OK OK so I know this is a bit of a random time to write a blog for France! Since I came home about two weeks ago! But I never did write for the last couple of weeks being there and I feel that I should! Not so much even for my spellbound and avid readers! But also because I want to remember this stuff in years to come so I really should write it down!
OK so where to begin! I guess the first thing that needs pointed out is the fact that I was meant to be coming home on the 24th May! So I booked this flight about a month before and had accepted it as the date to come home! It did suck but I was able to accept it! And Amy and I agreed that we would have the bestest last month ever and totally make the most of it! But surpise freakin surprise! That didnt really work out the way we had planned! I would just like to point out the fact that Amy and myself are like theeee single greatest tenants ever to live! Everything that was thrown at us! We were totally chilled about it! And dealt with everything like very rational responsible adults! (i know, that picture doesnt quite make sense to me either but I promise you it's true!! The absolute image of maturity! Tellin ya!) Unfortunately the people we were working with and renting from didnt quite see it that way! I think they spent most of the time being a bit annoyed with us! lol but whatever! The lady who initially owned the appartment had told us that she would be home the 27th May and we could stay till she got home! I booked my flights for the 24th only then to be informed that she was coming home early and on top of that we were wanted out a week before she came home!! Yea thanks for that guys!!! Thats just brilliant!! Thanks for smashing in all our hopes and dreams! Im being dramatic I know but still! It was a very inconvenient thing to spring on us after id booked my freakin flight! And then as well they were like sure just pay 3 weeks rent since youre leaving early! Aye were gonna be there for two weeks so were gonna pay for three! No thanks love! You can have 2 weeks rent and choke on it for all I care! Am i getting carried away? I think I am. I will stop. Bottom line to the story is that I now have to change my flights and am now coming home far far FAR too soon! O that was a horribly depressing reality! Northern Ireland in like 10 days! Fate worse than death! Now we reeeeally had to make the most of things! But I now got to surprise mum and dad by coming home early again! Silver lining ppl! You gotta find it! Money must now be spent! Photographs must be taken! Sunshine must be fully appreciated! So heres what we did...........
We went to the zoo!!!! Me Amy and Bridget! Dont sneer ok? It was so much fun! Roadtrip, picnic, Oranges by Brian Houston (It's my song for the summer btw) and going anywhere designed for children with Bridget! It's literally the funniest/cutest thing ever! She gets sooo excited about everything! She also payed me in which I shall be eternally grateful for and I will of course return the favour! Amy and I also went to Futuroscope courtesy of some students who I had played guitar for at one of their events a few months before! Sadly though, Amy and I arent exactly early bird catches the worm type people and we didnt arrive at the theme park till like half three! By the time we had our packed lunch and sunbathed we didnt really have much time left in the theme park! Good day though!
Of course, we have to take ALOT of photographs! It's Amy's thing! It might seem bizarre to some ppl but we took days and devoted them purely to taking photographs! We had our heart set on finding french "fields of gold" so we could take pictures in them! There are tons of them in the countryside surrounding Tours and theyre all so beautiful so off we went! We found a pure perfect one and were happily taking photographs when who should turn up but the farmer who owns the land! AWKWARD!!!! I near peed my pants trying to climb out of the field while a rather large man wearing filthy dungarees and an evil expression drove up the dirt track towards us! I then had that really really annoying urge to giggle! You know that thing when you really know that you shouldnt laugh so it makes you want to laugh even more! We then had to scurry to the pink Mini which totally SCREAMS we should not be here whilst also trying to act casual so that the disgruntled farmer wouldnt chase us with a loaded shotgun! Thankfully we escaped with our lives and have lived to tell the tale! We did find another field which smelled of poo and housed far too many scuttling field mice for my liking making the whole thing a little less pleasant than I usually am willing to put up with but the pics turned out pretty good so I'll not complain too much! Then of course there was the day we took all our typical french photos! Which we took for a wee laugh but then thought to ourselves, are we totally offending french people with these??? I hope not! And for the record, we meant no offence! We just totally love all things french and were therefore paying tribute! Dont be upset with us! Highlight of that day was the wee old man who stripped off down to his knickers in front of us and jumped into the Loire for a swim! Crazy old man! Best part was when he climbed back out I was standing near the edge trying to take a photo and as he walked past me he slapped my ass! There were literally no words. How do you respond to that? And then when I looked behind me to give him a blank open mouth stare he smiled and winked at me. Was like the craziest 30 seconds of my young life! I shudder still when I think about it!
