Monday, 15 February 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

We went to the Picardie coast yesterday. We found cailloux (pebbles) at Cayeux Sur Mer and just up the coast we visited the seins (breasts) in St Valéry. See bottom left picture. hehe. We thought about going to le Crotoy (pronounced crotte-roi) but decided against it! Funny to see there's a Brighton in France too!

I had a lovely day with J and I found a heart shaped pebble!

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Thursday, 11 February 2010

The joy of tiled floors.

Just as I found tiled floors cold and unhomely when I first came to France, J found the extensive carpet usage in my parents' house unhygienic and dirty.

I've just spent a good two hours moving all the furniture, sweeping, mopping the floor and waiting it to dry and the putting al the furniture back and I was thinking about the pros and cons of the French love of tiled floors. I'm used to it now but still don't think it's very homely. True, it's more hygienic than carpets - just sweeping then mopping proves that - the water is diiiiirty, but it's such a pain having to move all the furniture and then wait forever for the floor to dry when with a hoover you can just lift up chairs briefly while you hoover under them, and of course, no drying time is necessary.

When I'm at my parents' house, I love nothing more than lying on the carpet in front of the fire but that simply doesn't happen here in France. As I'm used to carpets underfoot I still find it difficult to wear slippers all the time in France and if I ever walk barefoot in front of my MIL she freaks out big time 'You'll catch a cold walking barefoot you know' she muses. This comes from a woman who practically wears snowboots in the winter in the house. Of course with carpets, no need for snowboots.

Do you have tiled floors? Love them or hate them?

Thursday, 4 February 2010

when the classroom does strange things to adult learners

I've been having weekly French lessons for the past few months at the adult education centre (thanks L for finding them for me despite you being the other side of the country) and today I realised that despite everyone in the class ranging from 20 - 35 years old, the classroom brings out the inner child in most people.

OK, we sit around, listen to the instructor, do our exercises like in a school, but when we have a question we get to call out to the instructor by her first name, and there's no hand in the air. But, I witnessed such a typical classroom situation today - people started getting competitive when answering questions on a comprehension exercise. I mean, when the instructor asked us if we needed to hear the CD again, one girl shouted out 'Well, I've answered them all' and put her pen down. Ha! Then when we were going through the correction, people started shouting out their answers, trying to be louder than the next! And funniest of all, the girl who sat next to me actually did the clenched fist thing with the simultaneous 'ouuuui' when she got a particularly difficult question correct. Come on guys, I thought we had gone through and come out of this behaviour at school?!
It's strange what the classroom brings out in people, even those who have all their wisdom teeth, a mortgage and probably children.

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