Bonne Année à Tous!

And so, we may be a month in but I’ve been busy so Happy New Year!!! I am now legal to drink in the USA (fat lot of good that is when I went there on holiday LAST summer) but hey it’ll count in the future. I enjoyed two Christmases, one with family I hadn’t seen in two years and the other with my sister’s boyfriends…no, not my boyfriend, my sister’s…that didn’t make me want to hurl into a bucket or anything! But all in all, one of the best Christmas holidays I’ve ever had.

Photo by Sharon Miller

Photo by Sharon Miller

Alas, the bliss could not last forever… The dreaded exams approached fast and the two weeks after I got back were like being hit by 7 mini earthquakes or floods with no weather warnings or preparation. I think though, that I was fairly lucky in that my first exam was the most horrific thing I think I have ever attended in my life! Why is that lucky? I hear you ask. Well, it’s lucky as I knew from then that nothing would ever be that bad ever again. Seriously, this lovely man came out of the exam room at 8.30am to reassure everyone in the corridor that it would not be a nasty experience and to relax; all well and good if you had him as your examiner. I should be so lucky…4 hours later after finding out we weren’t on the exam list and then insisting we had taken the course, I came face to face with Satan’s wife! She’d already made a French student cry; things were looking pretty bad for me. I had watched Georgina go in before me and she came out rather solemn…I was soon to find out why. I was given a topic I didn’t know anything about but I thought I’d give it a go…big mistake, after a grilling and some very unnecessary rude behaviour from Mrs Hitler I was released; I had survived, that was all that mattered. One down, six to go…brilliant.

It was a good job then, that we had George’s 21st to celebrate and that I had some hockey in the middle to chill out a little bit! The second round of the Ladies National Indoor Tournament was held in Toulouse, it was perfect; we didn’t have to spend hours travelling and we had more supporters…and they’d made banners! Pre-match Line UpFirst match went really well with a win of 3-2 and I saved a flick! Talk about pressure but a slight touch of my stick pushed it onto the post and it went wide (and I’m glad as we had the Cardiff and Bangor lot watching; couldn’t disappoint them)! Annabel scored too so it was cheering and whooping all around. Off to have lunch with the TUC girls and 2kg of pasta, we had no choice but to burn all that off and we gave it a good go with the amount of effort put into our second match. SaveIt was closer than the score suggests as we lost 5-2 but this was against top of the table who had previously beaten a team we had lost to (they beat this team 15-3), therefore we were pretty damn pleased with that result too. Team dinner was hilarious with chatting and practical jokes such as our coaches shoelaces being tied together by a particularly mischievous team member who I will not name as Axel still has not figured out who it was! Late night with some much needed sleep in preparation for our last match which we played on the Sunday and won 7-3 and with that we concluded an awesome weekend!

So, those two weeks were a bit of a blur but eventually the exams were done and I even know that I passed one! Check that out for exceeding obligations and indeed expectations! So for two days, I was free!!! What better way to celebrate than a little wine tasting trip? So to Gaillac we headed. Just under an hour from Toulouse by train and costing under 10€ each way, it was a worthwhile trip. All of us had a really good time trying all the different wine (even with yet another wife of Satan acting like a pompous sour lemon) and of course I came back with a couple of bottles; I mean, it’d be rude not to!

Photo by Gethin Bennett

Photo by Gethin Bennett

I do have one more thing to write about; I have a friend who said he would read the blog that was about him and while I’m sure he’d love the whole thing to be about him, I fear that it wouldn’t necessarily be something that a lot of my family and friends would ideally love to read about…however, I will say a huge congratulations to Lionel and his wife and I hope that March brings all that it is supposed to in the form of a new little hockey player to join the Tuquettes!

(Lionel je crois que tu peux comprendre ton nom et tu sais que j’ai écrit ce paragraphe pour toi, spécialement. Alors voici la traduction: J’ai encore une chose à écrire; j’ai un ami qui a dit qu’il lirait le blog qui était autour de lui et bien que je sois sûr qu’il l’aimerait tout cela pour être à son sujet, j’ai bien peur qu’il ne serait nécessairement quelque chose que beaucoup de ma famille et mes amis aimeraient idéalement lire…Pourtant, je dirai félicitations énormes à Lionel et sa femme et j’espère que mars apporte tout ce qu’elle est censée sous la forme d’une nouvelle petite joueuse de hockey pour rejoindre les Tuquettes!)

And so that’s been my time so far in Toulouse for 2014. Looks like it’s going to be a good year! Hat’s off everyone!

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