Saturday 24th December 2016
A manic dash to Blythe Bridge Train Station for the 9:21am train.
But luck was on our side: the train was delayed and due to arrive at 9:24am. Brilliant!
Once boarded; time flew by. I changed trains at Crewe and treated myself to a cheeky Pumpkin Hot Chocolate and found a plug socket for the half an hour wait. Somehow my phone didn’t charge in the night so it was dead when I woke up.
So, I resorted to a ten minute charge at the Grandparent’s house, fifteen minutes at Crewe Station, and half an hour at Manchester Airport.
This was necessary. Not just to tell my mother I was perfectly “on time” and “organised” but my boarding was also on my phone!
I arrived at Manchester Airport at 11:04am and made my way to Terminal 3. After making the mistake of trying to go through Terminal 1 security, I was swiftly re-directed towards Terminal 3. Another five minute walk later which led me out of the building and round to the other one that gives the typical “am I going the right direction?” doubt, I found the right security line.
Sorted and checked in minutes, I headed to find food. I found a plug socket, then ordered a jacket potato with chilli con carne, and relaxed. I spent the next half an hour looking around the four shops they had, namely Boots, Duty Free, Dixons, and Accessorize. I bought a thin simple silver choker necklace as I am curious to try the trend. What do you guys think of it? Yay or nay?
Gate 52 to Nantes appeared on the departures board and in a very short amount of time I was boarded and sat in my 19B seat. Soon enough, we were off.
I’ve had a few realisations about this adventures to Nantes this morning.
Well, one has been over the past two days and been constantly questioned by my lovely Auntie: I have no idea what I’m doing when I arrive.
I know Léa and Lisa will be in the arrivals hall (hopefully) when I land. Another possibility of a reunion moment fit for a cheesy movie scene. ❤️
Also, Léa has told us where we’ll be celebrating the Christmas festivities over the three days we’re there. Yet, anything else? No clue.
I’m actually excited to have this element of mystery and I know Léa will be a fabulous host.
So, here’s to the unknown folks!
My second realisation was on the train to the airport. Two french guys were sat across the aisle from me, and although I only understood the word “quoi” (meaning ‘what’ in French), somehow t clocked that it is a cultural custom for the French to kiss each other on the cheek four times when they meet or say goodbye.
I’m totally going to end up kissing a relative by accident or seriously need to rethink wearing my bold red lipstick to avoid embarrassing smudges! Eek!
Thirdly, what about food?
Léa has assured us they eat loads and I trust it’s going to be (possibly weird and) wonderful. My small worry is not to offend Léa or French cuisine but what if I need a snack? Or they dish up something totally… I can’t even guess. Dammit that I didn’t Wikipedia this previous to getting on this plane.
Thus, I have a six pack of Cadburys chocolate flake bars. Maybe I’ll share them too…
Last but not least: Léa said that her family like to dress up a bit for Christmas. I know quite a few friends in the UK who do and have had the excitement of wearing my new Christmas clothes that I receive on Christmas in the past.
This year… do “ugly” Christmas jumpers fit into this tradition? 😜
French women are known to look fabulous. Can a blonde girl wearing a massive green eyed Rudolph achieve similar goals? (Green eyes due to stitching and the jumper being green I think)… we’ll see how we end up!
5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1.. THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO.
[quoting my cousin when she was about five years old and on her first flight ever – my fave memory of her 💕]
I find taking off in a plane strangely cathartic, does anyone else?
It’s a new journey that represents not only new experiences but even new personal changes or outlooks on life. I normally have a song that I listen to as the plane leaves the ground to represent the moment. This year I’ve been writing this… so I guess my Christmas songs that I sung to myself on the first train this morning are the songs for this year. 😁
This year, 2016, hasn’t been easy. It’s been my toughest yet. From start to finish. I think I’ve changed a lot. Due to the choices I’ve made and the different priorities that have accompanied them. Although I’m happy doing my MSc, and get happier with each day, seeing a more positive and enriching light at the end of the tunnel… I’ve let anxiety and the self-applied pressure on long distance friendships affect me greatly.
Although it’s not on purpose, I’m determined to start 2017 fresh. Be the positive and bubbly me.
As they say, the only way is up.
Ironically, that’s exactly where I’ve gone.
Up 30,000 feet in the air in a tin can.
… it shows anything is possible, right?
Hehe. Merry Christmas Eve Everyone ❤️