Sunday, 23 January 2011

Note to Mr.K

Dear Dearest, 
Your back in England now. The homeland. I'm still here in France where it's sunny but cold. I have my observation this week and I really could have done with you being here for me to practice my French and for you to support me and keep me chilled out. We'll practice on skype though. When I was walking back from the bus stop earlier a... kind, old French lady asked me if I was ok. At least, I think that's what she said. I said yes and thanked her. I'm glad that you got to come out here for a week. But now I miss being with you in England and in Montpellier. But I'll make myself enjoy these last two weeks so that I have lots of stories to tell you. Anyway, there's only one more Sunday to go and then I'll be back in Leeds for the one after that. I miss you very much. I love you very much too though. Xxxx
(PS. I would have sent you this by text message, but that was before I found out it costs me 85p per text!!)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Lost in Translation

Quick post. Two funny(ish) things that have stemmed from my inability to speak French have happened whilst I've been here in Montpellier. The first was last Tuesday, my first day in school. The teacher was introducing me to the class and asked if I had come via Paris. I thought she had asked if I'd visited Paris, so I said yes. I did not come via Paris. She then asked me if I had come here by plane. (En Francais, aeroplane in avion.) I thought that she has asked me if I had ever been to Avignon. I said no. So my first lesson learnt was two fold. 1). My ability to understand French isn't that great. 2). If I can think of any way to respond to a question in French, even if I can only think of lie, if I can say it in French, I will say it.

The second thing happened in school with my teacher again. We were talking about a lesson that I was going to be teaching that afternoon and she asked me how long it would last. My answer was this "a peu pres trente ans". That mean's about thirty years. I wondered why Francoise (the teacher, how French is her name?!) looked a little bit surprised and confused. Then I realised that basically I'd just told her that I'd prepared a little English lesson that shouldn't last any longer than about thirty years. I think that she think's that I'm a moron. 

On the upside, Montpellier is beautiful. The weather is beautiful. And now that Mr.K is here, all is right with the world. (Apart from the fact that I missed my Mom's birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Mom!)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

En France

Montpellier is beautiful. It is expensive and people are very French. They walk around with baguettes and say "Ooh la la." Not really. Well, the baguette part is true, not so much the ooh la la. Also, they take their dogs everywhere. One on the tram yesterday licked my arm. 

Pictures will come when Mr.K brings my laptop next week. I miss my Mac. But I miss Mr.K the most of all.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Ode to Costco

Costco. Precious Costco.
I love Costco. Precious Costco.
I would live in, precious Costco
If they let me.
Cos' I love Costco. Precious Costco.
(Repeat for as many times as whoever you are with can stand. 
And then do one more round for good measure.)

I made up this song. Can you tell? This is what I sing when we go to Costco. Or when we drive past Costco. Or when someone mentions Costco. Or if I'm eating something from Costco. Or if I think about Costco. (Not really. I only sing it when we go there.) But I love my Costco song. Namely because it combines my love of Costco with the word precious. Precious. Precious is a wonderful word. 

I do not hide the fact that I love Costco. I love it so much that the other day me & Mr.K decided that in the event of some cataclysmic apocalypse style disaster, we will take refuge in Costco. They have everything you could ever need. Even if the whole world outside of Costco is destroyed, you could survive. In fact you could do more than survive. You would even still be able to celebrate your birthday for crying out loud! (Costco carrot cake is the bomb! Bring me slice of that carrot-y heaven and you will earn yourself some major points.) Because think realistically. You'd have food and drink (refillable soda anyone?), ovens to make the food in, cakes, CROISSANTS, beds, sofas, bikes, books, TVs, massage chairs, clothes, shoes, sweets, blankets, cushions, magazines, helium balloon pumps, wrapping paper (important if you have a birthday coming up), stamps, flowers, exercise equipment and you'd be able to make dens at the tops of the shelves! Like they do in Employee of the Month!! Such fun. 

Dear Costco, 
I love you. 
Sincerely yours, 
Beady. Xxx

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy with my choices

15 year old self.

It's year nine, I'm fourteen years old and it's January. It's my friend's birthday party and it's a sleepover, but I'm not sleeping over because it's a Saturday night and I'm going to church the next morning. And that's the whole point. I'm not sleeping over because I'm going to church in the morning. And I'm happy with that choice. But it's not widely understood by my friends at the party. They don't understand why I can't just miss one Sunday.


It's the same night. Same age, same party, same friends. Everyone is drinking a brightly coloured, sweet smelling alco-pop. I'm not. Even though "if you just drink this last mouthful there's not even that much alcohol in it!" They're my friends so they all know that I don't drink, but I've explained it again anyway. I'm happy that I've stuck to a choice that I've already made long before the party even started. It's not widely understood by my friends at the party. (But this time most of them don't mind so much because it means that there's a free alco-pop up for grabs.)


It's year eleven. I'm fifteen years old, at school in my GCSE history class. We're learning about the American West during the time of the big immigration. Part of the syllabus is the Mormons. ("Does anyone know the proper name of the Mormon church?" "Yes Sir, it's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." The boy sat next to turns and ask "how the heck do you know that?" "I am one.") The history teacher is great. He tells loads of stories peppered with character voices, hyperbole and dramatics that captivate the class and genuinely make them interested in history. But some of his stories about the early Mormons in the American West aren't quite accurate and aren't quite as respectful as they might have been. The accuracy has nothing to do with the teacher, he only knows what is in the curriculum and he only knows about Mormons from a historical persepective, not a religious perspective. The slightly lacking respect however, was all him. My whole class knows that I'm a Mormon. They ask me questions about what they've been taught in our history class and I gladly answer them and sometimes correct their misunderstandings. Eventually the history teacher is told that I'm a Mormon and he apologises to me. I'm happy with my choice to talk about my faith with some of my classmates, but mostly they don't understand why I believe what I believe and most of them think that I'm a bit strange. 


It's my first year of A-levels. I'm sixteen years old and in my second ever psychology class. My class has two teachers and this is the first time that I'm meeting my second teacher. Straight away she is very open about her sexuality and her atheist beliefs. She is very different from any teacher I've ever had before. We call her by her first name and she freely expresses her (extreme) opinions on God and religion. She asks if anyone in the class is religious. I look around. I raise my hand. I am the only one. She hones in on me and pelts me with questions. Are you a Christian? Which church? What do you believe in? Why? I was happy to answer her questions, but I was so aware of everyone staring at me and the slight tone of ridicule in her voice. I was happy to share my beliefs and I intended in time to make everyone in the class aware of them and my church membership. Eventually. But I want them to know me as Becky - the Mormon first, not 'The Mormon - oh, whats her name again?" I'm happy with my choice to raise my hand and answer the teachers questions, to declare my Mormonism to the whole class before I even know all of their names, but these strangers that were my classmates and my teacher didn't really understand my faith or why I believe. 


I'm now in my third year of university. I've had more experiences like these, where I've explained to people about my faith, my beliefs, my religion. I'm happy with the choices that I've made to do this, my faith is a large, nay huge, nay massive part of who I am, but sometimes, because of my choices I've singled myself out, drawn a big red arrow above my head that points out that I'm different. And I'm happy with that. 

On Friday I go to France. I'll be there for a month with 11 other girls from my primary education course. I don't know any of these girls especially well and this is the first time that I'll have spent a lot of time with and lived with people that aren't Mormons too. They're nice girls, I know this for sure, so in this coming month I'm sure that I'm going to have many more opportunities to be with happy with choices to explain what being a Mormon is, what I believe and why I believe it. 

Here's to choices that we're happy with. Ching ching.