Archive for the ‘Learning French’ Category

Hello folks!

Herself has been up to her eyes in it this week, she says…juggling work things and admin, etc etc – but she has managed to get out and about with the camera and take some new shots of her adopted city, and says she must get around to uploading ’em

Well, I dunno about you, but this roasting weather is the ticket, ain’t it? Herself has abandoned the coat, scarf and other winter accoutrements – and felt herself getting a tad sunburned today, while struggling with the grocery bags. Nothing like a huge bag of potatoes and bottles of wine to weigh you down, bags of other stuff, and a big plastic thing containing 10 toilet rolls! 😀

She says either she has pulled several muscles down her right side, or she slept ‘all weird’ on her right side – she’s muttering something about shoulder pain, arm pain, and a weird pain at the base of her little finger. The best description she can come up with is that it all (the whole lot of it) feels like toothache in her shoulder & hand..y’know that gnawing bugger of a pain that lingers and won’t go away. Tea would help y’know – but I suppose she’ll opt for a glass of the red stuff instead! 😉

She’s not long back in from Lidl, and swears the price of stuff has doubled in a couple of weeks – is that possible? €30 spent, and not exactly a huge pile of stuff either

Herself’s off now to pop a Neurofen for the muscle pain thing, and then beautify herself – she’s off to meet Himself in town, and they may pop in to the English Forum for a while

By the way, I wonder would any of you know of any work going a-begging for an English speaker? Herself is on the lookout for jobs. Nearly all things considered, she says!

She’s off now to get ready to go out, so I’ll log off and say

A Bientôt!



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Howdy all!

Herself and Himself are thinking of going along to a Vide Grenier today in the Nantes area – and were wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to the best place to go?

By the way, on a different note – she has been approached to do a little teaching of English to a few kids in their home, but the rate of pay will be just €9 per hour – is this far too little? And if so, what exactly should be charge?

All suggestions and hints gratefully received! 🙂

Back soon!

Bon journée!

Rummaging on a Random Sunday

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Howdy dooo folks!

Teapot is back with a vengeance (well, not really – back rather gently, but it sounded better to say otherwise!)

Herself is a very busy bee these days with work related stuff, so she doesn’t make enough time to sit down and dictate what she’d like me to write, y’know? She’s embracing life to the full at the minute – off out here and there, integrating with various groups, interviewing folk (journalism work), mixing & mingling – you know yourselves, how some weeks seem to be busier than others.

French lessons are progressing slowly (she’s a slow learner, she says) – but overall, I can report that Herself is indeed feeling very much at home these days in her adopted city. It’s like she was always here (except for speaking French well, of course).

Herself and Himself are off out again this evening, this time to see an English-language theatre production. It’s being performed by a theatre company called Word for Word (they’re from San Fran) and they literally perform everything that’s written on the page – so this, she gotta see!

Since the beginning of the week, the weather here has taken a turn for the better – and the temperature is said yesterday to have reached a staggering 24 degrees! Hot! Hot for mid-March! Lovely, she says – more of that please.

She has tried to describe the smell of summer – the scent of cut grass, whitethorn and cherry blossom all mingled in the mild air last night – and she says it’s a smell from childhood – a definite reminder of those lovely long summer evenings from way back in a very distant past. (Way, way, way, way back!) The best way to describe it, she says, is that it’s like stepping outside and taking a (literal) walk down memory lane. Fab! 😀

On a completely different note: two pigeons have taken to roosting around on the balcony fencing outside – two big juicy pigeons, who may or may not be ‘in a relationship’. Herself studied them closely yesterday and was shocked (bless her lack of knowledge!) to find out that pigeons blink! Yes, they blink! A lot! Not sure how many people know that, but there you go – and pics of these fine blinking specimens can be seen below..

She’s off now to get stuck into more work related things, so I can safely say I’m not going to be commentating very much at the moment. Y’know – I think I quite liked it when she had loads of time to spend hanging around the house. Well, I have my spout pointed away from her, in protest at how busy she’s become 😉

Anyway folks, enjoy the glorious weather if you have it, wherever you live (smashing weather in Nantes), and..
A bientôt!


