A stellar weekend all round to report, I must say. It started out with a few too many drinks on Friday night, many of them unfortunately in the company of work senior types but there you go. More fun had when we relocated to a club with the young uns in tow where I couldn't embarrass myself too badly and proceeded to dance the night away until c. 4 in the morning.
The next day it was up not too bright and early and out for a savoury crepe lunch - most delicious and nothing like the crepes we know and love in the Anglo-Saxon world - stuffed with cheese, bacon bits and potatoes mmm-mmm. And it was warm enough to sit outside in jeans and t-shirt - despite the thermometer only reading 13 degrees ha ha that would be practically coat weather back in Auckland...
After that we ascended the Aiguille du midi lift - first to 1035 m to see Fi and Andrew parapont off the side of the mountain - most cool, might have to give it a go when I have money and feel brave enough, although the 37 euro cost of the lift up the mountain took it out of me for the time being. Then Verity and I went up the final stage by ourselves - 8 minutes to soar up to 3842 m above the valley but still not as high as the neighbouring Mt Blanc - 4808 m and the highest peak in Europe. Up here it was cold - it had still been warm enough at 1035 m to take my coat off. The view was absolutely beautiful - it was a wonderful clear day and you could see for miles. More importantly, I am finally convinced of the effects of altitude. We had to stumble up some (admittedly rising and rocky) ground back towards the lift from the paraponting site and we had to stop after about a minute of walking because Verity and I (and she's so thin she disappears if she turns sideways, in case you think it's just me being ridiculously unfit) were so out of breath. Seriously, heart pounding and everything - then at 3842 metres I could barely walk up the stairs to the viewing platform, I felt like my feet were made of lead, I was gasping for air etc. etc. Even all the way down I felt ill and still puffed, it was insane. Obviously never going to make it as a mountaineer - it remains to be seen how I'll do skiing up here!
Saturday night I opted for bed rather than going out again, and Sunday it was moving day to my new apartment - which is lush I may add. Not super big but really nicely decorated and right slap bang on the central town square, only 5 mins from town. So I'm finally all unpacked - in the process I found my lost ring, woohoo! and settled in. Plus I had a great afternoon yesterday reading the Saturday Guardian - you may be unable to buy any clothes that aren't ski gear / ridiculously overpriced / both in Chamonix, but English papers are readily available, love it. My apt also has a (small) couch and a double bed, so I'm open for business for when people want to come and stay (you know you want to).
Sun night I must admit I went back to the chalet with all my mates, in order to unproductively huddle with half a dozen of us around a laptop and not watch a movie, but you know, it was company. In the night it totally sounded like people were in my apartment, but not finding anyone on further (super brave) investigation, I managed to convince myself it was in fact people upstairs and have a good night's sleep.
I was in a right mood this morning not wanting to come back to work, but am trying to make up my mind to make the most of it, regard this as merely the difficult settling-in period and give it at least to the end of the winter. After that, I think I'm definitely going to do another Masters and become a real live librarian - cause that's the last time I enjoyed my job!