First day at work & henna lols

Murcia
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lesson planning on my balcony

So I think my interview at the language academy went well the other day (as planned). They offered me around 5 different students with the potential for more and maybe even my own intensive class, woo!

The owners of the academy are literally the friendliest people ever and have even been helping me with other Spanish stuff, not work related. Which is super sweet of them.

This evening I had my first day (I mean hour.) of work teaching English with an older student, let’s call her Sue.

Sue is at elementary level and explained she can understand more than can she can speak, so we started off with the very basics before using shop role play and picture cues to practice describing other people, talking about her daily routines and buying clothes in a shop. I wasn’t really nervous but definitely apprehensive about my first lesson but luckily it went really well. We both relaxed and the hour flew by, Sue said she really enjoyed the lesson which was a massive sigh of relief for me.

I walked home, had a quick chat with mum (she’s in Mallorca with my dad and sister) and headed to Kloe and Jess’ for wine, milka, hair braids and henna tattoos. Let’s say we got a bit carried away with the temporary tattoos…


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plus more that I didn’t take pics of.

Mary x

‘I’m so sorry Marweee’ – 2nd October 2014

Au Pairing in Paris

Apparently these tales of tantrums and poop are making people laugh (is it bad that it’s at me and not with me…?) so here’s a quick overview of today.

I woke up in a positive frame of mind (basically praying for no major dramas) even though when my alarm went off I genuinely didn’t know where I was for a couple of minutes. I just stumbled around wondering where my mum was and why I’d woken up in this random bedroom. Anyways, I managed to realise what the dealio was and I did the usual get the kids ready for school shabang. After a quick nap I grabbed my running gear and headed for the Seine; almost 7km later I was shattered and sweaty so had a long bath. I tidied up the kids stuff then got on with my TEFL assignments and somehow managed to finish the grammar and language section with 90%. I’m pretty happy with that considering TEFL is so much harder than I first anticipated; the English language is confusing as heeeck. Only 3 more modules to go wahey.

I wish I could say I was super productive all day but unfortunately I was craving chocolate so made myself a mug cake (or 2) and girl crushed over Guillianna Rancic. Todays park session was going worringly too well and after an hour I’d yet to see tears or any poo, miracles can happen! Well, actually they can’t. As I was about to round up the troops it occurred to me that P had been sitting on the ground for over 15 mins, looking like she was digging a little hole in the woodchips. ‘P are you ok there?’ I asked, ‘Marwee I’m sorry I caca’ed’ THOSE DREAD WORDS ONCE AGAIN. Even though I’d taken her to the loo about 20 minutes earlier she thought it was best to poop in the middle of the park for the second time this week ūüė¶ Also she had her legs wide open with a row of mummies opposite her, so, unlucky for them. The buggy to toilet sprint is now perfected so I got her cleaned up in a matter of minutes, new record!

I told F about my ordeal and she then told all of her friends who obviously found it hilarious. They danced and made up games whilst I chased P and J around trying to force them into the buggy. When we eventually left I had another scary moment as we crossed the road (why do roads exist, crossing with 3 kids is terrifying) P tripped on the curb, hung onto a pole and swung round into the road. She lay there laughing at herself whilst a stranger and I tried to drag her out of the road. Thankfully she was fine and it was totally an accident but oh boy my heart skipped a beat.

We played in the garden, sang Taylor Swift songs as I bathed them, played with dolls and then had the most random dinner that I’ve cooked since arriving. Ham and cheese crepes with rice and pureed pumpkin…

I dashed out of the house when I was free and skateboarded and metro’d my way to Bethany and Judit’s flat in Olympiades. We were all loving my great choice of snack; Speculoos with white chocolate fingers. So darn good. I’m so grateful for our girly evening because I was getting¬†a bit¬†tired of talking princesses and pirates with the kiddies.

I hope you enjoy taking pity on my life ruled by toddlers.

