Look what I can do!

See what I’ve learnt to do today:

  1. cats
  2. fish
  3. dogs
  4. mice
  5. foxes
  6. lists of … animals!!!


I’d never bothered figuring it out even though I’d have like to, but Mr Doormouse seemed like the ideal person to ask how to do a little HTML. Also, and more importantly, I now have a domain name and my soon to be website is taking shape. Thank you again, Mrs Doormouse, for reminding me to be in touch.

Becoming an entrepreneur is growing increasingly real as I tick off tiny elements of the long to-do list I’ve been working through and adding to since the beginning of May. I’m  currently procrastinating over a contact letter to the companies I’ve been in touch with previously and thinking about the next job: contacting local translating companies and freelancers and widening my offer of translating and interpreting services. The whole task makes me want to have done a comms degree so I might hide behind official ways of doing things rather than having to improvise.

On my web-travels looking for translators around Lyon I found a young lady who graduated from Swansea Uni and thought of how useful a degree in Welsh would be to translate French into English. If only I’d known!

Oh, to make everyone jealous, breakfast this morning was toasted & buttered French baguette with home made “gelée de pommes”! Fabrice has once more done wonders and I am a very happy jam-taster.

strawberries and melons

I’m eating the first melon this year. One of those dark green rugby ball shaped melons a bit like honeydew. Sadly probably an imported one, it’s nonetheless fine and quite sweet.

Wednesday saw the first strawberry jam. It’s light jam, low in sugar and not cooked for very long, which means it still has a strawberry colour rather than the yummy brown I always seem to end up with. I often shiver at the idea of whatever chemical or method makes shop-bought strawberry jam so red.

Oh, the bad thing about the jam, or more precisely the making thereof, was the fact that my fabulous man was so very disappointed by the fact I set about doing it while he felt too tired to. He’s not the first or the last to say he’s not creative or good with his hands and however grand the counter-proof it’s so often not enough to reassure him and others that, actually they do great. Anyhow, I stole his job and was very sorry that I made him so sad in an instant. I’m not worried though because he’s so much more precise in how he makes our preserves of all kind that his jam is guaranteed to be nicer than mine.

The next batch of strawberries are all yours my love!

The pavers on the little square just down our road have finally upped their hours from half a day a week (I estimate the rate they progressed for the previous 6-8 weeks between 2 and 4 hours per week.) It’s nice because It’s sad to have fencing around the square just because the pathway round the edge is ‘in progress. If they worked this morning too, they may actually have finished.

Ah, and finally, a little non-PC-ness to round off my ramblings.

Walking into town the other day I witnesses one of my ‘only in …” such or such a place could this happen kinds of situations.

Only in France

Never in the UK without a fenced off perimeter and a little tent thing over his head.

If ever in the USA someone would manage to fall in and sue the poor man they squashed, his company and their local council too.

Shall I explain at last? Oh yes! It made me giggle… As I began, I was walking into town and looking to my right, between 2 large flower-beds, I noticed an open manhole. There was a traffic cone (Possibly 😛 stolen from Swansea of Cardiff council?) about a meter away and a toolbox about a foot to the side I walked. All I could see of the worker was the top of his head just below ground level as he stood up before bending back down to carry on whatever work he was doing. Like I said I giggled. I carried on walking and laughed to myself thinking how relaxed the French and many other continentals can be over a bloke down a manhole and then I played of in my head what would have happened elsewhere.

I’ve listed above my two main stereotypes and I’d add there’re probably one or two places where there’d be a couple of guys standing around watching, handing him a tool once in a while and generally providing conversation and encouragement as their day’s work.

I love situations like that, surprising moments of realising how a town or region or country (sometimes even a street is enough) are so different from the next.

Right, now back to dealing with everyday stuff and getting a bit more done towards this freelance project.

apart from the waltz

I don’t know why Barbary organs and this one in particular sound so amazing, beautiful and out of this world. Whatever the reason, I was enchanted by the waltz the old man played yesterday, walking up the street outside our window. It sang away in my bones for much of the rest of the bank holiday and still slightly echoes now… Marvellous!

Anyhow, the serious news is that I have now completed most of the formalities needed to be a freelance translator. I’m wondering whether I can tap into a basic business training of sorts via the ANPE and what to do about a website. I’ve got leads as to people who have the know-how to set up a website but I would like a domain all my own rather than something free that’s full of adds… Hmmm.

Watch this space.

a good day’s work!

Especially for what was for most of you A BANK HOLIDAY!

Being French means not having bank holidays moved to Mondays, so our was Saturday, while nearly no one works anyway! The French government know what they’re up to 🙂

Anyway, the important news for today is that…

I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!! I passed my theory!!!

I passed my theory test first time and am very proud of myself.


Not right now…

I’m sad to say I didn’t get the job. It was a very exciting time and both Fabrice and I would have loved to move to such a beautiful town, but Bordeaux is not for now. I can’t say I’m not sad, but I know there’s so much of Lyon and the area yet to discover and I’m quite glad to stay near my sister and her kids, so I’ll survive. Also, having little choice now but to go freelance, that’ll keep me out of trouble I’m sure. Fabrice is the one who most needed the change I suppose and I think he’s far more disappointed than I am.

We spent this week on holiday there visiting and discovering the town, the area, the wine, and we enjoyed that and the sun which warmed each day in spite of the nippy wind.

There’re proportionally more British tourists and expats in Bordeaux than in Lyon, probably because of the wine and the sea.

Tuesday was spent on the beach in Arcachon, lovely long sandy… then St Émilion on Wednesday afternoon and Château Pape Clément on Friday afternoon. The rest of the time we mostly trod the majestic streets of Bordeaux, noses in the air and  sun on our backs and found many nice places to eat and stop a while.

Are you scared yet?

I thought I’d ask just in case…

In fact I hope you are getting over the shock of me writing more than one post in a month, let alone more.

Well, I simply decided that you all needed to know that I’m learning the (French) highway code and doing mock tests and lessons and that I even have my first driving lesson booked for in a couple of weeks.

Now you must be really scared. Shhh! Breathe…. In… Out… In… Out… Slowly, that’s it. In… Out…


Round TWO!

I’ve had a reply inviting me to the second interview. It’ll be 29th march and I yet have to book my train ticket to confirm the time.

I’m mighty excited.

Oh, by the way, I admit it, I’m trying to get the job simply because of the beautiful lamposts on the bridge.

Now to get dressed and have breakfast in time to get to a mock driving theory test in town… Chocks away!