Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is this a hint?
On the front doorstep this morning was a hedgehog poo. I think that perhaps someone is trying to tell me something. A little reminder not to have another bonfire for a few months perhaps?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Twenty Years On
As we’ve been hearing for some time, today is the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl. I remember following news of the accident on BBC radio 4. I thought it was very strange that nothing was being reported in the French media. One week later it was mentioned, I remember a reporter asking people in a market in the north of the country if they were worried about fallout on their lettuce. Dom tells me she’s read that the French public were assured that fallout would not cross the border (of course it’s something in the history books for her). Some of my friends, who were living further north twenty years ago, have had cysts removed from their thyroids.

Filatova Elena Vladimirovna’s site is still up with some recent updates.

The sun is burning in the sky
Strands of clouds go slowly drifting by
In the park the lazy breeze
Are joining in the flowers, among the trees
And the sun burns in the sky

Now the sun is in the West
Little kids go home to take their rest
And the couples in the park
Are holdin' hands and waitin' for the dark
And the sun is in the West

Now the sun is sinking low
Children playin' know it's time to go
High above a spot appears
A little blossom blooms and then draws near
And the sun is sinking low

Now the sun has come to Earth
Shrouded in a mushroom cloud of death
Death comes in a blinding flash
Of hellish heat and leaves a smear of ash
And the sun has come to Earth

Now the sun has disappeared
All is darkness, anger, pain and fear
Twisted, sightless wrecks of men
Go groping on their knees and cry in pain
And the sun has disappeared
Simon and Garfunkel's Lyrics found here

Have we made progress? Have we learnt anything from it?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Dom and the laptop
A week or so ago Dom saw a laptop on ebay for €90/$75. She needs one for next year so she decided to bid, Rob knows all the tactics so they waited till two seconds before the end to put in a bid of €150/$125. Someone else bid in the very last second! Anyway, she was chatting to her friends on internet and having a moan about missing so narrowly, when one of her friends told her that her dad works for the electricity company and they can recuperate computer equipment which is replaced pretty regularly. So Dom should have a free laptop by the end of June! Hope the bidder who pipped her to the post doesn’t read this.
Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Rising :: high

  2. Third :: forth, fifth....

  3. Disruptive :: badly behaved

  4. Surround :: enfold

  5. Distant :: family

  6. Suction :: milking parlor

  7. Fried :: bacon

  8. Nuggets :: chicken

  9. Clip :: part of a film

  10. San Antonio :: California

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Time marches on
I can’t believe that yet another week has gone by so quickly. Here it’s the Easter holidays until May 2nd, so everyone is at home. We had a quiet Easter, Rob worked Easter Sunday, lots of tourists as Easter marks the start of the season here. I spent quite a bit of time sorting postcards into alphabetical order for Rob, it was an interesting job. The fronts are interesting, but it’s what was written on the back which fascinates me. We occasionally get cards written by troops during the first world war, sometimes they had a moment to appreciate their surroundings, but I think they would have preferred to be home with their loved ones. There was another card written by a little girl who was ill in bed, she was explaining the ins and outs of being an invalid which includes only being able to write in pencil so she didn’t stain the sheets with ink!

The weather is starting to warm up a little. I did some gardening yesterday, mainly cutting back and weeding, no toads this time. I heard my first cuckoo of the year a couple of days ago. We’ve been walking down the beach in the evenings, which is pleasant, but some of the bats fly a little to close for comfort.

I contacted my student who had her first interview with the U.N. by phone. It went well though her English is not fluent. She now has to wait to see if she has a second interview, more about her work.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter
Here's the Easter B to put you in the mood, yo!

"Paris 5th July 1907
My dear Gaston,
I was very pleased to receive your beautiful photograph. Thank you and your parents so much. Remember me to your grandparents and your parents and for you, dear Gaston, a big kiss.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Do I look like…
Benny Hill?!! I submitted my photo to My Heritage and they came up with celebrities that look like me (or should it be ‘that I look like’?). I was more flattered with being compared to, Susan Sarandon, Rene Russo, Milla Jovovich and Ashley Judd. I think comparing me to Kate Bush was a little bit over the top but I’m sure that I can sing like her!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Another sign
“It is Spring, so all the tables begin coming out of the doors of the cafés.”
Pierre Mille, Two Little Parisians.

It’s true! As I returned from my lesson yesterday evening all of pavements outside the cafés and restaurants on the port were brimming with tables full of tourists.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New Student
As usual I was nervous before my lesson with my new pupil. We got along fine! She has a lovely flat/apartment, right the other end of town overlooking the Atlantic ocean and the cliff path where I take my picnic lunch when I work at Sup de Co.
These are pretty
while I was bumbling around I found this site. I tried patchwork myself once, I made a quilt for Christian's pram when he was a baby. I finished it when he was 10 years old! I've still got to 'finish' (it's only just started) the sampler I started before he was born, I haven't sewn the name in, so perhaps it will do for the grandchildren, whenever they arrive.

