Friday, October 9, 2009

Becoming 9

Week three at school and I think I am One Of The Kids now. My classmates seem happy to see me arrive each morning and many skip (yes, skip) toward me and offer an enthusiastic bonjour. A few are eager to tell me their news or show me things. One morning a group of kids were huddled around a window and called for me to come over and take a look with them. Of course I didn't know what to expect and I must admit I felt a little anxious over what I was about to see. Maybe a dead critter? Turns out two insects were, shall I say, ''having an intimate moment''. The kids were fascinated by this while I was relieved it wasn't a dead thing. But what to say? And, remember, say it in French! I stood there with the kids, huddled in a circle with them, and realized that they had taken me into their fold. My response didn't really matter. I am becoming 9 again and it is fun-tastic!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to School

Here it is, my fiftieth year of life and I find myself sitting in a classroom with 9 year olds. The teacher is, possibly, the same age as my eldest daughter and the students have grandparents, possibly, the same age as me. I am here to learn French but I think I'm about to learn more than that.
As I listened to the teacher introduce me, I winked at curious children and gave silent thanks that my rear fit in the chair. My neon green notebook looked awesome on my worn wooden desk. My denim jacket is suitable fashion and my ponytail is just the perfect 'do. I feel as though I am fitting in (pun intended) and the stomach butterflies are calming down a bit.
The teacher takes roll call and announces who has what task for the week. The student assigned to the poubelle (garbage) moans just enough to be heard but not so much for a reprimand. I'm ready to say, ''I'll do it!'' but think I better stay quiet at least during my first day.
The word of the day, saugrenu, is given. The students guess at the definition. I have now moved from silent thanks to silent prayer: ''please don't call on me, please don't call on me, please don't call on me...'' Why didn't I bring a dictionary?!
Next up is a slice of English. A student walks to the front of the room and speaks slowly, carefully, ''Today is Monday. Yesterday was Sunday. Tomorrow is Tuesday.'' I want to shout Bravo! But I bite my tongue instead. That's it for English. My comfort zone is now over. (and my tongue hurts)
And then the lessons begin. I give silent thanks for erasers. I am making loads of errors and the pile of eraser bits is getting obvious on my desk. I'm sure the student in charge of desk cleaning this week is glaring at me.
While some of us worked on conjugating verbs, some played computer games and some took timed math quizzes. I was in the some conjugating verbs. The computer looked more fun and I wrote note to self: how do you get to play on computer and find out how to avoid math quizzes.
I will attend this class Monday through Friday, 9:00 - 10:45 am. I will learn French. I will learn what happens at age 50 when the hands of time are turned back...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Across the Pond and at Home

Time to catch up!

Here we are in the garden of John and Alison Stott -
ready to go to the wedding of
Dean Holly and Samantha Brown!
Thanks to Princess Anne for the hat!

Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Dean Holly

Mrs. Holly is wearing 5 inch heels. Seriously!
(or was it 6?)

Look at this lovely cake!
Rumor is the Bride does not like the traditional wedding fruitcake
- one of many reasons I adore her -
and consequently a layer or two is sponge (aka white) cake, yum!

Done just for ME!!!
(or not?)

Elsie celebrated 15 years
10 June
(cake baked with love and chocolate)

Our house is full of flowers
from the Little House garden!

My recent baking craze
cinnamon cookies
(coordinating with the tiles. of course.)

and Tony has been busy making
apricot and raspberry jam!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy 100 Years

Elsie celebrated 100 Years!
8 April 2009
Whittlesea, Australia

Such a happy day! Elsie enjoyed her family and the flash of cameras and being interviewed by a local newspaper reporter. The day was also highlighted with letters from the Governor-General, the Prime Minister AND Queen Elizabeth! I suppose this means that Tony and I will have to stop by for a cuppa with Liz next time we cross the pond?

Elsie with her kids: Anthony, SiL Rob and Jan
(around my MiL you best not call Anthony Tony or she WILL whack you with her walking stick)

Elsie with her youngest great grandchild, Lila

and here she is with all her great grandchildren!

Blow out those candles!
What does one wish for at 100 years?

Cheers to you, Elsie!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

La Maison Rouge nuit de musique

Here is the biggest celebrity I have ever met!
(other than cousins Pegsy & Steven and SiL Tommy of course)
I failed to get his autograph...BUT
what an honor to hear him at
La Maison Rouge nuit de musique!
Check this out:

Elsie brought her fiddle!

John did some sleuthing on the 'net
to find Breton music.
Elsie and Wrenford were an awesome duo!

Now JoRo wants to learn the fiddle
and Elsie is enthusiastically teaching
(15 euros JoRo)

'k, I think JoRo is catching on

oui, look at that confidence!

Now Elsie has a go at the guitar


Hannah and I have a go at singing.
Well, Hannah sang
and I twirled the music book
and Wrenford was really super polite
when I tried to sing
and it was, shall I say, not-too-great.

Hannah, Anne, Wrenford, JoRo
Oh what a night!