Saturday, December 20, 2003

Merry Christmas!!
I'm saying it now because I have the feeling that I won't get anywhere near the computer during the next three weeks. On Thursday evening we went to the airport to organise a wheel-chair for Christian though we didn't really need to, our airport is so small. I was supervising exams yesterday all day. It was better because we I had a nice roomy classroom. I don't like ampitheaters because you can't get close to the people in the middle of the row. I've got a touch of sciatica (?) at the moment, must keep moving around. Hope every one has a lovely time a Christmas and that all family reunions go well.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

My mother-in-law telephoned
yesterday evening to let us know that everything had gone well. Christian was home and walking around! I spoke to him and he sounded fine. He had key-hole surgery so there are no stitches or anything. He wasn't in any pain yesterday evening but I expect today he'll start to feel it. They didn't find anything wrong with his knee but the main thing is that he can now move his leg normally.

Today I shall be trying to organize the house and everything for their arrival on Sunday evening!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Yesterday I was supervising a business law exam. One of the questions was really interesting. They were given a set of work rules from 1830. It was interesting reading: Things like providing their own quills, answering the call of nature at the fence at the bottom of the garden, Eating lunch between eleven thirty and midday but continuing to work at the same time, there were also rules about dress, conduct and prayers, They worked from seven till seven six days a week! The question was which laws have changed conditions since then, when they were applied etc. etc. They spent a long time on that one.
Today's the Day
Christian is due for his operation at one o'clock this afternoon UK time. I always thought that the NHS was a bit behind. Or does this mean it is something very serious? They can't say what is wrong without taking a look inside his knee. The next question is, will he and his Grandma be able to fly over on Sunday as planned? We'll just have to wait and see now.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Exam time
Yesterday afternoon I was out supervising exams again. I'm beginning to get to know a few other supervisors now, though we usually work on our own. Nothing to report. You can always tell when a class is new, they turn up later and never seem to have read the rule book. This afternoon I've got just one exam of an hour and a half, then on to City Center for a two hour lesson.

The News
I expect it was the same where you live. Reels of old film showing Saddam doing this and that. We were even treated to a little guide of his hat collection. AND the television schedule was all changed!!
Christian phoned
When I wasn't there. He's got to go back today to see when his operation is due. Rob didn't ask him WHAT is wrong with his knee. Something has slipped out of place. If it was Olivier's knee I could understand, he's very sporty. Christian doesn't do much physically, especially as he was ill last year. My Mum had the same problem with my sisters, the one who drove fast cars was badly injured when she fell off a horse and the really horsey one was badly injured in a car crash. (They are both fine now, it all goes back over 25 years.)
I'm still here
Rob's decided to take the computer back in the new year. He's done an adjustment so that when it goes off a page comes up to tell us the problem. Something to do with Symevent
with address numbers. I suppose it will mean something to someone. Oh yes, thanks for your offer of help Patch!

Aha, the spell checker knows the work Symevent........

Monday, December 15, 2003

Problems, problems
As the computer insists on turning itself off several times a day, Rob is popping it round to the dealers again. So I might not be around for a few days.

Christian telephoned yesterday. For the second time in a few months, he's had to go to hospital because one of his knees has given way. It's not broken but he can't walk. He's got an appointment today and might have to have an operation. This means he might not be able to come home for Christmas. Fingers crossed for us!! That reminds me, I must e-mail him to ask him not to e-mail us with the results.
No Comment
As I write this my comments seem to have disappeared.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

It's arrived!!
Dom's passport arrived yesterday, we're off to collect it this morning. They told us two to three weeks when we filled in the forms. We're glad we took the gamble, she needs to produce her passport for visa purposes on the 18th at the latest.

Dom was worried that she might not be considered motivated enough to go to Russia. Her last two test marks were 18 and 20 out of 20. Don't think anyone can say she doesn't work hard enough. Well done Dom!

Any day now we should be receiving their reports for the first term. I know that they both have good marks, the only problem is that we are a very talkative family. Well, we shall see.....

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Very difficult
Rob didn't work this weekend, but the three towers remained open to the public as usual. Unfortunately a young man in his early twenties tried to throw himself from the top of the St. Nicholas tower. A tourist talked to him until help arrived and he was taken to hospital. The young man's Father has died recently and his Mother is dying, that's all we know. For some time now Rob has been trying to persuade one of his colleagues to get in touch with his parents, he has 'disowned' them, we don't know why. He was on duty and didn't sleep the next night. Rob thinks that maybe there's a small chance he might contact his parents again. That would be a nice suprise for Christmas, wouldn't it?
They're back!!!!!!!
Blogshares are back. Thanks to Jessica for letting me know. Thanks also to the people who have been working really hard to get it back together. My profile is as I left it, incredible!
Too busy to blog
Yesterday morning I looked after the five year old daughter of a colleague of Rob's. She was too ill to go to the playgroup. As there is no school for younger children on Wednesdays there were plenty of cartoons to watch on TV. I fell asleep for two episodes of Tweety Pie & Sylvester. We then looked at some books and did a few puzzles. Rob was home for lunch as they are all doing a safety course at the fire station.

No school Wednesday afternoon so Dom and Olivier both worked on the computer all afternoon. After Ping Pong, Olivier had an appointment at the orthodontists. This time he's had a removable brace fitted to his bottom teeth. So, of course, when he got home he wanted to practice taking the brace out and putting it back in again. Putting it back in is tricky. He even got up half an hour early so he would have plenty of time for that and making his hair spiky this morning. The brace slid into place first go, no problem.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Nothing to say
I really have nothing to say. It's as quiet as a church and nearly as cold. Outside the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Had a letter from my mum, she's got mouth ulcers, they are now so bad she just drinks soup. She on a gluten free diet and it isn't Chrone's. I looked up thyroid and mouth ulcers but there is nothing. Any ideas?

I know what the problem is: It's the 9th December which means still two weeks to go till Christmas, I start to get impatient at this time of year. Christian and my mother-in-law will be arriving on the 21st for three weeks. I bet the time will go quickly enough after that!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Out in the garden
yesterday afternoon. Still hacking away at that box hedge, nearly there. I did some other pruning and cut the ivy right back. There are still several rose buds which remain undamaged by the cold. some times we have roses for new year! This morning my back hurts and the muscles in my arms ache. I had a really good nights sleep.
Christmas market
The first Saturday in December is when we go to the Christmas market in Luçon a town about an hours drive from here. Christmas markets always smell so nice. Our friend Janet has a stall and sells English goodies. We stocked up on English tea and home-made whisky marmalade. It was freezing!! Poor Olivier was wrapped up like the Michelin man, he survived.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Harry Potter
I finally get to read the latest Harry Potter book. Dom lent it to a friend who hung onto it just before the French version was released on Wednesday. She can finish it in French now and I can continue where I left off in July!
Blogger's voice
I've just been listening to a program on BBC radio Scotland about bloggers. It was excellent. Peter from Naked Blog was one of the participants. Quite strange to hear the voice behind the words.
Well not quite. Dom and Olivier are both tucked up in bed. Olivier has got a really bad cold and Dom feels 'bizarre'. I thought she was coming down with flu last week when she crashed out, perhaps this is it. I'm okay, a bit headachy. I'm off to see how much paracetamol we've got for over the weekend.
The next Barbie?
In her usual humouristic way Jody has re-invented Barbie. (Sorry I can't find the little 'R' in a circle on my keyboard.)

Thursday, December 04, 2003

A colourful quiz

you are paleturquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

Thanks to Busy Mom
From/to Russia with love
For some time now Dom has been trying to make up her mind whether or not to go to Russia. There are 5 places left and six who want to go. On Wednesday morning Dom's Russian teacher announced that she had to see passports for the 18th Dec. Yesterday morning was a mad scramble to get all of the information together to apply for a passport. I also had to find our naturalization papers (We've had double nationality since 1990). By midday everything was completed. The passports take two to three weeks to arrive. Please cross your fingers for us.
Left out in the dark, epilogue
In the local section of yesterday's newspaper, there was quite a long article about 'Bus 25'. Bus 25 is a converted bus that tours La Rochelle and it's suburbs every single night of the year and several afternoons a week. It's manned by nurses and social workers who check up on the homeless, give them medical aid , hot food and blankets and generally help in any way that they can. I found out that the homeless are allowed twenty nights a year in the shelter, many refuse even that because their dogs are not allowed in. While we are safe and warm in our beds there's a lot going on out there.
Had a chat
with Christian the other day. He's working in a nursery as a volunteer at the moment. He loves it. They are preparing for Christmas (Of course!) and are going to perform a nativity play. As they were educated in France my children have never taken part in a nativity play. I'm so pleased that he finally has the chance to get involved in one. They have got a new little girl at the nursery who is handicapped. Christian doesn't know the name of her handicap but apparently she doesn't speak or respond to other children. He managed to make her laugh a couple of times, he says that this is the kind of thing he would like to do with his life. I hope that he can.
Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy
I bought the trilogy of four and book five a couple of years ago but I haven't read it yet. We used to listen to it on the BBC in the early 70's and watched it on TV a few years later. Dom was really pleased this morning because she found me a site with a Hitch Hikers Guide-isk game. She e-mailed me but it hasn't come though yet. I always thought that e-mails were instant. When it comes though I'll put a link to it.
Off to a good start
Dom went off in a good mood and Olivier had asked me to wake him up early so that he could finish his homework. When I went in he was already up and colouring the Sahara. He's got a terrible cold and had slept badly, I think he was glad to get out of bed. He forgot to open his advent calendar, something to look forward to tonight. They've both got Asterix calendars this year with quite thick chocolate shapes, yum, yum.

