Showing posts from May, 2017

Those lime trees

Yesterday I smelt their scent as I walked up the road. It's wonderful. Sweet, honeyed, but not strong and insistent, like the honeysuckle, the mock orange or even the roses. It's more delicate, and the butterflies love the trees.

I've never seen a French-style CV

but I'm told it is very different from a UK one. It is bad form to take more than one page. You cram everything into one sheet of A4. I look forward to seeing one one day!

Ah non!

at the bookshop: Alors, vous êtes Québécois, monsieur? Non , quoth I, smiling. Non, il est Anglais , said the first guy's friend. Ah non! je suis Gallois.

You could say that

The lady opposite me in bus 4: Il fait pas froid... It was 40°C.

Oh boy it's hot!

34°C. It was hot for Ali and Pete in the Street, but not unbearable in the shade of Sainte Catherine. Then we sought refuge in the air-conditioned Auchan supermarket before hauling ourselves home on bus 4. Thankfully it cooled off enough overnight to be able to sleep comfortably. Meanwhile, in the street outside, the lime trees are just bursting into fragrant blossom.

BWV 11 Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen

for Ascension Day:

So annoying! Really very irritating!

I've gone and booked myself to speak at two churches this Sunday morning at the same time, and separated by about 150 miles (not that the distance is all that relevant, I can't be in two places at once, even if they are adjacent.) Strangely I was speaking to someone just the other week about how they handle someone's diary when they're in the UK and thinking how wonderfully useful that would be. They can then avoid the cross-country high-speed dashes which are becoming less and less feasible these days, and try to optimise the whole thing. What's worse is that the agonising decision to hire a car was largely because of a long journey that would have had to be done this coming Sunday and which now I can't do, and don't need to do. Oh well. A mix of convenience and inconvenience. But most of all annoyance! What a clown!

Let's have a little season of Fauré songs

You can't always get sublime interpretations on YouTube, but here's Clair de Lune, a song of a poem of a painting of people who "don't seem to believe in their own happiness".

Pessac is all flowery

Mock orange. Scrambling roses. Honeysuckle. You name it, it's flowering in the hedges and on the walls here. It makes the whole town a riot of perfumes night and day.

Après un rêve, Gabriel Fauré - LISTEN EYES CLOSED

Listen from 1 minute, with your eyes closed.

Conseil National des Evangéliques de France

At the Luther 2017 meeting I bumped into some good friends from a charismatic church on the west of Bordeaux, and we were able to discuss the local CNEF group together and plan to get people to meet up. I followed up with some emails on Friday and we're all set to meet on Monday afternoon. Great!

Luther 2017

There was a meeting on Thursday evening to add some more details to the planning of the Luther 2017 thing. Some things to note include that there won't be any stands representing any churches. Stands will be held by associations, like food banks, etc.. The Maison de la Bible will be there, sharing a stand with the Gideons.

A quiet Saturday catching up

Well that was a helter-skelter few days. Today has been quiet, and that's been good because after the travelling, the evaluation conference and the various things going on on Thursday and Friday we needed to catch up with ourselves. Now Catrin has a concert this evening. She's doing the first half for a colleague who sings in a completely different style. So at 9pm we'll be at Victoire listening to her. We'll leave at the interval, though. (Sorry Alice.)

Acts29 evaluation conference

took place at Lagny church, locally pronounced by French people as if spelt Langy in English, to my great surprise. We travelled up by TGV, getting to the station in good time, having a nice drink in a café, being charged " eleven " proudly in English for two 3,50€ drinks by the waiter. And because we had plenty of time we ended up rushing to get our train! We were lodged with a charming international family and enjoyed seeing these 1970s Paris satellite towns. Milton Keynes à la française? The evaluation conference was intensive and tiring and the weather suddenly became glorious and hot, so when it was time to come home we were glad of a chance to rest before our train, and then to be able to doze on the train. Sat opposite us were Paul, 1 year old, and his father. They were a most charming couple. Paul was happy and very sociable and his father was patient, gentle and attentive. We were charmed by them both. Back in Bordeaux it had rained, it was not raining but it

Racing a bunny

This morning I got out a little later than usual and was surprised to see my neighbours still waiting at the bus stop. Just after I passed them their bus came, but it did mean they watched me totter up the hill in my startling grey, navy and fluorescent yellow running gear. All went OK. A noisy bird yelled at me as I passed. When I came to the vineyard I spotted a bunny just a few yards ahead, a sweet little young bunny. He scarpered. There was no hole in the fence. I galloped, the bunny galloped, we galloped together. He had an admirable turn of speed, but little endurance. He kept stopping to rest. So I caught up with him a couple of times. Then he hid behind a waste bin and rejoiced to see me hurtle past. Ha! When I came hurtling back he bolted and scarpered again. He galloped. I galloped. As before, but in the opposite direction. This time we went all round the vineyard in our somewhat unequal relay race before he found a couple of bushes he could dive headlong into. Bye bunn

