Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I was really shocked to hear Olivier listening to Dame Shirley Bassey singing “Diamonds are Forever”. He wasn’t really, it was a background to a rap. His shock came when I told him Shirley Bassey was old enough to be his Grandmother.
A big thank you
Thanks to all of you who helped me with the stats problem, and thanks also to those who contacted me to say they couldn’t help. I only have the best people on my blogroll! Monique and Dominique at the campsite will be making some changes to their site in the autumn based on information from their stats. They also learnt that most of their visitors leave from the last page. Now that is very good news!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

We went to visit our friends Monique and Dominique at their campsite in l’Houmeau yesterday evening. They had time to have a chat as the season is more or less over. Now they are looking forward to next year and how they can best advertise for business. As English speakers this is where we come in. Dominique went to fetch us the stats for their site, which are in English. I helped him the best I could, but as I only have a modest site, I don’t use stats like he does. There are quite a few bits I don’t understand. Can anyone explain these to me?

1. I understand hits but what are files and why are visits different to hits?
2. What is a Kbyte and why would you need it in your stats?
3. What are user agents?
4. There is a section ‘total URLSs but it only seems to give part of an address after the /, why?
Entry pages seem to be the same.
5. Why do you need to know exit pages? (I think I understand what they are)
6. What is a search string?

If anyone could help with just even a part of that I’d be really grateful. Thanks in advance!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sad news
Rob and I were out for a walk when a car stopped and out stepped my friend Jacqueline who sometimes works with me at Sup de Co supervising exams. I hadn’t seen her since May. We were both pleased to see each other but unfortunately she had to tell me that she has cancer. She’s having treatment every two weeks and looks very well indeed to me. She’s a very determined woman (some people say bossy), so I hope that she will push her way through this.
Back to the future
Olivier and I had a very interesting conversation about the future. One of his friend’s mother is clairvoyant and has a good reputation. He and his friends have only just found this out so he told me that another friend asked if he was going to die. Olivier told him that anyone could tell him that, dumbo. I asked Olivier if he’d like to know his future, he told me no, because if she told him that he wouldn’t get on the course to be an airline pilot he’s probably mess around in school for the coming year; We agreed that if someone can predict the future they can only predict as things stand now. All sorts of events could change your course. In other words you are free to shape you own life.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Girlfriends:: schooldays
  2. Here to stay:: home
  3. Call me::pnone
  4. Frustrated::bored
  5. Public school:: ties
  6. Glitch:: problem
  7. Cheese:: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  8. Director:: boss
  9. Pivotal:: see-saw
  10. Exclusive:: unique

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Happy Birthday!
It's Michelle's birthday today, hope you have a lovely day Michelle!
All alone….
We went off to La-Tranch-sur-Mer yesterday afternoon. The first time we’ve been on our own without children for almost 20 years. It was nice, we looked around the shops and took a long walk along the beach then finished off with a meal before coming home. We went where we wanted to, didn’t have to look for things WE didn’t want to buy, ate when we wanted too and came home when we were ready. What luxury, we plan to do something similar again soon..

Thursday, August 25, 2005

What do you think of this?
Rob and I were invited to tea at a friends house last weekend. I don’t know how we got onto the subject, but she was talking about aggressive behavior resulting from playing violent games on Xbox etc. I think I wrote that, in June, Olivier sold his Xbox. I didn’t want him too because I was afraid he’d be bored during the holidays. Well he hasn’t been bored at all, he sleeps till midday and spends the afternoons and evenings with his friends, On quieter days he watches episodes of ‘Friends’ which he adores.. He’s also a much more communicative person.

Another good change which has come out of the holidays is that Olivier would like to be an airline pilot. He’s looked up schools in France and the UK. He knows he needs an excellent school record with really good marks as there are so few places. Hopefully his attitude towards school will be a little better this year. We shall find out in September…
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Fan:: cool
  2. Scum:: dirty water
  3. Lily:: Monet
  4. Humid:: damp
  5. Ghetto:: isolation
  6. Remember me?:: perfume
  7. Polished:: shiny
  8. Compose:: music
  9. Squish:: wet feet
  10. Future:: ahead
Stormy weather
It’s very windy and raining hard. A welcome change, even the weeds had stopped growing. I walked to the post office in that very fine rain that makes you really wet. As soon as I got home it poured. Think I might watch a film this afternoon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A little excitement
Today I had an interview at the school of engineering. It’s not far from where I supervise exams, so I went onto the cliff walk first to take some really deep breaths. The lady who interviewed me wanted to know what I knew about the TOEIC exam. I’ve actually worked more with the TOEFL, but I think I managed to answer all the questions with intelligence and enthusiasm. It’s not a full time job just a block of teaching hours and perhaps some exam supervision. I should hear at the end of this week or next week but she told me that she has a lot of CVs to look into
! You are most like An Emerald !
Caring, giving, - and very emotional. You're the
people turn to with a problem. You worry about
and genuinely want to help - a little too much
As an emerald, you tend to take a more backseat to
the other
gems, but your inner beauty soon captivates those
who take
the time to get to know you.
Congratulations ... You're the selfless gem
everybody needs as a friend.