The spelling checker says that I can't say yum only yummy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

It had to happen sooner or later
Jody has started up a new site especially for us 'Thyroid people'. Even if you don't have problems it's worth a look for the humour.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Sad News
I've just discovered, thanks to Patch, that Blogshares is no more. It was a great game to play and I made some good friends when I checked out the blogs before I bought new shares. I shall miss being a millionaire!

Monday, December 01, 2003

Left out in the dark, revisited
Elections will be coming up soon, so our friends who are homeless are part of the arguments. They can say what they like about them because they don't vote. A lot of them own dogs. I think If I lived alone on the street I would have the largest dog I could find. These dogs are frightening elderly people so they don't come to shop in the town centre. I don't think that this is true. If I was elderly and infirm I would avoid the town centre on wet days because the paving stones become like ice. The opposition also claim that these homeless people have lodgings. Is this why they sleep on the streets in the cold and rain? I had a friend that worked in a shelter and she told me that every night they have to turn people away. The type of person who will vote for this party are the types who've never had their world drop from under their feet, the type of person who is incapable of imagining the poverty and squalor that is not very far from their own door steps. Sorry about my rant. I feel a bit better now.
On a lighter note
Olivier had been wondering what to get with his Christmas money. X-Box, PS2 etc. Knowing there was the cash give away as mentioned on Friday, Rob suggested he get the X-Box with 2 games included, He'd then have 45euros/$ to spend or to knock off his 'account' and give to us. So I queued like a melon only to be told I was in the wrong queue and then queued again for half an hour. We got the X-Box (only five left) and I paid with my loyalty card, so I got a surprise reduction of another 27euros/$! Not bad, huh? Olivier was really pleased because he will have some spare cash to buy himself another game. All he has to do now is wait for Christmas........
By coincidence
I read a long list of names that Bill has posted, not forgetting his counter in the top right hand corner. My intention is to talk about a report I heard yesterday about how badly British soldiers are equipped. A war widow was telling the interviewer how her husband had given up his bullet proof vest, to another unit, because it was considered that he wouldn't be in any danger. He was shot in the chest defending himself with a gun which did not work properly. Saturday morning I was greeted by a report that Christmas goodies would not be going out to the British troops because it would clog up the supplies system. I wonder if they are starting to have problems getting new recruits?

Saturday, November 29, 2003

You must pop over to lollipop to read the best chain letter ever.
Phillipe Gelluck
If you search for Phillipe Gelluck, the cartoonist on the BBC, I come 2nd. On the BBC!!

Friday, November 28, 2003

Left out in the dark
Yesterday evening, Rob couldn’t collect me straight after my lesson so I hung around the streets a bit. If it were summer and light in the evenings I wouldn’t have been so afraid. The saddest part was the SDF’s (Sans Domicile Fixe) as we call them, vying for the most sheltered spot in the shop entrances. La Rochelle is a prosperous town but some people seem to have escaped the net.
I spent a mad hour or two at the supermarket. Today is the supermarket’s birthday and to celebrate you get a voucher for 45 euros/$ if you spend 154 euros/$. You can imagine the chaos as hundreds of people load up their trolleys with goodies, especially as Christmas is approaching. I queued for half an hour to pay and this was lunch time, the quiet period. I’m going back tomorrow, to get another one. The things people do for money.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

New, old songs
I've been finding some more songs to download (I already own the old black ones I can't play anymore):
Boz Scaggs
Cat Stephens
Jerry Rafferty
Frank Zappa. Does any one know the title of the song where the alligator bites off someone's arm?
You could say I'm in a nostalgic/romantic mood today (Excluding Zappa)
Freezing Thursday
I've got cold feet as I write. By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to visitors from the U.S.A. It's a good idea, I think, nothing going on at the end of November.

Our neighbour's AOL came back at the same time as ours. This morning Linky & Dinky sent me this. How did they know?

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Half and half
Thanks to Busy Mom I now know what half and half is. I learn something new every day!
American English
On Monday evening I had a great lesson. My student is a good level so we can talk in English all the time. She wants to go to the U.S.A. as an au pair and wants to take the TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language) which is the exam you have to have if you want to work over there. The level is very, very high and is American English. American English is much easier, there are fewer irregular verbs, you can use either present perfect or past simple and question tags are so much easier, right? We all understand each other most of the time despite all of this.

I heard a lady on the radio this lunch time and she had the annoying habit of making a question with her voice even when she wasn't asking one. Example: I live in a house? Has anyone else noticed this and where does it come from?
Talking of bugs
Olivier went back to school yesterday but nearly half of his class was away. The flu has arrived! Dom came home from the mediatech (library) at lunch time and went straight to bed. She slept though the phone ringing so she's really out of it. It's only two weeks since Rob and I had our flu vaccinations, I hope they've had time to work.
Where have I been?
I've been here all the time. The modem (the free one from AOL) wouldn't initialize, I was poking about this morning and decided to give it one more try and here I am. I don't understand anything about computers so whether or not I did anything I don't know. I'm glad to be back, I've got a lot of reading to catch up on.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Christian telephoned
from England on Saturday. He's picked up a bug and had been really sick all night. Would you believe it? Dominique and Olivier both have stomach aches this morning. Olivier is off school and Dominique has crawled into lycée. I expect to have to go and pick her up later.
Pretty Woman.
I stayed awake all through pretty woman yesterday evening. I love that film, the nice guys win in the end. It's romantic and of course Julia Roberts is wonderful. I also watched Early Edition at lunch time, now the winter is coming we're getting some decent TV.
The Christmas tree is decorated now.
I did it in the end , with a little help from Olivier ("No you can't play football with glass baubles"- "Oh! are they really made of glass?") Rob was working on Sunday. I can't put up a picture as the webcam isn't 'done'. The computer still isn't 100% right. It restarts on it's own sometimes. Olivier can't use his games properly and Dom tried to record a CD which didn't work. I don't know if it's us or AOL, but AOL seems to go down pretty regularly too.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

I've broken a record here, up to a week ago I had around 20 visitors a day, then during the week it crept up to thirty five, now this morning the counter says fifty, WOW! I must be doing something right.
is nearly here and so it's time to read Jody's thanksgiving letter. This was the very beggining of my involvement with blogs. I'm hypothyroid too. Unless you've been there you cannot imagine how frightening it can be, but once diagnosed and treatment starts you realise how ill you were. A lot to be thankful for.
Stress Buster
I've got my own now, from here.

Friday, November 21, 2003

I enjoyed
reading this at the Chucklehut
Smashing time
I caught Olivier killing termites on the computer screen with a hammer, that not being good enough he took a chain saw and sliced it up, then to finish a light spray with a flame thrower. He calls it stress busting. A friend sent it to him, goodness knows where it came from.
I don't know what I've done to deserve this
but I've been getting a lot more visitors this week. Hello and thank you for visiting my site, visitors from India, Spain, Brazil, France and of course all of the regulars!!
Foggy, foggy day
As most of our neighbours would remark, just like living in England. At school they learnt about the terrible smogs of the early 50's in London. Jack the Ripper is still lurking around somewhere as we all know he was never caught. Recently I actually saw an article in a magazine, there was a picture of a bunch of mature ladies enjoying fish and chips and the caption said words to the effect ' they won't let worries of Jack the Ripper spoil the fun!'

The recipe for fish and chips
My boss
Lionel is positively blooming at the moment. There seem to be plenty of lessons to go round and a new man, Tony, has decided that it his vocation in life to sort out all the paper work and tidy the office. But the nicest bit is the young lady with long blonde hair that seems to be around more and more. He's even decorated the toilet, it must be love!

When I first started working for Lionel two years ago, he looked terrible physically, so thin. His wife had gone back to England and they have two adorable children to complicate things

Thursday, November 20, 2003

New kettle
I've now got my new kettle. It's pollen yellow and can boil 1 litre of water in three minutes! Forget fast food, fast tea is what I want.
Breakfast time
I love my breakfast and I always have done. When I was a child we always had cereal, usually cornflakes (or porridge in the winter), followed by an egg. You had to go to work on an egg. Nowadays I have a glass of orange juice to wash down the beta blocker, an orange or kiwi fruit, cereals and a yoghurt. My nutritionist advised me that a yoghurt will really keep off the hunger pangs. It works too. A couple of years ago my Tuesday lunch time was at two-thirty.
What do you eat for breakfast?

