Oh man. Spent another three hours on the video this morning. It's becoming THE VIDEO, this torturous little thing stuck in the corner and sucking my life. It is my own version of The Machine.
You don't know what The Machine is? Sit yourself down and watch The Princess Bride at once.
In any case, having had my soul drained out of my eyeballs for three hours solid I decided to make a break for it and fled towards the shops for a baguette, some ham, and a relaxing hour in the park lazily remembering the work I wasn't doing. I was nearly there when I got a call from an unknown number. Never have I been so close to simply pushing a call straight to voicemail. I think this is the first time - which says nothing good about my level of forever alone - that I've looked at someone calling me and wondered if I could be bothered to reply.
I did. I'm so glad I did; my solo hour of pensive reflection became a bubbling spring of conversation as my colleague Meyling joined me. She's trilingual, I've mentioned her before, and we had a lot of fun just sitting back and relaxing. Making a sandwich by tearing open a baguette, stuffing cheese and meat inside and then stuffing that bad boy straight down one's gullet is the pinnacle of civilisation. You can keep your tuxedos and champagne; give me orange juice, fresh bread, good company and shade from this cursèd sun and I am content.
It couldn't last forever; for a start it was only lunchtime and we had plenty of work to do. There were translations to do, of which I managed five pages in an afternoon, as well as a Powerpoint presentation to rearrange, and team lists to make up. Trying to get a good mix is tricky, but I'm sure there's an algorithm I could apply to make it work. I just have to work it out.
Finally, at 18h Hélène and I spoke to the stagiaire for next year. She sounded like she'd gone a long way beyond nervous as we quizzed her about her plans, how she'd be getting here, what her thoughts were, if she was looking forward it ("Uhh...oui..." was the squeaked response) and other such things. I'm really glad we got in contact with her before; I flew in pretty much blind and had no idea how to get to the residence from the station, which was where I ended up. That journey is still the worst I've suffered here.
I don't want to can't wait to not go. Heartbroken, especially after the new stagiaire's voice. She's so Scottish, and those tones have awakened a longing for 18-hour long nights and blistering cold and a face full of snow. Take me home and keep me here, please.