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Everything posted by Mochas

  1. Blimey, these Swiss Swatch switches are hard to say but not half as much fun as trying to sing this without embarrassing yourself:

    The Pheasant Plucking Song

    I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's son

    I'm only plucking pheasants 'till the pheasant plucker comes.

    Me husband is a keeper, he's a very busy man

    I try to understand him and I help him all I can,

    But sometimes in an evening I feel a trifle dim

    All alone, I'm plucking pheasants, when I'd rather pluck with him.

    I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's mate

    I'm only plucking pheasants 'cos the pheasant plucker's late !

    I'm not good at plucking pheasants, at pheasant plucking I get stuck

    Though some pheasants find it pleasant I'd rather pluck a duck.

    Oh plucking geese is gorgeous, I can pluck a goose with ease

    But pheasant plucking's torture because they haven't any grease.

    I'm not a pheasant plucker, he has gone out on the tiles

    He only plucked one pheasant and I'm sitting here with piles !

    You have to pluck them fresh, if it’s fresh they’re not unpleasant,

    I knew a man in Dunstable who could pluck a frozen pheasant.

    They say the village constable had pheasant plucking sessions

    With the vicar on a Sunday ‘tween the first and second lessons.

    I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's mum

    I'm only plucking pheasants 'till the pheasant plucker's come.

    My good friend Godfrey is most adept, he's really got the knack

    He likes to have a pheasant plucked before he hits the sack.

    I like to give a helping hand, I gather up the feathers,

    It's really all our pheasant plucking keeps us pair together.

    I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's friend

    I'm only plucking pheasants as a means unto an end !

    My husband's in the forest always banging with his gun

    If he could hear me half the time I'm sure that he would run,

    For there's fluff in all my crannies, there's feathers up my nose

    And I'm itching in the kitchen from my head down to my toes.

    I'm not a pheasant plucker, I'm a pheasant plucker's wife

    And when we pluck together it's a pheasant plucking life !

    Hmm, I wonder how that lot would sound in French...

  2. Letter to the Weekly Telegraph:

    Tony and the truth


    – Tony Blair will undoubtedly go down in history as the Prime Minister

    who claimed that it was a slip of the tongue when he told the truth.

    John Crowley,

    Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia

    Somehow, this nice little quote has the ring of truth for me.

  3. You might also try the translation website:


    This is also downloadable and has recently added a conjugation facility.

  4. I've just discovered Tresors de la Langue Francaise Informatise which is a fantastically detailed on line dictionary of the French language, not a French/English translation tool.

    It has just about anything you might want to know about just about any word you're likely to come across. It offers research aids which makes it ideal for the student and fascinating if, like me, you're simply interested in the language even if if only marginally proficient.

    Apologies if this has been referenced on here previously but for anyone who doesn't know of it, it can be found on:


  5. Very odd. I mostly use Mozilla for my browser but out of curiosity I just tried Internet Explorer and found that I can get the map just as easily on that as I can on Mozilla.

    No idea why other people can't though.

  6. According to wordreference.com the French for mothballs is naphtalene (noun feminine).

    No idea where you might buy them though.

  7. [quote user="Benjamin"]So could Sarko be related to Granville?



    Could be...they're both short*****  er, I mean persons of restricted growth.
  8. Sorry Tresco, I'll try to be a bit more obvious: to paraphrase the great Groucho, if Tunbridge Wells would have me I wouldn't want to go there.

  9. Personally I'm glad that Twinkle is taking herself off and I think that she should take KKK, Tresco and Furryknickers off with her. How dare these people sully our screens with their infantile attempts at humour.

    Any more of this and I shall sell my French house and take myself off to Tunbridge Wells where I can be with my own 'Disgusted' kind!

  10. I'm beginning to be sorry I started this thread. My original post was so obviously exaggerated that it couldn't have been taken as anything other than a light-hearted dig at what I still see as our American cousins.

    It certainly wasn't intended as a peg to hang a sniping war on which was why it was posted in The Lighter Side in the first place. For anyone who is so minded I suppose it's as easy to laud the USA for its numerous achievements as it is to condemn it for e.g. its foreign policy or, for that matter, its national stereotypes. For me, those are subjects for a different thread and probably a different forum.

  11. I've seen a few of these programmes too and the thing that  always puzzles me is whether the families involved would be able to muddle through - which they always seem to do - without the presumably fairly hefty fee they receive from the programme makers.

    Funny how that never gets mentioned...

  12. History Adrian, see Wellington, Duke of and Buonaparte, Napoleon.

  13. I shouldn't be at all surprised to find that the French make a point of sabotaging anything with Wellington in its name before it goes on sale.

  14. I'd take great exception to being omitted from Tresco's list of helpful people but for the fact that a) I don't know very much and b) by the time I've polishd up the odd little gems of wisdom I do feel able to impart I invariably find that my (forum) elders and betters have already answered much more comprehensively than I could have done anyway.

    Nevertheless, I think that my willingness to contribute is borne out by a couple of my recent postings, one on dog shite and one on snails (not in the same thread by the way) and I would be happy to be consulted by anyone wishing to avail themselves of my expertise on either subject.

  15. The only time I've come across frog's legs was on a snack menu in a Belgian bar. They went down well with too much good local beer and yes, they do taste like chicken.