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I like
Linky & Dinky so today I wasn't disappointed to find this and that in my newsletter
Olivier was very reluctantly doing his English homework this morning (last minute job). Everyone thinks that it's so easy for him, but it's not, he has to stay within the vocabulary that they have learnt. At the moment they are revising the present. So he repeated I get up, I get to school, I get home, bla bla. So I asked him 'Can't you use arrive' 'No', he said, 'we haven't arrived at arrive' yet!

His English teacher is very tolerant but he doesn't want to stand out in class

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

In the past
I've mentioned Ruth Ellis, who was the last woman hanged in England in 1955. I feel concerned because I thought that a distant cousin, Christmas Humphreys, was the Judge who hanged her. It wasn't him, he was the prosecuting counsel. I found a very interesting site about this. It also talks about the hanging of another woman, Edith Thompson, not for the feint hearted.
As well as being a judge, Christmas was also a Buddhist
I almost forgot to mention
Rob is in the process of Christmas decorating at the moment. The walls are covered in cards from past years, the little candle holder houses are out and the candles are ready to go. I expect the tree will be done this weekend. We have a huge very realistic looking tree. People ask us how we keep the needles on the tree it's so realistic. We have so many decorations we can't possibly use them all. In fact this year there are two big boxes we haven't even looked in. Yes, Rob does dress up as Santa Claus......... I've just got to find the beard, it must be here somewhere.
I've done the changes to my comments boxes as requested. They look the same to me. My old comments have disappeared which is supposed to be normal. The main thing is that they work!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Better now
Olivier asked me this evening if I'd ever had a metal kettle. I'm using a plastic freebe at the moment as the old one died. I have to pull the plug to turn it off and as we don't have on/off switches in France it flashes. It will also only hold a litre of water. Should have a new, safe one in a few days
Seems like the Gremlins
are about, I'm not the only one to have problems. This happened to Rob once, someone used his address to send out porn. He found out when he got a load of hate mail. He sent out apologies to everyone and most of them wrote really nice e-mails back. It can happen to everyone. Back to the bookmarks to check out my favourite sites!
A little bit of a problem
with the blogroll. I've been into blogroll itself and all I get is Laura. The link doesn't even go anywhere. Dom says it will clear up on it's own, I hope so. Grrrrrrrrr!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Moving down to the ears...
Now I've downloaded all those lovely songs onto my desk, I can't always listen to them. If the TV's on or someone is listening to music. I can't get the ear phones into my ears, they really hurt and keep falling out.

This is what I'm missing out on as I type:

Kate Bush
The man with the child in his eyes

Flying Burrito Brothers
White line fever

Doctor Hook
The wonderful soup stone
Cover of the Rolling Stones

George Harrison
Beware of darkness

Carole King

Mahavishnu Orchestra
Thousand island park

Led Zepplin
No Quarter


Deep Purple
Living wreck

I used to be able to play the bass line to Deep Purple and the Groundhogs 'Cherry red'. Those were the days......
I can't see these
Stereograms. Thanks to this site I now know why. I've got one eye that sees close up things and one eye that sees far away. You have to have two eyes that see the same. My specialist says that in two years time I shall need glasses, will I be able to see them then?

Saturday, November 15, 2003

A warm welcome
To the youngest ever blogger: Busy Baby!
Tree of Life
I've got myself a Tree of Life artifact but I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do with it. Any ideas?
New form of punishment
I was helping Olivier with his biology revision the other day. He's doing the nervous system at the moment. This is illustrated by a photograph if a dissected 'small mammal'. So I asked him what he thought the 'small mammal' might be. A hamster of course! So now if Olivier (or Jupiter) misbehaves I threaten him with being used to illustrate the next biology text book.

P.S. Jupiter never misbehaves.
Regular visitors to The Working Mom will know that a password is needed to get onto the site now. Poor Jennifer was harassed by some 'clever' people who think that they know better.
Perhaps they should read what Daisy has got to say about Common Sense (Remember him?)
Happy Birthday!
Dominique, fifteen today.

Friday, November 14, 2003

I give my Thursday evening group a list if ten irregular verbs to learn every week. The following week we do a test and they get ten more plus any errors. Three out of the four learn their verbs, the forth, no, so next week they've got sixteen. The boy who doesn't bother is really good in class but does nothing at all during the week. It's spoiling the ambiance a bit. These kids parent's are paying for extra lessons on top of their normal workload. I try to make things as interesting as possible for them. Sorry to moan, think I'll have to contact the parents.
is risking life and limb to bring reports right from the very eye of Typhoon Miffy. Not to be missed!!

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Old Woman
I very rarely wear a skirt. I live in jeans and jean like trousers most of the time. Today I decided to put on a long skirt, fine. I had a lot of trouble reaching my feet to get my tights on! My back's quite stiff because of the cold weather. I got there in the end but it does make me feel old. Don't ask me why I don't have the same problem with socks
Rob's gone off to Bordeaux today,
there is a meeting of monument people to discuss the year ahead. As union representative he represents the 'workers'. Nothing much ever changes. The problem is it's a very foggy day. When I dropped him off in town this morning it was clear but by the time I got home it was not pleasant. I think he'd prefer to be driving himself. It's about two hours on the motorway, in normal conditions.
The Tetanus shot
That Christian had seems to have gone a bit wrong, firstly his arm swelled up and last night he had a migraine. I wonder if they give stronger doses in England?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

What you've been waiting for
The dullest blog in the world is now back with,ahem, action packed adventures
When I buy
blogshares I always check the blog first, if I like it I buy it. Today I was quite shocked to pick out a name that I liked and to discover it was a hate blog. I might have expected porn or lots of swear words but not that at all. Poor creature, he (I presume it's a man) must be very unhappy. On the bright side I found a sweet little blog just started up, by a 13 year old!
Perhaps you've noticed the little yellow cartoon that depicts my mood. Well, Mr. Unky is also a struggling cartoonist, go and have a look at his work
An Interesting quiz

How did they know that I worked in a bank in the 80's? I got this from Patch who got a much better score than me! (Well, he is a bit younger)

Monday, November 10, 2003

The Rock
We watched the Rock yesterday evening, I actually stayed awake. Can someone explain how a man who has been exposed to a deadly nerve gas, who stabs himself so he won't die an agonizing death, falls into the sea and emerges looking fitter than he did at the start of the film? The ending spoiled the whole film, it was so unrealistic. It's a good job Sean Connery was there!
Christian telephoned
yesterday afternoon. He wanted to know if his tetanus vaccination was up to date. He'd been bitten by a dog while visiting friends. Fortunately the hostess is a nurse, so he was patched up okay. He went to the emergency department for a tetanus shot so all's well that ends well.
Remember, remember the fifth of November
In England the 5th November is bonfire night, the night of fireworks and barbecues. The celebrations usually spread over to the weekends before and after. Some people go over the top, see what happened to Gert. It must have been terrifying. I picked up the story from Peter.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Beware of Darkness
Dom sent for 'Beware of Darkness' by George Harrison for me to listen to. I'd forgotten how much I loved it. What about the 'Soft Shoe Shufflers'?
I wrote to
'Auntie' Peter with a problem and he's very kindly asked his readers to say what they think

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Comic Sans MS
I like it. I read in Rob's computer magazine that there are whole sites devoted to 'I hate Comic Sans MS' !!
Olivier and Dominique
went out to buy a new game for the computer, now that we have the room to install it. They decided to get 'gtaIII'. That was okay as we had talked it through and I had given my permission. We were going to get it for Christmas. There is a little ticket on the game which says it is not suitable for under 16's. The shop where they bought it had put the price ticket over the warning. They got through the checkout with it, no problem. This shop is already in a lot of people's bad books, (excuse the pun) because if you want to order a book (required for school for example) you have to order 30 copies. We're lucky here, classes are normally below thirty, so the chance of getting 30 orders together is pretty remote. Fortunately there are two very good private shops in town who are only too happy to order one humble book. And they don't sell yeukky computer games!
Saturday morning
Start of a cold weekend by the looks of it. At midday I'm meeting Dom so that we can collect her new glasses. We get the second pair for 1 euro/$ (I won't say how much the first pair are costing). For the first time since she was eighteen months old she doesn't have to wear glasses all the time. Her vision in both eyes is very good, she just sees very very small. Odd, isn't it?

