Thursday, September 30, 2004

Silly Cats
Its a bit stop and start. From Linky and Dinky
Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Diminishing:: getting smaller
  2. Fed up:: what children say
  3. 3:00 AM:: no sleep
  4. Interfere:: busy body
  5. Often:: frequency
  6. Hay:: ride
  7. Prediction:: future
  8. Homophobia:: hate
  9. Booty call:: socks!
  10. Enunciate:: words

Death of a watch
Part I
As I said to Zoe, my watch died on Tuesday morning. I noticed at about ten to nine when we’d been queuing in traffic just before arriving at the bus station. Before going to work I had to go to the office shop to make around thirty photocopies. The photocopier said it was about nine fifteen. City Center is across the road from there, so when I got in I wanted to confirm the time with Lionel, he said nine twenty-six. (nine minutes to cross the road?). My lesson was late and I have a suspicion she left early too as I told her I didn’t know the time she took out her phone and put it next to her bag so I couldn’t see it. When good old Mr. F arrived he took off his watch and placed it next to me so I could see the time.

I was so lost, years ago when the children were small I didn’t own a watch and it didn’t bother me at all

Part II
In the evening Rob and I went round to the newsagents to get a new battery fitted. Mrs. newsagent took the back off the watch and put a new battery in but couldn’t close it again. ‘That’s okay” said Rob. “I can do that at home”. When we got home he took out the pliers. He didn’t get the back on, the little snap we heard was glass breaking. This morning Mr. Newsagent took back the battery and refunded me, which I thought was nice of him. I get to buy a new watch.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I didn’t get the chance to sit in front of the computer yesterday so I had a lovely surprise when I checked the counter this morning 10,012.
My ten thousandth visitor was….. Mr. Weird!!! Go and have a look there’s a recipe for “Coriander-Mint chicken curry, a-la-ansh” I’ve heard that this man knows what he’s talking about when it comes to curries.

Thank you to you all for popping by and helping me reach the big 10,000. I’ve had some interesting ‘googles’ recently too:

Ireland seed companies

German Leather knickers

Indian brandy (Sept 16th 2003), is still very popular, in fact someone wrote to me a while back and said that he would keep me informed if he found out more about the horrible stuff.

Monday, September 27, 2004

When Our English friends came over this summer, B was using a very nice handbag which was much admired. The bag is a copy of a very expensive make. In France these kind of things can be confiscated on the spot and the owner fined quite heavily. In fact even as high up as La Rochelle customs officers stop cars to search for copied goods bought from Spain. I thought you might find this information useful when you come over to France with your false Rolex watch, etc.
Couvre Feu
Curfew? Last night we watched this film. I didn’t enjoy it at all. Firstly, Bruce Willis was a baddie and everyone knows he’s a good guy really. I was shocked to see that this film was made in 1998, before 9/11. It made me feel really uncomfortable, the shape of things to come perhaps?
Denzel Washington was great, as usual.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Bigoudène
Last night, to celebrate my birthday we went to the Bigoudène. One of out favourite restaurants where they serve Brittany style gallettes. Gallettes are a little bit like pizzas were to a working Italian and Cornish pasties were to a Cornishman. The meal is served on top of them. I chose ‘Arthur’ which had egg, onions, bacon, salad, cream cheese with herbs, ham and fried potatoes. You know you’ve eaten!

A bigoudèn is the traditional lace headdress worn by Brittany ladies. Even today there are ladies who would not leave the house without their headdress.

In La Rochelle, close to the Chain tower there used to be a street known as the Greek quarter. The Brittany sailors who settled and bought their families with them populated the street. They spoke Breton and wore their traditional clothes so they were thought of as foreigners, hence ‘Greek’.
Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to me
Happy birthday to meeeeee (and Jackson too)
Happy birthday to me

Friday, September 24, 2004

There was a man in the garden
We get up very early in our house as Dom leaves at ten past seven and Olivier twenty past. This morning was business as usual and just after quarter past six I realized there was no bread for Rob’s sandwiches. I popped out to the garage where the freezer lives and just as I was unlocking the garage door, a man walked around the side of the house. For a couple of seconds I was dumb struck, then I started screaming. This shocked him as much as I’d been shocked I think. He then had the nerve to say to me ‘don’t be frightened’, climbed over the gate and trotted down the road.