One of the highlights of my remaining time in France was having my two La Senza ladies to visit! Of course we get up to absolutely no good and had banter that no one on the face of the earth apart from us will get or appreciate! We pretended to be secret agents in the kids playpark, wrapped ourselves in cling film and raced round the appartment, set things on fire in the kitchen, tried to climb on top of a bus stop at 1am, I sang them the most beautiful goodnight lullaby ever written (paaaah!), entertained and bought ice cream for all the kids on the estate and pretty much acted like complete fools for three days! Oh we also picked cherries from random french peoples gardens. Ah good times!
Perhaps the most ironic thing about my final moments in France was that it took until the fnal weekend of my stay for me to get a paid gig! Soooo annoying! And then to be told yea we can give you gigs every weekend if you want them! That was just perfect timing right there! The gig was pretty good tho! The place was pretty much empty apart from the table of people I brought myself and I played with this guy Edward who plays percussion! It was definitely a new experience playing with him but a good one! The most appreciated song was "Hit me Baby One more Time" which went down so well! Apparently Britney is beloved in France and the whole bar sang STILL BELIEVE at that bit in the chorus which I thought was pretty cracker! I'm also pretty sure I agreed to sleep with some random french guy that night! He wasnt really hot but he was wearing a hat which tends to fool me into thinking a guy is actually attractive! He whispered a whole pile of french guff into my ear to which I kinda went yea sure whatever without actually knowing what he was saying! He spent the rest of the night either winking at me or doing like wee eyebrow raisy things at me! Im thinking his intentions werent completely honourable especially when I said goodbye and went to do bisou, he totally tried to make out with me instead and then let on it was an accident when I pulled away! I suppose he was less annoying than the guy in army gear who told me he had the blackeyedpeas as a friend on facebook and could totally introduce me to them! He was definitely more annoying. Definitely!
Amy and I also frustratingly developed a great wee friendship group in the last 2 weeks in Tours! Why is it that everything starts to fall into place at the very last second when you're due to come home! It was great while it lasted though! Great wee group! And we would hang out by the Loire and everyone would pure speak french and i would laugh along like I totally understand what is being said and o we would have a merry time! On one of the few occassions where I did speak english with people there were some rather amusing results! Our friend Jade who is soooooo lovely was talking to me about uni and stuff and we were talking about how expensive it was! She told me that it was ok for her money wise because she had AIDS. I was like...... heeeh???? Turns out she was trying to tell me she got financial aid/help! Oh how we laughed!
I think I mentioned the Gottes before? The family who Amy lived with for the first few months! We went to visit them that first time and Cathy pure wet herself at the fact that I was busking! We went again for Easter dinner or something and so I walked into a room full of french people I had never met and barely speak their language! I had barely sat down when Cathy comes in with a guitar and starts telling me to sing for everyone! There went my plan of sitting in the corner minding my own business! Legendary people though!
OK so thats pretty much all I can remember! I know that wasnt particularly interesting but it had to be written! My apologies everyone!
So this is me signing off my France blog! That is unless I decide to return! Who knows! It could happen! It was incredible though! I had theeee best six months of my life! Such an amazing experience! And every time I look at photos of Tours I get all nostalgic about like stupid things like park benches and random buildings! Oh and the buses!! I loved the bus system in France! It just made more sense!
So thanks everyone for reading. I hope you enjoyed my France antics! I enjoyed telling you all!
Hello strangers!! I know I know I haven't wrote in like 3 weeks! Im really very sorry, I've just been incredibly busy! That's a complete lie. I haven't been remotely busy. Ive just spent all my free time watching Greys Anatomy. That's when I'm busy not being busy hanging out in the beautiful French sunshine and playing guitar! And I know it is a bit sad that I'm spending so much time watching a TV show when I should be totally embracing all the French culture I can get but I cant help it! I'm literally addicted to this programme! Plus I'm still totally skint which limits ones options just a tad.