I'd like to do some gardening this afternoon, so much to cut back and tidy up for the winter. This week the leaves have really changed colour. We really are having a beautiful autumn. Unfortunately it's pretty windy, so it won't last long

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Great Jokes
From Daisy
Menopausal Hens
Olivier keeps talking about the remains of a menopausal hen. Where does he get it from? Do hens go through menopause? Nothing on Google.... yet.
He's also into "Bring out the mutton" and "Where's the mutton?". I think he's keeping some very stange company at the moment. Bring back Homer Simpson!
The BBC are tracking swans by satellite as they migrate south for the winter, a fascinating program. They've already discovered that the swans have frequent rests as they are too large to glide. I'd often wondered why the swans landed on the marshes before flying over to Ré island, only a couple of miles away.
I'm sort of etc. III
The man at the computer dealers says that our modem is the problem. The free one we got from AOL. ( By the way are there many of you having problems with AOL 8?) So the modem was taken out and yesterday I had to experiment. Firstly, all my work is on disk since we updated the computer, so I decided to do some work on that. I've never really done that before so when it wouldn't open automatically I had to abandon that project . I didn't know where to go to open it. Then I decided to play "Bugs Life", the computer kept asking me to insert the disc. Ah, "Sim City 3000" that worked, it was great!! The Sims moan a lot, don't they? They are dirty beasts too with all of that rubbish and sooo thirsty. I wonder how many Mayors play?

Sunday, November 02, 2003

We're still having problems
with the computer, at least Rob is. I get on and off and do everything I want without any problems. Rob goes on line and the whole lot crashes!! Tee Hee Hee
Paris Match
Olivier and I were reading Paris Match whilst waiting to get his hair cut. There was a really interesting article about the surviving soldiers of the first world war, in France there are about 35 who are still alive. Their ages are between 102 and 109!!

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Love's Divine
Have you heard this song by Seal? Have you seen the video that goes with it? In the video a man comes out of prison and hugs his daughter. The prison is the one on the 'Ile de Ré' just across from us. You get a quick glimpse of the bridge which joins the island to the mainland. It's also the prison where 'Papillon'(Sorry, all I could find without wading through a sea of porn) started out from.
Now I'm off
to catch up with my reading..............
When we built our house
We really thought that we would have peace and quiet. After all there wasn't room for another house anywhere near us. Just recently two neighbours have sold off their back gardens for building. Two houses across the road at the side, and one if front. Last weekend we witnessed the ripping out of hedges and the felling of a lovely conifer. I know that in two or three years when the gardens are established it will be fine. Just a bit sad at the moment.
This morning
I knocked a load of toothpicks out of the cupboard and they went all over the kitchen floor. (Olivier had been 'making things' and put them back too close to the edge) It reminded me of Rainman, I wouldn't have minded if Dustin Hoffman had come and helped me to pick them up! A week or so ago I read that one of his favorite rolls was Tootsie. If that's so, I think he must be as nice a person as I imagined him to be.

Did you know?
David Bowie doesn't change nappies/diapers.
I saved a post
to say thank you to you all for coming to check if I was still alive, but I'm not sure where it's gone, somewhere in cyber space no doubt, a little string of words flowing aimlessly around
I'm sort of back II
Fingers crossed, everything is working, except for the scanner and the printer. We sorted out the XP number, well it was the dealer who sorted it out, as when we phoned, we were told out number was already used!! AOL helped us sort out the problem of crashing every time we went on line, tricky, as we had to cross our fingers we didn't get cut off before we'd finished.

I haven't got my trusted wall paper at the moment. It's a photo of the children when they were 6, 4 and 2. Christian and Dominique are showing off their new tracksuits ("New England Classic spirit"), with Olivier cheekily peeking out from behind Christian. He had light blonde curls then. When the scanner's fixed....

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I'm sort of back
We've had so many problems with our 'sooper dooper 'computer. Wrong colours, wrong size print, no printer, no Norton, no scanner, no AOL, Our number for XP is 'invalid' and it all crashes from time to time! I'm working a lot this week so the times we've been 'up' I've been 'out' so to speak. I hope it gets better soon. Thanks for all the nice comments, it was good to know that I've been missed!

Monday, October 20, 2003

Is running away with the computer for a few days, hopefully by Thursday we will have millions of giga watts or whatever (Or wattever, ha ha!)
I couldn't resist this

Which Dr. Seuss character are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Thank you Michelle, I love Dr Seuss too
I have just pinged
for the first time since Saturday afternoon and I have been told ,again, not to ping every five minutes. Strange, of course Blogger might have automatically pinged for me, but that doesn't happen every time
"Weekend sans accident"
Here in Charente Maritime we have had a road safety campaign, the idea was not to have any accidents this week end. We were asked to drive with sidelights to show solidarity. The local 'observer' in our newspaper noticed a car with side lights (I'm a goody) racing past two cars without side lights who were obeying the speed limit on quite a dangerous road.

Up to 7 o'clock yesterday evening there had been around half a dozen accidents but no one was killed.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

I've had Weblogs telling me I shouldn't ping every five minutes and I should relax and enjoy life.
I wonder what my blood pressure is at the moment?
I'm not happy
with my husband, Rob. We have a computer that is around four years old and is being stretched to the limit. To make a bit of space Rob decided to get rid of everything as much as he could from our desks. The result is he got rid of all of the cookies and now I've got to write out my identity again everywhere I go. Refinding passwords is annoying because I can never remember where I 'hid' them
Blogshares update
After hovering around $3 million for ages, my shares last week suddenly shot up to $4! I reversed the last stocksplit and my Anji Patchwork shares are picking up. Rob asks why can't real life be like this?
Exam time - already?
I couldn't have allowed myself any time on the computer yesterday as I was exam supervising again. This was a big four and a half hours exam, politics of commerce or something like that. I thought I would fall asleep but they kept me pretty busy handing out paper. It was in a mini amphitheater so hopefully running up and down all of those steps count as exercise. The 'Ecole superior de commerce is expanding so I couldn't find my way around like before. It will be really nice, if it ever gets finished.
Rob announced yesterday morning that AOL wasn't working. "What do you mean, not working?!"
After a couple of minutes he finally confessed that at long last, AOL had opened our line up for broadband, only problem was he had to go to work first. Any way we're much faster now. The hardest part of the installation was untangling the spaghetti of wires between the desk and the back of the computer.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Emmitt Till
For all of those who've come looking for Emmitt Till, I'm afraid I haven't really got any information. I read about him in a book and then discovered that he was murdered the year that I was born. I recommend this. It is not a pretty sight but as
his Mother said "This is what race hatred looks like."

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

It's bad news week
Since Monday I've done nothing but hear bad news. A friend phoned me for advice because her daughter is ill, she just can't go to school any more. Then the parents of one of Rob's colleagues turned up in the tower where Rob was working. They'd come to wish their son Happy Birthday, against his instructions not to contact him again. I won't go into details but I was so shocked. We'd stayed with them on their farm in Bordeaux a couple of summers and I just can't imagine a split in that family. Olivier had his tooth out (the dentist decided to do the second next Wednesday). He was really co-operative and it went well but he was in a lot of pain afterwards.

Well, that's my week so far. How was yours?

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Spring already?
I went out into the garden and worked for three hours yesterday afternoon. It was heaven, the weather was beautiful, I didn't hurt my back and I felt as if I'd achieved something. A lot of it was cutting things back but I moved some heather (probably the wrong moment to do it) and found a baby bush to fill up a gap that I'd got by the wall. I've got a box hedge that I'm trying to get rid of. Someone gave me some cuttings years ago. They told me to water it well, which I didn't because I can't stand it , it still grew and grew!

For some reason the light and everything reminded me of spring. In the evening we walked down to the beach and the sky was a beautiful pinky-red, when we turned round to go home an enormous golden moon was just rising, perfect!
Oh no! Not that Anji.
As I write I see that I've been getting some visitors looking for "Anji". I'm top of the list, great! If you look at the quotes :

Anji would not be a good candidate to babysit your children.

Anji likes animals-- perhaps too much.
Hope it changes soon.
My friend the spell checker, tells me I can use "anus" to replace Anji. The machine is taking over.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Another couple of hours
After my lesson finished yesterday evening, my boss; Lionel, came in and asked me if I could do a couple more hours on Tuesday evenings. So I said yes straight away. It will be a couple who are in business who want to improve their English, thankfully not their business English (I don't like that so much). My Thursday group has increased to four. They seem to get on okay. I can get them to do interviews with each other, that's just given me an idea, must dash....
The spell checker doesn't know B-L-O-G
Always late.. Or too early
Lots of people who blog come from lots of different time zones. All this is mixed up with what time you 'do' your blogs. I often come in after every body else and usually someone has already said what I would like to say. This morning I've been reading Stacey who has been talking about the difference between joy and happiness. Stacey always writes beautifully and from the heart. Michelle usually beats me to the comments with exactly what I'd like to say, only better than I would be able to express. Then there are the cultural differences, we might speak the same language, but there are all sorts of differences. For example; Bill is talking about 'Peeps', something I've never heard of. Then he mentions conkers- very English. In France the kids don't acknowledge conkers at all. A strange world we live in. Most of us are getting ready for hallowe'en, aren't we?

