. Me, Henry, Chelsea and Cally agreed to go. Me and Henry bought typical lads essentials, microwavable pasta pots, eggs, cheese, and beer!..  Me and Henry watched abit of The Simpsons on his laptop after realising all of the tv channels were in french, had our pasta pots and a couple of beers and then we headed over to the girls to see they had cooked a big pasta meal complete with Olives and Salad!. It was agreed that I could stay on the girls sofa bed and we all went to bed eagerly awaiting our day out in Paris...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Crossing the channel the next group set off for adventures in France!

Hi, I am the coordinator of the LEONARDO programme in Tameside, Greater Manchester. So far we have sent 8 lucky young apprentices off on their adventures to Spain and Hungary (see our blogs  and ) .

Next up we have 6 more apprentices travelling to France at the end of October 2012. Follow their lives as they explore what it's like to live and work in Montigny, France for 4 weeks!

Over to you gang.....