Saturday, September 30, 2006

How are you?

And so for this blog post I attempt to answer the frequently recurring question - "How are you?"
Such a silly question really... why do we use it all the time?!

The oxford dictionary definition of the word "how" shows that it is
an• adverb with 4 meanings
1 in what way or by what means.
in what condition or health.
3 to what extent or degree.
the way in which.

This doesn't make any more sense of the question in my opinion...
I think I must just have a problem with short unspecific questions...
I will demonstrate

"What are you?" - I'm a human (I think)
"Who are you?" - Does my name define who I am?
" Why are you?" - Why are you not?
"When are you?" - When I am not.
So you see, short and unspecific questions are really quite difficult for me to answer...

So to the question that so many people have asked me... how am I...

It really depends on when you ask...
If you had asked me
- on my first weekend here I would have said... I'm feeling sooo excited about the frenchness, suddenly remembered why I study the language and why I chose to come here in the first place
- during my first week I would have said... I'm feeling kinda lonely. Exploring on your own 5 days in a row even in the beating hot sunshine and in a beautiful beautiful city and getting lost every day wasn't quite as fun as I thought it would be.
- If you had asked me at weekends I would have said... refreshed and welcomed. The church here has been such a breath of fresh air, even if it has been a bit hard to follow at times.
- If you had asked me anytime in the last couple of days I would have said I'm enjoying doing one of the things I enjoy most, meeting new people (at the training course for assistants up in the mountains). And getting incredibly excited about
that old clichéd concept once again! Also feeling less lonely having met so many other people in exactly the same boat as myself.
- If you ask me anytime I would usually tell you that I'm feeling somewhat Glasgow sick
- And if you asked me right now I would say... I'm feeling fairly at peace, having just remade the realisation that my God is more stable, unchanging and bigger than one of these
So you see... it hasn't exactly been the easiest question to answer and the main reason for this is, although I have now been here for 2 weeks I haven't had much of an opportunity to settle down. Work hasn't started yet, haven't even got a timetable yet, I still feel as though I'm in limbo between countries, still riding on the tail end of this endless void of a summer holiday... but I start teaching on Monday so watch this space.

I hope this answers all such questions adequately for now but what I want to know is... How are you?

Friday, September 22, 2006

First Impressions...

Mountains and fountains and mountains and fountains and mountains and fountains...
Ils sont partout!!!

In theory the fountains should help for navigation on the windy streets au centre ville... at least I can recognise one from another now! For example the one to the left of this is à la place Victor Hugo... I still don't know how to get from one to another though... surely Glasgow was never this difficult!!!

Mountains and fountains... ils sont partout

Even on the street where I live...

Monday, September 18, 2006


Waaaaaay!!!!!! My first blog à la cybercaféfrancais!!!

So far...

- I have been awed by the beauty of the area! It is gorgeous!
- I have been charged 16.50 twice for being 3kg over weight limit by ryanair!
- I have become an expert at kipping... anywhere, anytime, anyhow
- I have a real french window in my room conplete with shutters and balcony!! (there would be a lovely photo just here but i forgot the cable for my camera)
- I visited Le géant (tesco but 10x larger) and it is exciting! I discovered that garlic really does come in bunches here, need 2 masseeeeve aisles of yoghurts and they sell baked beans in the international food section... what more could I need! (Lack of chillies was rather disappointing tho)
- I have met lots of lovely welcoming people, almost all French
- Ive had to give my testimony in French! (not easy)
- I have been to french-speaking church which was draining... tis hard work having to concentrate for more than 2 hours in french, but it also exciting to be part of!
- I have got lost (no surprises there!)

Note to self: French keyboards are confusing

I need to get hold of a thesaurus... there are so many things I want to say and can say but only with limited vocab... it gets boring using the same 3 adjectives all the time... any ideas anyone?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

À tout oiseau son nid est beau

I’ve visited exotic lands
Of wide variety
Each exciting, different, rare
Delights all sense with colour, flare
Yet somehow I’m found unaware
A piece of heart is caught, ensnared
And then that gap… a question bares
Where is my heart at home?

I’ve lived in places that I love
Of familiarity
Steep myself in those I know
Friends and loved ones I adore!
Places along which I grow
Places, which I label home…
Knowing though, they are not so
Where then, is my home?

For somehow, still I’m wandering
I cannot settle down
You see, I’m subject to propulsion
Lumbered with a yearning yawn
Always wanting something more
Always searching for a place
Always never quite at home
Is that the end that waits me?

To be always searching for my home?
Aching for that “always more”?
A wanderer, until I find
Where sparrows nest and nurse their young
Where bouncers bounce in joy
Where one day betters all the best
Where my heart sighs… enough, to rest
where You are

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

t minus 10 days and counting

Thinking back to previous posts, I feel an apology is in order... I talk about the weather far too much! And I commence this post with patter about the weather once again. For although the sun may shine through the glass windows of the garage on today, my last working day there, the last few days have been a plain and simple, truetoGlasgow downpour! And I've loved it!

After weeks of sunshine it's nice to have a change, but to be honest I think the real reason I enjoyed the Glasgow weather so much because I know I only have a week and a half left.

Yes that's right blogosphere... a week on Saturday I leave for Grenoble, France... currently averaging in the late 20s/early 30s (celsius)... (not that I wish to gloat or anything... but I can almost feel an inevitable mwahahahaha rise to the throat! :P )
(Bear in mind however that Grenoble also has ridiculous amounts of snowfall during the winter and gets to ridiculously low minus temperatures too)

A week and a half left of rain perhaps... but also of:

- packing (my White Street stuff has to be moved out within the next couple of days and I haven't even started packing yet! waaah!)

- filling in silly forms
- visiting silly banks
- phoning silly ryanair (and pleading that they let me take Mr Cello on board!)
- seeing many silly and not so silly people in Edinburgh and Glasgow (I thought of putting a nice little hypertext link under silly and not so silly there, but couldn't think of anyone on the blogroll who I could class as being not so silly! :P )

Just one small question... how did it come on so fast?!?!

Thankfully I have a God who holds the world in his hands! And I know the following verse to be true... (I wish I could enact this out with all the actions that made it so memorable which I learnt at music camp this summer - you'll just have to make do with the words, pretty colours and insinuated vocal emphasis)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you whereeeever you go." (joshua 1:9)