Every week for some time now Zoe has been holding a battle of the blogs. This week we are choosing between D4D and Naked Blog. Both have which produced their manifestos. I happened to stumble across Naked Blogs manifesto which contains how he will illiminate, teachers, the unemployed and people over fifty. Ha! I immediately posted my comment, identifying myself! The outcome is a good giggle and I got a few more visits. I've also found myself a jolly good read.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Oh dear
I’m having to write this on word this morning as there are no telephone lines at the moment. It’s a strange feeling, being cut off from the outside world, although I do have my mobile.

Bad news, Olivier will have to have two teeth pulled out. He’s got two milk teeth that are trapped. The orthodontist managed to take a mould of his teeth without Olivier throwing up all over him. Apparently around one in five thousand people have very sensitive mouths and throats. Olivier had to concentrate on his breathing. I told him afterwards he knows what to do if he has to give birth one day!! Funnily enough he liked the sensation of the cold wax or whatever it is in his mouth, strange boy….

The Simpson’s
Has anyone else seen the Simpson’s cards which are around at the moment? They are quite good. We even have Homer version 1974. We’ve got four swaps if anyone is interested.

By Jupiter!

I haven’t mentioned Jupiter for a while. She’s still a very happy hamster and greets me every morning when I come into the kitchen. She can get very aggressive with her piece of wood to chew on, especially as it won’t fit into her little house. Olivier went to visit a friend who has the same type of hamster, she just hid at the back of the cage. We must be doing something right

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Parents evening
Last night was Dom's evening, so we went off to the lycée to take a look at her new teachers. Olivier decided he's like to come too, although we explained how boring it would be. He sat through the whole lot, which wasn't exactly riveting, without a word or fidget. He drew lots of little men to cut out later to make into a cartoon book. He had more fun than Rob and me! One of my collegues from last year teaches maths, it was nice to see him again and Dom likes him too.
The comments seem to have a life of their own at the moment. If you're really bursting my e-mail address is in the corner.
I wish I'd never asked
When I'm looking for some amusement I always consult Daisy, but today I came across this:

From the Irish root meaning "Lousy Drunk"
Anji does things with housecats illegal in 47 states.

Anji would not be a good candidate to babysit your children.

Anji likes animals-- perhaps too much.

Anji is deceptively warm and endearing.

Anji is a pessimistic whiner.

Anji couldn't beat Ghandi at boxing.

Anji isn't overwhelmingly intelligent.

Anji is terribly over-confident.

So charming. Go to What's in a Name, if you'd like to be insulted

Monday, October 06, 2003

Goodbye Dom....
I've just removed Dom's blog from my list. She decided to stop blogging about two weeks ago. It's a bit sad because I, for one, was interested in what she had to say. She wants to do something 'science fiction' next and probably in French. She's been at lycée for a month now and her English teacher still doesn't realise she's English! Dom doesn't participate much orally in class. Other than that she's got a little band of friends and looks forward to seeing them. In class she's bored, they don't work fast enough. Unfortunately my children inherit very high I.Q.s from their Grandmother (MIL). Certainly for the boys this has posed great problems. I know that some of you that read this blog understand how difficult this can be. It's good to know I'm not alone.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Do you remember
my neighbours daughter who was in my September11th story? Well she's back in the states studying English and during the summer went on a tour.(They also took in a few garages on the way) Here they are......

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Don't say bribery doesn't work
I know I shouldn't, but I said to Olivier this morning that if he did half an hour of homework we'd go and buy the Simpson's album he wanted (He'd pay, I'm not that stupid). He leapt straight out of bed, got dressed and finished his maths and physics! I was quite happy to carry out my part of the bargain but parking was a problem We went round and round and down the same wrong street twice. (He was on the lookout to make sure non of his friends see him). He's super pleased, he's got his album AND he's done his maths and physics for the weekend!
Blood pressure update
I've got to keep taking the beta blockers for the time being. I checked my 'Carnet de Santé' last night and it's a little lower than before it all started but the Doctor says if I stop taking them it will go too high again. I don't feel stressed anymore at all so I don't understand it. I'd like to bet it's thyroid related. Something to look up later.

Olivier had his medical for table tennis, he's so ticklish. He's fine, just an X-Ray to do for his back. One leg is very slightly longer than the other. His blood pressure was fine, of course!

The spell checker is back but it doesn't speak French, tee hee.

Friday, October 03, 2003

The spell checker
Probably fainted after my recent remark, it was giving me a 'not found' message and now it doesn't even bother to do that. Talking of remarks, Rob told me this morning that for a split second I reminded him of my Mum. Then he went off to work, leaving me slightly depressed. I love my Mum but I don't want to be a clone.
My new lesson
Went very well indeed yesterday evening. I've got two pupils and they get on well with each other and me. The time went so quickly, they could hardly belive it, which is a good sign. We've got plenty to do as they are very weak. The challenge for me is to make it different and interesting (and relevant)
A blistery, blustery day
We've had gale force winds and rain today. The leaves are being ripped from the trees. I'ts still quite warm outside 17.5°C. We don't usually need to turn the heating on here untill the beginning of November.
As part of
Black history month on the BBC. I've just been listening to a program about the Bristol bus boycott. It's incredible the ideas and beliefs that people had. I hate to say it but I think that people in France are more tolerant of race, though there are some exceptions.
I'd like to point out the blogwise button over there on the left. At Blogwise you can search for blogs to your hearts content by alphabet, language, country, keywords etc. I think it's great, especially as I've had a few visitors from there since I joined

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Anyone else says it. I don't use very long words either- I know!
Norton update
Rob worked on the computer till three this morning and Norton is working as it should. It even updated automatically, something we've never had. No sign of AOL's special broad band pack yet. I had a visit from an opinion pole gatherer yesterday. I must muck up the statistics a bit,I don't read any French magazines, I don't read any newspapers on her list, I don't listen to the French radio and I barely watch TV. I read Newsweek but it wasn't on her list this time. I spend around four hours on the computer though. I do answer opinion polls.

I love the spell checker, especially when it says 'No errors found'.
My gel infested son
almost cuts me to ribbons if I try to give him a hug, He's changed to 'fixation extrême' with vitamins(!). It smells like apple chewing gum, I suppose if he gets fed up with it he can spread it on toast. I shouldn't complain, he's due for a growth spurt pretty soon. Perhaps I'll start using gel as well..............;
My book, the end is sad but I won't say anymore because Stacey said she'd like to read it. I can tell you this, reading the last page won't give you the ending, ha!

Daisy has this about President Kennedy, which fits nicely in with what I was reading.

Next I'm going to reread 'We the Living' by Ayn Rand. This book took my breath away in parts

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Is off to a great start, I posted something a couple of minutes ago and it has disappeared into space, and my previous posts by the looks of it. Testing, testing........................
Has started with an invitation to have a look at someone's web cam pictures. She ' keeps it on all the time'. What fun. Other than that, all's quiet in the Western front. Oh yes, going back to the Norton antivirus, It won't activate automatically. Rob went onto the site and there's a whole page devoted to it, so we're not the only ones having problems. Fortunately it's simple to activate, not so simple to remember to check.....

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Dear Kevin
Rob has installed both new Firewall and Norton antivirus. We're still waiting for AOL to send us the changeover kit!!
This is how I've been wasting time recently.
Sad news for me
My job at the primary school has fallen through. A problem about which department would pay me, so no job.
On the other hand
One of my favourite pupils is back! She's a retired History and Geography teacher, Madame Poulet (She calls herself Mrs. Chicken). She reads a lot and always has plenty to talk about. I do enjoy her lessons. I've also received the papers for the hours of exam surveying in December and January. One door closes another opens.........
On Green Dolphin Street II
I was absolutely amazed to read that Mary , the main character in the book, said that she felt privileged to be present when her Mother died. My sister said exactly the same thing to me when our Father died a little over two years ago. I found that particular passage in the book very comforting

Sunday, September 28, 2003

What makes me mad
Rob is really kind. He sets things up for me to use on my computer. The only problem is he doesn't use the nickname, password or name that I usually use on all of my gadgets. I then have to wait for an e-mail to 'remind' me of a password that isn't mine, grrrrrrrr. All I wanted to do was sent a little free SMS to say 'Hi' to Christian

Saturday, September 27, 2003

On Green Dolphin Street
By Sebastian Faulks is the book I'm reading at the moment. When I was making the 1955 list I was surprised to see Emmitt Till, he is also in the book. 'On Green Dolphin Street' takes place with the coming election of president Kennedy as a background. I don't know why I enjoy this period of American history so much. I've read 'Couples' by John Updike several times for the same reason. I also know someone else who goes back to 'Couples' again and again. Strange....
1955 a good year!