OK so let me fill you in on all that you've missed in my life over the past month. Lorraine came to visit! (aka Amy's mum) which was awesome! And not just because she took us out for dinner, for breakfast, for coffee and bought us a whole ton of groceries! That was just an added bonus to the visit! It was loverly to have her over. Gave Amy and I a glimpse at real life again! We hadn't realised how pathetic our simple existence was! It took a few weeks to recover and get back into “we're poor mode” The reason that Lorraine was here was for Amy's big show. The big French show which I had already seen! Well I'd seen a version of it. And if I'm being honest, the first time I saw it I was kinda unimpressed (Sorry if that's harsh) But it was a bit on the ropey side! So that was kinda what I was expecting for this time round. But I have to say, it was freakin good the second time! Sooooo much better than the first time round! Amy did her solo this time round and Oh my days I was sooo proud. My mum calls me Amy's biggest fan and on this occasion I think I would willing fight her mum for the title! I was just watching and thinking Heck yes get in there ye girl ye! Was sooooo good! I have it on video if anyone wants to see it? Tell you what though, I don't plan on going to many other French productions. Didn't actually have a clue what any of the dialogue was on about. Except for the one scene when theyre talking about a threesome! I managed to follow that! What does that say about me like?? Haha
And oh my days! During the visit we went to see the Gotte's who are the family that Amy lived with over here before I came. So there we were having a lovely visit, chatting nicely and then Cathy (the mum) asked what I had been doing while I was in France. When I told her about the busking she literally burst out into a fit of laughing. Not even like a wee chuckle. Like a real proper LOUD laugh. I have never in my life been soooo embarrassed. Ground swallow me up perlease!
Right so onto the busking antics! This is where the really juicy stories always are! Business sadly has taken a real turn for the worse tho! People are onto the whole busking thing and there are tons of other people doing it which really annoys me coz they are totally copying! Last Saturday there was that kid who looked like Justin Bieber playing cello directly across from my spot! Talk about bad busking etiquette! Move along a bit like! Give me a fighting chance! He's a nice kid tho, ill give him that at least.
So a couple of weeks ago I was playing and these girls approached me and asked me if I would play at the city blood drive on the Saturday. They asked me how much it would be so I gave them a price to which they were happy enough with and said it wouldn't be a problem. I needed to charge coz I make a fair bit on a Saturday and so would be losing out on that money so I needed them to pay me. It was quite a high profile event too so I was pretty chuffed. On the Saturday I turned up early and was hanging about not thinking there was a problem. Like literally 2 seconds before I was due to go on one of the girls came to me and said they couldn't pay me anymore. To which I replied OK see ya later then! OOO They weren't impressed by that! But too freakin bad! They had soo many opportunities to tell me! I wasted the best part of Saturday afternoon hanging out behind the stage when I could have been making money just round the corner! So I wasn't too impressed either! Sometimes the whole laidback French thing totally does my nut in!
That was a bit of a crazy day too! I spent the rest of it busking and these guys kept coming over and throwing condoms in my case! Im all about family entertainment so everytime they did I put them out of sight and so everytime they came back they kept being all yeooooo she's used em, she needs more! So I have a whole bunch of condoms in my room at the mo! O and little mini packets of lube as well! Amy didn't know what to think when she came into my room and saw em all on my bedside table! Was most amusing! That was also the day I met the mega hot French guy who totally reminded me of Jason Mraz! Tho only coz he was wearing a straw trilby and was beautiful! He asked me if I had a record deal and on hindsight I should have totally lied and told him I did and im mega famous in Ireland! Tho that would not have been a good start to our very serious relationship that I'm pretty sure is gonna start any day now! (NAT!)
I should tell you that Im currently writing this while sitting on a blanket hanging out beside the lake in 26 degree weather. Ill fill you in on the scene. To my left is the very very camp boy twirling batons. I thought for weeks he was a girl but nope hes a boy! And bless him but hes a bit rubbish! He looks the business but he drops the stupid thing like every single time! I do like to watch him tho! In front of me is a woman who should be reading a book but is actually just giving me continual dirty looks! Not sure what her problem is but I wish she would mind her own! There are also a load of people who are sunbathing in swimwear or underwear! Im tempted to follow suit but Im wearing a neon pink double gel bra that has definitely seen better days! And by that I mean its not really neon anymore! Its not even really pink anymore! Kind of pinky grey I would say! Anyways its not pretty so I think ill keep my top on for today! Theres also a bouncy castle today which I would kill to have a go on! But ill resist that temptation too!