To poo or not to poo - that is the question!

"Have you finished yet, dear?" "Haven't started yet, luv!"

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Morning all! how are things?

Well, I haven’t been a lazy teapot as such…but Herself hasn’t really been in the zone for dictating notes this week, and that’s pretty much due to a family illness issue (her dad’s been hospitalised this week, and the outlook ain’t great). But – fingers crossed, she says. She’s hovering by the phone for updates, but trying to stay upbeat all the same, you know how it is yourselves. So she watched Monty Python’s Life of Brian the other night just to hear ’em singing Always look on the bright side of Life!”

Cheered her up a bit, it did!

Weatherwise – Spring has sprung around here – the past few days have been glorious, she says. Cherry blossom in full bloom (she says it smells like Fry’s Chocolate Cream, as I think I’ve mentioned before) 🙂

She’s been attempting to keep busy, but her head is ‘a bit all over the place’ as she says herself – but she has been getting on with some work stuff all the same, and has to follow up a couple of work leads today as well.

Paris last Friday was terrific, she says. They were lucky with the weather, and after she’d got business out of the way in the morning, Himself and Herself strolled around Montmartre, explored the Marais district, spent some time at Montparnasse, had lovely meals and enjoyed a naughty bottle of wine at around 4pm! It was her birthday y’see, and she says what is a girl to do when she finds herself turning 21 – again! 😀

And it was a very busy weekend at Teapot Towers, the kids were here, so there wasn’t a moment left spare to chill out. She says it was like Clapham Junction at times!

Herself has just let out an almighty sigh and says she feels really old this week. Ah look….she’s off to the bookcases rifling through the CD collection and….yep…..a pile of 80s stuff is making its way over to the CD player! Well, she says, that’s one way to feel young again!

LOL …. you know you’re old when….. you dance around to 80s stuff in your pyjamas!! At 9 o’clock in the morning! 😀

Dancin' around the kitchen in your PJs

Sorry – no actual pics of Herself in her PJs – that’s not allowed… She says she doesn’t want to put peeps off their brekkie!! 😀

Right folks, off again I am, to be of service to the household – so until later..

Bon journée!

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Morning all!

Fabulous sunshine here today – makes a great change!

Quick post this morning – Herself has a busy agenda lined up – off out in an hour or two to do some journalism work. So – update: a few enquiries have been made as to the status of The Birthday Cake. It hasn’t been baked yet (TUT TUT!) – but it will be baked tonight. She cheated – bought a readymade cakemix in Leclerc yesterday and all she has to do is add 4 eggs and a drop of milk. Couldn’t be easier. Next week she says she’ll graduate on to making the cake from scratch. (We’ll see, eh?) 🙂

The stew got made though – and there’s a very generous half-bottle of wine in it! She says it smells fabulous – and it’s wafting all over the house. Not quite brekkie material though……or is it?

Tonight, the ‘hardcore element’ (ie: Brit expats) are meeting in a local pub, as the English Forum isn’t officially set to reconvene until next Thursday…so she says she’ll be running around today at top speed to achieve a pub visit. Rush back from journo work, have French lesson, rush out to pub, rush back to bed. Up at Stupid O’Clock for the train to Paree in the morning – and she says it will be at least 1pm tomorrow before she can sit down and relax – preferably on a little cruise up the Seine or some such treat 🙂

She’s dashing off to get ready and ‘beautify’ herself’ (a difficult job, she says – but she’s gotta try!) 😀

Right folks, until later


PS: have a good day!! 🙂

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Howdy-do folks!

Well, this morning has flown past, and Herself isn’t too long out of bed. She faffed about until the wee small hours rearranging furniture and trying to Feng Shui the place up a bit. Don’t know if it’s working though, lol 😀

She says she’s moving around in slow motion this morning, doing a very good impression of a Zombie and being very un-French indeed – having an über late breakfast (boiled egg & a piece of toast) right at this minute. She boiled the egg too long she says – not the correct texture at all …. and then she spent an age checking emails and what not, so now the toast’s gone cold! And the egg!

