Friday, 14 October 2011

Bête noir (a pet peeve)

So the week has ticked along fairly normally. It's almost half term and don't I and the children know it and boy are they fractious!!! Tonight's dance class nearly wound up a news story ending with: "before turning the gun on herself..."

I am also frantically trying to make sure they complete their English work on time. Ah initially this pile of marking made me feel grown up now I feel like a teenager with homework :p

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Michelle has been having plenty of fun with the littluns in English, she asked if I could keep on drilling away with objects and colours in my English enrichment lesson as due to the French's manner for speaking backwards they can say the object in English and they can say the colour in English but ask them to combine the two...

What are these?


What colour are they?


So what are THEY?!

Scissors red!!!

These gems are only second to their comprehension or rather lack of listening to the actual questions. It is not uncommon when waving flash cards of pictures such as cats at them and asking them what it is for the answer to be....


Or showing them a flash card of a banana complete with description...

"okay class, it's long, it's yellow, it's fruit, you eat it...what is it?"


I get it a lot, during hangman for example.

"give me a letter"


Um no Jean not quite what I asked.... Okay class NO words, give me a letter, ONE letter NOT A WORD, NO words.... hands up....who can give me a letter? Yes Marie..."


Off exasperating lessons to something else that has been sent to exasperate me. Now all my friends know I LOVE cats and this area is not short of them, I have 2 favourites on the way to work. First there's grumpy puss.

How can you not love this face:

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I die laughing whenever I merely glimpse a look at this cats face and when I first saw him (when I'd finished quietly laughing to myself about his grumpy expression from a safe distance so as not to hurt his feelings, I mean have you ever laughed at a cat? Would you tell a member of the mafia they were a bunch of overhyped girls? No you'd get shot down. Cats have that way of making you feel small and inferior at a glance. I'm not so sure the Egyptians worshipping them was wrong let's face it cats do command respect). I'm one of those people fool enough to give it them.

Anyway grumpy puss with only a face it's mother could love is actually the loveliest happiest puss ever. Upon noticing my interest in him I got a lovely big "mrrrooooowwwww" and was invited over to fuss him. I was a little cautious of the invitation for good reason but thought I'd push my luck and sure enough it was sincere and he got the benefit of a nice back scratch and a good chin rub and I was rewarded by some lovely rumbly purrs.

Now the reason for my caution is another cat I meet en route every day.

Prissy puss.

She has been sent to humiliate me on a daily basis and the reason it's daily is I continually fall for it.

I still remember that first day strolling along to work and there she was. Looking petite, black and White and with lovely soft fluffy delicate looking fur all neat, tidy and waiting to be fussed. I made the appropriate kissing noises to get her attention and was 'regarded'. This is my invitation to inch forward a little and stretch my hand out so she can sniff me first and smell whatever it is that changes their mind (there's an order to these things you can't just barrel in there) maybe you smell friendly! I inched closer and closer and she didn't move just stood there straining her neck to sniff my hand. When I finally got close enough so she could she didn't run, she had a sniff and regarded me some more then up went the back and the tail a sure invitation you can fuss them so I reached my hand to gently stroke her lovely fluffy back and...with all the fluidy of an expert body popper she managed to evade every single one of my digits. Her entire body somehow rippled and morphed itself around and just out of reach of my fingers it was incredible! And at this point she walked a couple of steps away from me and invited me to do the same again.

Like a fool I followed, sure enough same thing 'yes you may stroke me here' signals only for her to disappear round my hand like quick sand and then run off JUST as a car came round the corner so not only was I left looking like a prize muppet crouching in the floor on all fours, this cat was now nowhere to be seen and I was merely on the floor, in the middle of a country lane, on all fours with no purpose! The drivers looked highly amused. I wasn't.

This ritual is the same every day, ONCE she caved and let me stroke her before disappearing away a little further to invite me over some more...I am NOT falling for it again but like the untouchable every day it is my mission to get that fuss out of her!

Ah hello puss!

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Who moi? Sorry didn't see you there...

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Yes you! Feline friendly?

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C'est possible (it's French after all) come a little closer, closer still...

Time to nonchalantly stretch and wander away to a safe distance then maybe suggestively rub a brick to hint that this time I MAY let you fuss me...

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Damned pernickety puss. That's it I'm done next time I see her I'm definitely ignoring her!!!

Besides I have a new interest. I happened to spot one of the many mole hills I pass on the way home moving yesterday so that's my new obsession. Mole hunting!