Lego was invented
Scrabble is started
Disneyland opened in California
Films: Oklahoma!, Love is a many spledored thing
independent television in the UK began
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus

Not so good:
Ruth Ellis was hanged
Einstein died
Alexander Fleming died
Emmitt Till was murdered
The Nobel peace prize was not awarded

Also born: Rowan Atkinson, Bruce Willis, Bill Gates
Had a chat
with Dom, she says she hates the bus anyway and if her friend did ask her to do homework again she'd tell her where to go. A couple of years ago Dom was being harassed at school by one of the boys from my section, he was a particularly mean baddy very tall and rather 'large'. She soon got rid of him, she obviously has a way of meaning business. The boy was later sent to a closed school as he became too dangerous for normal schooling.
Cherry red leather knickers
(Now I'll get a few more hits)
Christian phoned from England to wish me a happy birthday yesterday. He asked me what presents I'd had so I told him some knickers and a cherry red leather organiser. My Mother-in-law was half listening the other end and started to giggle because she'd only picked up the leather knickers bit. As Christian was saying goodbye he reminded me that I've only got two years till I'm fifty, thanks Christian!!

Friday, September 26, 2003

I'm a bit worried about Dominique. She didn't want to go on the bus this morning. Last year I discovered that she was doing English homework for someone. This someone left her two messages on Wednesday morning which Dom didn't answer straight away as she was sleeping, I wonder if she's 'pestering' Dom to do her homework again. I'll talk to her tonight about it. Dom if you read this first, sorry, but I am worried about it.
Ping Pong and X-Rays
Ping pong went well, Olivier told me that it's better than football as there are only twelve in the group. I didn't realize that he was stressed by the numbers at football (30 I think). This afternoon we're off to buy a racquet and cover for it and whatever else ping pongers need.

Unfortunately the X-Ray didn't go so well. He had to sit and have a thing lined up with his ears but moved and hurt himself. He actually cried so it must have been VERY PAINFUL. And, of course, there was the waiting.

He then volunteered to come to the parents evening with me. He sat really quietly and listed to everything!! His poor form teacher was a bit embarrassed, he had an inspection and was rather late because he was being interviewed. Seems to be a nice young man though.
Happy Birthday to meeeee..........

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Both Billy and Jackson
are talking about a teenager who died in very tragic circumstances. This reminded me of one of my pupils two years ago, who as far as I know, is still alive. Abdul was a rather handsome boy and very intelligent, too intelligent really to be in our part of the school. He was a born leader and most of the boys followed him because they were afraid of him. In class he could be an angel or really disruptive. The last time I saw him he was very restless, he paced up and down the classroom like a caged loin, eventually he told me that he had a headache, so I let him go to the school nurse, accompanied by a boy who was new to the school. He just walked out of school and never came back. The following school year in the other college where I taught his name appeared on the notice board as a new pupil, as an 'ordinary' pupil! His family had fought the system to change over his place (very very rare). His French teacher told me that he lasted a week, they couldn't force him to come to school after that as he was over 16. What a waste.

Last year we studied "I can" by Nas. When we translated the words a lot of the kids appreciated the message. One girl told me that she thought he'd written the song just for them. I think he did.
I was just thinking
TGIF when I realized it isn't. What a pity. This afternoon I've got two appointments:

1. Take Olivier to have his jaw X-rayed for his braces. Olivier hates waiting rooms, I try to get him to take something he wants to read or do quietly. But however you disguise it, waiting is waiting.

2. School meeting, Oliver's teachers will introduce themselves and their projects for the coming year. I have strict instructions to listen carefully when they talk about school trips etc. He's hoping to go here

Dom's reunion is 6th October

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Le Chat
By Phillipe Geluck. One of our favourite cartoons. I'll try to find them in English too.
I did something really stupid
I get an e-mail from Bravenet if someone signs the guest map. I pressed the spam button last time I got one. It makes me wonder how many times I've done this in the past. Does anyone know how to unspam an address?
It will be my birthday in a couple of days!!
We're going to a restaurant that makes traditional Breton crêpes. They are really filling. My nutritionist raves over this place (everything in moderation). The quality of the ingredients is very good. You have to book. That reminds me I'll just e-mail Rob to tell him to book. He's working just across the (cobbled) street from there today. His new phone has WAP or whatever so I can e-mail him at work. He works in the towers and they didn't have computers in the middle ages. If one day you visit, he's the one with a beard and English accent.
Popped in
To see Lionel and the language school and I've got two more hours on Thursday evenings. He also noted down when I was free (quite a list) in case anything else comes up. Then he showed me the fountain he is constructing. The school is in an old town house with a tiny, tiny courtyard in the middle that he wants to make more interesting. It worked first time! The sound of running water is so restful. I'll have to remember to close the window if I'm in a room that overlooks the courtyard or I shall fall asleep.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Good news
Yesterday evening I had a phone call from the girl who took over one of my jobs from last year. She's pregnant and leaving for a few months on maternity leave. She also works in a couple of primary schools part time and offered me the hours in one of them!!! Hopefully from 9th October I shall have four and a half hours in that school. She's not sure about the second school and they are very slow off the mark and might get someone else if they hear she's pregnant.
This morning I'm going into town to visit the language school where I worked during the holidays. When I phoned to see if I could pop by, there was just the answer machine, so I left a message. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Talking of yuck
Olivier went onto his favorite games site the other day and came up against a wall of porn. He was very shocked and upset about it. When he finally got onto the proper site there was an apology, apparently they had been pirated. As a twelve year old he's interested in sex but a lot of what he talks about is imagination. He likes rap but I don't think he understands the implications of what he hears. Thank God he felt he could come and talk to me about it.
Harrison Ford
Always comes over as a nice guy. I found this quote in our TV magazine,which I have translated from French: 'When I'm photographed we have to cheat in order to make me resemble a film star'.
Yuck, I've just looked up the magazine the quote is supposed to have originally come from, I'm not sure about that now. Has anyone seen this in English?
(How to tie yourself in knots in one easy lesson)

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Thank you, thank you
1. Thanks to Zoe I had 55 visitors on Friday. The highest yet!

2. Thank you David for signing my guest map, you left no e-mail address and you look very lonely on the righthand side of Australia all by yourself.

3. Thanks for all the comments about broadband. We do have Firewall, I'm going to get Rob to check it out though.

4. Billy: Beach volleyball. Okay?

Friday, September 19, 2003

DSL, ADSL, Broadband, Haut Débit here we come....................
Our village is now 'on'. Yesterday evening we went to try and to see how much better and faster our lives will be!! There was a little problem, as there were 20 computers running through the same modem (I presume they would go through the same modem), things were slower than they could have been. We've already signed up with AOL and from next week we will be whizzing everywhere on the web. Olivier was pleased too, there was a row of computers along the wall just for the kids. He played a collective game for the first time (I don't know the proper term for this in English) He said that there was also beach volley ball which was cool because if you reached level five the girls took their bikini tops off. Rumour has it things were even more interesting at level 10.
Before I came to live in France I used to work in a bank in a little market town. For a while one of my duties on Thursday and Friday mornings was to run the sub branch on a local trading estate. For this purpose I had a body guard and his name really was Lacelot. He was a retired policeman of the old school. One of my colleagues told me that when he was young you behaved yourself in the evenings because Lacelot was on foot and could appear in silence. While I served customers, Lancelot would count the Goodwill collection for the Abbey and make the tea, he could also stop dead, with a withering look, any of the lads from the local factories who tried to make clever comments. Unfortunately the sub branch closed down and for a while Lancelot would come in to the office to count the Goodwill money (I made the tea this time), then he took final retirement and I haven't seen him since.
I must
write something as Dom showed me how to put the pinger on. I had been looking everywhere for it. It's in the settings!!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

We were looking at photographs
of motorbikes in Olivier's "Motos Passion" file. He asked me to tell him about his Grandad's bikes. All I could remember was two or three bikes (Harley Davidsons) parked in the back garden with lots of jam jars on the seats. In the jam jars were caterpillars waiting to change into butterflies. I think this was before I started school. I don't ever remember him riding one. Though he used to tell us of his adventures. One day someone threw a lighted cigarette out of a car and it went down inside his shirt, he nearly came off the road. He was against wearing a helmet because one of his friends was decapitated by the German helmet he insisted on wearing.
Kick Boxing update
Olivier decided that it wasn't for him after all. Next week; table tennis. His Dad was doubles champion in Barclays bank one year so hopefully it's in the blood
Srecet Ceods
I expect everyone has now seen the idea of jumbling up the letters within a word. I showed it to Dom yesterday and she said it wouldn't work in French. So we carried out our own little experiment and it works in French too.
When I was at school my best friend and I used to communicate in mirror writing. We could read and write pretty fast after a bit of practice.
The best was that we had a boy in our class whose Father was an archeologist. His Dad helped him to work out the runes system used in Lord of the Rings. In our class notes were passed around in runic script (Are you out there somewhere Owen?)
Did you know?When The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were first published, Tolkien wanted the maps to be printed in invisible ink.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Ma Vie in Lycee
I've added Dominique's new blog, hot off the press. She's writing in English now so hopefully the nasty ones won't find her this time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Indian Brandy
(6th October 2006; If you've come here via Google may I suggest you try "Indian Brandee", it certainly seems to fit in with what I remember!)

