Sunday, October 31, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Right now:: this moment
  2. Halloween:: goulies ghosties and long legged beasties
  3. Provider:: bread winner
  4. Rescue me:: HELP!
  5. Confidence:: well being
  6. Fungus:: toadstools
  7. Candy corn:: don't know this
  8. Reunion:: arranged meeting
  9. Winner:: lottery
  10. Tradition:: roots

Rob(son)’s choice
Rob has narrowed his choice of camera down to Olympus C 460 or Sony DSC-P93. With the Olympus we can view the pics with the TV. We can’t rely on the computer because it crashes too often.
I’ve actually remembered, for the first year ever, to bring out our pumpkin candle holder Whooooooo!
Another beautiful day
It’s beautifully sunny with clear skies here and not too cold. Yesterday afternoon I went out into the garden and did some cutting back and clearing out etc. The ‘compost heap’ is now as big as it was before the bonfire the other day.

I came across Olivier’s radishes which I’d completely forgotten about. We’re going to taste them today, but I expect them to be all woody and old.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

I’d like to point out the blogexplosion button in the side bar. A very interesting way to find new blogs.
This morning we went to the supermarket in the next village for one or two odds and ands. The cashiers had all dressed up for Halloween; It was very strange, there seemed to be a of 5 foot men around. Have the seven dwarfs escaped?

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Night flight
We had a little visitor last night. A female blackbird somehow got into the living room. We think she must have perched in the space between the window and the shutter. Rob closed the shutter but left the window open and when he left the room she flew in; Rob doesn’t like birds too close (I think he was too young when he saw ‘The Birds’ for the first time) I’m not too keen either. Fortunately brave Bonnie was staying and she eventually managed to get the bird in the general direction of the now wide open windows to freedom.

I checked round for little bird poos, nothing.
Happy birthday
To Bill Gates who is just over a month younger than me. I haven’t got round to my first million yet.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Is there anyone out there?
I don't seem to be able to contact any blogspot sites including my own. Is anyone else having the same problem? Though if you are you'll never read this, will you?
John Peel
It was very sad to hear of the death of John Peel. I used to listen to him while I did my homework. We always knew that the music he chose to play would be different and special
Stop press update
I had a lovely e-mail from my cousin Paul. His appearance (!) on the radio show had been confirmed and cancelled. He should get a slot at a later date. He and his band have recently toured a bit in Europe. This is what he wrote about it;

“We're not very rock'n'roll I'm afraid, no tales of debauchery, we even took our own tea set, tea pot and cosy to boot. Spent all our time on the phone to our spouses, had lots of early nights and only missed breakfast once....At one particularly renegade venue in Switzerland I think the band were the only people not partaking. What groupies there were had to make do with a peck on the cheek.”

It made me think about t my younger days. How did I roll home at five thirty in the morning and get up for work two hours later? The thought of it now makes me feel exhausted.
I went into work during the afternoon for a lesson at three o’clock. This is the person who usually telephones to cancel just as I’m on the bus. She arrived five minutes early to tell me she didn’t have time for her lesson and cancelled Thursdays lesson too. She’s not paying for lessons, her employer is. Lionel was sweeping the floors and stairs, so at least I’d been entertained for a while.
Was a very good day for getting things done. The car went for it’s service and two year test and came home safe and sound. It wasn’t too expensive either. In the morning I had my bonfire at long last. The garden looks tidier with the ‘compost’ heap gone. The weather conditions were just right for a good burn. I always surround my self with buckets of water and a hose, just incase and choose a day when I’m not alone in the house.

Rob and I went for our flu vaccinations in the evening. My shoulder still aches a bit, but no other problems. As I work by the hour it’s best not to be ill for long periods during the winter.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Pretty Woman revisited
Karin was telling me that for her 40th birthday a couple of weeks ago she decided to spend some money on clothes. In La Rochelle we have some real swanky shops. She went off with her friend wearing jeans, easy to get in and out of when trying things on. There is a really beautiful shop by the town hall. Karin went in and started looking when the assistant came up to her and told her that customers asked for help and just didn’t take clothes off the rails to look at. Karin found a lovely outfit, the assistant asked her if she could afford it!!! Karin said no she couldn’t and left the shop. She went into another shop and spent a lot more money there.

