Sunday, February 27, 2005

Our great neighbour
Jean-Louis, came round this afternoon and checked out the broken heater. The fuse had blown. The heaters are running on 10amp fuses which suprised him. We haven't had problems for 19 years! He said at least we don't risk a fire or anything as a fuse that small will blow at the slightest thing.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. You’ve got a friend:: James Taylor
  2. Immigration:: movement
  3. Waitress:: server
  4. Snickers:: yum yum
  5. Recognize:: know
  6. Concept:: idea
  7. Birthday:: happy
  8. Told you so:: na na
  9. Unlikely:: remote
  10. Extension:: elastic
More snow!!
Yesterday’s snow had melted by lunch time with the exception of some very handsome snowmen throughout the village. We drove to the next village to pick up some odds and ends to finish the weekend. We popped into the DIY store and bought a convector heater. One of the heaters in the living room has stopped working. We weren’t too worried at the time as winter was nearly over (!) and we have a neighbour who’ll help us fix it. Then the temperatures dropped. Our new heater will also come in useful during those chilly spring evenings after we’ve switched the main heating off.

Rob had to go to work this morning, we were expecting frost, instead we got more snow. He went off carefully, but the snow stopped soon after. The sun is shining now and it’s all melted.

The rest of the week is going to be very cold indeed, we are told. Extra beds are to be provided for the homeless and the teams that check the streets will be out in force with extra blankets and warm food.

I will be posting photos when Rob sends them to me.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Why does Mary Lou find all the best quizzes first?

You are a Hippie. Wow.

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The information I gave about the value of Belgian 2euro pieces seems to have changed. There is another book which lists them at 5euros. It’s not my fault. Rob’s colleague has tried ringing up the publishers to find out why there is such a difference. She’s still waiting for a reply.
At last
We finally watched “Fahrenheit 9/11” this evening. There is lots of food for thought in there. I definitely would not like Christian or Olivier to go to war.
What happened next
Olivier was mad when he got home, but not at me. He realized that I might not have the car. He was cross because his feet had been soaking wet since the giant snowball fight during morning break. He was cross because the other bus company collected all their passengers at two o’clock because a big storm was forecast. There were eight left in Olivier’s class. We didn’t have a big storm, by the way.

It started to snow again during the evening and continued long enough to cover everything and them froze over. There were no buses for Dominique and Bonnie at seven this morning so I phoned in to say they wouldn’t be at lycée. They set off about an hour ago as they want to be at Bonnie’s tonight. It takes less than an hour on foot. It’s a lovely sunny morning and Rob has taken some photos so you should get to see them.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Guess what this is about
This morning we woke up to real snow. It snowed all morning but most of it has melted now (mid afternoon). The first buses got through and took everyone to school. When it was time for Rob’s bus they’d decided to stop the service. He came home and collected the car and gave three other travellers a lift too. This morning I told Olivier that if the snow had cleared I would pick him up from college. I haven’t got the car. He is going to be very cross indeed when he gets home.

I've made some scones
the exam was finished I went to the parents evening to meet Olivier’s teachers. It was nice to meet up with some of them again, I worked in the same college nearly two years ago. Olivier works very well at school. His only problem is that he is a chatterbox. He’s capable of chattering and absorbing information at the same time. Some of his friends aren’t which sometimes poses a problem.
Yesterday afternoon
I supervised a TOEIC exam, which was very interesting for me as I sometimes have students who are preparing for the exam. The answers have to be recorded by the use of dots on a special sheet. All details are recorded in dots too. As most of the students had never seen anything like this before the preparation was very important, if the dots aren’t done correctly the information can’t be read and the exam is failed. One of the students’ who I had to accompany to the toilet told me that she’d studied in the USA and used this system for exams nearly all the time.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Record breaker
On Tuesday I had 46 visitors. Thanks for stopping by. The average is around 22.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Once upon a time......
there was a lady who came from Scotland and came to live in France. When she was all alone and couldn’t look after herself anymore, she went into a retirement and nursing home in a small village. Eventually she died. There was no family to contact. The town hall tried to send the Scottish authorities the notification of her death. Unfortunately, after three months the envelope came back because there was no proper address.