Does anyone know exactly what this stuff is? When I was a teenager I used to be really ill with my periods. Pain killers from the Doctor didn't help at all. One weekend my Aunt turned up with a bottle of Indian Brandy. I took a dose (yeuk) and threw up, let's say it didn't work. I've tried to find out more about it on Google but it also seems to be a popular name in pornographic circles. I suppose I'll get a few more visitors now
Good News!!
As I was cleaning the radio I accidently turned it on to a report on "Woman's Hour" about the the surviving family of Ruth Ellis appealing against her conviction and hanging for murder in 1955. Her sister was talking about the abuse the two girls suffered at the hands of their Father. Since seeing the film "Dance with a Stranger" I always felt that if she hadn't killed him, he would have killed her.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Advancing slowly...
Or should it be slowly advancing? Anyway I telephoned a friend of ours who organises English lessons for the Chamber of Commerce. I've got to send in my C.V. but there could be some work. I've never done groups of adults before. you should see the errors I make when I'm all excited and typing to fasdt!
Latest Editions
to the blogroll:
1. BlogSnog, English humour. Matron makes me laugh out loud.
2. The Dullest Blog in the World. So dull it becomes fascinating.
3. You Don't Know Jackson. I enjoy reading younger bloggers and I like this one a lot.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Bad Night
I woke up at two this morning with cramp in my left calf. It was so painful I screamed out. After I recoverd I was frightened to go back to sleep incase it happened again. I've been drinking lots of water, it's supposed to help. Now I'm really tired.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

before they all claim the computer. Dom went off to Lycée at 7.10 this morning. Three hours of maths, poor thing. Rob's still in bed, it's his day off and Olivier will watch TV in his room when he wakes up. Nothing really planned for the weekend, though the weather should be good. Lovely long walks perhaps.
I've added one or two little gadgets, hope you like them.

Friday, September 12, 2003

or lack of them. My diary is bare for next week with the exception of 'collect rubbish sacks' and 'take Olivier to kick boxing'. It's rather sad, I'm used to writing really small to fit it all in.
Olivier has given up football and will try out kick boxing next week, what will we be letting ourselves in for?
I do have a pile of phone numbers of contacts in various places, so all is not lost.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Thanks for the laugh Dom
My bookworm daughter sent me this
When I got home
from the post office this morning, there was a message on the answer phone from Rob inviting me out for lunch. Isn't he romantic?
September 11th
This date has always been special to me as it was my Grandad's birthday.
This is my story of September 11th, even in a small village across the atlantic we felt the vibrations when the towers fell....
Our neighbours daughter, Hélène, had just come home the week before from working for a year as au pair for a family who lived close to New York. In fact the Mother of the family worked in one of the towers. She changed to a new job in a different place the same time that Hélène left them. Hélène also found herself a new boyfriend Mike. She spent several days trying to contact everyone, the phone lines were down and it was impossible to send e-mails. To make matters worse her families computer wasn't working properly, so she came to us checking her mail box regularly for news.
Everyone was safe and sound, Mike studies in France now so that they can stay together. It's nice to have a happy ending, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Gardening time
I just spent an hour and a half in the garden. Mainly cutting back trees which will make a lot of noise brushing against the house if it gets windy. When we first arrived here we had no garden and had to work from scratch. A friend gave me some yellow honeysuckle to plant, well it grows very well and continues to grow any where it can root and put out new shoots. The past couple of years I've been cutting it back, pulling it up and generally trying to get rid if it. I'm about three quarters of the way there. I've replaced some of it with wisteria, lovely in the spring.
Its a small world
Cartoon time
Dom was handed a cartoon by her English teacher. It's by Reiser. A woman is dashing around cleaning house, feeding baby, feeding husband, rushing to work, coming home, cooking, etc. etc. The punch line is when the passive husband yells from his armchair in front of theTV "If I ever catch you with another man, I'll kill you!" She says it reminds her of me. Great.
She was disappointed to find that I already know this cartoon and have used it myself. What better than house work to go though all of the tenses?
I did the washing up
I have done the washing up
I was doing the washing up
I am doing the washing up
I will do the washing up
and so on. It's always there, always has been and always will be. Of course, you might be lucky enough to have a dishwasher.

Monday, September 08, 2003

It Works!! It Works!!
Touch wood, my archives really work, at last!!
This is what I did, just incase you're interested, if youre not, tough. A couple of months back I created a new blog which I don't use so that I would have the archive template. There was a little problem, new blogger doesn't need an archive template. Any way I've been fiddling a lot and today I suddenly had the brilliant idea of putting the piece of archive template from the new main blog onto the old. It seems to have worked. Needless to say I carefully copied everything onto word just incase. I feel quite professional here.
Rain rain go away
After months of hot weather and drought it is now pouring down and the house is quite dark. I hope that Dom made it to the bus shelter before it started.
Central Park
Olivier has invited me to stay in his appartment which overlooks central park. He designed it himself. He told me that on the first day he'll be at work but at around 10am I can go for a walk in central park on my own. It's a pity that I'll probably have to wait 20 or 30 years for this treat. It's nice to be cherished. Do you think he'll pay for my little shopping trip on Fifth Avenue?
Anji's diaries
I haven't done one of these since May, I think:

Sunday September 8th 1974
I was learning to drive then and my boyfriend at the time didn't like that I would soon be independant of him for transport. As it was a Sunday, family and friends popped by. Not much going on really. In fact I looked at several September 8ths, none of them were very interesting either!

September 8th 2003 looks as if it might follow in the same tradition.
Soap box
After the fires that swept the South of France this year our 'cher' President has announced that an example will be made of anyone caught starting fires in the future. We've seen the two poor wretches that have been caught so far. Both of them are mentally ill. Surely it would be better to give these these people more support when they show signs of having problems than wait till they do something really bad.
To put the record straight, I was as shocked as anyone to see the destruction which will take decades to repair.

A friends garden just outside the village caught fire, possibly a cigarette end from a passing car...........
Very sad
Dom tells me that she's closed down her blog. She had loads of visitors and was very popular, why? Apparently she was getting too many nasty comments. I suppose it got to her in the end. A good lesson for life, the more promenant you are the more likely you are to make enemies. I only get a few visitors (Thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit) and everyone has been very polite up to now.

Saturday, September 06, 2003

I bought
A book on the interpretation of dreams this summer. It's very good. The problem for me is remembering what I dreamt. I did see a site mentioned somewhere about constructive dreaming, or something like that I'll have to pop and see it I can find it. Lucid Dreaming
The Street Lawyer
The second book by John Grisham that I was given. It's opposite to the first one I read. This is about the homeless in Washington and is thought provoking. I had never seen anyone begging on the street until I came to live in France. In the winter it's cold, can you imagine how much colder you would be sleeping on the freezing ground? Now we see more and more women begging, some of them are very young.
The Weekend
As Rob isn't working this weekend I've been here since six-thirty looking at my post, writing e-mails etc. I love this time of the morning when it's just getting light and the house is quiet. Yesterday evening Olivier and I started to watch 'la tempête du siècle' (Storm of the century?) a TV film by Stephen King. We really were clinging to each other but we were tired so we went to bed. I've got to check today to see if Dom has got the book.

Friday, September 05, 2003

The first real day
back at school was very tiring indeed. Dom was out of the house for nearly twelve hours. Olivier finished at two-thirty yesterday and was free to leave after lunch today....part-timer!
I've been trying to sort out my archives again. No luck up to now. To help matters along Blogger was doing silly things. Have you noticed the Quickos button? I put it there all by myself! I managed to work out what to do with Front Page. The hardest bit was finding which one had HTLM in it, or is it HTML? I'm getting there very slowly indeed.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Education update
Olivier's first morning went well. He's got some interesting teachers and he finishes at midday on Fridays- again! We spent the beginning of yesterday afternoon covering books, a job that I hate. We can't use adhesive covers because the books have to be uncovered at the end of the school year. Anyway, they both set off early this morning in good spirits. The house is so quiet..........................

