It has been a while since my last blog post, so welcome back! I haven’t been able to find the time to update you as I’ve had the busiest few weeks – home for my birthday, a surprise visitor in Paris and many hectic days at work.
I travelled back to the UK on Friday 22nd September. I’m not going to go into detail about the journey itself, which was very nearly a complete disaster. Just think; broken metro, a phone with no signal and a stressed girl with no sense of direction running through the streets of Paris – all that before I had even got to Gare du Nord…
Finally arriving at home was the best feeling. I spent my birthday weekend being thoroughly spoiled with a facial, a surprise visit from some of my family (who live 150 miles away) and dinner and drinks in Marlow. On Sunday we brunched, Dad treated me to a delicious roast dinner at Browns in Oxford, and my friends came over in the evening. Monday morning was spent opening cards and presents, eating homemade birthday cake and enjoying my last few hours of home comforts. Mum cooked us a lovely lunch before taking me into London and putting me on the 7pm Eurostar. I thought the celebrations were over, but when I got back to Paris I was greeted with cards, balloons, rocky road and chocolate from my fabulous flatmates. A perfect birthday weekend!
It was then back to reality and full-time work. Little did I know that it would only be four days until my next surprise… Dan showed up at the front door, with Lucy’s help, a whole week earlier than planned! I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe the effort that he went to, and I’m amazed that he managed to hide it from me for so long. We saw all the sights on Saturday; Jardin du Palais Royal, Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Sacré-Coeur, and then Dan took me for a belated birthday meal at Bistrot Victoires before we headed to la Tour Eiffel for the evening. On Sunday we visited Notre Dame, went out for crêpes and walked along the Seine while trying to ignore the fact that it was raining. Two perfect weekends in a row.
My fifth week (!) at work has been my busiest one yet, staying late in the office to get things finished and having to remind myself to stop thinking about work once I have actually left. On Thursday we attended a conference at Nanterre-Amandiers, about how to tackle homelessness, for which our company provided the interpreters and necessary equipment. We had to ensure that all the receivers, headphones and microphones were working correctly before handing them out to the guests and then dealing with any minor technical issues. It was so interesting to see how the process of simultaneous interpreting works in practice, and the complimentary hot lunch was a bonus!