?? Which Precious Gem Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

Mary Lou always has the best quizzes first!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Piano Man
Do you know this man? They still haven't found out who he is.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Rob had a union meeting here yesterday with two of his colleagues. I spent nearly all afternoon reading (yippee). They even provided the BBQ for lunch so I only had the washing up to do!
I spent
the whole of yesterday morning trying to find a glucose meter online. I get the impression that in France I’m not allowed to ‘buy’ one. I’ve got the prescription for the strips and the lancets. They are cheap in the US but postage is very expensive. This morning I had the idea of Googling the product code. I found one in the UK with a free Softclix. Much, much faster!
How sweet
I can hear that baby Antoine who lives next door is ready for his feed. He's only three months old. I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with it

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A day out
After Rob had been to the dentist and had a tooth pulled out, we set off in a southerly direction to a little village called Port Des Barques. Just opposite to Madame island. When the tide is low you can drive across to the island.

We went to spend the day with one of Rob’s colleagues and his family who are camping there for a few weeks. They are very French so lunch took four hours. It was very windy and hot so I’ve come back with a burnt arm and nose!

Dominique (Mrs. Colleague) happened to mention that she is diabetic. She takes medicine rather than insulin but has to test herself at least every morning. She kindly offered to show me how her tester worked so I tested myself too. The pin prick made me jump but I would very soon get used to it. I was amazed at how neat and simple it all was. Our readings were pretty high as we’d had a long lunch. She hasn’t really changed her diet which I think is a pity because she is younger than me. I feel that I’m lucky to have been spotted before the dangerous symptoms arrive. My dad was on the way to losing his toes when he was diagnosed.
A cruel twist
The twist at the end of ‘My Sister’s Keeper' is just too cruel. I read the last few pages through tears. Like Kimberley said it is too gut wrenching!

I’ve started 'Mommie Dearest’ by Christina Crawford. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I am. I remember the publicity about the book when it was first published. Has anyone seen the film?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Idiot:: stupid
  2. Rocket:: science
  3. Liability:: see #1
  4. Harmless:: safe
  5. Stringy:: beans
  6. Theater:: lights
  7. Gwyneth::
  8. Use it or lose it:: clutter
  9. Sonic:: power
  10. Pucker:: lips
The Norwegian connection
I think this is really strange. Norway has a population of 4,593,041 people. So goodness knows how small the population was when they were immigrating to the states. Recently we’ve had a conversation in the comments boxes about Norwegian ancestors. This was started by Risa who must be Rob’s cousin because thy both have an Uncle Odd. Risa lives in Oslo. Then Karen said that she was part Norwegian, then Mary Lou, which means Phyllis too. Are there anymore? Rob’s family come from an island in the North, and I can never remember the name of it Andoy Versteralen.

Rob’s father left Norway during the war to join the British forces, he was in the air force, Rob’s mother worked in the admiralty in London and they met and got married. Rob’s mother told me that her mother-in-law was quite an interesting person. She had immigrated to the US with her sisters and they ran a restaurant in New York (Not all the facts are 100%, but you get the idea). She was sent back to Norway to die because she had TB. She didn’t die, she married and went on to have 7 children, including premature twins in the winter of 1917, one of whom was Rob’s father. She died before Rob was born, but did manage to visit her son in England all on her own armed with a piece of paper with ‘Worcester’ on it (she couldn’t pronounce Worcester). When she visited Windsor castle she fainted and was taken into a room and given tea to revive her. No one believed her when she told them she had tea at the Queen’s castle. I think I would have liked too have met her, she sounds a very courageous woman.

My Grandfather was born in the states. His parents came back to England when my great grandfather lost most of his fingers in the saw mill where he was working. I met him once, I was terrified of him.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Sister’s Keeper
By Jodi Picoult. I’m finding it very difficult to put this book down. Imagine; a couple have a child who is diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, they conceive another baby in vitro that has all the genetic requirements to provide stem cells to help her sister. Thirteen years later after several donations, the ‘baby’ decides that she doesn’t want to give up a kidney to help her dying sister and employs a lawyer………
It also provides an insight on how siblings feel when they live around a sick child. I remember how left out Dom and Olivier were when Christian was ill. I really recommend this book.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nature day
Summer is really past it’s best. I know because this morning I vacuumed up the first of the big black spiders. She was on the bathroom ceiling while I was having my shower.