He was in his fifties, wearing jeans, a dark top and a dark woolhat. He looked like he had very grey hair.

Rob opened the shutters at that point, he thought it was kids mucking around, it was very difficult to explain to him as I was shaking and crying by then. When I got inside Bonnie, Dom’s friend, said that she had gone onto the porch at the back of the house for a smoke (Our house is no smoking) and surprised a man stood by Olivier’s shutters. We live in a bungalow so it is rather worrying especially with two 16 year old girls in residence half of the time. (Bonnie and Dom take it in turns to stay in each other’s homes now, I’ve even been given a timetable).

I don’t think he’ll be back in a hurry, do you?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Lyrics time
For some time I've been fascinated by this song. I think the angry young man type voice must appeal to me. Olivier has it on one of his Xbox games

Deny lyrics
Today I woke up and you were gone
The whole day wondering what I did wrong
It's like I'm falling from a mountaintop
My heart keeps pounding and it won't stop

Can you see this hell I'm living
I'm not giving up

Will you crawl to me
Will you fall with me
I'll never crawl to you
I've done it all for you

Well don't deny
The hand that feeds you needs you
Oh god I'd die to try to
Finally please you

There goes a piece of me
Will I cease to be
I've never lied to you
Fought bled and died for you

Well don't deny
The hand that takes you breaks you
Oh god I'd die to try to
Finally please you

There she goes and I'm on the ground, I'm on the ground,
I'm on the

Well don't deny
The hand that feeds you needs you
Oh god I'd die to try to
Finally please you

Will you crawl to me
Will you fall with me
I've never crawled to you
I've done it all for you

[Thanks to for these lyrics]
Found on

Coming next: The Calling
Quiz time
Mary lou always finds the best quizes first!

© What's your Inner Goddess Color?? © Jen

Distant Early Morning
Is a very beautifully made blog which I have come across on my travels. I tried putting it onto the blogroll but it is not possible. So here is the link.
I can do it by myself
(as Barney says)
Back to normal again. I'd decided to move all of the buttons and blogroll etc which were sticking out at the bottom. The first ones out of place were the guest map buttons. It solved my problem in one go. I also feel lucky that Blogspot seems to be publishing almost instantaneously today so you can see the fruits of my hard work straight away.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Pointless:: waste of time
  2. Sadistic:: cruel
  3. Bunny:: rabbit
  4. Betrayal:: let down
  5. Oliver:: Olivier
  6. Star Wars:: May the force be with you.
  7. Let it ride:: go
  8. Ray of light:: sunbeam
  9. Tight:: clothes!
  10. Gadget:: Inspector

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Does anyone know where Matron has gone?
September 22nd
The first day of autumn according to my calender and is it equinox today, or not? In La Rochelle Sept 22nd had also been the day without cars for several years. We may have been the first town in the world to do this. People come into town by bus or bring out their bikes, their horses, their rollers etc. and it is choas. There will be even more chaos this year. The bus drivers have threatened to go on strike!
Where has it all gone?
I've been trying to add the editing thingy to my template. Now I've lost my blogroll and God knows what else. The archives writing has changed too. Oh why don't I just leave things alone?

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

History lesson
As Sunday was 'La Journée du Patrimione', Rob and I visited the Porte Royale in La Rochelle. One of the old gates into the town, it is usually closed to the public. Some of the rooms within the gate were used as a prison and, as the prisoners had nothing to do, they carved on the walls, messages, drawings, their names and dates. We were concerned on this visit with Irish sailors who had been captured and imprisoned. These sailors were later taken into the French army, recaptured by the English and executed. The dates weren’t quite accurate because the Brits were still using the old calender at that time and were 11 days behind France.
Anji the plumber
Yesterday we mended a tap that had been leaking water for the past 18 years. Problem was, it started to leak underneath too, so we thought we’d better do something about it. When we built our home the constructors gave us a free book on how to look after your house. I looked in the book and found out that we would probably need to change a washer. Rob turned off the water and handled the monkey wrench. There was no washer.