So back to Feng Shui – are there any rules in particular that one should follow, she says? She’s making sure that the middle of the living-room is uncluttered, and there are neat lines and patterns of furniture and whatnot. Although she says she sounds like she’s got a bad case of the OCDs, arranging furniture in lines (Heh heh … I think she HAS got the OCDs….has ’em reeaal baaad!) 😀

Decluttering is great for the mind, she says – it provides wonderful ‘thinking time’. She achieves a near-minimalist look, y’see (but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t hoard stuff! Oh no sirree!). It means stuff is out of sight – and when it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind! So every possible storage space in the house is being wisely utilised. She says she’s just got to declutter the bathroom now, and her mission is complete (for another while). She enjoys getting the house to herself, she says, as she can really let rip with the Feng Shui experimentation (and hoovering the place to within an inch of itself). Or something like that!

Today, she says she’s going to shop for the ingredients of a lovely stew (she’s been keeping some red wine aside for it – to put IN it, y’see, not to drink with it. Slurp! she says) – and also some cake mix. Some cake mix or perhaps all the cake ingredients from scratch. Now seeing as Herself hasn’t baked since the last century (!) (many decades ago at school, in domestic science class! – urgh, bad memories, she says), she reckons she might play it safe this week and just opt for the ready-made cake mix – as an experiment. The results of this experiment will be known as, referred to as, and eaten as The Birthday Cake. I’m wondering myself how it will turn out!

Back to limerick composition now, she says. People are getting very excited indeed about this Andouille competition on A Taste of Garlic. She says she’ll brainstorm a few more whilst faffing about getting ready to go out. The old creative juices were flowing like wine the other evening – 4 gems in a row, she wrote (well…..liberal use of the word ‘gems’ there. I’d say ‘efforts’ would be a better description!!). 😀 So she says it’s about time she wrote a few more!

So, it’s a bientôt for now, and I’ll try to remember to post during the ‘creative baking process’ later! ;p
Bon journée!

TP 🙂

To cake-mix or not to cake-mix - that is the question!

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Bonjour! Bonjour!

“Where have you been lately, you laaaaazy teapot?” are some of the words I’ve heard bandied about this morning…..including a reminding poke from Mr. ATasteOfGarlic…..who says a lack of posts could be held in evidence against me…oooer-er! Best get blogging!!

In case you may have missed some of my recent tweets (I had time for a quick tweet or two, y’see!), this is what it all means: Teapot Towers played host to visitors last week, and Himself & Herself went gallivanting all over the place with them – sightseeing here, eating & drinking there, taking photos here, getting caught in thunderstorms there – you know the sort of thing, yourselves ;p

Whenever Herself was able to snatch a minute to herself, so to speak, she participated in the limerick competition featured on A Taste of Garlic (link to the site on the side of this page). The competition prize was a copy of Norman’s Folly by Clare Norman (about the Norman family’s new life in France).

Herself is an avid reader, and threw her literary (!) hat into the ring 19 times apparently, so keen was she to get her hands on the tome. The rules were: sum up an aspect of life in France in a limerick, that did not have to include references to nuns or blue 2CVs. So she attempted to write about everything else she could think of, whilst also sticking strictly to the technical aspect of limerick writing: ie rhyming couplets, a good beat, and a good punchline – and keeping it clean! (A few efforts from a couple of the other writers were trés rude!!) ;p

She didn’t win, alas, but – bless ‘er – thought one or two of her own efforts were quite good, all told. The winner, by the way, was a limerick about poledancing – in Lyon !

Herself says she knows nothing about poledancing in Lyon – so will, purely for research purposes – investigate when she gets the chance! Himself was quite amused by that, but said nothing. Man of many words, he is! Anyway, Herself says I ought to reproduce one or two of her efforts here, so here you are:

* On French eating times (you know she still can’t get her head – or her stomach – around ’em!!):

French eating times made her aggrieved
her stomach was always quite peeved
but at half past seven
until nine – it was heaven!
She ate like an expat, relieved!

