Pleasant wanderings

Yesterday was a nice day. Since it was pay day, a glorious day when you’re on a lower income, we went into town and bought a fresh juice from Boost Juice (we’re VIP members) then we went to an appointment for Annmarie and then off to Glenelg. Glenelg is a nice beach spot in Adelaide that I think I’ve mentioned before.

We then went and had lunch at my Mum’s house. I made some home made a couple of pizzas using pre-made organic dough from a company called Riviera which we bought from a local supermarket. I must humbly say that the pizzas were rather fantastic, especially now that we’ve learned that ideally the dough should be left to rise before use, something they should probably put on the label (and which hopefully they haven’t and I just didn’t notice it, which would make this statement rather embarrassing for me).

We had a nice lunch out under mum’s back pergola and chatted about her upcoming trip to Paris and Parisian markets. She has bought a rather good book on it called Paris in a Basket. This lists by arrondissement many of the better street and covered markets both food and flea. We had a look through it and found the markets we had visited while we were there.

After lunch we went for a walk down to the beach and on the way we stopped at our favourite organic shop in Adelaide, The Organik Store on Broadway. The people there are always really nice and friendly and they have good range of organic products. A lot of it is imported so it can be a bit pricy, but the products they stock are very good so usually if we can afford it, it’s worth it. We picked up some of the essentials we had run out of and continued down the beach and back to Glenelg.

Mosley Square in Glenelg at sunset.At Glenelg we stopped off at a cafe (Cibo of course, where else would one go) and had a coffee while the sun set over Mosley Square. You can see a photo of it over on the right. The photo is from the Cibo tables looking back over the square back towards the beach.  Very nice day. Now back to study…

Start of the holidays

Well it’s the end of the week and the start of school holidays for the kids. I on the other hand, although technically in the middle of my mid semester break, am still in the midst of reading and writing. Also I am currently looking for some kind of part time work so I’m going to be rather busy.

The Monday after Easter (commonly known as Easter Monday) was quite a bit of fun. Annmarie’s brother Mark and his family came up to our place. They were up in Adelaide from Mt Gambier for the Easter weekend and had spent Sunday with other relatives. They were all down here for the day and made quite a bit of noise and motion. We all had chocolate and other food, there was a small ‘jam’ session with some guitars and everyone generally had a very nice time.

The rest of the week we have been fairly inactive. Trying to get some organising and tidying done. On the Wednesday though the cousins turned up again with more noise and activity (though their eldest did try and hide out on our balcony to read in peace). That same day we had another almost visitor to our house.

The people who live in the flats in front of our place both own dog. The ones on the left (facing from our front) have a tiny little yapping dog who would probably be much nicer if it’s owner didn’t keep yapping at it. The ones on the right have a couple of big dogs. One of them looks a bit like a cross between a Labrador and a Malamute, the other, I don’t really know, but something of a similar size. The cross one is quite amusing. It looks quite huge and if angry would probably be quite dangerous. But it’s demeanour is quite lovely. It’s the kind of dog that gets so excited about being patted that it can’t sit down.

Anyway, on the day in question the side fence of these people fell down. Not completely, but enough. It looks like one of the cross beams on the frame of the fence fell down ages ago and someone had put it back together by tying the sheet metal panels together with string. So the string had broken and the dog kept running in and out and round and round. Probably not the safest thing for a large dog, so we chased it back in a few times. The other dog is not quite so friendly, but luckily it seemed on the most part to just prefer sitting put.

The kids quite loved having the dogs run round a bit too, they were very entertained by it all.

Pique-nique de Pâque dans le Parc

Hello all. We finally have our own Internet connection, so now maybe posting regularly could be a reality. Of course I am very busy with study and my “crazy projects” so I’ll just have to see what happens. Unfortunately we only have dial-up, so I now have to come to terms with being back in the slow lane after hitching a high speed ride with my brother for several months while we were staying at my Mum’s house. Thanks for that by the way mon frère.

We’ve settled into the new house nicely in the main. The wiring is a bit dodgy and the light bulbs seem to blow far too often and the plumbing has needed a bit of a look at as well as a couple of other little things. But other than these small issues, it is quite a nice house a good price. Two bedroom and two story, although I think I have already mentioned that. Nice small back yard with some big trees and some big trees out the front too.

Over the summer, which hasn’t been too hot, though the temperature did bump up a wee bit, the house has stayed very cool indeed. This is in part because of the house being made from proper solid brick instead of the paper thin varieties of plaster board and thin brick veneers that most houses these days seem to be made from. So the house has retained a cool, fresher air than one of those houses. It’s quite a relief when one gets back in from a warm day to meet that natural coolness. We’ll have to see if the house keeps warm in the winter though, that can sometimes be a problem with these houses where they feel like an ice box in winter and need constant heating.