We put in a washer. Twenty-four hours later, no leaks,no drips.

Monday, September 20, 2004

There would have been an interesting post here
Thank you AOL

Saturday, September 18, 2004

We still haven’t been to the Dentist’s
On Thursday evening, I was due to take Olivier to the new orthodontist as in my post of September 8th. Afterwards I was going to go off to a new conversation lesson with a couple of 13 year olds. During the afternoon, Rob and I went for a walk in the sun. When we got back there was a message on the fixed phone and a message on my mobile. Both had been cancelled. Next episode of the dentist saga October 6th.
It hasn’t reached our department yet but it’s pretty close. Would you believe in the last week we’ve seen dogs out alone in the neighborhood? Very rare here and as dogs in the departments concerned are under threat of death if they are caught roaming and they are not vaccinated…..

Don’t talk to any strange doggies Liz!
Number One Son
Of course, all three are number one! Christian phoned Rob on Thursday with the news that he had been named the best ‘something’ at work. It had been published somewhere as people had been phoning their congratulations. I don’t have anymore details as Rob is not very good at transmitting information. Typical. Anyway, well done Christian, perhaps you could e-mail ME.
Fencing update
Olivier has now been to two lessons. He looks so handsome in his tunic. I've been staying to watch so I know how the training goes, they've got a good teacher. Of course when you've got twenty kids with swords in their hands, you have to know how to keep control....

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Good enough to mention twice
I was just looking in my archives for September last year when I came across this that Dom had sent me. I thought it was worth a mention for my newer readers.
Next Blog
I hope that you’ve noticed the ‘Next blog’ button up on the right hand side. I’ve been treated to accounts of how life was in Malaysia around the time of the second world war and “What does an academician do ?”. An interesting way to broaden horizens I think. I wonder what my new visitors think when they arrive chez moi? Hello, I hope that you’ve enjoyed your visit.

I’d like to put a link in the sidebar so that people can e-mail me if they feel they want to. I tried putting a few words into the template and putting my address so that it wouldn’t be displayed. What I really need to know is how to turn it into a link. How do you do that?
I’ve just looked in my little book I think I’ve found it. A and /A?
Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Self-esteem:: confidence
  2. Migraine:: pain
  3. Phoebe:: Charmed
  4. Nervous:: edgy
  5. Punctual:: on time
  6. Liver damage:: yellow
  7. Legal disclaimer:: small print
  8. Reverend:: vicar
  9. Supple:: dancer
  10. Binder:: file

On Sunday, for a change!
Get well soon
Liz has just had an operation, sounds like everything has gone okay. If you've got a couple of minutes please pop and wish her well. If the comments are working, that is.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

September 11th
We haven't forgotten.
Comment on comments
I know eveyone is having the same problem at the moment. Why is it, when the comments aren't working, I can think of something to say?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

This year Olivier has decided to go fencing. We got the idea from flipping through the yellow pages. The club seems to be a very friendly place, as it happens Rob knows the vice president, so we felt really at ease. During the year they have an evening where they let the parents loose with the swords, just so the kids can have a good laugh. I’m not sure that I’m looking forward to that, although I would like to have a go. On the evening news there was a feature on how popular fencing is this year because of the Olympic games
Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Reporter:: jounalist
  2. Mythology:: Greek
  3. Wimbledon:: The Wombles
  4. Civilization:: history
  5. Punctuation:: which dot goes where
  6. Party Games:: postman's knock
  7. Flawless:: perfect
  8. Unprecedented:: the very first
  9. Curry:: yum, yum
  10. Tropical:: juice