Mary (bisous)

First week in Paris – 8th September 2014

Au Pairing in Paris

I can’t believe I’ve only been in Paris for 8 days. I feel like I’ve settled in so quickly, met loads of lovely people and seen some cool stuff and can’t believe I’ve got pretty much a whole year to explore this amazing city.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Au Pairing is a completely different world and it’s been a bit strange to fit into my role but I’ve found meeting up with other Au Pairs has been really helpful. Last Sunday I went to my first ‘meet up event’ in Paris; a big picnic organised for international students and au pairs in Champ De Mars, a park directly in front of the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t know anyone there so just sat down with the first group I saw and discovered a few English girls. We all chatted for hours over baguette and some amazing (my new trademark!) Blanc Peche wine. It might be Paris’ version of Lambrini (cheap and sweet) but I don’t care as it’s so yummy. I was so happy I plucked up the courage to go as I met some awesome people who I’ve already seen a few times again since then.

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My actual ‘work’ has been enjoyable, I’m learning a lot about the children and they seem to be getting used to me as their new helper/playmate/friend.

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One of the biggest challenges here is managing my time and motivating myself to work. Some of you know that I’m studying a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course at the moment and I’ve completed the classroom courses so now the rest is online. It’s 120 hours split into about 7 different units; you learn each unit then have a review at the end to test your understanding. I’m in the early stages of it; it’s interesting but difficult to find the right time to do it. I’m also trying to re learn some french using the duolingo app and website, which are both fab. On top of these i’m supposed to be applying for french lessons at a language school for 1 day a week. I obviously want to learn more french whilst here but the cost of these language schools are a bit crazy so I’ll maybe do some more research before booking. So this is my ‘workload’ but there’s a ridiculous amount of other stuff I want to get done this year;

– I’d love to do some dance teaching as I hate coming completely out of the dance bubble

РI need to get my exercise on and stop being so lazy, the plan is to join a netball club

– More photography. I haven’t touched my DSLR in weeks (I always use my mini panasonic but actually setting up a photo is painful for me now) and that needs to change ASAP

– More diary writing as I love that feeling of reading back over great / average / crappy times, months or years later

– More fashion show, events, gigs, parties, meet ups etc!

– Less time worrying about not fitting it all in. And just doing it.

Mary 

x

today's view from lunch

today’s view from lunch

What should I do? Why not move to Paris?! – 15th August 2014

Europe

If you read my post yesterday, have me on Facebook, Twitter or know me in real life you should know that come 30th August I’ll be moving to Paris to become an au pair!

I applied for the position on Gumtree¬†(maybe my favourite website of all time.) whilst aimlessly wondering ‘what to do with my life’. I have a lot of these moments of having no idea or direction with what to do with myself and it can take a few days of convincing myself that I actually have loads of interests and maybe a few talents that will get me by. If I don’t come up with that then I can easily spiral into ‘I’ll never get a job, I have no skills, I’m going to end up penniless and homeless, I’ll be eaten by foxes on the street’ mood. Which is no fun.¬†

I searched for any job overseas; I decided England was the enemy and staying here would be like giving up. Which I now see as completely ridiculous but when you return from an unreal few months half way across the world you don’t get too excited by going to Howard Centre or getting a food shop at Sainsbury’s. I had my mind set on Asia; specifically teaching English in China because it was so far away and is unknown territory for me. I applied for every Asian teaching job I could find but many required a TEFL qualification or a degree, which I have neither of. My next step was looking for jobs closer to home and where visas weren’t an issue so searched for jobs in Europe.

In the back of my mind Au Pairing was always an option; I love kids, usually get on well with adults, want to learn a language and it provides accommodation and food. I read a family’s profile and liked the idea of their ‘everyday life’ – 3 young children who enjoy singing, dancing, sport and playing with 2 lovely parents and a beautiful house near central Paris. Parfait! I decided to apply with my CV and a cover letter. I must’ve done something right because a few days later I was having an interview with the children’s father and a week later I got an email to say I’d got the job!

Now I have just over 2 weeks before I get the Eurostar to ¬†my new home for a year in Paris. I have a lot to organise and prepare but as usual I’m distracting myself with more exciting options and running from my responsibilities, woo!

Mary x

Sacre Coeur

Sacre Coeur