There are some very chic ladies in La Rochelle, but not that many.
See through cubes in patchwork?
Sorry, I don't know how to make them and I don't have any here.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

with your mouse.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Blackout:: dark
  2. Platinum:: rings
  3. Leather and lace:: angel and devil
  4. Court:: short
  5. Mind your own business:: nosey parker
  6. Gambling:: losing
  7. Lily:: smelly flower
  8. Evasive:: elusive
  9. Turn-on:: drop out
  10. Suspect:: not innocent

Wow, I'm on time this week!!
HELP (two questions)

1. What is a sophomore

2. Rob would like to buy a digital camera. How many pixels should he aim for?
I don’t believe this
I found this over on Kieth’s site:
Property developers are planning to build on the playground which was created in memory of the over one hundred children killed in the Aberfan disaster in the late sixties. Here is the petition. Please spread the word.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I wasn’t going to post this….. but
Zoe found this. I rather liked the names:

Your Boobies' Names Are: Silk and Satin

What are yours called?
Hands up please
If you are on blogger and can't see a post until one or two days later
Stop Press
Mum wrote to me this week and told me that cousin Paul will be performing live on Loose Ends on radio 4. Tonight at seven fifteen (French time). I cant find mention of him in the article about the program, I presume he’s backing someone else. Go here to listen

He wasn't on, I've written to ask him the real date. My Mum is famous for getting things wrong.
All’s well
I went for my mammogram yesterday, they phoned and asked me to go an hour early so I was pleased. I’m sure a man must have invented that machine. A man who doesn’t like women.

Result; I am in perfect health on top. Still waiting for my other results. Since I changed the hormones I’m taking (pre-menopause), I’ve lost about 2 kilos without even trying!!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Oh, the joys of nature
As the weather was so good yesterday afternoon I decided to cut back the ivy which grows on and around the porch. I’ve left it for two years as the shade is lovely in the summer. No one told me that stink bugs like to live in there. I didn’t manage to crush one but a load landed on me when I pulled on a strand of ivy. I pulled out all the stems from inside the porch, they came away quite easily but I got something in my eye. It didn’t hurt at the time but today I’m crying out of my left eye and the side next to my nose is very sore. Fortunately I’ve got some good ointment and I’ve taken a paracetemol for the pain.

I’ve had around 7 Praying Manti/Mantises (nice pictures) on the kitchen window sill these past couple of days. We hardly see them during the rest of the year. When I opened the shutter one morning, I crushed one to death, though Olivier swears it was still moving 12 hours later when I closed the shutter. (It was the wind blowing it’s legs around) yeuk!
Unconscious Mutterings
(Late again)

  1. Dimension:: 5th
  2. Roger:: Rabbit
  3. CSI:: don't know
  4. Passenger:: jouney
  5. Thankful:: greatful
  6. Has-been:: past it
  7. Bambino:: baby
  8. Wrinkles:: that's me!
  9. Cable TV:: wires
  10. Voicemail:: speaks

I listened to a very interesting program about Theremin, If you don’t know what and who Theremin was go here and listen.
The post I posted yesterday didn't post
You can probably see it twice now!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

What I’ve been doing
I haven’t been around the past few days because I had some extra hours. A client was preparing for a very important interview. She is apply for a job as coordinator for a scheme involving urban transport and the environment. Her C.V. was absolutely fascinating and her English was excellent. I really enjoyed myself, pity her interview is this morning. She’s promised to phone City Center and let us know how it went.

I also supervised some exams at Sup de Co. It’s getting stricter there. Most of the students are happy to do as they are told, but you always get at least one who moans. Non compliance with our requests can result in exclusion from the exam.

Rob is now (reluctantly) back at work. Seems like he had a good day yesterday.
We haven’t heard anything from Christian. Perhaps things aren’t going as he would like as regards Manchester. MIL has been ill since she got home from Sweden, though the weather was very good over there. We haven’t really had her opinion on the matter yet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I forgot to mention this
Christian telephoned a couple of evenings ago, full of enthusiasm. He’s decided he’d like to move to Manchester. Manchester??? He thinks he stands a better chance of getting a full job with the travel agents if he moves north. He’s even got somewhere to live lined up. He thought I didn’t sound too pleased. It wasn’t that. I need at least 48 hours to get used to a new idea. After all he’s still my baby really.