The café philo

We're on the hunt for neutral venues in the city to hold English conversation evenings, discussion evenings, etc. Some cafés close at 6 or 7. Others become restaurants and really want to serve meals. One of our chaps is looking for places, but I spotted a couple of possibilities that seemed promising. One is a café run by an association, a club. You have to join the club at a annual membership fee of 5€ before you can buy a coffee, but once you do then coffee is 1€, tea is 2€ etc. Some days of the week they run a working café, where you pay by the hour and then drinks and snacks are free. Then there's the workshops. There's vocal workshops, yoga, and a café philo run. I wanted to get the measure of the place, so I went along. The Café philo ran from 7pm to 8:30, cost 3€ entrance fee, and water was provided to drink. There were about 15 to 20 people present, all ages, though mostly student age. It was set up as one big group with the teacher in the middle keeping the

Running this morning had an inauspicious start

I looked out of the kitchen window. It was not raining. It had rained. It would rain. But it was not raining. Of course, but the time I got outside, it was raining. As I walked up to the vineyards I got one of those severe, sharp, stabbing pains that shoots directly up your leg and threatens to make you fall over. It meant nothing. There was no real problem. It just hurt. I stretched and the pain went away. I got to the vineyards and decided to use my inhaler before setting off. And I gave myself a coughing fit. Such are the hurdles to be jumped by the morning runner, before he even begins! There were nice flowers, though.

Pat's computer has been found!


When the President of France is younger than you are

you know you're getting on a little in age!

Le 8 mai

It seemed ironic to me that on the 7th May 1 in 5 people in my town voted for the presidential candidate from the far-right Front National, then the next day we gathered at the Monument aux Morts to commemorate the victory over the far-right Nazi invaders in 1945. Go figure.

Music for the eve of the election


Would you believe it?

So I saw a video of Mad Genius Tips that said that you can make meringues using, instead of egg whites, the liquid from a tin of chick peas. I remarked on it on Facebook and got some varied reactions, from "Eew!" to, "Yes, and you can make chocolate mousse with them, too". Well on Thursday Patricia and I saw some cans of chick peas and.. well... The meringues worked fine! Absolutely fine! Not only that, but a can of chick peas is MUCH CHEAPER than eggs, and they don't come from miserable chickens. And you get the chick peas to use in a tajine, in a curry or in some hummus. Then the chocolate mousse - essentially it is 150g melted then cooled dark chocolate with the juice of a can of chick peas and 60g of sugar whipped into soft peaks then folded in. It was absolutely delicious! Really! And so much more convincing than eating raw egg whites, even if they are beaten to peaks.

French presidential elections

So we're voting on Sunday for either Marine LePen, from the National Front, or Emmanuel Macron, independent. One wag said it's a choice between Oedipus who killed his father (Madame LePen expelled her father from the party he founded - because of his anti-semitic remarks, I think) and Oedipus who married his mother (Monsieur Macron married his French teacher, 24 years his senior). The televised debate between the two last night was lively and conflictual.

Last week's frosts

have hit the vineyards hard. Some chateaux say that there will be almost no harvest this year.


Patricia and I went to the Alliance Française today to collect her results from her TCF ANF examination. She passed, with level B1 in one skill and B2 (higher than B1) in the other, so plenty good enough to submit to the préfecture along with lots of other documents for consideration for French nationality. Now to amass the documents necessary, get some translated, and submit all to the préfecture.

Crime wave Koralli

Some more details have emerged of the little crime wave that has rocked our block of flats to its very foundations. A neighbour's mother had been staying in their flat. When she left she popped the key into their mailbox. She was observed by a person or persons unknown, who then forced the mailbox open and stole the keys. Our neighbour changed the door lock immediately, but the mailbox remains unlockable for the moment.

Brunch at the weekend in cafés in Bordeaux

No way. No poached egg on toast is worth those prices, not even at 11 am and with paprika, chives and bacon bits sprinkled over it.

An afternoon at the Parc Floral


Assemblée Générale

Last night was our AGM. We only have one "official" meeting a year and it's a legal requirement. We did the usual essential things like the president's report, financial report (that's always a good laugh, our budget is risible) and re-election of officers and stuff. Then we talked about where we are and how to move forward. And it was a good, positive time. I always get in such a tizz beforehand. And afterwards just thankfulness. Well, better than the other way round, I suppose!