Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I think I have proof that it works

On Saturday we went out to tea at an old friend’s who I’ll write about in another post. She’d made a chocolate cake so I had some of that, after a walk round by the beach we had an aperitif. In France you can drink port before a meal and very nice it is too. She’d also made my favourite, a savoury olive cake* and there were other nibbles. Rob and I returned home late and so I made pizza (as in out of the freezer into the oven) as I didn’t feel like cooking much and had the last of the lemon meringue pie from my birthday meal on Friday. Needless to say I didn’t take a reading of my blood sugar before I went to bed. On Sunday I felt rotten all day – almost hung over. It is a long time since I went off the rails to that extent and proof that I do need to stay sensible if I want to feel and stay well. We won’t mention weight.

*Dom made a few cakes in the summer too, they must be in a cake conspiracy together.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Emmett Till

Emmett Till died a month before I was born. Since I discovered his story I’ve written about him several times on my birthday. If you want to see what hate looks like look here (You’ll need to scroll down). His mother, Mamie, should be remembered alongside Rosa Parks.

Strangely enough at the moment, Olivier is studying those people who wear white gowns (I won’t put the name, but I think you know who) and guns in the US in English. We had to look up the white gowned people at home because the lycee computer blocks those kind of sites. So I told him about Emmett and showed him the picture, then I found him the Lyrics of Strange Fruit and he listened to John Martyn singing them. We both felt pretty sick after that.

A day later, he gave a talk on the subject, he thinks it went pretty well, he made an effort to speak slowly to the rest of the class. His talk lasted longer than intended and he didn’t use all of the material he’d prepared (I’m familiar with that one).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Helping people

This morning I was heading for the door into the newsagents and the lady in front of me held the door and waited until I came. I thanked her of course. She shuffled ahead of me, obviously handicapped and I was struck by the effort she must have put in to hold that door open. On my way out I held the door open for three men who came in at the same time (the door opens inwards so it was logical or me to hold it open for them). The first man said nothing, the second thanked me and the third, who happened to be my doctor, thanked me and wished me a good day.

Chandni has been writing about helping people too.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A busy Autumn

I think that I saw a Eurasian Jay this morning. He was on the wall across the road and strutted around while I fetched my book to look him up. Fortunately I had my glasses on or I wouldn’t have noticed he was special.

Yesterday I crushed a big grass hopper in the front door. We thought we’d thrown him out earlier, but it appears we hadn’t. Olivier told me he was cycling along one evening when one landed on his shoulder and was enjoying the ride. I should have told him it was Jiminy Cricket. Perhaps he should have listened to see if he would have given him some careers advice. I told Olivier (again) the story of the time I was hanging out the washing and felt something wriggling around inside my t-shirt…

A week ago I discovered a European House Centipede (Cute, aren’t they?) in the bathroom, he was very close to where I had hung up my hair washing towel. (Thank God he didn’t hide in there). Olivier came to the rescue with a shoe, leaving a few legs on the wall – oh well. Looking him up (the centipede not Olivier) I discovered that he is a goody and quite harmless. They run very fast when they get the chance to.

Here is a tip: Don’t crush cockroaches. When Dom was on the campus last year there were cockroaches, fortunately they didn’t reach the 4th floor. Students were asked not to crush them because that releases the eggs. The forth floor was also where Dom discovered that earwigs have wings.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings

It's a long time since I took part in Unconcious Mutterings. Thanks to Titania for reminding me.

  1. Cut the crap :: Spit it out

  2. Scent :: animals

  3. Vanishing :: cream

  4. Wetness :: nappies/diapers (The memories stay with you a long time)

  5. Cheap :: cheerful

  6. Badges :: school blazers

  7. Puppy :: wuff

  8. Problem solver :: me!

  9. Gambling :: waste of time

  10. Sophia :: Catherine the Great

On the subject of families

Try to imagine having a telephone conversation with someone who doesn’t speak your language and you don’t speak theirs. Now imagine this ‘conversation’ lasting for 17 minutes. One of Rob’s Norwegian cousins phoned the other day. She phones about twice a year and I always seem to be the one who draws the short straw. I’m not completely speechless in Norwegian I can say ‘I don’t speak Norwegian’. Unfortunately, she seems to think that if she speaks to me long enough I’ll be able to understand (a bit like how babies learn). I’m too polite to hang up, after all she is family. Oh well at least I know I’ve got about five and a half months until the next call…

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The new girl

For quite a while now I’ve been reading the blog of a lady called Jo. I’ve been wanting to add her to my blogroll for ages because I know that many of you would enjoy her writing too. Unfortunately her blog was by invitation only.

