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.