This morning I happened to be in the post office when the lady from the town hall collected the post and found the returned envelope. I tried to be helpful, but as usual, I had to explain that Scotland and England are not the same counties! Also I don’t know who to inform when someone dies. When I got home I found the address of the Scottish registrar of births, marriages and deaths on the internet. I hope that the lady from Scotland can now rest in peace.
Snow - again!
It’s still cold here, we had a few flakes yesterday for about 10 minutes. This morning I could see that we’d had snow in the night, just a sprinkling. It had settled and then frozen over. I’m glad I haven’t got to go out today. You must be thinking 'Not again', but for us it really is an event.
Happy Birthday
Olivier’s turn this time, fourteen today!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

This is the picture I used for the Gravator. It made me laugh when I first saw it as she's now little and fat! Posted by Hello
Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Dirty work:: crime
  2. Shopkeeper:: grocer
  3. Goodness:: gracious!
  4. Yearning:: longing
  5. Show and tell:: disloyal
  6. Trapped:: caught
  7. Malcolm:: talcum
  8. Season:: spring
  9. Bestseller:: good book
  10. Desk:: workplace
A bit of knowledge
We watched a science programme yesterday, all about potatoes! There was some history too. When potatoes came over to Europe the weren’t eaten in France. The reason being that they weren’t mentioned in the Bible. After a famine a man called Parmentier suggested that potatoes were a good substitute for bread. They idea didn’t take on until he had the idea of planting a huge field of potatoes just outside Paris. The field was heavily guarded by day, but not at night. The Parisians saw the guards and decided that whatever was growing in the field must be treasure indeed. At night they would come and steal the potatoes. Thus they grew in popularity.

Monsieur Parmentier is famous today for a dish named after him which consists of minced (ground) beef mixed with mashed potatoes. (What else?)
Cough cough
Yesterday evening I really frightened Olivier—and myself. I started to cough and couldn’t inhale. Fortunately he thumped me on the back which helped me to stop. This happened three times throughout the evening. I’m still alive and no problems through the night or this morning.

For a short while I did wonder if I had whooping cough. My little brother had whooping cough when he was about three months old. He caught it before he was old enough to be vaccinated.
I've taken a photo to put on my profile. I don't understand how to get it there. I don't want to publish it as an entry to my blog.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Yesterday it really snowed
Big flakes that you could see! It only lasted half an hour. Snow is forecast for the next few days. Fingers crossed (again).
Health Report
I spent half an hour with my Doctor yesterday. The good news is that my cholesterol and triglyceride levels are excellent. My thyroid is functioning well. As my Dad was diabetic the glycemia reading is the main problem. I’ve got to be really careful from now on. I really must lose some weight, I should lose 10 kgs. In two months time I’ve got a really thorough blood test to do. My blood pressure is normal. I was hoping to stop the beta blockers but he says it would just shoot up again. I’ve got some medicine to take for my cough, I slept much better last night.
Information service
If you have a Belgian 2euro coin dated 2000 it could be worth up to 150euros. I’ve already informed my Belgian blogging friends. Rob has a colleague who collects coins, they’ve managed to find 6 so far. Rob is saving his 2 incase they go up in value (this is the man who bets on three legged horses).

If you have an Xbox, remember that the cable might need changing. Olivier has already sent for his and a friend who isn’t online.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Early call
My eight thirty lessons on Wednesday mornings are being extended till the end of April. I don’t mind getting up early, but I hate going out early.
we’ve just finished watching the first series here. I googled it this morning hoping to get a glimpse of what will happen in the second series. For a change, French TV seems to be up to date with the rest of the world. We’re all waiting!
Yesterday it ‘snowed’
Took Olivier to the hairdressers yesterday morning just before lunch. When we got out of the car we noticed very tiny dots of something falling out of the sky. Snow or not? He had great plans for his surfboards. We (?) were going to use them to slide down the slope outside the house.

When we came out of the hairdressers the dots had got slightly bigger and looked more like small hail stones. Then it stopped.

