Friday, February 27, 2009

The spring is coming

We’ve had a beautiful week. The sun has shone and the days are definitely warmer. The mornings are really cold due to the clear skies overnight. A couple of days ago a carpenter bee hit the kitchen window. A lot of people are frightened by their appearance (big and black) but they are quite harmless. I read somewhere that when the males get the urge they will try to mate with any thing that is dark and shiny, I can’t find confirmation of that now. Ours aren’t quite as big as this one.

The tree in front of the house has lots of buds ready to blossom, but this afternoon I was surprised to see one or two leaves unfurling. There are quite a few daffodils out and other flowers not far behind. This evening there was a tit right at the top of one of my Russian olive trees singing his heart out.

In the last week a new road sign has been put up on the road to the marsh warning that frogs an toads may be crossing. We’ve already seen one or two toads out in the evening and heard the frogs on the marsh this afternoon.

All we need now are the squirrels in the park to come out and a lizard or two on the kitchen windowsill

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I went for my three monthly check up this week; my results are all normal, so I was praised. For the last month I haven’t taken anything to lower my blood pressure and it is normal. Now I can go until the next check up without blood pressure tablets. This means I can eat grapefruit again. I love grapefruit.

Dom has come to stay for one night as she is busy and only has one week’s holiday. She’s been sorting out her clothes. While I was dividing the leftovers into three piles; me, rubbish and charity, I said to Olivier that perhaps one day I’ll be slim enough… He told me ‘Yes you can!’ Comes in useful, doesn’t it?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday!

This photograph was taken 15 years ago today on Olivier’s third birthday. Today he comes of age. Happy Birthday Olivier!

He didn’t tell me until Tuesday that last week was the week of the mock baccalaureate. Perhaps it was for the best or I’d have been agonising over whether his biro would run out of ink or should he replace his calculator batteries. He showed me some of the papers..

Philosophy: His worst favourite subject of all. They only have to do a year of it and they either get it or not. Olivier doesn’t get it. He chose to write for 4 hours on ‘Is it possible to be yourself?’

Maths: I didn’t do ‘modern maths’ so I don’t understand most of the paper (plus it is in French). Probabilities was quite good , he says, all about a drinks machine which ignores orders and gives out drinks as it likes….

History: For this you have to remember that a French man is supposed to know something about every thing, so his choice of history questions covered the recent history of USA and of Israel.

English: A doddle for Olivier, an extract from something by Ken Follett

Last night he went to a night club to celebrate his birthday. It’s in the north of the department on a very busy road. I was a little concerned about transport as there have been youngsters killed on that road in the early hours of Sunday morning in the past. Some friends took him up and then he was staying with a friend who lives halfway because they put on free transport home to some of the nearer villages.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

BlogExplosion: very Important!!

A letter has been composed for everyone to send out to the company that owns Blogexplosion on 20th February, you can copy the letter from here.

Or you might prefer to go here for more instructions and access to a rich text format of the letter. I think anyone outside the US would probably like to send their letters a little earlier. The addresses are supplied. Just pick who you would like to address your letter to.

There is no reason why you shouldn’t compose your own letter if you want to. Please be polite. A lot of effort has gone into this project by people who care about the blogging community. If you belong to BlogExplosion, please help.

And yes, you will be seeing this post on all of my blogs

Thanks to thewatchlist, MJTaylor Spicybugz, bokonon, kelson, SelinaKimsey, sightlydrunk, bluegrassBloggo, McSpazz, lando411 and others I have surely missed for keeping the forums looking like forums. A special thanks to thewatchlist and MJTaylor who have put in all of the work for the letter.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Small and Sweet

Just a very short film that Dom made in her first year. You must have your speakers on so that you can hear the music.

P.S. She told me that I could post it here as long as everyone made nice comments about it

Sunday, February 08, 2009

BlogExplosion: You can help

Thanks to an idea by thewatchlist, BlogExplosion members can help with the spam problem in the forums. All you have to do is reply to a message or start a new thread so that the spam doesn’t show up. Anything will do. Even a message of support. There is even a story you can add to in one of the threads. If you don’t feel like doing that. How about writing a post like this one? I think the more members who see it the better.

As regards approvals I’m afraid that we’re still in the middle of December. I did have a couple of hours to spare last weekend, but as BlogExplosion was off I couldn’t o anything. This weekend I’ve got problems with my internet connection, so I’ve approved about 3 blogs. There are just over 3000 blogs waiting approval. Probably 1000 are real blogs suitable for blogExplosion. It would be so much quicker if we didn’t have to wade through some of the rubbish.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

It's the little things...

This week has been scattered with little events which made me smile. I’ve been supervising exams again. I was on the bus on Tuesday morning when I looked up at a building and an open balcony window caught my eye. The traffic stopped for a couple of minutes and I could see a couple talking to each other. Then they gave each other a lovely big hug.

One of the students asked if he could speak to me after the exam. I had three hours to wonder what on earth he would want to talk to me about. Later he explained that he had lived in Alaska for a year and stayed with a family Knutsen. He obviously enjoyed being with them. He wondered if I was related. I don’t really know any of the foreign Knutsens. So Christine in Alaska, if you ever read this, this paragraph is about you!

I was eating lunch one day and the jay appeared again. He was very considerate and hopped around so that I could see him from all angles. I managed to reach my glasses without the movement frightening him off, but he was too far away for them to make much difference.

This morning we were in the middle of a probabilities exam when we heard singing. There is a large grassed area around part of the building. It was a beautiful morning, blue skies and sunshine. One of the Chinese students had taken her music outside to rehearse the part she was singing (opera I think), she had a beautiful voice and I certainly would have loved to continue listening. Unfortunately my colleague had to go out side and ask her politely to stop. The singer was very embarrassed and went off to find somewhere else.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow.