I spent Christmas at home with my parents for the first time in 6 years and it was lovely. Holland was covered in snow and very cold!  While a white Xmas is lovely living on the farm means that no one cleans the  snow of the dykes and driving was more than a little challenging. Luckily I did not end up sliding of the dyke when I did get into the car.  I also met Judith’s son who was born a few weeks early but besides being tiny is doing great. Seeing judith with her baby was great and it is the first time that someone that close to me has had a baby which made it extra special.

Boxing day I went out dancing with Conny and her new and very lovely girlfriend. As per usual we had a fanastic time and I bumped into some very old friends I had not seen in 8 years! I came back to Tours on the 30th to spend NYE in Elsa’s house.  Coming back to France was weird since I had really had to get used to hearing and attempting to speak French again, but I felt much better and less homesick. I think I have finally accepted the whole not getting the fellowship thing and am ready to focus more on my work here. I have an appointment to meet with another lab on Thursday to see if I can learn the in situ hybridisation there and hopefully meet some people who will be able to help me!

NYE in France was very different than in Sydney and in Holland. For one there were no fireworks and so nobody was outside. I went to Elsa’s house for dinner together with 8 other Frenchies.  We started with some drinks and a round of Karaoke which was fun. Around 11 PM we finally sat down for dinner;  RACLETTE.  You sit around this hot plate with little pans and heat up special cheese, once it is melted you poor it over your cold cuts or potato and eat it.   We had heaps of food, but after a few slices (they are pretty thick) my stomach had had enough. Because we were eating and there were no fireworks we actually missed midnight!  So at 12.15 AM we wished each other a bonne Annee and continued with our dinner. After dinner we danced around the living room.  I did not drink very much so by 3 AM I was really tired and went home.  It was really very low key although  I am pretty sure that the pubs and clubs would have been more lively. No real resolutions this year although I realised this morning when I was attempting to wrestle myself into my jeans that I should definitely start going to the gym (going today) and maybe cut back a little on my eating well at least all the sweets etc.

Today is the first day back and to be honest I am pretty happy to be back.  I really enjoy being in the lab and I would have worked over the holidays if this had been possible. However due to the fact that our lab is a little under equipped I use 3 other labs at different departments to get my work done but I can only get in them if other people are around and during the Holidays all the Frenchies leave so there was no way for me to access my brains or slides or microscope.

I will be re-assessing my immuno today and decide whether or not I need to run more slides and then the fun of slicing will begin!

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