Brussels for the nth time :)

Brussels for the nth time 🙂 – My return for the day on Tuesday 16th June 2015.

It’s nice to be back in Brussels as always. Even if I found it extremely tiring (got back at 10:30pm after my French lesson the Monday) then had to be up extremely early as I booked an earlier Eurostar train then usual, up at 5:30am. Then kind of ran out of places to go, not enough time, and too tired to think. There are tons more places in the city that I have not even explored yet, but they can’t be done in a day. I will only do a max of two more visits this year before saving up for the future.

In terms of University news. I was extremely disappointed that the Open university stopped graduation ceremonies in Versailles. Very, very upset about this. I was so looking forward to it. It was going to be one of the highlights of my 2016. So now, it’s not to be. I’m still not sure of the reasoning behind it. It seems a tad opaque. The OU cited costs, how much would they have needed to charge to make it profitable? Could it have had anything to do with government funding? I’ve been local for a way to become more vocal on this issue. Below is the letter sent by the OU to students. Is it just me who finds the explanation a bit hazy? 🙁

Letter from the OU about the withdrawal of Versailles as a place of graduation.

So, here are a few videos that I took of my trip to Brussels. Enjoyed my time there even if it was just a day!

My images of that week are below, they are in random order.

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Lastly, Rest in Peace to all those killed in terror attacks worldwide. Good and freedom will always prevail. Also, sad to hear of the tragic events in Belgium that killed a coach driver, and left many injured schoolchildren and teachers from Brentwood, Essex.

Getting Frenchified

Getting Frenchified – A new term that’s happily happening to me.

The first week (re)learning French has been exciting for me. I’ve lost a lot of what I thought I knew but also remembered quite a bit. Feel quite positive at the moment, I’ve only had two lessions so far my next one will be today (later in the evening).

Last week Monday, I was nervous about getting started with my first French lesson. Whilst waiting on the platform at Southbury (my local) station I heard a Belgian girl talking about Belgium with her companion. I got talking with her and she mentioned that she was from Flanders and how I would like Vilvoorde if I go to Brussels. I would have liked to speak to her more but didn’t get her name or number!

Anyway, I’m determined to get more involved in French culture, aka getting Frenchified. I’ve been given a great opportunity by the Institut Français who have given me a free year membership along with my study of the language. I want to meet French people, talk French and feel more comfortable talking French. Right now, I don’t have the confidence to talk French to people (in particular natives) except for a couple that I am really comfortable with. I’ve kind of become involved with meetup.com, to meet and socialise with more French speakers. I’m also interested in socialising with Belgian people in London more. Going to try and find groups and people that I can meet 🙂

Regarding the Institut Français, I aim to make use of the cinema. To watch French films, The prime one is Timbuktu at the moment and its subtitled so should help. I also want to explore other ways of connecting with French people and getting involved with French culture there. If anyone can suggest other ways in which I could get more Frenchified please comment.

I’ve got to work on my numbers, and French grammer a little more. My pronounciation is not too far off.

I’ve met a French girl that lives just outside of London. She’s pretty cool and it’s interesting getting to know her. Hoping to see her some more 🙂

This week in images

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I also ended up eating indian food at a restaurant for the first time that I can remember last week Friday. No snaps unfortunately.

Edit: I started writing this on Monday 15th and only published it on the 19th! I went to Brussels again on the 16th and so I will make a seperate post about my journey. Pics and videos to come! It’s been a hectic few weeks for me. Bit unusual and I’m not coping! 🙂

Out of interest I need some business cards. I have a very basic design, could do with a little tweaking but simple is best and all that. They are going to be used for a wide range of purposes from professional job app to more informal encounters. If you a designer please comment below or mail me using the contact form.

I’m also thinking of writing a Economic paper (my second after my university report) about the Economics of developing countries focusing on the continent of Africa. If I do, the paper would be published and released here.

What I’ve been up to..

Studying French to C2 level.
Studying French to C2 level.

I’ve enrolled onto my French course for the summer. The aim is to learn French right up to C2 (Fluency). I’m excited, and start on the 8th June. So, next week! I’ll also be in Brussels in two weeks, so, a lot to look forward to.

Today, I also officially completed my project for DD309 with the Open University. I will be driving up to Milton Keynes to hand it in on Tuesday morning (tomorrow). It’s all been printed and bound, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears.. well not entirely true but almost! 😉

I’ve enjoyed this module immensely my tutor has been great. Assisting me through Skype/Email and face to face at our session at the London School of Economics. The project involved huge amounts of research regarding Environmental Economics and Carbon Trading. I’ll never look at the European Emissions trading scheme in the same light again.

On the way, I learnt so many things about how the EU operates. From using their direct line service (for help on EU matters) and Email. All of which delivered exactly what I needed. I feel that like most things regarding governance most of the information and is there if you ask for it.

I’ve also become more aware of how deeply important the environment is to us as a public good. Not just due to climate change, but the air we breathe, the views we enjoy. The things we can’t make excludable and struggle to protect. In conclusion, I found the EU ETS did assist with reducing emissions but only by a marginal amount and it maybe a little too early to say we collected any meaningful data. As the ETS has only been running 10 years. Environmental policies tend to take many years and not show improvements in short or even the medium-run. Many weaknesses within the EU carbon trading system can be solved by EU policymakers (which I will reveal in another blog post when I have my results back 😉 ).

It’s been incredible this module and I want to thank friends (some who are no longer with me), close family for the support. It’s been tricky at times to self-motivate myself. Many times I’d have a beer and watch question time doing little else. My degree is not over but it’s been an amazing journey so far and I feel everyone in my life is part of it. I’m so lucky to have you all. So, thank you!

My Pictures of the Month are below

Few notes: EMA stands for end of module assignment it’s basically my project for my Economics module. The intimate relations thing is an economic valuation I guess! How much time we spend and the net effect of those things, Got a few vanity shots… I don’t often go vain but I thought I’d go against the grain a little. And protect the NHS, our human rights might be disappearing but can we at least protect that? Too bad the tories got in.

My blog may be down at various points over the next month. It really needs an overhaul a nice new theme, it needs to be mobile/tablet friendly (hint, hint can anyone help in any way? 🙂 ).

Also, I’m taking action to address why the blog is slow loading. The database has pretty big over the years. I know the comment feature is not working properly for all readers. I’m trying to fix that too.

Whilst reading I was listening to:

Danke, Merci, Thank you