Forgot to say, I had theeeee most awkward bisoux of all time! Theres this older man (and by older I mean old) who recognised me from busking! I remembered he had given me money so I was nice to him and we exchanged pleasantries. Just as I was about to leave he literally grabbed me by the back of the head and gave me the longest, most disgusting kiss on both cheeks. Like the kind where theres like slabber on your face! I was turned. I ran. The next week I saw him do it to some other girl and she looked equally horrified by the whole thing! Not cool! I saw him today on the bus actually! He was wearing his usual white Tshirt with white trackie bottoms and he was doing like lunges and lifting his leg over one of the poles on the bus! Such a flipping weirdo!
It also turns out that I'm becoming fairly well known in Tours. I think the word is notorious! Like its not really famousness, its just like people know the Irish girl who plays guitar on Rue Nationale. Just like how they know crazy feather woman and smelly bike guy! Im one of those! But its really nice! I was out for drinks with Amy and Jessye and this group of guys noticed me and were all like hey it's the singer! And people are always stopping me to tell me they saw me! There were these Irish people who literally sought me out coz they had been told about me! And Bridget was on like this trip and there were people on the trip talking about me! Its really quite cool! Im gonna hate going back to Ireland and just being a nobody again! It has led to some good oppurtunities too! Like Im currently working with a DJ over here a bit who is potentially going to get me some paid work in some of the places he works! So fingers crossed that works out!
So I think that will do it for now! There are other stories but I will leave them for another time! Ill try and be more conscientious with keeping up with my blog! Tho the only reason Im doing it now is coz Amy is in Paris and I'm here on my own so I'm not distracted! Totally sucked not being able to go (the whole skint thing) but sure that's life right? Ill hopefully get to Paris next month! Fingers crossed!
AAAAAH!!!! Its been like 2 weeks since I last did this! And im not even gonna make any excuses or anything. The truth of the matter is nothing really interesting has actually happened and I don't want my blog to be completely dull! But there are definitely a few things you'll want to hear about it!
Lets start shall we??? Lets discuss the day that Isabelle came and told us there was a guy moving into our very teenie tiny 2 bedroom apartment along with us. I'll talk you through what happened. So its like 10.30 on a Saturday morning so obviously me and Amy are still sound asleep. The doorbell rings. Our rent is due so we answer it coz we assume its Isabelle to collect it (incase youre wondering who Isabelle is, she is the friend of our landlady and she is basically our mode of communication to her and she helps us out etc etc) so yea she came to collect the rent and Amy was talking to her (I was listening from my bed and could kinda half understand the convo) and then Isabelle suddenly asked, “Is Fred here yet?” Fred is the nephew of our landlady who we were told would possibly come and stay from time to time. If you remember, he stayed the week we went to Ireland so that worked out good! And were totally cool with that by the way coz were totally cool full stop! But this did come as a slight surprise to us. Amy replied with something along the lines of “O no, not yet, Is he coming to stay? How long till?” The response to this was........... “Until youre leaving.” WHAT!!!!!!???????????????? Can I just point out that at this stage we were still going to be staying for another 2 and a half months!!!! And now were being told that we have to spend that whole time with some random bloke we have never met!!!???? Im sorry but I kinda figure that when you rent a place off of someone theres generally not some package where the landlady's nephew is included to crash on your sofa for two months (unless hes totally hot coz then im soo up for that package!) I think the shock of this news kinda made Amy just go “o right ok, no problem!” But it was a problem. A big one!
We literally did not know what to do. Some guy was going to be coming to live with us rent free in an apartment that is just big enough for us 2 and that we can barely afford. This isn't really the stuff that dreams are made of like! We then did what any normal functioning human being does in this day and age...... we looked him up on facebook!!! And boy did we not like what we saw. This guy had a striking resemblance to none other than Mr T!!! You know?? Quit yo jibba jabba!! And all that there! So now were freakin out!! It didnt help either that the last time he stayed Im pretty sure he used my loofa, my razor and potentially my toothbrush! Like seriously!!!!! I cant be expected to live like that!!!!!
But. Of course. In true Ashleigh and Amy style. We managed to get ourselves out of this predicament! I wont tell you how we do it, that would just spoil the magic! Just all you really need to know is that a guy did not move in. We have since met him and he seems like a dead on guy and was totally cool about the whole thing! Were not gonna be lifelong buds but hey! I didn't want to be anyway!