It’s cold again today and the sky looks as if it might just…. Hopefully not before I get home at three-fifteen this afternoon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

You get what you give
I went shopping yesterday , not one of my favourite jobs as I buy food for 10 days to two weeks at a time. Sat by the entrance of the supermarket was a man begging for money. As I walked in he said a very pleasant ‘hello’ and I replied. Rob came in to meet me later and as we were leaving he told me he’d found some change to give to the man. (as we pay by card we don’t usually have any change on us). He didn’t give him much but the man was very pleased.

After that we went into the village to collect our post and Rob found a coin on the road, the same amount! I told him it was Karma and he was being repaid for his good deed. At the post office we collected an envelope with a cheque in it. We’d won the smallest prize on the English premium bonds (a type of pemanent lottery)! It just goes to show….

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Judge:: Solamon
  2. Detroit:: city
  3. Hyphen:: dash
  4. Get it right:: good
  5. Pulsating:: heart
  6. Yoga:: peace
  7. Memorable:: special
  8. Financial advisor:: accountant
  9. Ten million:: yes please!
  10. I:: moi
Campaign for Real Beauty
J J Audubon
Is famous for his illustrations of animals and birds. When I used to go to art class there was a exhibition of his work in La Rochelle. I didn’t get to the exhibition but one of Rob’s colleagues, who was is charge of posters and displays in the towers sent me a beautiful poster. The girls at art class were really jealous. It is a lovely poster and is still on display in our bathroom.

I’d been thinking about posting something about JJ Audubon for some time but I didn’t really know much about him. A week or so back they were taking about his work on BBC radio. He painted a lot of ‘New World birds and animals, some of which are now extinct. Unfortunately, the only way he could keep them still enough to paint was to shoot them first.

I found a site with lots of prints for you to see. I hope you enjoy them. I know that Mary Lou will!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

It’s the Weekend
This morning kicked off with a visit to the orthodontist with Olivier. A problem with the amount I had to pay, which had already been sorted out by Rob once over the phone. It was sorted out a second time, you will be pleased to know. Olivier’s teeth seem to be straightening well. Hopefully he won’t have to go for much longer. We do miss out local orthodontist who moved back to Brittany. This newfangled town one is very impersonal and busy.

Rain again this afternoon, it seems quite dark too. Such a pity, I was planning to do some gardening… not. I’ve been so lazy recently. I hope my lessons pick up again soon. I was checking the calendar for March. I’ve got one lesson booked in the first week. It could be my chance to spring clean the house, start a keep fit regime, take up painting again. We shall have to wait and see.

Friday, February 11, 2005

My cold
is now at that sticky blocked up stage and I’m coughing a lot. Other than that I feel fine. I had my blood test results back this morning, just 24 hours after they were done. Cholesterol is right down from last time, in fact one of the readings is below the limits! Is this a good thing, can you have too little cholesterol? My thyroid readings are good, I’m glad I asked to lower the dose. I’m worried about the glycemia reading. I’ve tried google, but I’m not asking the right question. It’s much too high and I don’t know how to interpret the results. As my Dad was diabetic it does worry me. I’ll make an appointment next week with my Doctor.

Today we have rain. It hasn’t rained for ages here. The temperature is milder, but that is supposed to be changing on Sunday. I’m off on a blogstroll while no one is around to claim the computer off me.

I spoke too soon, Olivier and his friend are 'desperate' to get online.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What has happened so far this week
The schools in this part of France are on holiday for two weeks. Olivier and I are celebrating with colds. Dom is over at Bonnies for a week.

I had a new lesson, this time I go to their house four times two and a half hours. I enjoyed the first lesson very much. The student is very motivated now he knows what he wants to do with his life. He wants to be a helicopter pilot in the French air force. This requires a high level of English. He’s not bad, but has spent a couple of years messing around in class.

Yesterday was sunny again. What a pity I had to work. I might even get out into the garden for a while this afternoon if the sunshine continues. Tomorrow, I’m out early to get my blood tests done before breakfast. We might go to the port and have breakfast there afterwards as Rob has a day off.

