Monday, July 24, 2006


I somehow managed to acquire 2 balloon modelling kits in the last week.
Contents include: 2 balloon pumps, 3 instruction booklets, lots and lots and lots of balloons

So to end a day in the great city of the East with my good friend Jen, we picked up the kit and decided to have a go.... and we were hooked.

I would have taken many photos to show you exactly what wonderous models we made, unfortunately you will have to make do with my verbose descriptions and this picture here...

An illustrative example of what our models should have looked like... but didn't. Although our pink elephant wasn't far off that blue model there (a model that's probably supposed to be a dog)... We attempted and sort of managed to complete the aforementioned pink elephant (by far our best attempt) which looked more like a mouse, a 2 headed dog (that didn't start it's life off with 2 heads), a dog that looked more like a rat, attempted and failed a monkey, which I then tried to turn into a nessie... didn't quite work.

Balloon modelling is both easier and harder than it seems. Once you get over the intial terrified to burst it phase it seems fairly easy. You move from normal twists, to loop twists, pinch twists, toe twists and it's all fine and dandy... until you start to make animals.
You see... what they don't tell you is that giving animals the correct proportions is reeeeally rather tricky. Our monkey had arms 3 times longer than it's legs, the elephant started off with ears bigger than it's body...

These are your words of warning... for you competitive/persistent circus hooligans, it is addictive!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

40 sleepless hours

... let's just ignore the fact that I did have a half an hour nap in the afternoon... I was pretty much awake the full 24 hours of my 20th... (not something I recommend, just so you know!) I guess that's what happens when you try to split your day between 2 cities and 3 different groups of people! (5 if you include Sunday) Aaaaahhhhh....

Just a little experimentation with my new toy...

a small taster of "the homeland"...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

How to spend your time when you are "between jobs"...

Take a trip to the newly opened kelvingrove...

and invite strange looks by taking silly photos by exhibits

And then when you're hungry, drive all the way to loch lomond
in order to be a cheap skate
and bahdebahbabuy a...

engage in some obligatory paddling (even if it is absolutely baltic!)

and spend the journey home blasting out the "choons" and taking pictures of posers driving cars...

Some words of advice folks...
1. pick up as many freebies as you can ----------------------->
2. Being a cheap skate is the way forward
3. When navigating the kelvingrove, play a word assocation game...
animals, eeer... extinct... errr... guns,
fish... sea... painting of boat..., Glasgow... err... sectarianism!
4. There is time to be serious, there is a time to be silly

photos courtesy of Jamie's camera

Friday, July 07, 2006


In honour of the Frenchness of the last wee while consisting of:

- finding out exactly where I'm going to teach in Grenoble
- acquiring a French slang dictionary
- a 3 day English Language Assistant course (tips for teaching english, practising lesson planning, listening to long promotional talks about the "ohsouseful" online tools we could promote to English teachers when we're over there, meeting other cool assistants)
- acquiring an's arm length postitnote list of things to do before I go to Grenoble
- and writing 6 formal letters in French to 3 different schools this afternoon (bleeeeugh)

...I thought I would share with you a few snippets of joy from my slang dictionary

From the a and b sections

azimuté - crackers, barking, wacko (interesting choice of definitions)

se faire appeler Arthur - to get one's head bitten off

baba - flabbergastered or gobsmacked or hippy or ( in the context of l'avoir dans le baba) - to be had or conned

bachotage - cramming (something I have done often)

et tout le bataclan - blah blah blah

and for no other reason than the hilarity of the beautifully rhyming contextual example given - "et lui il se tournait ses pouces, a l'aise, Blaise!" - and he was, twiddling his thumbs without a care in the world! -
a l'aise
(easily, no problem, no probs)