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  • maygrehan

French, Funtimes and Family visits

Dear friends, family and all the people I’ve met along the way,

It is now August, can you believe it? My tax is done, I’m heading into week 3 of the second semester and I only have a few more months down here in Sydney town.

This month I picked up my French game which has been lacking in recent years. I reopened my Duolingo account to find that they had put me back to square one but allowed me to keep my XP points (follow me MayMay09890). I also finally enrolled myself in a french language class at Alliance Franciase. It is fast-paced and the instructor speaks in French and stares intently at everyone to gauge their understanding and if he needs to slow down. A very interesting way of teaching but it’s working. It and Duolingo had me add a French keyboard to my phone and I can say and write down several French phrases. I have also finally made the switch over to French subtitles (not quite ready for French dub with English subtitles yet). My goal with French is to be able to one day watch all of Ratatouille in French… maybe in France… with a live orchestra. I’ll keep manifesting that one.

I am still attending the board game nights on Mondays in the city. This month I played many games but my favourite goes to Bang! The Outlaw Game where I was a renegade and was so close to killing both the sheriff and the outlaws. So close! Between Two Cities, Mysterium and Park were also some of my favourites. I played a few deck-building games with aliens and vampires but the names were too complicated to remember, as well as a game about corruption that had you competing with another player anonymously. So before you won the game you had to make sure you scored higher than them in all relevant categories. I will try to remember the game's name – I’ve searched google only to find that multiple games have corruption as their core element, so that’s no help.

Thanks to Adobe overcharging me for a whole year, I was refunded and spent the money on a Brisbane trip. This coincided with orientation week where I had an intensive course from 12-4 pm for five days. It was lovely to go up and hang out with my best people: Sheks, Jess, Hannah and the whole family. Top-notch quality people. I got to see Irena in The Sunshine Club at QPAC, I got to be part of the winning team of Scribblers at Brunswick Hotel’s Innquizative trivia, I got to celebrate a friend's birthday with drinks on a rooftop bar, and I got to celebrate Lucy’s birthday by teaching them how to make bottle rockets and by throwing burritos at each other.

Books I've read in July: ‘Life’s Too Short’ by Grace Saunders – I didn’t get much from this book, to be honest. It reminded me of Girlfriend magazine. Very obviously for women and only for women. My mistake for choosing it really. ‘Reasonable Doubt’ by Dr Xanthe Mallett – was all about injustices in the criminal justice system in Australia. Man people sure have fucked up. It is just wild how many things can go wrong in the CJS. Reading this book made me feel like I was studying which was nostalgic (because I was on uni break) but also not very relaxing. I also read ‘Me’ by Elton John – this book is fabulous. So much name-dropping and Elton’s honest opinion of stars. Who knew Rod Stewart and Elton John had the best friendship spanning decades which had them playing practical jokes on each other? Drugs, suicidal attempts, family breakdowns, mental breakdowns, the background of songs, and the story of Bernie and Elton. I found out that he hates ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ and ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’. Two guilty pleasures of mine. I highly recommend it.

Movies I've watched in July: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ was great. I really like how they didn’t give you very much of the real story in the trailers. I was quite delighted going in, not actually knowing what was happening which is odd with big superhero movies. I loved the appearances of everyone’s children in the movie. Cheap labour and nepotism as it’s best! ‘Onward’ was a fun movie to watch considering I had just joined a Dungeons and Dragons group. I wanted to see this years ago but the pandemic meant it didn’t come out in cinemas and then I just forgot about it completely. It was so silly. I like silly. ‘Minions: Rise of Gru’ was great. Not the best one because Gru obviously isn’t fully grown and mean. They play on the cutesy side of things rather than straight out rude, so it’s different but very cute. ‘Luca’ was alright. Reminded me of sea monkeys. Lastly, I finally watched ‘Atomic Blonde’. Sheesh Charlize Theron is fricken beautiful and James McAvoy is so handsome. Pity everyone looked so dirty and bloody the whole film. I think I don’t like gritty action movies. Like I have a level of violence that I can sit through and this movie passed that level. I had to spend the movie playing sudoku so I had something else to look at while people were being stabbed repeatedly, blinded by shards of glass and bashed in with skateboards.

Other news this month saw me back with the Girl Guides (this time in Haberfield and with a different age group), I attended the concert of Liam Gallagher with my housemate and every English person living in Sydney, and I purchased my first lot of fortnightly contacts which means I’m moving on from my long-standing glasses phase. Also I finally applied for the exchange program with UniSC for Mississippi or Wyoming.

Thanks for checking in on me and I’ll write to you next month!

Xx May

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