We are living in France, so need to speak French, which we do. I can write it, and Lester can speak it, but not really to any high standard. Actually it is quite a low standard if I am to be honest. For a long time I have been thinking that we ought to improve our language skills, but this would have probably only stayed in my head if it had not been for a French lady asking me:
"How long have you been in France?" she asked chattily.
"About eleven years" I said, still in chatty mode myself.
"......but your French is not very good. Don't you want to speak it." she went on, still quite chattily.
Now you know when someone presses your button, the button which happens to be sitting over a sensitive subject, a button which needs to stay not pressed, because if it is pressed then you know you will go off on a rant? ........ Now feeling unchatty, and not even attempting to speak in French, in English I went off on one, defending the reasons as to why my French was not as good as it should be, all the while, in my heart, I knew that she was right. She was the prod I needed.
Duo Lingo was recommended to us, and is an easy and addictive web site to use. We are both easier when speaking French, and are likely to engage with the French people a lot more as we continue using it.
However: recycling ……… at the recycling bins in the village just across the river, in the Gers, …. Saturday morning …… raining (again) ... Lester emptying our dustbin bags of recycling into one of the several bins lined up by the lake. ..... up comes a big, black, four by four car and stops inches from our little white van, ….. out gets a big man …. who puts on his fancy dancy cowboy-type of hat …. Ah, I think to myself, a chaise man …… ( local hunter of deer, wild boar, and anything else he can shoot) … he puffs himself up ..... and out comes a bunch of French words .... they do not sound friendly …. I see Lester puff himself up as well, ..... and I hear him come out with a bunch of French words .... "good ole Duo Lingo I thought to myself" ...... and so on it went.....two men, one French, one English, which already could put them in opposition to each other, one from the Gers protecting his village's recycling bins and the other from the Haute Pyrenees which is a region who does not have recycling bins. They argued, and argued, and argued, for ages. It was fascinating to watch. All the while I could hear Lester holding his own. I was very proud of him. I saw the French chaisse man deflate, become smaller.
We await the fallout from this confrontation. Apparently we are not allowed to put our recycling in the Gers. It looks like there is still territorial divisions between the various regions, but only with a certain generation of people. I suspect the younger people will not care.
We hear the news about plastics. We want to recycle our plastics. The Haute Pyrenees does not have any facilities for this. We are obeying the pressure from social media to cut down on our plastics.
So we have bought a little incinerator so we can burn our paper and cardboard. But then that would fall into me encouraging global warming, which we already presumably do with our wood burning Rayburn. This is a no win situation all round. As for our plastics? Oh I shall just put them in the normal dustbin and not sort them out. We keep being told to recycle but.......
And I began thinking that perhaps it was not such good idea to do Duo Lingo. Because if you have a good French vocabulary then you can have a stupendous argument with someone who is irritating you, but if you don't have the vocabulary then all you could do is just turn away, or speak in English which is what irritates the French people no end.
Oh well...... such is life.......
- the good news is that our French is improving.....the not so good news is that we can argue with people if they need to be argued with, or rather, my partner can!
- the good news is that after having months and months of rain, our fields have not flooded, .... the not so good news is that the river has remained full up for months, and that when it drops again we expect that a lot of our land will be gone somewhere else because of erosion.
- the good news is that I have become more supple in myself due to the twenty minutes I spend doing Qi Gong from a YouTube video. There is no bad news for this one, but it is proof that at seventy plus the body can be encouraged to move again if it is encouraged to do so.
Oh! I have a sudden image of chocolate. And blow me down, but there is a bar in the fridge. Sorry, will have to go and satisfy me.
So, bye for now,
Hope all is well with you,