Bonne Année, Bitches

Well, look at that. Bienvenue to 2014, lads! Allow me to first recap the twilight weeks of 2013.

It was quite the time of milestone birthdays; boyfriend’s 30th and dads 60th. Boyfriend’s 30th was celebrated with tapas, Cirque du Soleil and a boozy house party. Cirque du Soleil was so amazing it made my face hurt. I managed to blag tickets 5 rows from the front and by the end of it I was cursing myself for not having been born an incredibly small-built Chinese boy and having then dedicated my life to cross-dressing contortionism. The tickets were pretty spendy but I had been told it was amazing. Even going in knowing it was going to be the cat’s pyjamas, I was still filled with a level of appreciation normally reserved for fluffy ducks, stamps in my passport and things topped with bacon & cheese.

The faither’s 60th was celebrated with an equally boozy night in town. Unfortunately, the flight to Glasgow arrived too late in the evening, so I opted instead for going to Brussels then flying to Edinburgh. Where I work is 6 miles from the Belgian border. I could probably walk it if I was motivated. Sadly though, the only times I’ve been to the country of chips, beer and a higher-than-healthy-rate of child kidnap have been to go to Charleroi airport. For those not in the know, Charleroi is probably the Gorbals of Belgium. Before it got all fancy and gentrified and they started building new flats to try and entice yuppies. Imagine a pre-gentrified gorbals but filled almost exclusively with increasingly shady looking sex shops, decorated with graffiti and broken glass. I think there’s fast food places too. I’m sure that’s it. Anyway, faither’s 60th. Months before his birthday I’d emailed members of his  favourite band, the aptly titled Magic Band. I wanted them to make a little video saying happy birthday to my dad. After a few months of waiting and wondering how many emails would seem desperate (which naturally I was but a girl has to play it cool) I decided to switch band members and luckily not only did he agree, he offered me guestlist for any show on their tour….what a sweetheart! The video came through after the party had started so had to find a way to get it from my phone onto a computer with no wifi. Naturally this led to the video inexplicably ending up upside down. The end of my speech was therefore “So, now I have a little surprise for my dad. You’ll all see it on the big screen, but it will be upside down and there will be no sound. Dad, you watch it on that laptop there, yeah…just turn that upside down. Right you are”. Years of learning languages and being a bit of a show off in general has made me a confident public speaker but I also have a habit of saying meaningless shite as well. I started my speech with “I’m not going to rap this time….well, maybe later” this time?  Implying that on a previous occasion I had rapped at a gathering of all our nearest and dearest. I realised then that it was ok since everyone there probably thought it had been a previous party that they just hadn’t been at, an in-joke they didn’t get. Suckers!
The video can be seen here – enjoy!

http://belledejournal.tumblr.com/video_file/72872742492/tumblr_mz6yk4LT2I1qdkf5g

My classes are still as entertaining as ever. On the last day of one of my classes, I teamed up with one of the other lectrices to give our class a Christmas quiz. Look how hip and fun we are, kids! A boy in my class had mentioned the week before he had been working on a surprise for me and was going to perform it next week. Since he had been alternating between making puppy dog eyes at me and creating artful sketches of me all semester, I feared it was going to be some sort of romantic declaration. However, the reality was about 45,000 times better. He sat down at the piano I have in my class (ballin’) and began to clink away on the keys. Then, shit got all Love Actually and other members of the class stood up from their seats and began to sing…..Flower of Scotland. The other teacher I teamed up with also happens to be Scottish so we sat there in this surreal display of Scottish patriotism from 18-year-old French students. But come on, they must know that we’ve heard that song like a billion times, surely they would have thought of a way to jazz it up? Well, hoots mon, m’laddy they did. The guy from the piano stood up, went and hid in a 6ft cardboard box he’d previously installed at the front of the class and demurely removed his shirt (obviously a shy boy). He emerged with a saltire painted on his chest, busting out a Flower of Scotland ocarina solo. This legitimately happened. I have like 40 witnesses. I genuinely considered filming it and then the thought of my boss listing “filmed topless students” as a reason not to give me a reference popped into my head.

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