Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Flops down in a chair and sighs
MIL will be arriving tomorrow, she’s going to stay for a week. I’m exhausted. I’ve been cleaning, my least favourite job. The house does look better for it though. I’m hoping that the weather will be good so that we can eat outside everyday. Rob’s postcards have taken over a lot of the living room, including the table, so now we eat in the kitchen all the time. I have the impression I’m going to be in the kitchen a lot over the next week.

Next Wednesday evening we’re off to a party! The Bigodène, one of our favourite restaurants, is changing hands and we’ve been invited to the farewell evening. Rob often sends tourists there if they ask him for a good place to eat. Fortunately, the new owners aren’t planning to change anything for the time being and they seem very nice. MIL will be able to come along too.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Back on the buses
There is a choice of three buses that I can take in the morning to get to work. One of them is the university bus, I’ve taken this one 4 times so far. Every morning It’s loaded up with classes of school children on their way to learn about marine biology. They are 5 to 6 year olds which means that this year they have learnt to read. I’ve really enjoyed listening in to their conversation and the spelling out of words that goes on; everyone knows exactly which stop we are coming to as place names are called out as they show up on the electronic notice board. I’ve enjoyed listening to the personalities too. There always seems to be a bossy one. Making sure his friends take it in turn to speak, remain sat down etc. Then there is the one who has so much to tell everyone that he can’t quite get in out in the right order, the cynic corrects him and makes him feel small.

An interesting one was the boy who pointed out his mother’s car to everyone (what a coincidence!). Unfortunately his act wore a bit thin when we reached the Maritime Museum and he told us that The Calypso was his grandfather’s boat. Everyone here knows that it belonged to Jacques Cousteau. The Cousteau family don’t live locally as there is always plenty about it in the local press if they visit La Rochelle in order to see how The Calypso is disintegrating. I have to get off the bus before the children do. I would love to see how the personalities organize themselves for that.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dental delights
Why have my children got such good teeth? Olivier and Dom had check ups yesterday, all perfect. In June we start crowning Dom’s front tooth that was damaged in a school accident when she was small. Olivier still has a little way to go yet with his braces. He’s still got elastics and did I tell you that he’s had another brace put in the inside of his teeth? I suppose when that’s all over we’ll have to start on his wisdom teeth. Rob and I have loads of fillings and really crooked teeth. I hope our kids appreciate the care and attention we’ve given their mouths.
This week
(I'm really embarrassed that I left my birthday post up at the top so long)

I've been doing a lot of supervising this week so I've been away from the computer and neglected the housework, clothes have been ironed as they are needed. MIL is arriving on Thursday for a week so I have some preparation for that. I'm tired!

The car was removed from the marsh a week after it had arrived. Nothing in the local paper about it, so we presume no-one was injured.

We had some really hot days, but now it's much cooler, very wet and windy. I was sulking because I haven't had a single rose in flower yet and everyone else has. This morning a lot of plants and flowers have been damaged by the harsh weather so perhaps my roses knew something the others didn't.

Rob has sold two of his book stock on eBay. Only 148 to go...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Blog Birthday
Happy Blog birthday to me. Three years of Anji Patchwork!

Thank you to all my visitors new and old, every little bit of encouragement helps.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Exam time - again.
This week marked the start of another three weeks of exams at the school of commerce where I supervise. We got off to a great start, we were five in a room with 100 students. Saida found someone with math’s formulae written in tiny writing on the back of her metal ruler. It was before the exam started so we let her sit the exam, minus ruler and made our report. Towards the end of the exam a student fainted, fortunately, there were two male supervisors as he was really big and needed lugging to where he could be lain on the floor in the recovery position. An ambulance was called, but I don’t think they took him to hospital. He hadn’t eaten breakfast, silly boy. The room was quite stuffy despite the air-conditioning, I opened the windows as I was starting a migraine. I had a headache all day but it didn’t get nasty.

