Friday, October 31, 2008
Now it LOOKS as if we may have a sizeable proportion of Chinese people coming along who have a pretty good level of English, but not really as fluent as fluent could be.
Andy has a Chinese : English Bible which could be just the thing and, guess what, it is available from International Bible Society in the States, either as a whole Bible or just NIV.
HOWEVER some people say that younger people (students for example) have difficulty reading the characters in the Union Chinese translation and that they sometimes end up using the English to help them understand the Chinese.
Hmm. I need advice from my Chinese Christian friends.
Now that she's basically able to get up fairly reliably I think I could leave her for a couple of hours at a stretch, so I can resume circulation a bit, too.
Meanwhile yesterday a friend took the children to see High School Musical Three (in French, so I guess that is Musical of the High School Three). This is a wonderful thing because otherwise I would have had to have taken them and I think it may have been more than flesh and blood can stand.
"What time is it ?" "It's time to go. Come on, we're leaving..."
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Meanwhile the children have had a quiet day and I have been generally looking after the gang "Nurse !" "What's for lunch, Dad ?" and catching up on reading things like EN (as you can see) and listening to the heady mix of Bert Kaempfert, Herb Alpert, Carl Trueman and William Edgar !
That means you can :
1) try it out and see how you like it
2) use it even on borrowed PCs ( where it is extremely bad form to install new software )
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Canéjan, like most of the small towns in this area, is very attractive. Lots of strangely designed bungalows with a very high-tech town hall and some great public buildings: schools, libraries etc. We stopped and asked a man with a moustache that would instantly mark him out as French or possibly Turkish and he directed us. The ludothèque turned out to be a splendid place and the children had a great time playing board games.
Meanwhile I took advantage of my freedom to go and buy the children a DVD they wanted. Happily there is a computer-monger that sells these DVDs and that also sells laptops - and one of our team is looking for a laptop so I could do a little window shopping to see what's available within their budget. And get some sleigh bells.
Sleigh bells ?
Well yes. The school of music has this orchestra and I now play in the thing. It's great fun. One of the pieces we are doing in the Grand Christmas Concert (thinks - I have not yet ensured that I am free on the night of the concert. If I am not free I will be extremely unpopular ! ) is Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride, which has all sorts of amusing and exciting percussion effects.
C'est quoi, 'sleigh bells' ? C'est xxxxxxxxx ?
There's a word in French for little bells you sew onto things. I have come across it before - for example in my interview for DEFLE - and when I hear it I know what it is but I have a real mental block about it and can never remember it. It's a classic passive vocab word.
Anyway I said that yes, it is that.
Et "heeep" ? C'est siffler ?
I was far less confident about this, so I went to look at the percussionist's copy. The word was whip and I explained that it is the noise of a fouet.
Anyway wikipedia furnished me with photos of a percussion whip (two slats of wood joined by a hinge and you snap them together - as used in Ravel's Pictures at an exhibition) and sleigh bells - actually about 30 or so little round bells attached to a handle for shaking.
The music school doesn't have these, or the money to buy them.
Anyway today I saw some babies' teething toys with - little round bells attached. So we now have two orange jingly plastic fish. I am sure the percussionist will turn up her nose at them, but they sound pretty good really. There's six bells in all !
As for the whip I reckon even I could make one of those from two bits of wood and some duct tape.
It was good to get out of the house for a little while, and good to find that Pat was still OK when I got back. The drugs are doing something but she has not yet arisen from her downy couch.
Incidentally I would very much like to try and get someone to believe that the correct pronunciation of Sleigh Ride is sleggerreeder. I don't think I am in with much of a chance, though.
I liked Ubuntu eee very much, but
1) the volume control for the sound didn't work and the sound stayed at maximum whatever you did
2) the webcam didn't work
3) the SD card slot didn't work.
I am sure that with jiggery and pokery these could all have been fixed, but the whole idea of Ubuntu eee is that you just install it and it works - neither jiggery nor pokery should be required.
Maybe a later release will work fine.
Monday, October 27, 2008
We got as far as Cadaujac (about 10km) and Pat said 'I can't do this...' It's about six hours drive after all and she had started to become nauseous what with her back and the drugs etc.
So we turned round and came home.
I am quite relieved in a way - next week I am supposed to be at the EREI Pastorale, but there are things that need to be done here, so it'll be good to have a chance to get them done. In fact I had decided that I couldn't go to the pastorale but ... all things being equal ... I should be able to go.
So there we are.
So as a consolation I decided to load ubuntu-eee onto the little eeepc. Just done that and it seems to work GREAT !
As I type the children have gone to spend time with some friends and Pat is lying on the floor watching a film. We'll spend some time with the children this week, take them to the cinema, maybe to the beach or a castle or something if the weather improves.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I was going to say that the Welsh had nothing to do with it all anyway, but there's the two little problems of the well-known superiority of the Welsh archers and the fact that the Tudors came from Pembroke.
Can there be a greater privilege than to announce God's free grace ?
Strangely it seems that there isn't a standard translation for Amazing grace - certainly our pianist for tomorrow doesn't know of one, but I found a translation online that scans and with a few modifications it'll be usable.
We are due to have a meeting about planning of orders of service in the afternoon and to eat together but I think that it is unlikely that we stay due to Mrs Davey's indisposition. By the way, she saw the doctor, who gave her some mighty potent painkillers, is reflecting on her potassium levels and considering reducing her thyroxin.