(living up to my name ;) )

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Buck :: Something horses do

  2. Harry :: Potter

  3. Play :: games

  4. Monstrosity :: eyesore

  5. Nightclub :: dancing in the dark

  6. Missing :: lost

  7. Sprout :: Christmas

  8. Flavor :: vanilla

  9. Identity :: card

  10. Saucy :: ketchup - yuck

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ahimsa Heroes
While I was traveling around in cyberspace looking for products to advertise I came upon this site. I know that there are a lot of animal lovers out there so I thought you might be interested.
Quote of the week

Olivier: It's like a rush of adrenalin to my foot.

It’s definitely gone
My other blog has gone for good. I got an e-mail this morning telling me that I had been abusing the system (not the exact words). I’ve asked for details so that I can correct what I’ve been doing wrong. I would have thought that Google would like lots of blogs so that we can put on Adsense, but it appears lots of people have had their blogs wiped out. Having said that; a Google ad turned up on my other blog for a multiple blog maker! The idea is that you create hundreds of blogs so that you don’t lose your blog. Isn’t that what they’re trying to stop?

I’ve recorded my archives for 2003 onto word this morning so if it happens here at least I shall have my memories…..

Friday, April 07, 2006

On a more cheerful note
Next week I’m giving lessons to someone who has an interview with the U.N. in New York coming up. I’m looking forward to it as she has a decent level of English and we shall be talking about current affairs, etc. The pay is pretty good too.
How it is here
I expect that a lot of you have been seeing pictures in the media of what’s been going on over here recently. Rob, Dom and Olivier have all taken part on protest marches, which have been peaceful on the whole. We have been asked to keep our children away from school two Tuesdays running by one of the PTAs, which is why Olivier joined in a march. Dom is exercising her right as a lycéenne to protest. Her lycée has also been barricaded this week so she hasn’t been able to go to all of her lessons. The problem is that the government has come up with the idea of making it easier for employers to sack younger employees. They were hoping to create more jobs after the troubles earlier in the year. It’s cheaper to employ younger people over here and most people predict that there will be sacking in order to bring in cheaper labour. A lot of the students that are protesting at the moment won’t be affected by this as they will be over the ages concerned when they finish their education. (Some of my marine biologists needed Doctorate plus two or three years to qualify for a job, which took them to over thirty). Our Prime Minister says that he won’t give in. He’ll be standing for election for president when that comes up, I don’t think somehow he will be successful.

I was reading an article the other day. At the moment there are approximately 118000 students studying languages for around 1800 jobs. It’s roughly the same kind of figures for other lines of work.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A day out
Yesterday Rob and I took advantage of cheap train tickets on the first Wednesday of the month and went to visit Saintes. Saintes is a town founded by the Romans and was the capital of our region around 2000 years ago. There are lots of beautiful old streets to wonder around in. (Would you believe I can’t find a good site with pictures) We had a lovely day out, but there was one thing that spoiled it for us, a freezing north-easterly wind. It’s rarely so cold here in April. The train was crowded too, full of people taking advantage of the same offer.

When we all win the lottery and you come over to visit, we’ll take you to see it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

How the other half thinks
Yesterday Olivier was being a typical male, expecting everything to be done for him (though he does have an advantage over his father, he knows where the kitchen is and what it’s for).

Me: I feel sorry for the poor girl that gets landed with you.
Olivier: It’s alright mum, I’ll change.

I always thought that it was us who thought that we could change them.

We’ve sorted out who the lady was who accused Olivier and his friends of shoplifting. She was in the Co-op the other day when they were buying a snack. This time she told them to hurry up and get out. She used to run the Co-op with her husband when we first came to the village and then they retired. No wonder the business was on it’s knees if that was her attitude to young people. I told Olivier how we thought how nice they were. ‘Yes’ he said ‘but you’re not 15, are you mum?’

Monday, April 03, 2006

Good morning
Looks as if we might have a real spring day today. This morning Rob and I are breakfasting on the port. He's just gone into the shower and I am starving!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Desire :: want

  2. Sleep :: rest

  3. Lost :: child

  4. 2006 :: now

  5. Pump :: water

  6. Space :: stars

  7. Stuck :: too fat

  8. Reference:: looking things up

  9. Birth:: babies!

  10. Hand:: foot

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Garden update
The front doorstep is now covered in pink snow. Everything is growing very fast after the rain and sunshine, especially the weeds. I went out and worked on the front flower beds for an hour during the week. I pulled up a big handful of grass where it shouldn’t be and discovered a handful of toad. He hobbled away in a most disgruntled manner, I did apologize, he’s useful in the garden. When we go for our evening walk we see lots of toads, unfortunately they don’t do too well if they come into contact with cars. The kitchen windowsill lizard is back too, she’s bigger and fatter this year. I think they live for around 6 years, I’d say that this one is three or four now.