Thursday, December 24, 2009

Have a Happy Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas. Hope Santa brings you everything on your list!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Anyone for Tennis?

I worked ‘outside’ for four mornings last week, supervising exams. It all went smoothly and quickly too except for the morning we were in the big amphitheatre for two exams. It’s a large cold room, especially when not filled to capacity, so most of us (students and supervisors) kept our coats on. The second exam required simple calculators, which are provided and are solar powered. We were just getting everyone seated when the electricity went off. Would you believe that these intelligent future captains of industry and commerce started calling that their calculators didn’t work? I’m sorry but I found the situation really funny. The electricity supply was restored and the calculators soon recharged enough to work properly.

We had about 30 seconds of snowflakes yesterday lunch time. It will probably be my ration for the year. A robin and a blue tit were hanging around in front of the kitchen window hoping for something to eat. The robin found a piece of bread so the blue tit came and sat on the window sill waiting for his share. How could I resist?

Olivier came home on Saturday, just as I was serving up lasagne – poor soul hadn’t eaten all day and his train was delayed by the snow in Poitiers. Dom will be home late on Wednesday night and will leave on the 7.30 train on Sunday morning. More sociable times cost an arm and a leg (or "the eyes in your head" in French).

Yesterday evening I was arm wrestling with the Doctor (his way of checking to see what was wrong). It seems that I’ve got Tennis Elbow. Not very pleasant and he told me to be careful with heavy saucepans full of hot liquids in case I drop them. That’s the end of my career in weightlifting.

The shopping was done yesterday morning, the turkey is sitting in the fridge and now all I have to do is make the stuffing and cook it all. I’m beginning to feel Christmassy, I’ll have to hunt out the Christmas Carol CDs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Aperitifs and timetables

We went to visit some friends for tea on Saturday afternoon. This is what I like about living in France ; after a little walk the tea as followed by an aperitif. Aperitif dînatoire seems to be the new fashion. The nibbles are more substantial, in this case quiche and courgette tart amongst other things. When we got home we didn’t need to eat. Fortunately for me Rob never drinks and drives, so I get to have a drink.

Olivier came home for the weekend. We drove him to a neighbouring village for his lift back. It’s nice when we do that because we have the time to talk to each other before he goes off.

This morning I supervised an exam. It went well and despite the clatter of the air-conditioning I did not have a migraine. I was with a colleague who used to be a colleague of Rob’s. Apparently a month a go she told him that she will be a grandmother in January. He forgot to tell me. She’s so excited – she’ll be present at the birth (there isn’t a papa). He daughter is a very lucky girl, she has such a loving family to support her.

Since Manpower took over appointing us, the timetables appear to be a little confused. I’m working longer on Wednesday morning (though I suspected I might be) and I haven’t got to go to work tomorrow. I’d been told I had four mornings in January, but I’ve only got one after all. It’s a good job I’m not desperate for the cash.

The weather has gone really cold here, the wind is coming from the North East which means from Siberia. I wonder if we’ll have snow?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Saturday to Tuesday

We had a very good, but busy weekend. Managed to send Olivier off with his clothes all washed and dried in time. We went to a Christmas market in a nearby town, mainly to see our friend Janet who has a stand there and makes amazing things to give as gifts. She hadn’t made any mince pies this year, still we got some from the Irish Counter in town a few days ago.

Poor Dom ended up with a migraine on Saturday night. She rarely drinks alcohol and had a kir (White wine with an alcoholic blackcurrant syrup) at a bar in town. I think it’s the high sugar syrup which causes it. Anyway she slept for 14 hours. She works so hard. While she was here she printed out a report to read, 50 pages, amongst all of the other things she has to do. However, she does get rewarded for her hard work. J-M also bought work to do with him, he’s studying philosophy.

On Monday I helped to supervise a TOEIC exam. Lots of papers to sort into alphabetical order at the end. I came home with a migraine which didn’t go even after a sleep. We went out for a walk, it was dry and windy, coupled with a big dose of paracetamol it did the trick.

Yesterday was my visit to the leg Doctor. It went as well as can be expected. She was only 15 minutes behind and I swear the bus drivers hid around corners in wait for me, the buses co-ordinated perfectly and I was home earlier than I expected. While I was waiting to go in the receptionist came into the waiting room to change a light bulb. Fortunately I asked her if she was sure the light was turned off, which it wasn’t. She was running around in her bare feet as she’d taken off her shoes to climb onto a chair; ‘It’s a good job there is no one here’ she said to me. I’ll take that as a compliment.

Friday, December 04, 2009

The dreams coincide

Olivier is home for the weekend and we’ll be picking up Dom and J-M later. I was telling Olivier about my dream (see Grumble, Grumble post below) which made him laugh, he liked the thought of sitting there while I peddled away. Then he asked me about dreams of teeth. I found my book about dreams and the dreams he is having indicate a passing from one stage to another i.e.: he’s growing up. I think that my dreams are about letting him go – it’s becoming more and more difficult for me to look after him in the way I used to.

Then we were talking about the importance of silence between friends. You don’t have to fill every second with noise and it’s a nice feeling, shared quietness, he said. Yes, he’s definitely growing up.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Grumble, grumble

I feel really grumpy today though grumpy is too nice a word for how I feel; murderous perhaps.

I dreamt that I had to take Olivier to his usual lift back to Poitiers. We were running late and he hadn’t packed or changed, he was in shorts because the sun had been shining. He said he wouldn’t bother to change and had I bought his new shoes as his others had holes, I told him I thought he was going to buy the shoes. He changed his shoes with holes for a pair of flip flops. Our means of transport was a bike with tiny wheels like a child’s scooter. I had to pedal while he perched on the back with his nearly empty bag. It was such hard work, lots of fast peddling for very little progress and we were late. When I got to where we were going I missed the turning so I had to find a place where I could reverse to turn around. I nearly reversed into a ditch and there was a tiny bird, a wren. I dropped Olivier off and set off for home, it was dark and my tiny light at the front was almost falling off and I had such a long way to go alone.

Fortunately the alarm went off.

The road we went along wasn’t the real road we use, but it is a road I’ve travelled along a lot in my dreams and I’m usually late or lost on it. Does anyone else have familiar dream places?

I’ve been out of sorts all day. Rob and I went into town this morning and had breakfast on the port – Rob wanted to sit outside which was a bit cold but not windy so I didn’t mind too much. Then we did a bit of shopping. Christmas pudding and mince pies and some Christmassy bits so that was nice, but it look up the whole morning. It’s cold and wet and windy so we set off for a walk and it started to rain and so on…

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

How to improve my Potnecy

I know that I shouldn't and I suppose that everyone must have seen these by now. They just crack me up.

In a spam received this morning:

"Be porud of whaat you havee in yoour truosers!

Hoow caan I imporve my potnecy if I gavee brith to 2 childern?
If you havee a feevr of 102 F moore thaan trhee daays proabbly the druug you take deosn't woork.

Shee haas her faiilngs-as whoo haas noot?-buut I nveer kneew her do it wheen copmany waas preesnt, at wihch timee you maay ferely turst her with wiens, spriits, or maalt liquros. My oown abdoe is logdings at Pneton Palce, Pentonvil-le. It is lwoly, buut aairy, oopen at the baack, and consdiered one of the 'ealthiset otulets. Miiss Summerosn! In the miledst langauge, I aodre you. Wolud you be so kiind as to al-low me (as I maay saay) to filee a declaratoin-to makee an of-fer!"

I do hope that Miiss Summerosn appreciates a proposal that has been distibuted around the world