Friday, October 24, 2008
really fast !
I could not as a free bus pass holder let the slightly derogatory reference to Cardiff buses in your recent blog go without springing to their defence . Llanishen / Thornhill particularly are now very well served by the 27 (10 min intervals during day) or the 28 (half hour intervals). At the risk of tempting providence I have not up until now had a bus fail to arrive. I went to town on Monday on the 27 and returned on the 28 within the space of about 15 minutes .We even have TVs with wall to wall BBC competition. There's posh!!
The standard of the driving seems to vary quite considerably and there would appear to be a competition in certain quarters to see how far you can hurl an elderly person to the rear of the bus or to the front
Well yes, Bordeaux bus drivers play the same game, though last night I saw two young ladies simply hang from the hand holds and let the bus swing them wildly from side to side like the clappers. Of a bell. Great fun !
But a bus is no place for a trombone in its "coffin case". It seems to develop a wild desire to see the other passengers placed in their coffin cases, too.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
You know that I have 'taken up' the trombone ?
Well our municipal music school has the responsability of officiating at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day. We conclude the two minute silence with a rousing rendition of La Marseillaise.
And I have the melody ! Together with other people.
It sits pretty well on the trombone - lots of Bb, D and F. I hope I can borrow a lyre from someone. It'd be a pity to have to buy one for the sake of once a year... And Pat thinks my scheme involving lots of cardboard and clothes pegs would not work.
Bet it will.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Last night I arrived early for the English class to print out the scripts for a reportage we were going to listen to and ...
the computer took a Very Long Time to start up and was extremely unresponsive. I ended up printing from the old laptop in the foyer.
So it's time to start removing some of the large items of software that could conceivably be clogging the thing. There's an indexing search utility called Copernic - I am not sure anyone uses it so I'll start with that.
But before that I'll take the side off and see what kind of memory the thing uses and if one of the cards brought by Elizabeth's dad will fit.
That's my Thursday afternoon sorted out again.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
And Liz brought some things that her father had conveyed from Yorkshire. Assorted memory chips ! What about that ?
I am very hopeful of being able to double the memory in the FAC computer very soon.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I thought "if this works out I'll be stunned".
It did work out, the buses and trams ran to time, despite a demonstration in the city centre ( it seemed to be made up mostly of police - are they demonstrating ? ).
The only problem was a full, bouncy bus and a big trombone. An uncomfortable combination. If I carry on having to do similar manoeuvres I'll have to get one of those cool lightweight trombone cases you can pop on your back as a rucksack.
Today would never have worked in Cardiff - the bus timetables were a rough guide for approximative purposes only. I am sure that I remember waiting an hour for a bus service that ran every 30 minutes.. Maybe things have improved there. I hope so.
Meanwhile Bordeaux' bus drivers hurl their buses round the roundabouts and throw caution, passengers and trombones to the wind in their determination to run on time.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
They're nicer than I thought they would be - specifically they are bigger !
Soon I hope to order some Bibles for the English services.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Afterwards there was an apéro - always very popular.
We were a good crowd with visitors from as far afield as Lyon and Le Havre !
We were far fewer for the evening service in English, but there was a new face who found out about us from La Maison de la Bible. He came to check us out and says he intends coming for the home group and to bring his family along next time.
I preached on the lost boys from Luke 15 - how those words ring in my heart, "All these years I've been slaving", "I never disobeyed your orders", "you never gave me". How EASY it is for us to become bitter, negative and twisted.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Here's my rough and ready translation :
Thanks to the voluntary interruption of pregnancy (i.e. abortion) the modern woman can henceforth hold her head high and her tummy flat. But a further new step in the humanisation of medicine can be taken. I won't talk further about IVG but IVV, the voluntary interruption of old age.
Observe this septuagenarian of seventy years of age.
"I am bored stiff." (that's the naughty word ! Beware of most words that contain m e r d !)
What does he have left in life ?
"Nothing at all."
Is it not our duty to practice IVV on him in order to shorten his boredom ? Yes of course. On the one condition that he himself give his assent.
So, sir, do you consent that we practice on you the voluntary interruption of old age ?
"Ah no !"
Hold this for me for a second.... Thank-you.... Bop. "Aahhhh !"
Anyway, at that age they no longer know what they are saying.
"Stunning, no ?"
This was a comedy sketch. This was a British baroness's serious suggestion.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Took the list of tests the doctor wants.
Waited (10 minutes ?)
Was bled by a nice guy while we chatted about authority in protestantism and catholicism.
He said "Call in for the results tomorrow afternoon. If there's anything you want to ask about ask for me".
There we are. Bob's your uncle. 30 hours after they bleed you you have the results in your hand.
Monday, October 06, 2008
It was one idea for the name of the International English Services we'll be starting this coming Sunday evening.
Another idea was Bordeaux Vineyard.
In the end we rejected both ( though I still have hankerings after iChurch... )
But we begin Sunday 12th at 6pm at the church building in Cenon.
But it's different for us. We can listen to the best preachers in the world
( insert names here according to your preference )
and we can always have their messages with us in our mp3 players and phones.
Surely this is great !
We shop online.
We have friends online.
Why not worship and grow online ?
Friday, October 03, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
But when a thing's REALLY worth doing it's even worth doing badly.
Here's an encouraging post from the Solapanel.