Sooooo what else has happened that's cool?? Oh! I played guitar at this business school competition thingy which was awesome!! Appaz business school guys are HAWT!! Tho there was this one guy Raphael who was totally yummy and Amy and Bridget were fighting over him but then we discovered that he was actually checking out the other yummy guy who was playing guitar with me! After a bit of subtle snooping I discovered that this guy was indeed not going to be interested in either Amy or Bridget! Considering they were both female!! But that was a good day! We all just kinda hung out with this guy who had brought along his pet duck who lives on his balcony! Tho he did say he was going to eat him pretty soon coz he was getting fat! Very very random! And then as a thank you they gave me a bottle of champers and 2 tickets to this pretty good theme park! So I was pretty chuffed with that!
But things are definitely looking up at the mo! Up until yesterday the weather was insanely good and resulted in me running round in shorts and a vest and getting really random tan lines coz of playing the guitar! But everything seems so much better when the sun is shining!
Tonight is Amys big performance so she's walking about like a marked man right now! Such fun right? Or not so much! And her mum is over visiting which is great! She can give her sympathy sure! Being her mum n all!! Gets me off the hook!!! Amy I know youre reading this and doing that pouty thing you do when you get mad at me so just so you know, I'm only kidding!!! Have yourself a good mope today, I don't mind, and your performance is going to go spectactularly! You will not fall off the chairs during your solo and you will not collapse from exhaustion when holding the thingy over your head for a full scene!! Love you! Lol
Probably a lot more has happened that I cant remember but im sure its not interesting anyway! So thatll do it!
I can hardly believe that it has only been a week since that horrendous journey back to Frogland! Though it may be a case of it being so traumatic that I'm subconsciously trying to block it from my memory so it seems like it was longer ago. I wouldn't be surprised if that were actually true!
Where did I leave off last time? O aye so after getting back to the apartment I proceeded to sleep for pretty much 2 full days and miraculously managed to not completely fry up my sleeping pattern! My wee McNeilly friend was not so lucky and has spent the past week going to bed at 5am. Bless her wee soul, I almost feel guilty for being able to sleep. Almost. Ha!
Even though I have resumed normal sleeping patterns I'm still wrecked! But duty calls! My whole impromptu going home has resulted in some financial difficulties. I couldn't afford it to begin with so now I'm playing a happy game of hide and seek with the lady who collects our rent (im winning that game for the moment) and am having to suffer the consequences of not paying my phone bill for the last 2 months. Apparently that's not cool with the guys at O2. Bearing all this in mind I have had to suck up the whole being tired thing and hit the streets with the old geetar and try and get back on top of the whole money thing! Oh but the stories I have this week! Priceless!
OK so im not sure I should be offended by this but for some odd reason people seem to have gotten the impression that I am homeless! I suppose why else would I bother hanging out in the streets all day singing on street corners? I just find it hard to wrap my head around when I leave the house every day looking like Superdry have sponsored me! How homeless could I be sporting a leather jacket and checking the old iPhone every 2 minutes!? But on the other hand, the whole homeless thing is a real moneymaker! This lady gave me 10 euros the other day. I was blown away. And then she came back half an hour later asking if I needed a place to sleep that night. Mystery solved! And the number of people who have asked me if Ive had food that day! I should start saying no and send them to Brioche Doree to get me a baguette! I haven't stooped that low as yet!
I have also received quite a few weird payments this week. For future reference citizens of France, cold hard cash does the trick! I received a handful of green guitar picks the other day, a bunch of flowers from this hippy guy who blew me kisses the whole way down the street and a bag absolutely chock full of donuts! The guy who gave me those kinda snuck up, set them beside me and bolted! Thought that was a bit strange so I ended up giving the donuts to a guy who works for one of those street charities who I've decided I'm in love with (That's another story). Good one Ash, youre scared they might be poisoned donuts so give them to the potential love of your life! Sometimes, I just don't think! I also got asked by this awesome looking guy if I was between bands and looking for a new one. His band could use a female vocalist so he gave me his number (should I call and not let on I'm only here for another 2 months?). And then this potentially crazy woman came up to me and asked if I would be interested in babysitting her kids. She says she doesn't like to leave them with just anyone! Good plan lady, trust that potentially homeless girl on the street who plays guitar every day! Shes obviously trustworthy and really good with kids! Some people are just funny!