He was amazed that I knew that there is an excellent Chinese supermarket there. (I’m still full of surprises)

He hasn’t started driving lessons yet. He didn’t know that in England you need a provisional license to learn to drive.
Isn’t it strange?
While I was blog walking just now I came upon people who were having problems thinking of something to write and titles for their posts. This morning I’ve got time to write about nothing really to say. Rob still isn’t feeling well. He’s got an appointment with our dentist today as he thinks the abscess is coming back on his gums, I thought it was to do with his wisdom teeth but it isn’t. He’s still recovering from the antibiotics he was given in June.

Yesterday two of my lessons cancelled, illness and an important meeting. I was disappointed. On Thursday and Friday I’ve got half days at Sup de Co, supervising exams again. The big session will be just before the Christmas holidays. Three weeks including Saturdays. I’m pretty free around then, but I don’t want to be working there non stop. That is the only time I’ve had migraines in my life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Something I wrote yesterday…..
Wet and windy today. Dom said as she went out of the house “everything except cold”.

Rob woke up with aching gums, so he took a pain killer, the first since he was in hospital. Today he is using his time off to sort out all the papers that need filing away. He hasn’t found any interesting treasure, yet. I went out to the supermarket, the roads were horrible, wet and slippery, which didn’t slow down certain drivers at all.

At the moment in France there are a lot of stories about electronics in cars taking over. People stuck at 200kph and no breaks!! I haven’t seen one yet.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Spacious:: roomy
  2. Crash:: cars
  3. Autobiography:: life
  4. Sparkly:: glitter
  5. Wild Thing:: Troggs
  6. Haagen-Das:: ice-cream
  7. Sci-fi:: Asimov
  8. Voice:: words
  9. Boy Scouts:: camping
  10. Grief:: pain

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Friday morning I got soaked on my slightly longer walk to work, we had thunder and lightening too. Karin greeted me with some good news. Mr. F is enjoying his lessons with me so much that now one of his colleagues wants to come too!!

Walked back to collect Rob from the clinic where he’s had his 4 wisdom teeth out. The Doctor hadn’t done his rounds so I left without him and arranged for a friend to pick him up later.

My appointment with the ‘wimmins’ doctor went as well as can be expected. He is quite old and as far as I can tell has a Swiss accent, he reminded me of the Swedish chef from the Muppets I had a very thorough examination too, microscope and all. Samples are being sent to Bordeaux as La Rochelle doesn’t specialize in what he needs. He assured me there is no sign of cancer. I just have to wait now.

Finally got round to making the appointment for a mammogram, four months on. Its in two weeks time.

Rob is fine today and I feel really tired. He’s signed off work until next Friday.

I had a little packet from Michelle in the post, souvenirs of her trip to London and Norway. Thank you Michelle, hope you got my e-mail okay.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Busy bee
This morning I have a lesson. After my lesson I’ll pick Rob up, which means parking the wrong side of town and walking in. Quicker than driving but time consuming. After a very quick lunch back into town for my appointment with the ‘wimmin’s’ doctor. Olivier wants to be picked up at three twenty, I’ve explained I don’t know how long I’ll be, but if I’m in the car park etc………TGIF

Thursday, October 07, 2004

This is the appointment card. What time do you think they'll try to fob us off with next time? Posted by Hello
The Orthodontist part III
We arrived at ten to five in plenty of time for our appointment at five o’clock. “The appointment is at five twenty five”, the receptionist said. Olivier was really, really cross with his stupid mother again. He'd just bought "Need for Speed Underground" and wanted to go home to play it. We went for a walk in the park while I explained that I’ve been making appointments in this country for nearly twenty years and it’s odd that I get it wrong in the same place twice.

Meanwhile back at the orthodontist’s…. we answered questions which were fed into a computer and given a blue card with Olivier’s details in lots of pretty colours. Then into the waiting room. “Hey Olivier, weren’t you the one who answered the question about your date of birth. Why have they put September?” I victoriously went back to the receptionist who just crossed out the month and wrote in February!!. Now I have proof they are not very good at figures and things. Olivier and I decided that I would ask for the next appointment to be written onto a card by them. After about half an hour of Olivier swearing under his breath in French and out loud in English we were ushered into a small office and asked to wait.

More swearing and playing with light switch. After a ‘few’ minutes a very charming young lady came in and started to fill out the hundreds of forms required by the French administration. She then disappeared in order to find the camera to take pictures of Olivier and his teeth. Ten minutes later, she reappeared with camera and device to hold Olivier’s lips out of the way, which amused him (thank goodness).