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Yes or no?
I took Olivier to the orthodontist yesterday evening. I thought it odd that the appointment was at a quarter to eight in the evening. We were two hours late. So we fixed another appointment. Olivier said he finished school early on Thursdays, when we got home we discovered he doesn’t. I phoned first thing this morning to change the time. I was so pleased it wasn’t the same receptionist.
Forgot to take my new medicine for lowering triglycerides with my evening meal. As I have to take them with food, I quickly ate……… a chocolate chip cookie.
Check up
I went to the Doctor’s for my three monthly check up on Monday. I’m now taking tablets to lower my triglyceride levels. The Doctor had my smear results. I’ve got to see a gynecologist as there are some abnormalities, nothing urgent the Doctor told me. I have an appointment for the beginning of October. My bad cholesterol is low but my good cholesterol is low too. I think it’s not too much of a problem as we’d recently been to England and we always get fed the wrong things
Randy the Dolphin
For the last few days, holiday makers in La Rochelle have been entertained by Randy. Randy is a young dolphin who likes to play with people. Rob saw him yesterday when he chose to perform in the port, drawing large crowds of admirers (the dolphin that is, not Rob). Unfortunately, life guards have been to instructed to put up the red flag when Randy is spotted, he’s very playful and could injure children. People forget that he is a wild animal.

Randy does travel round quite a bit and a few people have written about him in French, but it’s difficult to find photos. Thanks to the good old BBC, I’ve found photos and a report in English!

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Yesterday was okay. We now know timetables and who’s got what and with who. Olivier will have my ex-colleague who comes from Virginia for English. Dominique has someone with an English sounding name. The best news is that on Monday mornings Dom starts at half past nine and Olivier at ten! I bet I end up going to Sup de Co first thing on Monday mornings so I’m deprived of a lie-in.
This weekend; book covering. I hate it.
The bag lady
For about six or seven years our local supermarket has had a bags for life system.

We are situated near the sea and off our coast are turtles and dolphins and other lovely vunerable creatures. The little plastic bags provided by supermarkets were finding their way our to sea and killing lots of turtles and dolphins. What happens is that they swallow them and they are full of air and the dolphins or whatever think they have a full stomach and starve to death. The bags also take a long time to disintegrate.

With bags for life you buy a sturdier bag made from recycled plastic. When the bag is no longer usable it is replaced for free. I’ve got a bag that’s 6 years old and I’m still using it. I have about 15 bags and take around 7 with me when I go shopping. Last week the cashier grabbed my bags and said that she would change them all for me. I told her that they were fine and weren’t ripped or anything and the idea was to use them as long as possible. “But they will be recycled!” She told me. I managed to get them all back. Someone needs to explain to the poor girl the economics of recycling.

When I got home I checked that my dear 1998 bag was safe. There is a small tear in it….

Friday, September 03, 2004

AOL cut us off yesterday. "I" had sent out thousands of e-mails. They stopped them, I wonder what they said? My code word was made up from an intimate family joke, how could anyone have got hold of that?

We were stopped about three years ago too. Dom sent a mail to all her Harry Potter site fans. Not bad for a 12 year old?
Back to school
Dom and Olivier are nearly at the end of their first day. Guess who was the most nervous this morning?
Close call
Christian phoned yesterday to let me know he was okay. I didn't know that the day before he'd been taken to hospital with a severe migraine, sore throat and stiff neck. It was so bad he put his jacket over his head to try to block out the light. They did tests for melingitus but fortunately it was tonsillitis. Whew. He has penicillin to take. He's the only one who isn't allergic to it!!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I took Olivier and Dom to get their hair cut today. Dom had hair below her waist that hasn’t been trimmed for a year. Her friend Bonnie suggested layering it while keeping it longish. It looks fantastic. Dom has hair like mine. The summer sun gives us natural highlights and it really shines. I could see that the hairdresser was really enjoying handling it. By the way the hairdresser is becoming pretty huge, she’s expecting twins. It’s going really well for her, where does she get her energy?
Burn, damn you!
Dom taught me how to burn a CD today, the first one got stuck and didn’t work. The second burnt (ed) okay, but the sound was terrible, a bit like waves. Any ideas. I’ll just have to do my ironing next to the computer if I want to hear my favourite music.
Everything was alright in the end.
My new student is very nice and told Karin that I was perfect. I think we’ll get along well. As for fitting 70 hours into a month, he knows we can’t do it as he works between here and Tahiti and won’t always be free. I’m relieved about that. Before a new lesson I always sleep badly and it always goes okay. I’m pretty pleased with the work I’ve go planned too, even though I say it myself.