Feline adventures aside I have been learning more French this week. The funniest on Monday being

Poo. Which means lice. No that probably isn't the right spelling but that's how you pronounce it! So when the staff noticed Christian and I pulling funny faces in the teachers meeting Monday at the word poo being thrown into a sentence Michelle explained to us poo means lice then when we had finished laughing we explained to the teachers that 'poo' en Anglais, means un 'ca ca' en francais (remember that confusion from before) too many words sound the same another new one of these I have learnt is 'pause'.

Now you may look at that and think 'pause? That's English what's the problem?' and you'd be semi right as it does mean what it says. To pause, to take a break... Except when all the children during DANCE class are asking me something that I understood the first half of the sentence to be 'can we...' that's fine. But pause is phonetically pronounced POSE en francais.

So translating 'Karen can we have a (insert new word here) pause (pose)'

No wonder they were so irritated that My response was:

"no not yet it's not finished! The dance isn't finished! You can pose at the end!!!".

I totally wasn't getting it which made me look like a right slave driver (ok theres truth in that my ex clients will tell you as such) and therefore they totally weren't getting a break right then either. They thought they were asking for a break and all they got was me telling them no and voguing wildly at them to demonstrate 'pose' as I understood it.

However they thought I was saying no break til we finish the dance and I thought I was saying no posing till we finish the dance (the end pose, as you do when dances finish) and so 5 minutes later when I said to take a break they were extremely pleased and pleasantly surprised and thought I was being a cool teacher after all. Neither of us understanding this was what the other wanted it worked out nicely all the same!

Ok French idiom of the week. No really I mean the idiom is quite literally 'OK'. It means hiccups. If you have the hiccups you 'ave thee OK, eets called OK' as one teacher explained to me.

I like this. Some silliness for the day.

Generally the week has ticked along well, in preparation for Halloween next week I have been doing a routine to 'thriller' in my dance class which they are all loving and maybe i will see about them performing it at the Halloween party next Friday.

As we are now winding down for half term the lessons are different next week and Friday is technically a day off lessons and there'll be a Halloween party in the afternoon which will make a nice change. Although as the only member of the English department who works Fridays I have the pleasure of not only helping with this I have been allotted the new position of makeup artist, own disguise optional. Hmmmm I have seen some awesome witches hats in the Disney village ;)

Also Thursday morning was a half day for sport as it was school photos day and us English teachers were charged with keeping order whilst the various children had individual shots, then brothers and sisters shots (oh dear lord this was too cute!!!) then class shots (I have had an individual teacher one god help me) then the entire school photo. As the English teachers teach everyone we had to be in every single photo so I apologise to all the parents. There is no escaping my grinning mug in 99% of the pics available to purchase!

So anyway it's half term next week like I said which means I have survived 6 weeks in my job. I cannot believe it I really can't where have the weeks gone? Time flies for sure as they say. Got my flights booked as going back to cov for the first few days. Miss my parents, it's been a While since I said that but we are very close and used to speak pretty much everyday I can't really do that anymore maybe once or twice a week we catch up, plus my parents have been busy being superstars of the theatre and my dad is rehearsing for about 3 shows right now and my mum has the lead role in a play which opened last night! So they have been rehearsing all hours and as i am an hour ahead and do need my sleep contact is minimal, booo. We get a few brief minutes on occasion in passing on facebook or skype bit like the movie ladyhawke there is a brief passing window where we know the other is still alive and okay but that's it although am sure I'll catch up soon!

Also was my beautiful nieces 11th birthday yesterday which I'm sad to have missed and even sadder as she is having a birthday party tonight so thinking about her lots but sending love all the same. It's just more special when I do see her.

So this weeks blog is dedicated to my family. I love you all. Mum and dad for making me, me and if they don't want to take credit for my craziness then thanks for just being there! Love to my niece even though I am a lousy and absent auntie and much love to my big brother; don't sweat the small stuff things will get better sometimes we just encounter these things that are sent to try us and believe me bro if I could afford to have you shipped out to me here or to cov when I go I would!

Anyway slushy stopping. I have an hour left to make myself look less like sue silvester from glee then I have a date with mishy moo and richy roo (we are normal I swear) in central Paris and then tomorrow I have my notepad, my wallet, my camera, my travel card and a Welshman. Everything a girl needs for a weekend in central Paris (if you are wondering the welsh man is accompaniment to the wales match for which we will be holing ourselves up in Montmartre dans le matin) so whilst the forecast is perfect sunshine for a glorious autumnal weekend, you will find me appreciating the scenery

Bon weekend tout le monde


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