More waiting and them the orthodontist came in. A most charming and apologetic young man who explained the problems of the surgery and why there was so much waiting. I bet he wins all the Mums over. He had a look at Olivier’s brace and explained what he planned to do and filled in the rest of the pretty blue form. The charming young lady came back and showed us the figures (ouch) and gave us a contract and made us an appointment and apologized again. She wrote the appointment on a card without me asking. Total time 2 hours!!!!

Next appointment 1st December at five fifteen.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Interesting point
Honestly, in France it’s considered strange if you don’t display your name on your house or letter box. Door bells are usually placed on the outside of the garden, it’s not considered polite to walk up to the door uninvited. We don’t have a doorbell and you’d be amazed how many people will knock and walk back down the path and wait at the gate.
Another thing I find bizarre is the custom of unreadable signatures. One day I signed for a parcel and the young man told me he needed my ‘signature’. I explained that was my signature and if I wrote my name any other way it would not be. He didn’t like it because he could read my name. I’ve thought about this. Way back in the dark ages people used to keep their names secret because the possessor of a name held magic powers over the person. Perhaps it was the same with the written name?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Dark Dark Day
After the lovely warm sunshine yesterday the sky is iron grey today. It's a lot colder, very depressing. I think I might look out some jumpers/pullovers/sweaters this afternoon.

Hollyhocks in the spring Posted by Hello

This is the name plate that Beatrice made for us. The flowers were inspired by drawings from "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady Posted by Hello
I remember Twizzle, but I’ve never come across anyone else who does. I’m sure I had a colouring book. There was also Torchy the battery boy. Both were created by Gerry Anderson!
Thunderbirds are go
We bought two Thunderbirds DVDs at the weekend, that means 8 episodes. Great! I was reading Jeff Tracy’s biography. In 2065 Jeff is 56. He was one of the first men to walk on the moon…….. I always felt sorry for the one stuck in Thunderbird five (the space station), all he does is look out of the window. Airport security is almost non-existent in the future. A man can drive around the airport with a car full of disguises and a nuclear bomb. Two ambulances are sent out to deal with the 600 passengers in a plane that is due to crash land/ explode because of nuclear bomb.
In episode two the US army is trying out a new machine that can rip it’s way through the jungle. That is until it falls down a hole into an old army dump (in the middle of the jungle!) and catches fire. I think modern kids would find this a little confusing, we didn’t have ecology back in 1965.
Despite all this I really enjoyed string spotting and am really looking forward to the next 6 episodes.Coming next: Space 1999.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Courage::strength
  2. Stamina:: energy
  3. Leader:: boss
  4. Idea:: thought
  5. Rockstar:: famous
  6. Dew:: morning
  7. Guards:: soldiers
  8. Lenny:: Henry
  9. Alliance:: bonding
  10. Cigarettes:: smell

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Wilfred Owen
My pupil bought an English magazine with an article about Wilfred Owen and other world war I poets. There was a lovely photo of him, which I’ve seen many times before. He really was a handsome young man. He was only 25 when he was killed just one week before armistice.
I found out that he had lived in Bordeaux before the war. He gave English lessons!! When we visited friends in Bordeaux I asked to be taken to the address. It is a huge bookstore now, pity I couldn’t find any sign of a plaque
He wrote about broken bodies and madness and the horror of war, also his observation of the men from poorer backgrounds, he would never have had close contact with them in times of peace.
At the moment I can’t find the poems I wanted to quote from.

Now read what Bill has to say about the young men dying in conflict today. Blogger doesn't 'do' trackback so you'll have to scroll down to "This boy is dead Sir".
Busy weekend
Beatrice, who made us our name plate, and her husband Mark are coming over this morning to help us put a new step by the front door. At the moment it is quite a deep step (if deep is the word we use for steps), it doesn’t really pose a problem unless my back is hurting.

This afternoon Rob is taking Dom into town to get a new phone and Olivier to choose a new BMX bike. The money will come out of their Christmas and birthday funds. Still, it will be an expensive afternoon.I’m going to try to get out into the garden. There’s a lot of tidying up to be done. Hopefully I’ll have a bonfire on Monday morning.

Have a good weekend

Friday, October 01, 2004

What not to do at the school gates when everyone is leaving:
Stall the car. We were taking one of Olivier’s friends home too.