Sorry, things are not too exciting at the moment.
Unconscious Mutterings
  1. Shelter:: home
  2. Karate Kid:: Jackie chan
  3. Andrew:: The dog in Mary Poppins
  4. Rib:: spare
  5. Push it:: open
  6. Creep:: crawl
  7. Chainlink:: necklace
  8. Squash:: cramped
  9. No mercy:: evil
  10. Superhero:: Green Lantern

WWI photos
These were on Linky and Dinky. They are not the usual gory trench photos. Some of them are rather beautiful.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Spring has sprung
Today I’ve seen; mimosa, daisies and violets, all in flower, there are very small buds on the trees. The sun felt warmer too.
Happy Birthday
Happy birthday to Christian. Eighteen years old today. If you have the time to read this, hope you have a lovely day!

Friday, February 04, 2005

I now have two sisters on my blog roll, Mary Lou and Phyllis. They create a bit of a problem because I try to treat them equally. One day visiting May Lou first, the next day Phyllis. Today was Mary Lou's turn, which is fortunate as now I know it's Phyllis's birthday. Happy Birthday!!
Good service
Recently I had reason to contact Blogshares and Bravenet about this and that. I’d like to say that I was very pleased with the efficiency of their services.
Smarties girl
When I was about five or six. I used to collect Smarty lids. (English style: Candy coated chocolates). The lids came in four colours, as I remember and each plastic lid had a letter of the alphabet. Did I use them for making my first words? No, I used to make pyramids, lining them up on the floor, I used to play for hours. Pretty soon I realized that if I used the lids from the inside of the pyramid and transferred them to the outside, the pyramid would get bigger and bigger. I played for hours and hours. I took them with me wherever I went. When I was staying at my Granny’s I played with them a lot. My Granddad took me round to visit some friends who owned a newsagents. I arrived with my Smarty lids and played quietly the whole visit. When we left they took me into the shop and gave me a Mr. Potato man kit because I had been such a good girl.

I finished playing with the smarty lids when my Dad suggested that he put holes in them so that I could thread them onto string to decorate the Christmas tree. Unfortunately he used a welding rod which made a big ugly black hole and spoilt them all.

I tried to find an online Mr Potato Man game, does anyone know where I might find one?
Working man
Olivier is on work experience for two days. He can’t really work as he’s under age. He has to observe and ask questions about the business. He’s gone to the business supplies shop where City Center has it’s photocopy account. The people there are really friendly, so yesterday went well. The first thing he said to Rob when he got home was “You really ought to buy a new printer”. Olivier learns fast I think.
On the way to the post office
Yesterday I was walking round to the post office to collect the post (we have a post box and pay extra for the privilege of collecting our post), minding my own business, when a stupid thought slipped into my head. I can’t even remember what it was now. Unfortunately, this idea was hysterically funny at the time. I am capable of laughing until I cry. As it was a cold day and I am no longer as young as I used to be, I had to avoid wetting myself. Fortunately, no one was around and I managed to get back my self control.

Today on the same trip I was just wiping my nose when an old man I see from time to time shouted out “Have we got a cold?”, I replied sort of yes and we went on our way. Problem is, he thinks that I am someone else. The first time I saw him he made a remark about the fact that I was on foot. As anyone in this village will tell you Rob and I are famous for our walks. We’re not necessarily known as the “English people”, we are “the couple that walks everywhere”.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Better now
I feel better today. AOL is being a nuisance, It keeps dropping everything from my tool bar and I have to redo it every other day. My lesson turned up okay at 8 o'clock on Monday. She phoned to cancel after midnight last week because that was the time her Doctor left. She's exhausted. Her blood pressure is down to 9 (as we measure it here). I wish we could swap, mine's 14 .

Rob and I went into town yesterday to renew our cheap travel cards at the station. We only had to wait twenty minutes. There is a notice asking people not to blame the staff for shortages due to lack of funds. We had a walk around town and looked in a few shop windows, replenished our stock of baked beans and went for a coffee. It's not often we get out together like that on our own.