I’ve especially been enjoying having an upstairs mini-balcony just off the main bedroom. We have developed a tendency to sleep with the main door open and the screen door locked. It’s quite nice to fall asleep hearing the wind in the branches, very relaxing. Some might say Zen.

Anyway, I might just pop up a few details of what’s been going on recently. The most obvious for today is of course Easter (la Fête de Pâque) and we actually went out and spent it with other human beings. French human beings.

The French Benevolent Association of SA held a pique-nique at Hazelwood Park, a lovely park over in the east of Adelaide. This was of course full of francophonic type people as well as francophilic type people. As much as I would love to count myself in the former group, we all mostly fit into the latter. Despite this, the pique-nique was very enjoyable. We got there with our rather French assortment of goodies (well I thought so anyway) consisting of crusty bread, a brie from Normandy called St Siméon (seems to be somewhat similar to a coulommier, but that may not be quite right), some salad and some muffins and stuff. My Mum had come with Joseph and my foster sister Erin, and Annmarie’s Mum and Brother Justin had come along as well. We all tried to keep with the French and Easter themes.

The day was very nice, warm and bright so everyone had a good time. There was an Easter egg hunt pour les enfants, Willow and Gabriel enjoyed that very much. We enjoyed being amongst the French speakers but were a bit shy about trying to speak to too many people earlier in the day. Some of the members of the Association came around and chatted-in English-but we mostly kept to ourselves unfortunately.

Later when we had all eaten and packed up our stuff, we played some football (European, not Aussie) and then we started thinking of heading off. Willow had wanted to get some phone numbers of some of the French children and I went along to hold the pen and tell her our number so she could write it. After she had swapped numbers with one of the other families, I dove in and started a chat in French.

Considering my skill level and volume of real experience, I think it went quite well. I went through the basics of introduction and greeting. Was introduced to another, described my Family and my current state of French studies and how much Annmarie had studied. I even added that that we had stayed in Paris for a couple of months last year. This was my only downfall in maintaining the conversation.

I just completely misheard, “Est-ce que vous l’aimez?” after saying we had stayed in Paris. This translates into “Did you like it?”. Seeing that I was trying to decipher it, she rephrased to “Est-ce que vous amiez Paris?” or something like that, referring to Paris directly, but I was already lost. She put it in English and the penny dropped and I had one of those moments of “Oh! l’aimez!” and then we continued in French again.

Overall I was quite pleased with my efforts, I was even complemented on my French-and quite forgot to reply with my trained light-hearted rejoinder to downplay the compliment, apparently very common in France. I went through all the basics that we have covered in my Uni course and then added some more. Describing other people, describing the past and other places. It was quite exciting to converse in another language. I could feel my brain rebelling against the fluency concept though and desperately wanting to slow down and translate. Having a person there waiting for an answer does help to spur on the brain though.

So, the rest of today has been eating Easter chocolate (Lindt and Haighs mostly, we do like nice chocolate) and generally getting ready for tomorrow when Annmarie’s brother is turning up with his four kids, so there will be much activity then.

As said before, I am looking to keep this blog up-to-date™ from now on.


Not gone yet

Well, it’s been months since I last wrote to my blog and much has happened. I’m just getting ready for a new academic year so not much time to post up everything that has been happening. If anyone does still read this blog, we are planning to get dialup again soon so we can have some small level of connection to the world, then I promise I’ll start posting again.

A slight delay

Well, today was fun. Sorta. We were all ready to move into the new house. We had packed up our stuff (clothes, kitchen-ware, food – the stuff that was out and being used during our temporary stay), 0rganised some the boxes of stored effects ready to be moved, reserved a rental trailer (a pretty huge one at that) and generally got ready to go. I went down to the real estate agent’s office to settle our deposits and collect the keys.

Just before getting there I called Annmarie to let her know that I was just about there when I was informed that there was a problem and we wouldn’t be able to move in for another three weeks. Luckily Annmarie had been able to cancel the trailer without any problems and she was on her way into town. We went to see the Agent and he told us that although the property had been advertised with a set move in date, the tenants actually had a lease till the end of October. It seems they had elected to move out sooner, but something must have gone wrong with their plans and they couldn’t get out earlier. So we agreed to push back our acquisition till the 31st.

It’s quite annoying as we spent some time getting stuff ready and the preparation was quite an interruption to my studies, but I imagine that if I were in their position I would appreciate being given the extra time to find somewhere to go myself. At least we know we have this place when it does come available and we don’t have to worry about the looking any more. We just have to put the boxes back away for a while.