Thursday, 30 July 2009

Happy Birthday Steph!

That's some very poor wrapping. Speaking of which, Steph, have you got the present I sent yet?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Impressing The Relatives

My inexplicable french relative (which is to say, I don't know how to describe my relation to her. She's actually Reto's relative, probably my second cousin once removed or something, although I'm not Victorian enough to know what that actually means) and her two grandchildren turned up at our place fairly unexpectedly yesterday, and so our plans for going to see Los Abrazos Rotos at the completely excellent local outdoor cinema were thwarted for the sake of being tourist guides and having a nice dinner up the road (the fact that there are at least 4 more movies we want to see at the openair cinema in the next few weeks is a bit of a balm.).

Last time I met my inexplicable relative and her grandchildren (which was also the first time I met them, as well as being before I was related to them. R and I weren't even engaged then! Aah, the olden days) was a few years ago in France, at which time my ability to speak french was minimal to the point of entirely absent. We spent our time smiling well-meaningly and forcing Reto to be the interpreter. This time, however, I wowed everyone with my ability to be an adult and carry on a sensible conversation. It's remarkable how heartwarming it can be to have a 9-year-old compliment you on your impressive language skillz (although then his slightly older sister had to tell me what the word for a dam wall is, which detracted a bit from my sense of pride. As did the fact that the 9 year old was almost impossible to understand because he speaks soveryveryfast).

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Dangerous Incompetence

Well, after numerous pointed comments from my disappointed fans (hah) I've decided to make a tentative foray back into the world of responsible blog ownership and actually post a post.

We're going on holidays the week after next (Scotland!) and, as often happens, our plan is to rent a car and drive around without giving anything much thought. As a result of everyone's distaste for planning holidays we haven't bothered to actually do the car renting until just now, and apparently there are no automatic cars left in the whole of the country. Since we long ago decided that I'm the designated driver whenever the driving is to be done on the left, that's not ideal. I learnt to drive in a manual, but that was a few years ago* and since then I've done relatively little driving at all and I've only driven a manual once (which was mostly successful but I did stall us across both lanes of traffic and just next to a bend on the fortunately quiet street my parents live on). Add to that the fact that the last time I drove a car was more than a year and a half ago and that I've never been very enthusiastic about driving, and .. well, it all makes for a bit of pressure, really.

Fortunately Reto has agreed to share the driving burden, but he's never driven on the left before, and is a bit concerned about the idea of changing gears with the wrong hand. And I can't think when the last time he drove a car was, but not within the last 2 years as far as I can recall.

Watch out, Scotland. Although I'm sure it will all be fine.

* not actually that many, because I didn't bother learning to drive until I was about 26

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

Now that you're 64, I guess we'll find out if mum will still need you, still feed you etc. I would be surprised if you started taking holidays on the Isle of Wight, though.