Yesterday I discovered that she has now gone public with a second blog which promises to be as good as the first - or even better because she’s had more practise. Her blog is called Brilliant Girl Genius which is what she is, why not pop across and say hello.

Another year passes

The 11th September was my Grandfather’s birthday and also that of Isaac Stolzfut who wrote this poem, scroll down to September 11th. ( Isaac went out over a year ago now and still hasn’t been found.)

I was thinking about what could be my contribution to this day. I did know someone who was indirectly involved, fortunately her story had a happy ending (they married in the end). All I can think of is suggesting that everyone make some sort of effort to make sure that this never happens again. If everyone decides to be more open minded and tolerant towards others. More accepting of everyone’s right to be different, or even to be the same. Perhaps the world might start to be a better place for everyone, wherever they are.

A long day

Not Dom's place just part of the street.

On Tuesday morning we set off at 3 o’clock in the morning for Poitiers loaded up with Dominique’s belongings. It takes around two hours to get there. As we rarely spend longer than about twenty minutes in the car at a time this is a long journey, especially in the dark. We arrived 20 minutes earlier than we said we would, despite two stops for coffee on the motorway. As it was only 5.30 we sat in the car and waited for a while before ringing her to let her know we were there. The early start was worth it, there was no traffic at all in Poitiers and we parked right in front of her front door.

Dom’s little flat/apartment/studio is lovely. Plenty of cupboard space with useful furniture and the main part, after two years as a university tenant, her own toilet and shower! When you stand by the front door you can see (and hear) the fountain and the Prefecture (picture possibly taken from her street). After unloading the car and helping Dom to assemble her Ikea table we took her to collect her fridge which she doesn’t need. It’s very small so I’ve put it in our kitchen now to store the overload from the other one. Then we had to drop her off at the university as she was addressing the 1st year students in her roll of the psycho association president.

Rob and I spent the morning wandering around Poitiers until she was free again when she look us on a guided tour. Dom likes her history so it was interesting with dates which I’ve forgotten. We left her after lunch and started the long journey back. Rob stopped and we both slept for a while. We arrived home at 5 o’clock and went to bed and slept again. I’m still tired now, I need 8 hours.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Me and the frog

Anji: (Kneeling down beside the car) Come on out, you can’t hide under the tyres, you’ll get squashed
Frog: No! Leave me alone
Anji: Come on, I’ll take to a safer place and then we can move the car.
Frog: No, my mummy said to always hide under a rock if I was frightened.
Anji: But it isn’t a rock, it’s a car tyre.
Frog: It smells.
Anji: That’s because it’s made of rubber and it’s not for frogs.
Frog: Don’t poke me with that stick
Anji: I’m not poking you, I’m trying to make you move out of the way
Frog: Alright, I’m coming out – don’t hurt me
Anji: I don’t want to hurt you, I’m going to give you a little ride in my dustpan and put you in a safe place
Frog: whoa! Where are we going now?
Anji: Into the long grass where it’s nice and wet and the magpies can’t see you.
Frog: Thanks.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The year moves on

I think it’s time for a little update. We went to the ‘seaside’ at the weekend. We don’t count here as the seaside as the beach is stony and the island is not far across the way. Last time Rob and I went we decided that we wouldn’t go again. Not much fun without bucket and spades and children. Dom asked if we would go just for old times sake so we went and it was one of the three hottest days of the year – the end of last week. So we swam and it was lovely, very crowded though and lots of Brits. In the evening we ate at The Goldwing which is decorated Mexican style. I love the colours warm and faded. We were really surprised at how good it was and not too expensive. American style burgers, though I suspect any passing Americans will wonder where that idea came from.

Olivier has finished at the restaurant and they were very pleased with his work. He earned more than we all thought he would. I told him that I hope he doesn’t spend it all on sex and drugs and rock and roll. I’ve got a feeling that as he worked so hard to get it he’ll hang on to it, for a while. We shall see. He’s started school again – last year, hopefully. They broke his class up as there were a lot of trouble makers but he doesn’t mind too much as he knows most of the others in his new class. So far he’s been pretty cheerful

Dom is busy packing. I’ve been given some makeup she doesn’t want/need any more, so I will experiment with that when everyone is out of the way. She’s just put in a request for new socks before she goes. All the socks in the house seem to have disappeared this summer. Perhaps there is a sock fetishist in the neighbourhood?

Me? I’ve been postcarding most of the time though I did prune the roses and clean out a gutter last week. When we go for our walk in the evenings there are lots of frogs around and they seem to be all sizes. I don’t know if they are different species or all the same but at different stages of development.

The spiders have started to come in. So far just medium sized ones. Winter is on its way.