Thursday, January 31, 2008

January - Gone?

Having seen squirrels and frogs earlier in the month and looking forward to spring, I was shocked by how cold it has become here yet again. On Monday morning I took Olivier to lycée and was treated to mists and white frost. The sun was just rising so everywhere had a pink glow. I didn’t think to ask Olivier to take a photo with his phone, it really was beautiful.

We had a couple of sunny days, so I got out into the garden and finally pruned the roses. I’ve decided I can’t cope with the way everything insists on growing so I’m going to have to pull one or two shrubs up.

I can’t believe that we are at the end of January – where did it go?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Booze :: beer

  2. Counter :: shop

  3. Action :: movement

  4. Trial :: court

  5. Wheelchair :: illness

  6. 1-800 :: numbers

  7. Chop :: pork

  8. Relatives :: family

  9. Bed sheets :: sleep

  10. Funnel :: parafin

If you'd like to play visit here

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You mustn't judge a book by looking at its cover

Since I wrote about the lady who lived on the streets dying just before Christmas, my sister and I have been exchanging emails regularly where she’s told me about her local tramp. I had a sad email today, my sisters tramp has been found dead. He was only in his thirties. She and her neighbours are quite upset about it.

When I worked at the language school, some of the classrooms were let as bed sits for the homeless. It was quite disturbing I can tell you to go to your classroom for a lesson and find someone living in it. Though that’s another story.

One of the young men was really special. Before he became homeless he was in business and very successful. Unfortunately he was involved in a very bad car accident and was in hospital for a long time. The people who worked for him tried very hard to keep the business going but it went under and he lost everything. So eventually he ended up living on the streets. It’s very difficult to find work here in France and if you don’t have an address, impossible – it’s also difficult to get any help without an address. He lived in one of the ex classrooms and got thinner and thinner, Karin and I gave him food when we could. He was so nice, always willing to have a chat and helped me when I had trouble unlocking the front door, passing on messages etc and he had a lovely little boy who stayed with him sometimes. The school was sold and has been converted into offices – last time I went by it was still empty. I wonder where he is now?

The point I want to make with all that is, you never know who might end up on the streets.

I told you so

Remember I wrote about cell phones recently? Remember I wrote that I thought Rob would find an excuse to have a new phone soon? Well – :

He phoned me from work on Friday morning because he’d ‘dropped’ his charger (he told me it fell off the desk) and broken it. He wanted me to phone the two Orange shops in La Rochelle to see if they had one in stock, the idea being that I could go into town on Saturday to buy it. I phoned the first shop which is a normal one, you go to a counter and a nice man serves you. No charger. The other new fangled shop where you go in and someone jumps at you with a clip board and then you wait like a lemon for two hours till they get to your turn had a communal number so it was no use phoning to ask if they had something in stock. I suggested to Rob that he try ebay. He quickly found his charger, really cheap. We collected it from our PO box on Saturday morning (We could have collected it at 9). If I’d have gone into town to that shop I wouldn’t have been home much before midday.

Nice try Rob.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My 'busy' family

As I was writing the last post I had a text message from Dom. She’s passed the “written” part of her driving test. Next week she starts real driving in a car lessons. Well done Dom! She’s also taking exams at the moment.

Olivier had his first mock exam this week. He’s still alive and in a reasonable humour. It was a French exam and he chose to write a fable (!).

My mum had a fall and broke her wrist, she also knocked a tooth out and loosened two others. Fortunately a neighbour saw her fall and took her to see the Doctor and later ER.

Sad news and good news

I’m sad to say I’ve removed two blogs from my blogroll this afternoon. the first is Patchwork Progression; Patch hasn’t posted for a long time and I see that his domain name is up for sale. I’m hoping that this means that Patch is living a happy, busy and fulfilling life somewhere out there. I’ll miss his posts, he helped me to understand Christian’s problems.

Isaac Stolzfut was another exceptional person. He was well into his eighties, a very busy man and interested in everything. In August last year he went out for a walk (we think) and never came back again. His Grandson Adam hasn’t posted for a few months so I don’t know if Isaac was ever found.

Now for the good news. Spooky is back. I had an email today telling me of the happy event so if you like grey men with yellow eyes Spondoolies for you.

Someone who I’ve been meaning to add for ages is Breezy Break Blog. The adventures of another Brit who has moved to France.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Is spring in the air?

As I was returning from the post office this morning I saw a squirrel crossing the road. I haven’t seen a squirrel so far away from the woods before. Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic passing through the village at that time of the day. Rob and I have seen a few frogs on our evening walks recently too. I hope the weather doesn’t go cold again and catch them all out.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The night before and the morning after.

While I was in the pharmacy yesterday a woman came in and asked for the morning after pill. The only other time I’d “come into contact” with that pill was when one of Dom’s friends went to the school nurse for it.

The woman was in her mid thirties and I don’t think I’ve seen her in the village before. I hope next time she thinks to use a condom. As well as risking pregnancy she’s in one of the groups most likely to come into contact with the H.I.V. virus.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Time for a story

My pupil and I often have a laugh during our conversations in English together. Today we were talking about the princess and the frog – or toad. In the version I grew up with the princess kisses the ugly frog – or toad and he turns into a handsome prince. In the French version the princess takes the frog – or toad to bed with her and in the morning wakes up with a handsome prince in her bed* –much to the disgust of her parents.

Which version do you prefer?

*She should be so lucky

Friday, January 04, 2008

Carrot cake and telephones

I hope everyone is recovering from all of the holiday celebrations. We had a quiet time but still managed to eat and drink too much. We had a lot of fog too; I know we live near the sea, but it’s quite rare here normally.

Dom came home, she’s still enjoying life in Poitiers. She managed to catch up with her friends and study for the after Christmas exams. She found a carrot cake recipe in a recipe book I gave her so she made it for New Years Eve, it was delicious.

Two Phone stories; for a couple of years I’ve been using Olivier’s old phone, but it used to play up after I spilt wine on it. Just before I started exam supervising before Christmas it died on me. Dom was having trouble with her phone so she bought herself a new one. She told me her old one didn’t work but I could try it if I wanted to. It works perfectly, so now I can take pics and make films (when I work out what to do) as well as phone here and there.

Olivier had his phone stolen at a New Years party (You know how it is; ‘friends’ of ‘friends’ turn up and the fun starts). The thief had already karma-ed himself/herself because the screen was cracked. The phone had a lock as well as a pin number so it wouldn’t have been much use at all. He’s now got a new phone and has learnt what a pain phone shops are when they are very busy.

I expect Rob to invent a reason to have a new phone next…