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#4 The Clown Diaries - Nightmares

Apologies that this blog is late, Someone accidentally forgot to click 'publish post'.

Anyways, this entry is one week behind. Keep your eyes peeled for blog entry #5 which will be up in the next few days...


Wednesday 4th November

It's 8am and I am up early to attempt to be productive. However, our kitchen is an echo chamber - every sound you make resonates, richocheting loudly into all bedrooms. It means I am tiptoeing as delicately as I can, as if I was trying to walk across a Nightingale floor, but it doesn't help that our old school coffee machine sounds as if she is having an asthma attack.

Ryan and I have been hard at work so far this week... and what I mean by that is = we stayed up late last night to watch Spice Girls - The Movie with some of the second years and learn some of the key quotes which we can hopefully use in our day to day lives.

It is the final week of Le Jeu - one of the most popular modules on the first year course at L'Ecole Gaulier.

Without giving much away, it involves a lot of tennis balls.

After this week many students will depart the class. They'll either return at another point in the year, whether to study Melodrama in Second term, or Clown in third, depending on their schedules, or they'll pop off for a year before coming back to study a module in something else. A clear example of the pick'n'mix element of the schools programme.

Our Autoceour for this week seems to be the perfect way to end the module. Gaulier has given us the task of creating 'The Nightmare of Le Jeu', which has allowed everyone to use and take advantage of all the mini existential crisis and miniature breakdowns they have each had on the course.

I'm with Ryan, Ursula, Oliver and Ines - or, as Gaulier calls us "BRIAN", "The German", "Olive', "The Portugese" and "Asparagus". We feel like our piece embodies how we have felt so far on Le Jeu. It ends with us pouring ice cold water over ourselves, rocking backwards and forwards on the floor, crying "Mamma, I am the Bridgit Bardot of Etampes... please kiss me" before crying "Guantanamo" and shrinking backwards off stage. If anything it is a very contemporary performance art piece which the Serpentine Gallery would probably like.

Part of my nightmare of Le Jeu was having to dress elegantly and sexy in Week 2. My fashion sense is normally what polite people call "Eccentric" and what my mother calls "Why you've probably not got a boyfriend yet" but Gaulier likes us to look 'stylish, and elegant' in class so I've had to rethink my outifit choices*.

Thus, for the typical 'French look' it is worth taking fashion tips from the Master himself. He is not one for avoiding a good beret and striped shirt combo and always arrives in class looking pretty sharp. His signature looks involves well tailored Levis trousers, his infamous red full-moon spectacles, a bright cardigan and a well tailored waistcoat. It makes him easy to spot as he stealthilly wanders into the school - his drum in one hand, a bottle of Badoit in the other..o

However, his fashion sense hasn't quite worn off on the students of the school.

The fashion of the Gaulier student is simple and easilly summed up in one word: Turtlenecks.

Also, for some reason the majority of the men in our year enjoy tucking their Hunter S Thompson shirts into their highwaisted tracksuit bottoms. I'm not sure why. But it happens an awful lot and those of us who haven't really understood this look, (every woman in the school), have all slowly started to learn to deal with it**.

Fashion and school aside, over the last four weeks, the tradition on a Friday after school has been for the first years and second years to go to the local bar opposite the train station. It's a modest, welcoming bar where the drinks are cheap, the students filter out onto the street with their huge chalices of beer and if you can't afford to pay on the night you can pay next time you pop in. It has a relaxed attitude and due to the number of students from Gaulier who flock in, our drinks are heavilly discounted.

At about 11.30pm the owner puts some disco lights on, which shows he means business and someone is probably going to take their shoes off***.

Then he'll put the disco playlist on. I know. CALM DOWN.

The disco playlist consists of exactly 3 songs: Fleetwood Mac's 'Everywhere', Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' and Jamelia's 2003 seminal hit 'Superstar'. If there was ever a reason to drink more in a bar, it's the playlist.

On the rare occassion where we have finished our beers and bellowed "NO. Stevie Nicks is NOT enough. We want more!" we have occassionally moved onto another "club" in Etampes - and when I say club, I mean 'a bar in Etampes that has a slighly larger disco light, more lone men smoking outside and happens to have lots of unecessary snooker tables in it'.

However, after the weekend frivoloties have come to an end, on Monday morning at school be warned.

One major learning curve at the school is discovering that there is a "rat", like the informants to Varys in Game of Thrones, who whispers any romantic gossip which has occurred over the weekend into Gaulier's ears - whether it be true or not. Gaulier loves a bit of gossip, so if he finds out you've snogged some fellow Gaulian, it will come back to haunt you during every class in future - which can be a bit of a nightmare....

Until next week...

Elf xxx

* I've stopped wearing leather trousers to movement class

** We look away

*** Or Bra.

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