* On the difficulties of French grammar, etc:

The verbs remain unconjugated
the grammar is so complicated
Would you have a clue
if you say tu or vous?
Me neither, I’m very frustrated!

* On her weight issues (!):

The thing about France is the wine
and cheese, it’s too easy to dine!
I’ve put on so much weight
since joining my mate,
my diet is well in decline!

* Lastly, a word on behalf of the visitors (much betaken with France):

Our visitors have found France a treasure
as they sight-see with us at their leisure,
They don’t want to go home
all the way ‘cross the foam,
this country has brought them such pleasure!

So there you have it! And apparently, there’s a new limerick competition set up this week – closing date is this Friday (which incidentally is the birthday of Herself – when she’ll be 21 again, she says!!!!) – and the rule is this: write about Andouille. She says she’ll have to actually eat it first so she can write with a little more knowledge on the subject 😀

So limericks aside, Herself has another busy kind of week on the go already. Himself is away on a business trip for the next couple of days, so she’s going to get stuck into baking, she says. They bought cake tins and what-have-you in Leclerc the other day……she says she’ll make her own birthday cake! And with cake, what do you have? That’s right, tea! 😀

Oh yes, now that I mention myself and tea – I must tell you about the latest additions to the ‘red with white polkadots’ pottery family, and their cutlery cousins. I’m the leader of the pack of course…but keeping me company in the kitchen these days are:
2 mugs/ 2 eggcups/ 2 bowls along with 1 sugar bowl/ 1 milk jug/ and 1 small receptacle bowl thing (for putting creamers or sweeteners into, maybe)

The cutlery cousins (handles are red with white polkadots): 2 knives/ 2 forks/ 2 soup spoons/ 2 teaspoons were pressies from the visitors…….so taken were they with all things red & white 😀

Herself says she loves the addition of all things red in the kitchen, but is also keeping an eye out for a mug with the Breton flag on it (or something similar) to represent her new surroundings. If anyone knows where a nice one can be obtained, post a comment below! 🙂

So yes, back to her birthday this Friday……she’s off to Paris on job-related business (which will only last until around midday) and is looking forward to spending the rest of the day in the capital, with Himself who will join her there. She says it’s a pity they can’t stay in Paris for the whole weekend, but one or all of the young ‘uns are visiting this weekend, so they’ll have to TGV it back to Nantes again on Friday night. Seeing as she’ll be in transit late on Friday night, she’ll not be able to post any limericks at that point – so says she’d better eat & write ‘Andouille’ earlier in the week.

The France/English Forum has suspended official meetings at the moment due to school holidays (you know how everything stops for school hols, including half term, etc). They usually meet every Thursday, 18:30-20:30. However, some of the ‘hardcore element’ (ie: the Brit expats) have been meeting every week anyway, in a local pub. Only one French person turned up at the pub (as the remainder of the French crew in the group prefer a more regimented, structured meeting, apparently). Herself says it’s a pub job this Thursday night as well – but she may have to miss it, due to having to get up at Very Stupid O’Clock to catch a TGV to Paree!

She’s volunteering some time at a local radio station this morning, so says she needs to go and get ready for that any minute now (she’s still in her PJs here at the kitchen table, supping tea). She opened the shutters there a while ago – lovely sunlight streaming into the place. She says it makes such a lovely change from the lashing rain, of which she is heartily sick!

She’s writing a post-it note and sticking it to the fridge…what does it say? can’t quite see…..ahh…yes… ‘DO YOUR FRENCH HOMEWORK & LESSON PREP’ (lessons were suspended last week to accommodate visitors, y’see – and no study done at all!).

She’s up and moving towards the sink to rinse out the mug – methinks I’ll log out now, and report back later with any other juicy bits & pieces about visitor week, or ‘Gite Week’ as she calls it.

Until later, peeps!!
Bon journée


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