Olivier was also facing his mock exams, I think he knows now that talking about revising is not the same as getting down to some work. Hopefully he will remember when the real exams take place at the end of June.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Now he’s selling books
On Saturday Rob went to the auction house with his ex-colleague, Beatrice ( who made our house sign). Between them they came away with about 300 books, which they’ve shared out. The idea is to sell them on eBay. Dom and I would like to read most of them, but we are only allowed to take one at a time. So now I’m reading ‘East Of Eden’ by John Steinbeck in French. I’ve had to clear some of our books away in order to store the ‘stock’. They were also eyeing up MY books!

800 postcards arrived this morning. Fortunately, you can get those into a shoe box. If I have to move out in order to make room for something else, has anyone got floor space for me?
A real fright, update
The car is still in the water. It looks as if someone has tried to move it, now it could turn over. I just hope children don’t try to climb onto it and make it overbalance. The marsh is a protected zone and I don’t think all the nasty chemicals seeping out of the engine will do the area any good.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

A real fright
When we came home from our evening walk yesterday, I spotted the roof of a car in the brook/creek that runs along the side of the marsh. I tell you my legs turned to jelly at the sight. Rob and I went immediately to see if anyone was inside. Fortunately the car was empty as far as we could see. The registration was from the other side of France so that’s someone’s holiday ruined, I bet. Rob phoned the emergency services when we got home and they said they’d send someone to check. He e-mailed the mayor too who wrote back to say someone had reported it during the afternoon. It’s 25 years since I did a first aid course, I wonder if I’d have remained calm enough to be of help if there had been someone who needed help?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Latest addition
I’d like to point out The 400 Pound Mile, a new addition to my blogroll. An inspiring, well written blog, by a young man who is struggling to lose weight.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Where have all the sparrows gone?
A couple of weeks ago they were talking on the news about the decline in the sparrow population here in France. There are a lot fewer than there used to be. A lot of people use insecticides and products which are not good news at all for anything which might happen to live in the garden. I’ve never used any products except a small amount of washing-up liquid on the roses to get rid of the greenfly and aphids. I thought that there were fewer sparrows because a pair of magpies had moved into the garden. When I put out anything for the birds the magpies take over. They are like a pair of gangsters.

Where you are, are the sparrows doing okay?

Who will love a little Sparrow?
Who's traveled far and cries for rest?
"Not I," said the Oak Tree,"
I won't share my branches withno sparrow's nest,
And my blanket of leaves won't warmher cold breast".

Who will love a little Sparrow
And who will speak a kindly word?
"Not I," said the Swan,
"The entire idea is utterly absurd,
I'd be laughed at and scorned if theother Swans heard."

Who will take pity in his heart,
And who will feed a starving sparrow?
"Not I," said the Golden Wheat
,"I would if I could but I cannot I know,
I need all my grain to prosper and grow."

Who will love a little Sparrow?
Will no one write her eulogy?
"I will," said the Earth,
"For all I've created returns unto me,
From dust were ye made and dust ye shall be."

Simon and Garfunkels lyrics are from this site.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

May motto
I've always wanted to share something out of "The Country Diary Of An Edwardian Lady" for the beginning of the month. This month I've finally remembered.

"Be it weal or be it woe, beans blow before May doth go"

I don't know what it means either.
May Day has come and gone already.
(and I forgot to wash my face in the dew at dawn, again!)
Last week I went for my quarterly check up. Everything is going fine at the moment, There are a whole load of tests to do in July and he’s noted in my book something about seeing a Diabetic Doctor. I told him about some aches and pains I’ve been having in my joints and he said, that’s April for you.

I spent some of this weekend painting the smallest room in the house. The toilet is such an awkward place to paint. I’ve got backache today and it’s now May. The house smells of paint so the windows are all open, fortunately it’s a beautiful day.

Dom and Olivier went back to school this morning, they were both in a reasonable mood as they left the house. In a month the exams will be starting for Dom. She’s been revising for some time so she’s not in a panic. Olivier has mock exams next week, he’s been talking about revising for some time. It is not the same thing at all.