001 – The dawn of a new blog

Good afternoon one and all!

How to start a blog? A question that has challenged civilisations through the ages. A conundrum indeed, especially for someone such as I, a seasoned avoider of the world of blogs for some time now, owing to the concern that writer’s block, or just a general wave of “can’t-be-arsed” sydrome (yes, that is the technical term) may set in and threaten to extinguish my recently-discovered, blog-writing desires, leaving audiences and critics aghast and dismayed. Nonetheless, here we are. The bullet can consider itself truly bitten.

This is, indeed, my first blogventure, and I’m going all out. That’s right, I’m not doing just doing a Blog…but I’ll be taking the world of YouTube by storm also (providing technology doesn’t fail me), in what will promise to be a BlogVlog extravaganza. I’m hoping that by making videos as well, I can make it that bit more captivating, presumably through dramatic reading techniques and exaggerated facial expressions. “But Jonny!” I hear you cry, “Why now?!”

What has really sparked the sudden surge of interest in blog-writing is my impending séjour in our neighbouring croissant-loving nation to the south-east: France. That’s right, my hunger for experiencing other cultures and my general love for la francophonie has led to the unthinkable. A year abroad in Rennes, France. And what better way to accompany this radical venture than with a blog? With hindsight, such a blog may have been a wise endeavour to have pursued already, specifically on my year abroad in Mexico, as a way of keeping a written record of times gone by. Simply put, however, I could never quite bring myself to do it. In between running around like a headless chicken trying to sort out visas and surviving the 30 degree heat, blog-writing was relegated to the secondary tier of importance, after making friends and eating food. But, as I and many friends of mine leave our studying days behind us, and many jet off to various cities in the UK, Europe, the Americas and beyond, I realised that keeping in touch with so many people is going to become less straight-forward, and that through blogs, I can at least feel like contact is being maintained…albeit loosely. It also allows me to use the internet for something other than Facebook, which helps me feel a little bit better about my life. I love reading friends’ blogs and hope that you’ll enjoy reading mine. And, I can write it in the safe knowledge that, no matter how poorly/frequently/infrequently/exuberantly/mundanely I write it, and no matter how poorly-formatted it is, my mother will always read it. Hi mum!

So, as many of you will know, I was fortunate to be chosen for a position working in a university in Brittany (North-West France), some time ago now, meaning a fairly relaxed end to the academic year for me, free from Master’s and Grad schemes applications, safe in the knowledge that I had something lined up upon leaving the cocoon of studenthood. However, as my departure date edges ever closer, this safety bubble has been somewhat burst, as it dawns on me that this is a grown-up job where I will have an office and be working in a city that I’ve never been to, in a country I’ve never lived in. Now, most of you reading will know that I spent my year abroad in Mexico (did I ever mention that?), and will ridicule me for these pre-departure nerves. After all, Rennes is so close to England that it’s technically closer to the south coast than my home city, Lincoln, is – and thus, should the worst happen, fleeing from baguette-brandishing Frenchies to home territory can be easily accomplished. However, in spite of many an adventurous pursuit, I am a tirelessly nervous person. This, I don’t see as a bad thing. Pour vrai dire, if I didn’t find it nerve-wracking I wouldn’t see any point in doing it. Also, along with being nervous, I’m really quite excited. So, just a short time stands in between me and a year on the continent, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

A whole host of other things will be tackled in this blog, but I can’t spoil you…I shall save them for another day, and another entry. Presumably the next entry will revolve around the stress of  organising twenty-seven copies of my cat’s birth certificate translated into French or trying to pack no more than 12kg of luggage in a suitcase the size of a pillow because I’ve chosen to fly with Europe’s scummiest low-cost airline. I look forward to writing it, and I hope you look forward to reading it. Comments are, of course, welcome.

A plus!

Juanito Ganón

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