Intrepid traveller John Laurenson has been living in Perigueux, France, and writing a travel blog while he is there.
It is ridiculous how quickly the time has flown by. All ready I have hit five months, which is crazy because that means I am at the halfway point of my trip.
Five whole months has already passed, and it feels like only two weeks.
I can still remember with such clarity my first day at Perigueux, stepping off the train and immediately being welcomed in to the open arms of my new family. Man, I love those guys.
I feel like I have thoroughly adjusted to French life now; life has become a routine of school, rugby practice, French classes and sleep, but that routine will soon be turned on its head in the next two months.
With the school and the family, in February and March I will spend about a month travelling, with time spent skiing in the Pyrenees and in Switzerland, class trips to London and Barcelona, and rugby trips with the family to Paris and Scotland.
Wow. I am so thankful for all these amazing opportunities given to me by my family and school, and I can't wait to jump in head first. It will be an awesome but exhausting couple of months.
French Christmas was amazing - even with a lack of snow I was blown away by the festivities and the family ambience.
All the family congregated at our house for Christmas, with a grand total of 17ish.
I feel like a real member of the Ranoux family now, which gives me an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude. My French family would do anything for me, and likewise I for them.
After a couple of days of far too much eating and far too little exercise, the wonder still hadn't worn off.
New Year's followed a few days later, which was just brilliant. My older brothers and sister threw a wee party to bring in the new year, and not only was I invited but I could invite my own friends as well.
The new year was brought in with style and was the second best New Year's Eve I have ever had, next to the time when I was home alone with Nana and Sally, we did the countdown, cheered and hoorayed, then went to bed.
School is going well. I am understanding more and more and am loving the ability to do things individually in environments like the kitchen and the restaurant.
When I first arrived here, I was relying a lot on other people but now I can work by myself, and get some work done, which is brilliant.
I am enjoying rugby more and more now that I have come to grips with the way they play it in France and have some awesome relationships with my team-mates.
- The Timaru Herald