Wednesday, January 31, 2007


It's oh so cold!
So icicle cold
Still the cheese won't lose it's mould
In Grenoooooble

I feel silly :)

Monday, January 29, 2007


Was having an interesting chat yesterday about Québéçois and how they still use a lot of lexicon dating back to 17th/18th century french which they don't use here in France anymore. It started me reflecting on how quickly things that seem fairly solid and constant such as language, change, often before we even notice. It seems even more apparent to me looking at the french language because it isn't my mother tongue. Reading Molière last year in uni was tough... almost incomprehensible as the language had changed so much. French people now find Québéçois almost incomprehensible partly because of their use of dated phrases! Crazy!
I look at languages that change with time, mountains that erode, snow that melts, weather systems that are unreliable... I look at my life; how I can never be sure of the future, near or far, how fragile I am, how fragile we all are, being human and all...

And I look at my God, my rock, at His unfailing love and compassion... and I remember that He never changes, even when everything else around me does.

And to think we are able to have peace with this God...!!!

The only response I can think of comes in the form of one of my favourite belter hymns. It may have been written over 2 centuries ago yet it still rings true and relevant today! :)

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Edward Mote (1797-1874)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

la luge!

Despite this I finally made it to some snow

An hour and a half on a bus took us to a station de ski in fact

Yes, that's right... "station de ski"

This is what happens when it hasn't snowed for a week and a half and the snow from early January is starting to melt, and into these adverse conditions (snow of the kind that draws blood when you fall on it, beating hot sun) 3 relatively skint, multinational, complete beginners are set on a station de ski for the day...

We were the only people over the age of about 10 sleighing there that day. When I mention age I talk of the physical and measurable kind... not of the mental kind :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

These errors made my day...!

When I explained the word "dinner ladies" one boy chirped up... "Il n'y a pas de dinner manies?"

"When you are popular lots of people come with hit him" (and knock on your door) had to be demonstrated before I understood what was trying to be said

"He is hating fishing" (hates)

"They give lots of things to we" (us)

And this beautiful argument made in a debate "Friends vs Family" made for Family -
I can hit my brother but if I hit my friend he re-hit me!" (hits me back)

Ah the joys of silly hyperactive 13 year olds with good imaginations :) heeheehee

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The delights of le fromage français

Having just been satisfied (yet again) by a delicious (and completely free lunch) à la Grenobloise I feel led to inform you readers of some of the delights that are the cheesy specialities of Alpine France cuisine...

La Tartiflette

Common eaten at winter time

Made with sliced potato, lardons (bits of bacon) and lots and lots of melted reblochon cheese and who knows what else...

Number of times consumed by Dish = 3
(Today at school in the staff room where they had a new years fête, twice au marché de nöel with orchestra peeps)

Verdict = Simple and delicious but over a little too quickly

Raclette (already been blogged about)

Also a common winter dish in the region

Raclette set is used such as shown here ----------->

Special raclette cheese is not put on top of the grill as shown in the picture but usually comes in slices and is placed in the little trays shown and slotted under the grill. People are served potatoes (which are sometimes left on the grill to keep warm) and charcuterie (lots of nice hams) and sometimes grill meat on top of the grill and when their cheese on their little tray starts to bubble it gets poured wherever and whenever they want!

Number of times consumed by Dish = 3

At people's houses, 2 families from church and one teacher's family.

Verdict = not only scrumptious but a sociable dish too!

Fondue (of the cheese variety)

Common winter dish and now fairly commonly known in uk too

A blend of different varieties of cheese are usually packaged as "fondue" cheese because it's ideal for the job or something... quite often they use a combination of cheeses such as emmental and comté (which on their own are very yummy too) This is all melted in a special fondue pot, and each person is given a skewer. Usually bread, chopped into cubes, is skewered and dipped into the pot but other things such as vegetables and potatoes can be dipped in too. This is also usually served with a plate of charcuterie

Number of times consumed by Dish = 2

A restaurant and a birthday party

Verdict = Delicious when you're hungry though can get a bit sickly after a while. Very sociable though and super bien for parties!

Apologies to anyone who may be disinclined towards fromage

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Nouvelle An

I love New Year! I love church and chippies and ceilidhs and kilts and random parties where I know almost no one and random parties where I know everyone and banter and funky music and dancing and staying up with people you love till the sun rises. But most of all I love it because it's new!

l love the fact that a new year is new because it is the best excuse for a fresh start. I'm always in need of fresh starts and frankly I could embark on them anytime, but there's something so official and formal about New Year that makes it easier.
The first definition of the word "new" that comes up in the Oxford dictionary is "not existing before". I always look at a new year like looking at a whiteboard... I like to pretend that it's wiped clean so I can cover with new scribblings that didn't exist before, but really, in truth, it's not. I can choose at this point (at any point really) to have some stuff wiped clean off it, whilst others stay, sometimes by choice, sometimes not. I love the future but the whiteboard isn't completely white because I will not, I cannot forget the past... the past that hurts, heals, strengthens, weakens, teaches, marks, scars... so full of memories... one of the reasons I love blogging is because I love memories and I love reminiscing. And it is for this same reason that I love new year... it gives me a chance to look back and think over and be thankful for all the things that have happened, "good" and "bad", and how I lived and review how I should be living this next year...
Or at least that's the way it should be... that kinda back-fired a little on me this year.
Over the last wee while I went through a period of feeling bogged down by guilt and frustrated with myself for not taking opportunities I could have taken, for not putting 110% in when I should have. L'esprit d'escalier once again. But I realised that there is no need for that... God has set me free from sin and guilt and shame... rather than looking back and being frustrated about the times when I didn't give enough, I should be looking and moving forward and learning from past mistakes rather than dwelling on them.

I'm back in France now; Back with sun-lit alps, amazing supermarkets, le français, and keyboards with accents, and am feeling hopeful and expectant! I'm setting out into 2007 with eyes open, ready to live whatever comes along. You see I don't want to settle for mediocre Christianity... (Is it possible to be a "middle of the road, mediocre" Christian?) I want to live life to the full, I want to live life full of God!

I leave with some photographic highlights of my séjour en Ecosse

floating candles at dinner on Christmas Eve

silliness with the sister

ah joys of Scotland; friends, family, boy in kilt... I will miss you...
Scottish rain... I will miss you not

Bonne rentrée à tous