Little Hen

On Little Adeventures

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Little Hen on skis

I had visions of me doing a Bridget Jones and managing to make a complete idiot of myself by not having any control what so ever. Only I hadn’t skied for about six years, and had only done about five weeks worth of skiing… Which I hadn’t exactly mentioned.

It’s like riding a bike though (another thing I did for the first time in a long time only last week), once you’ve learnt you know, except your technique is a bit dodgey. I wasn’t as good as I was last time I skied, although that might just be my memory, but by the end of the week my parallel was getting reasonably decent again. I was happy enough doing red pistes again anyway.

It was the last week of the season at the resort where we were staying, so the snow was more like ice. It freaked me a bit because on the first day I just kept swearing in my head thinking I had no control and was going to slide off the side of the mountain. The problem with thinking you’re going to fall is that you ultimately fall, and falling on ice is painfull. Get over it though and you’re fine.

I took a lesson on the first day. £35. No one ever say that skiing was a cheap sport. I can’t complain though because I didn’t have to pay for anything else on the holiday. However the lesson was in French so I don’t know how much I actually got out of it… Other than ‘serrez vos jambes’ which basically means keep your legs together. Standard really.

There was no internet at the resort. It was weird not having internet for four days, and I came home to a message from my mum wanting to know why I wasn’t communicating. There’s such an expectation that we should have internet access and be able to communicate instantly these days. It was actually really nice not having internet access.

Not much else to say on skiing really. I had fun. I didn’t make a complete fool of myself.

Filed under ski au pair france french challenge Bridget jones

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Anonymous asked: Ahh I loved Manchester when I went to look at the uni but I ended up not applying (another regret). I'm not sure what I plan to do yet. Definitely work to finance myself and save, and a bit of work experience. Then I'd love to go travelling around Europe, although I'm not sure whether I'd want to go alone. I want to brush up on my language skills and maybe au pair somewhere. It's scary how unsure I am about what to do, but I guess that's exciting, as long as I can make the most of it.

Don’t be scared! If it helps I didn’t really know what I was going to do in September 2013 other than a TEFL course. It sort of all fell into place eventually.

That sounds like you’ve got some ideas though which is good! I definitely recommend au-pairing, I haven’t met an au pair that doesn’t like what they do.

Definitely message me with what you end up doing x

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Anonymous asked: "there are some people who i just really hope fail miserably at everything they attempt in life" (retweeted and favourited by you on twitter) ... what a wholesome thought!
Evidently I am a horrible person who is incredibly selfish.

Or perhaps I was having a bad day and found solace in a negative tweet.

Since I’m no longer in a bad mood I have tried to locate said ‘wholesome’ tweet to remove it and avoid further misrepresentation, but I was unable to find it.

Thank you for your interest in my opinions via both Twitter and Tumblr. Please don’t hesitate to flag any further comments which interest you. If you’re interested in wholesome tweets I recommend any of those concerning TED - always pretty thought-provoking!

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Au-Pair in Paris: New Beginnings

I’ve almost been here two weeks. In some ways I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer (apart from my french still being pretty rubbish), in other ways I can’t believe two weeks has gone so quickly.

I need to point out before anything else that I’m not an Au-Pair in a traditional sense. I don’t do any of the housework, and I don’t look after the children. You could think of it more like a paid student exchange. I speak English with them, and live with them. That’s it.

When I arrived a week ago at Gare du Nord my phone didn’t work and neither did the numbers for their phones. I spent about 40 minutes wondering around the station trying to work out how I was going to contact them until some tall, red haired man came up to me and said ‘Heni?’ Or it was more like ‘Eni?’ (Only the French can’t actually say my name). I assumed this was the father of the family, for all I know it could have been a random man that just happened to know my name.

For some reason I’d got it into my head that I was staying in Versailles. I’m not staying in Versailles. I’m staying in Triel sur Seine which is about the distance of Leighton Buzzard from London except it still counts as the île-de-France and Parisian suburbs… Even if no one in Paris has heard of it. I spend most of my time in Paris however which is about a 40 minute train journey - although I’ve had some pretty traumatic journeys to and from Paris which I will post separately.