I phoned the rectorat this morning, they coudn't help me on June's missing salary because the computer was down. They told me there had been no 'nominations' yet. I'm translating from the French and I'm not sure if they mean me personaly or all of us. I think YET is a good optimistic word. It's certainly better than NO
I might be unemployed but it doesn't mean I've got nothing to do
I have been floor cleaning this morning, I mean moving the furniture and floor cleaning as opposed to swooshing around with a mop. There was one of those big black spiders in my way so I ripped off my rubber gloves in order to vacuum the creature up. I was so enthsiastic that I pulled off two fingers. (gloves not me) I had to finish without gloves but I have remembered to rub it lots of hand cream. Does anyone know where the dust fairy lives? I'd like to block up her hole.
A man
has been executed because he killed a Doctor who was carrying out abortions. Whose crime was the worse? I can't answer that. I would not have an abortion myself but I believe all women should have a choice. I'm lucky, I've got three children who are very much loved and wanted. I teach children who have been born to parents not quite ready for the responsiblity. It's so sad to see a child who knows they are not really wanted or cared for. (Not all of them are unloved by any means)

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

There could be a strike in schools on September 10th. As I pessimistically sit here jobless for the moment I am probably a victim of the cuts.
Dom's first morning at Lycée. I was the one who had an upset stomach. She came home at lunch time really pleased with how it went. She was mainly worried about not knowing anyone: She is in a class where she does not know anyone. It's okay though because she talked to one or two. Her timetable is a bit long on some days because of the options she's chosen, sometimes she'll be there from 8 till 6! Dom is a worker, so I'm sure she'll cope. Olivier's turn tomorrow, not so bad as it will be his second year of college. My biggest problem is when to get him into the bath this evening, 'X-Men' is on TV.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Busy week
Well that one certainly went quickly! My lessons went perfectly the whole week. Now I'm itching to get back to college. Still haven't heard anything yet. I just had the idea to go onto the site in Poitiers, perhaps they put up lists or something? It's been hot again, though this morning my toes are cold as I'm sitting here.

Olivier and I had to deal with two enormous black spiders at the beginning of the week. As the weather has been so hot I didn't expect them to start coming in yet. They really are big! I'm afraid to say I get the vacuum cleaner out and suck them up. I point the nozzle and Olivier turns on the power. Not a job for the faint hearted

Monday, August 25, 2003

This morning
I started my lessons at a language school. I've got around 15 hours this week. The group I'm teaching are okay. This week is going to fly by. It's also a nice place to work, quite laid back, but we certainly work hard. Olivier and I went for a swim this afternoon, although it is hot, it was windy and the sea was choppy. We came home pretty quickly. I'm glad I don't need to load the car up and drive miles to get there, it's just ten minutes on foot.
The Weekend
was hot,hot,hot. We spent Saturday at La Tranche Sur Mer again. Got burnt this time, Olivier asked me to walk along the beach with him for a while and look for good waves, I forgot to cover up!! We discovered a new restaurant, fortunately we ate reasonably early as everyone else has discovered it too.
Sunday, Rob and I went for a long walk, I've got a very red nose.

Friday, August 22, 2003

In the last week my Blogshares have somehow doubled!! I am now a millionaire three times over.
The return of The Partner
Just finished the book. It keeps you guessing right to the twist at the last page. I'm going to try "The Street Lawyer" next.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The Partner
by John Grisham, it's what I'm reading at the moment. It's not at all my type of book but I can't put it down. One of Rob's collegues was throwing out some books in English, so she passed them to us. Her English must be excellent to have read this. He's rated as the worlds most popular author, I always thought that was JK Rawling!
As you can see, I've been playing around with the colour scheme. I hope you like it, although it isn't finished yet. I'm also tuning off my archives for a few days to see if that helps, as I mentioned on Sunday. I'm almost there but I just keep getting the present month.
"Last night I dreamed the strangest dream"
I dreamt that Rob and I were walking round the corner and out from under the wall were poking about four pairs of legs. The man who lived at the house had decided to keep sheep and he had knocked holes in the bottom of the wall so that people could wriggle through the tops of their bodies to watch the sheep.

I couldn't do it. When Rob was studying for his bankers exams I remember helping him to revise law and there was the case of a woman who was raped when she got herself trapped in a sash window. The top half should always know what the bottom half is doing....

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Fiddling and pruning.
Well, I had a jolly good fiddle with my archives I can tell you. Unfortunately the posts and all that don't update very quickly, so I won't know till tomorrow if I've done any good. Somewhere I read that switching them off completely and then switching them on again might work. I might give that a go. If I'd have started my blog up a month later I'd have been on New Bogger with automatic archives. I also pruned the roses and the deutzia. My back aches.
The Return of Invaders
It was made in 1995 with Scott Bakula. I watched the first part and went to bed. Olivier came along later and said he didn't want to go to bed. This morning Rob told me he watched till quite late but it got pretty horrible. I prefer the Quantum Leap. Poor Scott Bakula, he'll be forever stuck, just like Sam Beckett! Ho hum, next week we're back to good old Charmed.
I don't really like Sundays
I don't know why. It's been like this for years. Perhaps it's having nothing to do. I certainly don't sacrifice my entire morning to cooking the Sunday roast like my mother did. This afternoon I shall continue ironing, I say continue because it never finishes. Oh, I am in a good mood today, aren't I? Perhaps it's because tomorrow is Monday.......

Friday, August 15, 2003

Today is a national holiday, as France is a republic we all have a day off to celebrate Assumption. It's Napoleon's birthday too but we don't celebrate that. The end of the holidays is drawing near. On Wednesday we went to buy school materials. We are given an A4 sized list of supplies to get for the coming year. The supermarkets are almost deserted except for the aisles designated to school supplies. I'm glad when we're home again, but I love all the new pens, paper and copy books! I'm starting to worry about whether or where I shall be teaching. I try not to dwell on it but there is a growing niggle in there somewhere.
What to do in a heatwave.... afterwards.
Rob came home yesterday evening and told me that the minister of culture had at last sent round instructions to the monuments. "What to do during the heat wave".

1. Drink at least 1 1/2 litres of water.
2. Do not sit out in the sun.
3. Do not carry out any tasks which require great physical exertion.

Ther temperature in La Rochelle yesterday had dropped to 26°C, the heatwave is over (we hope). The governement have called Doctors back from their holidays and are taking steps to help areas which are suffering the most. Very economical policy, wait till it's over and then act.

The main problem is what to do with all of the bodies? They just can't cope. This is worse than a flu epidemic. Apparently our retirement homes are the worse understaffed in europe. Hospitals cannot cope with the 35 hour week imposed on staff under normal circustances, let alone in an emergancy like we've had over the last three weeks. No doubt we'll probably be on strike again when school goes back in September.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

I did a quiz: What movie do you belong in and this is the result I got...

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla
It seems to be fashionable today to talk about cars. We've got a 10 year old Renault five, so you can see that we're not really 'car' people. Olivier and I are working on Rob at the moment to get a Renault Kangoo. One of his friends bought one recently and he's pretty impressed. I would be able to do the grocery shop without having to drive home with half the shopping on my lap. (Only kidding:o)) The second interesting bit is that when you see the TV advert for the Renault Megane, the bridge is actually quite close to where we live (about 5 minutes by car). We saw the helicopter that was filming it Na Na Na!
The Archers
My favourite soap. I told Zoe I would write about them as no one ever talks about radio soaps. This is probably the longest running soap in the world (please let me know if I've got it wrong). It was started in the early 50's as a round about way to inform farmers of new rules and regulations etc. It takes place in a fictional village based roughly around where I lived in England. I listen to it now from time to time, it's quite easy to drop and pick up again. This week Ed Grundy has been arrested for burgulary and Will has got engaged to Emma. If you'd like to know more, they have their own place on the BBC website!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Aunty Chris
Last week my sister phoned to tell me that Aunty Chris had died, she was 85 years old. She wasn't my real Aunt just a good friend of my Mum's. When I was small I loved visiting her house, it smelt so nice, she used to dry apple rings which were delicious. Her house was full of books. She was the library for my Mum! For us too when we were older. If you put her full name, Christine Trollope, into Google you will see that she translated an awful lot of Freud's works. She also translated French books too. She spoke 10 languages and wrote some of her own stuff. She encouraged me to write poetry and showed one of my plays to the manager of the Swan theatre in Worcester! I remember she would work on the floor surrounded by books and dictionaries. Having done some translating myself I know how there is never enough room on a table! She was never pretentious and we were always welcomed into her home. In her final years she had Alzheimer's so that wonderful person was lost. This is my little memorial to her. I'm glad that I knew her.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Bad jokes
Olivier and I were coming back from the beach and having a discussion about why we couldn't just have a swimming pool. "Anyway" I said, "we aren't allowed to fill swimming pools as there is a water shortage, you are being very selfish."
"Selfish!" he cried "I don't sell fish, only potatoes!"
If you don't use it, lose it
I've tried to keep these words in my head as I've tidied up this summer. Today was a good one; an old gramaphone (1970's) which we haven't used for at least fifteen years. The corner where it stood has filled up again pretty quickly as there was so much junk on top. I also found a badge from the 1996 Clinton, Gore campaign, Rob had spotted a tourist wearing it and they told him to keep it. Last week some Irish euros arrived. One of his collegues collects euro coins from all over europe so Rob asked a group of Irish tourists if they had some. They said no but they would send some on. Aren't people nice?