The weather has turned nasty here, lots of wind and rain. It's practically dark when I get up, which makes me feel like staying in bed. I got my first text back and there were so many corrections to make that I almost cried. I'm trying to look at this in a positive light as a learning experience, but it's not always easy. I get frustrated with myself that I'm not doing better, though I'm doing all that I can to improve my work.
The Christmas lights are up and everything looks cheerful in Luxembourg City, but the best part is that most major shops are now open on Sundays because it's Advent. This is not to say I buy anything, but I do like looking around. And of course, there are the usual Christmas sales. The best thing about Luxembourg is that they still have C&A here, as well as M&S and Etam and H&M.
My parents arrived last Saturday morning to stay the weekend. It was nice to have some other people in the flat with me. I took Dad around Luxembourg while Mum caught up on her sleep and Dad took pictures of Luxembourg City and the château, so when he uploads them, I will provide links and you will finally be able to see pictures of where I live and where I walk on the weekends. As you will see, everything is pretty. Anyway, this meant me navigating Dad to Luxembourg City and back in the car, which was fun, as being a pedestrian, I don't usually note where the car parks are. Even if I had, Luxembourg's one-way system puts Salisbury's to shame and a lot of the time, the car parks aren't even indicated. We ended up parking next to the train station, which was ironic, but good as I knew where I was. I showed Dad all the pretty centre and then we actually went into the older part of the city and walked around the city wall. This meant I was closer to the Grund than I'd been before and in the daylight. It's rather German in appearance but very pretty. Then we made our way back to the train station and drove back.
Since I'd booked us an evening meal at Dal Notaro on Rue de la Tour Jacob, which is actually in the Grund (though technically, it's in Clausen) I even had the opportunity to go down that wonderful cobbled street I've passed so many times (Montée de la Pétrusse for those who'd like the name). After some mix ups, we did eventually get to the restaurant, which was fabulous (thanks to Sophia, who told me about it). The room, which Sophia had specifically told me to book, was very pretty, decorated in dark red with lots of wine bottles. The food was delicious and not too expensive. The next day I booked another restaurant on the same street, just so we wouldn't get lost again. This was a more relaxed affair, called Maybe Not Bob's, which basically does American grill food. Best part about this place is that they all speak English, so I could relax for a while.
The next day we went to Clervaux to see a photo exhibition, but I thought it was in the Abbey and it wasn't, it's in the chateau. Never mind, I'll know for next time. It was raining hard so we didn't stay long. Mum and Dad bought me two laundry baskets and a kettle and Dad helped me figure out how to work the coffee machine, so I can now make coffee or tea, whichever I want. I also have a new saucepan and another frying pan, and Mum made me stew, because I've obviously been starving to death for the past four weeks.
This week was pretty good considering all the food Mum and Dad bought me, but I haven't used the coffee machine or the kettle ONCE since Mum and Dad left. I tend to drink cold water most of the time because the flat is really warm. Even Mum said so, and she's permanently cold (because she spent her early childhood in Iran, she was forever spoiled for the UK). I have been making some inner progress, even though it doesn't seem like that to Lorraine. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm in this mindset where I expect to end up disappointing her, so I just put my head down and blindly work. Or maybe translating caption after caption is just not really a good test of my translation skills. I translated an e-mail for her and had hardly any mistakes.
The BBC have finally put up the full version of Song For Ten from Doctor Who, so I've been listening to that on repeat the entire day: for one thing, it makes me feel like it's Christmas and for another, it's a cheerful song. My flatmate Martje arrives on Sunday, which should be interesting. We had a nice e-mail exchange, although I am slightly worried, because she is apparently arriving by train. Now, I may not have mentioned this here, but the train station is a good 20-25 minute walk from the chateau. That isn't much of a problem when it's just you and a backpack, but it does become a bit far when you've got luggage. I e-mailed her and told her to book a taxi or a ride or something, got a blank reply back, so no idea what's going on there. Never mind. Maria Cristina has given me her phone number in case of emergency. Really hope I don't have to use it, suspect I will. We'll see.
I went to see The Company of Wolves last night. It's based on the stories of Angela Carter, so lots of sexual imagery and blood all mixed in with "Little Red Riding Hood". Those who are reading Watching for Wolves may now nod sagely, although don't worry, it's not going to turn into Angela Carter. It has given me some good ideas for dream sequences, though, so watch out for those. If you're interested in folkore and adolescence and the darkness in fairytales, rent it on DVD, but read the story first (it's in "The Bloody Chamber"). No film can really do justice to Angela Carter's language.
So I'm about to spend my last solitary weekend here, can't say that I'm sorry someone is coming. I do like my own company but one and a half months in a quiet place like this does start getting to you.