Before I popped out to collect the post this morning I went round closing the windows as usual and a young lizard was sat in the groove of the window frame. He was too terrified to move when he saw me and I didn’t want to panic him into jumping into the house. I closed the window gently and left him to find his way out when I opened the window later on. Good job he was small enough to fit into the groove.

As I was waiting for AOL to decide to load I heard what sounded to me like a bird in distress in the garden, I’d seen a black cat earlier so I went out in my role as rescuer. There were three Hoopoes in the garden, I suppose the noise was coming from the youngster as they usually call ‘Hoop, hoop’. Here is a film of one feeding on the ground. We see them on their own from time to time, three together is really special!

I wonder what I shall see next? An elephant would be nice.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Sniff sniff"
I've just finished reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I did cry. It's not so much who gets killed as who killed them.
But try not to laugh
This really is true, and you can check it out for yourselves. (98% of the time) People always choose dogs which look like them.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Complexion:: skin
  2. Teach::learn
  3. Back to school:: September
  4. Months:: time
  5. Nominate:: propose
  6. Favorite curse word:: f*ck
  7. Concerned:: caring
  8. Better::well
  9. Escalate:: fast
  10. Unveil:: reveal
Latest results.
Early yesterday morning I went into town before breakfast to have my blood tested. I hadn’t got a sample of pee with me because when I checked at the chemists they said I didn’t need a little pot. I had to go in a plastic cup and as I’d been before I left home and hadn’t eaten or had a drink for thirteen hours I gave a pretty mean sample. The results came this morning, which is good because I was certain they were going to invite me back again to provide a larger sample.

There is a very, very slight improvement all round, I am now below 6 for the HbAlc test, it made me laugh our loud when I was walking home from the post office, my reading is 5.9 (in April it was 6.2).
Before I went on holiday I was doing well and eating very carefully, I’d lost 2 kilos (about 5lbs). When you go back to see relatives and friends only once a year, they do tend to kill the fatted calf and feed you with things you shouldn’t eat. When we got back home it was difficult to kick start as I wasn’t working. I don’t snack between meals but I think about food more and make bad choices. Olivier and Dom are on holiday so my really good lunch gets sacrificed sometimes. I refuse to start cooking separate meals for every one, though if they have chips (fries) I will just have salad etc.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Prisoner
Rob and I watched a few episodes of The Prisoner over the weekend. It’s come out in DVD and there are some interesting extras included. There is a beautiful piece of guitar music sometimes used at the end of the day. I remember it well, I think it might have been used with the test card too (remember the test card?)
Does anyone know the music I’m talking about?
Kite Surfing
It’s been very windy here recently when the tides in. Kite Surfers have started to use our beach which is all very well, but they are coming very close, and sometimes into, the area for swimming. Rob and I are waiting for a nasty accident to happen.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Experimental Post
I deleted all of my photos that I'd put on with the Blogger thingy. I can now look at my site without it freezing up. Next part of the experiment is to post a small sized picture to see what happens:

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

This ‘n that
We decided to head for our favourite seaside town yesterday after lunch. The morning had been hot and sunny and Rob had a day off. As we set off, we noticed that the blue sky was overhead and the horizon all round was circled by grey cloud. As we got further north it got greyer and greyer. We had quite a pleasant afternoon despite the lack of sun and cold wind. Rob and Dom actually swam for two minutes. We drove home in glorious sunshine!

Three weeks ago Dom had her ears pierced, so yesterday was the first time she could take out her earrings and put new ones in. It didn’t go too badly with a bit of help from me, I’m pleased they’ve healed okay. One of our jobs yesterday afternoon was earring hunting, I didn’t find any I liked either.

This morning I was surprised by a knock on the door at 8.30. Olivier’s best friend’s Dad wanted to know if he was at our house (they take it in turns to sleep over). I went and checked, but I was sure he wasn’t here when I went to bed. Apparently they are going away for a few days to visit relatives and Olivier’s friend doesn’t want to go, so he ran away early this morning. I went by their house at nine and it was all shut up, so I presume they found him and persuaded him to go. He’s got into the habit of not going home sometimes if there’s something he doesn’t want to do, or if he’s in trouble. I hope Olivier doesn’t take up the habit.