THE AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN YOU TRY TO PAY A FRENCH SHOP ASSISTANT IN SMALL CHANGE!!! O my days! This girl was soooo rude!! One of the major downsides to busking is that you end up with enough small change to fill the grand canyon with and it can be a tad awkward when youre trying to pay for stuff! The French don't seem to look fondly on the whole ritual of going into their establishment and asking them to swap shrapnel over for notes! I figured they might be glad of the change but apparently not so much. But ANYWAY! I was in the supermarket and had just bought some odds and ends for dinner that night. I think it came to like 15 euros or something and so in my hand I had 15 euros neatly assembled in an assortment of 2 euro pieces, single euros and 50 cent pieces. All stacked neatly together in preparation. I thought, wow aren't I the thoughtful customer! So it came to payment time. I offered her the neat stack of money. She physically flopped. I have never seen such a dramatic physical sigh in all my life. The girl should be on Broadway with gestures like that! Mr Lloyd Weber have you met Mathilde the check out girl? Her dramatic sighs are a thing of beauty! So she very very rudely snatched my neat pile of money and flung it all out on the counter. All my work! She then started counting the money out on top of the till drawer. I'm sorry, is this girl trying to be stupid?? Once she had counted it all out she then had to move it all off the drawer to open the till and then collect it all up again! What a pleb! Gave herself 4 times the work! Im thinking next week of going back to the same supermarket with my mug full of coppers and paying her with that! That'll teach her a wee lesson!
I discovered something about myself this week. I have a wee bit of a thing for guys who try and sign you up for charities on the street. I used to find them so annoying. Maybe its because now everyone thinks I am the charity so they don't come up to me begging to have 5 minutes of my time. Instead they come over for a bit of friendly banter and tell you how great it is you are there and it is brightening up their working day. Who couldn't love that!? I have now fallen in love with my second one. The first guy (in the blue charity organisation coat) I think has moved town and wont be back for a few weeks. The latest guy (in the red charity organisation coat) will be there tomorrow and for the rest of the week. So I look forward to having him for my viewing pleasure!
And as always. There has to be an event in my week that surpasses all other events. This weeks is a real good one. Amy reckons it rivals the goat. Im not sure about that but its definitely up there! So there I was playing and singing, minding my own when this kinda friendly looking old man comes up to me. He was like your typical flat cap, wee moustache, slightly unkempt looking. Could have been someone's granddad. So we talked for a little minute. He asked me where I was from, where I was living etc etc all the usual questions people like to ask me. He then leaned in a little bit. Put his hand up to his mouth and said to me (kinda like a secret) “Je suis un homosexual.” He then gave me this wee cheeky smile and did like a big massive shush with his finger up to his lips. I was stumped. I literally couldn't speak. He then asked me if I was too and if I was surprised. I managed to choke out “oui, non, oui, non” like ten times. I didn't know what to say to him. Maybe “good for you” would have been a good option. How freakin random is that!!!! He then patted me on the arm and walked away laughing at his wee naughty secret. I didn't play properly for the rest of the day. Everytime I thought about it I took a fit of the giggles. Im still laughing! Priceless!!
Well I think that's enough for this week! Oh! Funny fact! That new Pink song that's out? It says the F word in it quite a lot? The French obviously don't know that it's a bad word so when it comes on the radio in the afternoon the curse words are out in all their glory! I thought that was a wee bit funny? No? O sorry, just me then!
GUESS WHERE I WAS THIS WEEK??????? Nobody knew, nobody suspected, not even me till like the day before. I was in sunny NORTHERN IRELAND!! And can I just say, surprising people is beyond the funnest thing on the face of the earth! I'm so not telling anyone next time I come back. The whole just turning up thing is too beautiful! I didn't even tell my parents! Their faces were beyond priceless! Not sure they resumed breathing for the entire week. Though the absolute best person to surprise was Rebekah McKenna! Such excitement I have never seen! If only people greeted you like that on a day to day basis! We would all be that much happier!
Nothing particularly exciting actually happened while I was at home..... Had chips, went baby stuff shopping (called into La Senza but Susan was having yet another day off!! Don't take so many ya waster :P), michelle bought me chinese, went to institute, went go-karting, saw the Hudson Taylor gig in the McNeilly living room, surprised Suzi, hung out in Belfast, hung out with the parentals, spent Donna's money, played a gig, surprised Hilda, hung out again with Donna and Eddy. Think that's about it in a nutshell!
