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?