Bonsoir Bloggy and my 9 followers……

Hang on – need to turn down LBC radio as I don’t really need to hear the traffic update for London (including two people knocked down by the 252 bus in Romford today……outside the Liberty Shopping Centre. I hope they weren’t jumping over the barriers to cross the road. Mind you, who could blame them. That underpass is not only grotty but a bit like a Muggers Parade) living in the Department of Nowhere in France.


So, today or rather, the last couple of days:

Good things –

tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock……erm, I’m thinking…..surely there were some good things……… i’ll be back about this.

oh yeah, I saw two camels, a lama, a cow (thing) with horns and some other animal tethered to the grass verge in front of Carrefour supermarket this afternoon.

I also managed to not wet myself on the front doorstep after being away from a toilet for over an hour and having to carry the Fatty, a baguette, my bag, his coat and my dignity, to the front door AND unlock it AND avoid the dog with a shoe and soft toy and dirty sock in her mouth. You see – it’s a great day after all.

oh and the oven which is in my kitchen – a novel idea – has been switched on (AND i remembered to remove the hard liquor, hidden from the Prodigal, in the steaming oven BEFORE) until March. Well, whooooop de weeeeeeee.

Other things –

Oh yes, the Prodigal.

So I cleaned his room (shared with the Face. I HAD to clean it as I have a family staying in there Saturday night and I would hate for them to think that I have reared two disgusting pigs…….even if it is true). Shall I tell you what I found?

I found about 8 socks (not matching, in fact, matching in their filth and stench), shoved into any crevice in that room that would support them; I found a plate which had once held some lasagne (and a bit remained) in a desk drawer (obvious place to keep it); a banana skin which looked like the skin of the Ancient Man found in the Bog; several serrated coke cans; half pack of biscuits; 10 million sweet wrappers; my best (unchipped) cups; some scrunched up toilet paper (I didn’t pause to study that piece for too long); dirty underpants but in drawers of clean clothes; two bottles of wine (empty); an ancient (was it the Bog Man’s?) ham sandwich in a bag etc etc.

What I didn’t find was a nice smell.

I told myself that I should be glad that I didn’t find more empty bottles (one of them was a bottle of chardonnay, so I didnt’ mourn its passing but the other one was  half decent).

French and understanding

So my (ongoing and failing) battle with the French language continues. Today, however, I had one of those moments of clarity. I understood everything that was being said on a radio call in /chat show.

This radio show is on mon-fri between 2-4 p.m. (so my husband now admits to tell me). It covers relationships (but what they actually talk about is RUDIES! What a show. I reckon I’ve increased my vocabulary too. Now, if they used this show as the Listening and Understanding curriculum for 6th form French, EVERYONE would be fluent.

French and misunderstanding

the Face: ‘Can you pick me up at 3p.m. today?’

Moi :’ probably not but you never, ever know, Face.’  We play this verbal dance Mon- Fri and 99.9 pct of the time, I don’t pick him up… I’m evil. It means he has to wait until 5 to take the school bus.

Today, however, emboldened by my new understanding (of French sexual language), I arrive at his school, gain entry, walk up to the Vie Scolaire desk and just as I say:

‘Bonjour, Madame!’

Am met with a woman (of a certain age, to be true) screwing up her face, DETERMINED to NOT UNDERSTAND ME.

‘I’m here to collect the Face of Blah blah blah class.’

More screwing up of face.

Conferring with her colleague (who clearly REFUSED to be pulled into this episode of some person who was not making ANY sense at all). The colleague spoke to ScrewFaceOldBag avoiding any encounter avec moi (you see, I CAN do french) to tell her that the Face was in a study period class and finished at 4 p.m.

The ScrewFAceOldBag then re-told me this information (the room really isn’t that big and we are the only three people in it).

‘So, he has to stay in school? He cannot come out?’

‘NON. Il va finir a 16.00 heure.’

‘Ok. Il peut prendre le bus.’

What they told the Face, when they saw him, was that his mother came to school at 15.20 heures to leave a message with the Vie Scolaire, to tell the Face to take the bus? Well, of course I did. Of course, I would go into school JUST to leave a message to tell my child to take the bus he takes every day!!!!!!

And this is the problem with people learning another language. It’s not the fact that you are getting that language wrong or not making yourself clear – far from it (or very close to it, in my case), it is the fact that people, when they don’t recognise an accent  easily (i.e. that you don’t sound like you were born within 5 miles…or km in this case, from where they were born), they absolutely refuse to allow themselves to understand you – I’ll go as far as saying, they don’t WANT to understand you. It takes a bit of effort.

I now look back on my early teens, in the house of KK, meeting her Greek father.  He would speak to me in perfect English but because I wasn’t used to his accent, I actually thought that he was speaking Greek. I remember him asking me something, turning to KK and saying (in front of him), ‘what did your dad just say?’  – well, that showed me!!! Sorry, Father of KK.  To be fair, when I met my husband, I understood 60 pct of what he said even though my favourite character was Inspector Clouseau………..


Gems (yes, that is gems and not germs…..yes, I know, you could get those too) from the dinner table – this week – starring (yet again) The Face

‘Yeah, I did an experiment today and got a good mark.’

‘well done, Face (with NO sense of irony……none……it’s not like he hasn’t already done this year and is repeating it…).’

‘yeah. So I stuck a straw in its hole and blew in it.’

And that’s it.  He didn’t mention what it was that he stuck a straw into. He didn’t even care to mention which hole. He just wanted us to know the basics. This happens all of the time. I’m presuming it was a science lesson and not……..PE or something. Better not to ask.

A few weeks ago (and I mentioned this on another blog entry) where the Face, presented me with a list of names.

‘yeah. you need to choose one for the parent rep.’

‘ah, so which one shall I choose as I don’t know any of these people.’

‘yeah. I don;t know them either.’

‘but Face, you might recognise the surnames of kids in your year? any names on this list belong to any kid you know?’


‘are you sure?’

‘what about Fernandez,Virgenie?’

I choked on my burned dinner because what he actually said was ‘Fernandez, Vagina’!!  And on we continue with this, probably, comic genius…or not.

And one from Fatty, in the car:

‘That song makes me sick!”

yep, he is two and a half. It worries me too. It makes a change from him telling ANY adult who coos at him to ‘GO AWAY YOU!’

Right – I’m off. I’ve got a right mob appearing here tomorrow for what? well to spend time in my company. why else would they come….. And I need some beauty sleep…..or rather, beautiful sleep.

Bonne nuit everyone.