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....