All the real good stories start on the journey home. I don't believe I have ever had such an epic journey! And looking back on it, it was freakin hilarious. So it all started when we misread the fact that it was the GATE that closed at 14.25 and not the CHECK-IN. Holy crap I thought for sure we had missed our flight. So we literally flung our stuff onto the security thingy (I think Amy actually threw her stuff in front of some other woman's) Got threw security as fast as humanly possible and began to sprint through the airport. We discovered that the gate was theeeee furthest away one that it could have been! Im telling ya, I sooo wish we had done more exercise in preparation for this! I literally couldn't run! So we just barely managed to get on the plane. Thank goodness since I had said before that if we don't make the plane I'm not going back to France. Which would have been awkward hanging with Amy in the airport as the plane takes off without us.
So back we were in France! Yay! We had an hour to kill before we had to get on our train so thought we would take it easy and grab a Mickey Dee's. We were chilling, laughing heartily at the fact we had smugly got on the plane without having to hang about waiting at all. Before we knew it, it was ten minutes till the train left and we were about 30 minutes away from the station! Uh oh, we did it again! What is actually wrong with us? You would think we woulda learned! Soooo we had to sprint again. This time we were not so lucky. We didn't actually get a chance to check what platform the train left from so we just took a guess. Turns out we guessed wrong so we had to wave bye bye to our train from the platform just next to it. I guess in a way we kinda deserved this after being so smug about the plane. But not to worry, we spoke to a member of staff who told us we could swap our tickets over to the next train free of charge! Well thank goodness for that so off we went to do this. Guess what we were told. That train was the last train of the night so we would have to wait until the morning to get another. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! A night in the airport. Kill me. We actually could have got another train if we had been willing to pay for our tickets. Hell no was our reply! Being beyond skint kinda made that decision for us. So dejectedly we made our way to the airport. We then spent the next hour on the terminal shuttle train thing (which was class craic!). We were trying to find the least crappy terminal in which to spend the night. Terminal 2 was alright, terminal 3 SUCKED, and terminal 1 was...... well, there was Starbucks! Happy days, nice comfy sofas, a plug so we could use the laptop, Amy bought internet, sorted. We pulled some of the sofas together, took off our shoes, got comfy. 2 hours later a security guard came and chased us away! Though the guy who was working that night came back and gave us M&M cookies coz he felt sorry for us. So we were resigned to the crappy airport seats. Nothing says comfort like a seat at the airport. That's when we met the American girl. I witnessed a miracle. Never have I seen one person go through so many accents in the space of 2 minutes the way Amy McNeilly did right then! I just looked at her thinking..... “what?” lol It was crazy and slightly hilarious. And slightly unnecessary.
The night went from bad to worse. Firstly Amy's internet inexplicably stopped working. There went the evenings entertainment. There was an 8 foot gentleman snoring heartily next to us, it got cold. And worst of all. I couldn't sleep at all. Not even joking, I spent 6 and a half hours staring blankly into space. I think its coz I was throwing back lukewarm coca cola which also resulted in me needing to pee constantly.
The story gets better/worse depending on what perspective you're viewing it from. Being there at the time I'm gonna say worse, as a reader enjoying our continuing misfortune the story definitely gets better. We finally had learned our lesson on the whole get there on time thing so we made our way down to the train station with about an hour and a half to spare. We were zombies. No exaggeration. We waited patiently for the platform number to be announced. When platform 6 was announced we made our way there, saw a train, got on, no problemo. The train takes off. I look at the time. Apparently this train is leaving 25 minutes before it is meant to. It is then I get that sinking feeling. We are on the wrong train. SERIOULSY WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?? I looked, we were on platform 4, platform 6 is beside it. We are actual idiots. I think was when we started laughing our heads off! It had come to that point. What else could we do? Amy then asked where this exact train was going. Toulouse. TOULOUSE??? For those of you not hot on French geography, Toulouse is in the south. And extremely far away. We had really done it this time. I had no idea we were such major retards!
Do not ask us how we sorted out this particular dilemma. It is sufficient to know that we did sort it. And we did not end up in Toulouse thank goodness. Tell you what, nothing quite wakes you up like realising youre on the complete wrong train after spending the night in a cold airport. By the time we were in Tours again I think we were both verging on signing ourselves in to some sort of institution. I just looked at Amy, sheet white face, dark shadows, eyes wide, half smile, rocking back and forth slightly while sitting at a bus stop. I could have been looking in a mirror. She looked exactly like I felt. She probably looked better actually!
So all's well that ends well right?? Until next time buds!