It’s weird sharing a house with another family that you don’t know. I’m used to my family’s routines of when we eat, and who showers when, and all those small things you don’t normally think about. At home I will often drink tea (herbal or otherwise) in my room. Not only do they not really have a lot of tea, but I can’t drink or eat outside the kitchen. This is a very sensible idea but I can’t get used to it and desperately crave drinking tea in bed.

My French is okay. It’s getting better, I think. I still can’t understand a lot, and hate having to ask ten times for then to repeat, which makes it difficult to communicate. But I’ll get there.

I’m going skiing for a week now and might not have any internet. So I’ll have to do a series of catch up posts when I get back…. On meeting new people, hitch-hiking home, and cultural differences.

Filed under au pair experience gap year little adventures France paris language ski lost in translation

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Anonymous asked: Thank you so much, I think you've actually been the final thing that's convinced me that a gap year is what I need to do! I really admire what you've done over your gap year so far and the attitude that you can do whatever you want and make the most of it, so I'll use you for inspiration. If it's not too creepy I'm excited to see how uni goes for you as well, will you be blogging about it? And if you don't mind me asking, where do you plan to study?

That’s sweet thank you! No it’s not creepy, I’ll be going to Manchester hopefully, if not Manchester then Bristol. Yes I will be if I remember but I’m very bad at being up to date.

Good! You won’t regret it! I’m going away for a week where I might not have internet (crazy I know) but when I get back I can post a list of good websites for gap year information. I’d love to hear what you decide to do! Have you got any idea of things you want to do? X.

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Each year, around 15,000 migrant domestic workers arrive in the UK on short-term visas to work as cooks, cleaners, housekeepers and nannies for wealthy foreign families. Many of them are women from very poor backgrounds in countries like the Philippines, Morocco, India, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Employers are often drawn from Gulf states, and stay in some of London’s most expensive neighbourhoods. Yet new research published this week by Human Rights Watch shows these workers are being subjected to very serious abuses.

Theresa May Can Make History on Modern Slavery. Will She Go Far Enough?

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Anonymous asked: Hi :) I'm thinking about taking a gap year because I'm a little unsure about my course/uni choice, but I'm worried about being lonely and regretting it, because I am so so excited to go to uni and meet new people and fend for myself. I don't want to spend a year longing for uni, and living at home for most of a year is so unappealing. I'm just curious as to whether you felt like this and if you had any advice? Thanks!


Well firstly I would say don’t go to university if you’re having doubts about your choice. I was going to apply to English, but wasn’t sure, and now I’m going to do anthropology which I’m really passionate about. You’ve got to spend three years studying it so take time to make the right choice. I even ended up considering studying abroad which I wouldn’t have done had I gone to university last September.

Even though I wasn’t sure about choices I still really want to go to university. It was a bit hard during October when everyone first started because I did feel like I was missing out a bit. I didn’t really know anyone, and hadn’t started working at that point.

BUT I have met so many amazing and interesting people, and am always meeting more. I did a TEFL course and met people there, I met people doing Paines Plough, and I made friends with all the people I’m worked with. If you get involved with things you’ll make friends. I know a girl who sings so she joined a choir and made friends there. I’m in France at the moment and I wanted to meet people so put a post on a Facebook group and have consequently met loads of interesting people.

Have a plan. I was advised to do five things with my gap year: volunteer, develop a skill, do an internship, do paid work, and travel. You might be living at home but if you keep busy it won’t feel like you’re there a lot. Also consider looking for work abroad. Have a look at gap year sites, there are thousands of opportunities to work abroad. If you ski go and do a ski season. There are loads of jobs that give you accommodation and food and basic pay, you won’t earn enough to save but you won’t be at home.

Having a gap year is sort of an insight of what your life will be like after university, except without loads of debt. And if you use it wisely employers will even see you’ve had more life experience than those fresh out of university.

Overall I would definitely advise you to take a gap year. I’ve had such a good year. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on university because I’ll go in September. I’ve enjoyed not having exam and essay stress. Being at home isn’t as bad as you think, especially if you keep busy. And you will meet people!

Hope that answers your question! If you have any more I’ll be happy to answer them. X