    Snails seem to be quite common in Charente both in restaurants and markets. There's one particular truck stop where there are invariably snails along with oysters and various other shellfish amongst many other things on the cold buffet. Scrumptious and very cheap!

    I've also got a jar of something called Escargouillette which I guess is the French answer to Marmite, being a snail spread containing butter, shallots, garlic and cognac. The idea is to spread it on toast which should then be heated in a warm oven - something of an acquired taste perhaps...

  16. Re Miki's thoughts on dogs and toilet paper, in Italy I once saw a little old lady let her tiny lap dog do its thing by a very scenic, much-frequented  river bank. When it had finished she produced a couple of tissues from her handbag and carefully wiped the dog's behind. Then she equally carefully placed said tissues by the dog's deposit and strolled off, leaving the latter for the next unwary foot.

    As for disposal, here in England I once saw one fine upstanding citizen ostentatiously pick up his (very large) dog's mess from the pavement in a plastic bag which he carefully tied up and carried away. An example to us all until, a little further along, he furtively chucked the bag over the wall into someone's front garden.

    Some people, eh? And they're not all French.

  17. Regarding Quillan's comment about Life Of Brian being banned in the USA, as it happens I saw this film in Los Angeles back in 1979 when it first came out.

    I was doing my wide-eyed tourist bit at the time and saw it at the cinema which used to be called Grauman's Chinese (can't remember its new name), the famous one with the stars' hand and foot prints in cement. I remember that it caused a bit of a furore at the time but I don't recollect any particular protests or talk of bans.The audience - presumably not all wide-eyed tourists - simply found it very funny.

    Maybe it was banned in some of the more fundamentalist areas?

  18. It wasn't that I missed Ronald Reagan - jond had already mentioned him.

    I suppose I could have included Tony Blair though.

  19. Off the top of my head I can think of several other actors who've become politicians:

    Glenda Jackson MP

    The one from East Enders, now an MEP

    Sonny (of he and Cher) onetime Mayor of Palm Springs

    Clint Eastwood ditto of Carmel

    Arnold Schw etc now Governor of California

    and not forgetting (how could we?) La Cicciolina, the Italian porn star who somehow managed to become an MP...

    Don't know of any French ones though.

  20. The day before we were due to sign the agent let us into the house to drop off some stuff we'd brought from England. It was immediately clear that the M Le Vendor, who was at work, had made no effort to prepare for moving out. I told the agent that I wouldn't sign the next day if we didn't have vacant possession so he took me to where the vendor worked and explained the problem. M Le Vendor seemed very surprised and said he didn't think we would want to move in so quickly, which I thought was a bit rich as he was obviously expecting his money. (As it happened we'd been staying at a local hotel for a couple of days but we'd brought airbeds with us so we could stay at the house until we sorted out furniture etc.)

    So M Le Vendor agreed that he would clear the house before we signed the following afternoon and we duly met at the notaires. Then we were informed that he hadn't had time to finish moving out so would it be OK if he kept the keys until 8.00pm? We agreed to that and dealt with the formalities, pausing only for insertion of a rather important clause relating to a right of way which went with property but which the notaire had lost somewhere along the line. We spent the next four hours celebrating (by ourselves) in a local bar and finally got the keys at 8.30pm. M Le Vendor apologised for the delay and shot off. Then we found that he'd left us a knackered old bedframe and a disgusting settee neither of which were suitable for human use. Oddly enough though, he'd found time to remove nearly all the light fittings and two kitchen cupboards. (Moral: make bloody certain you stipulate in the contracte de vente precisely what must be removed and what must be left behind, mention of fixtures and fittings is simply too vague.)

    On the good side, the agent was very helpful throughout. The day before we signed he took us on a grand tour of EDF, insurance company, Tresor Public and water company to sort out all the changeover problems and to a bank to set up an account. He's still a good friend as is, strangely enough, M Le Vendor who invariably offers us a drink whenever we bump in to him round the town. Come to think of it, so he should, if only to pay for messing us about and the bits and pieces he took with him!


  21. My Collins-Robert has 'mel' (can't do accents) but not 'courriel' and the WordReference.com online dictionary has both.

    These words are discussed in the WordRef forum where somebody also

    mentions 'pourriel' as a short form of 'pourri' and 'electronique' -

    tainted mail - French Canadian for spam. I rather like that one.

  22. Some of the people in the Education section currently concerned

    about the increasing cultural dominance of the USA, and particularly

    about its impact on the purity of the English language, may be

    reassured by the following news item:

    Message from John Cleese to the Citizens of the USA

    In light of your

    failure to elect a competent President of the USA

    and thus to govern

    yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation

    of your independence,

    effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty

    Queen Elizabeth II will resume

    monarchical duties over all states,

    commonwealths, and territories (excepting

    Kansas, which she does not


    Your new prime minister, Tony

    Blair, will appoint a governor for

    America without the need for further

    elections. Congress and the

    Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be

    circulated next year

    to determine whether any of you noticed.

    To aid

    in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following

    rules are

    introduced with immediate effect:

    You should look up "revocation" in the

    Oxford English Dictionary. Then

    look up aluminium, and check the

    pronunciation guide. You will be

    amazed at just how wrongly you have been

    pronouncing it.

    The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as

    'favour' and

    'neighbour'. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut'


    skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by


    suffix -ise.

    Generally, you will be expected to raise your

    vocabulary to acceptable

    levels (look up vocabulary). Using the same

    twenty-seven words

    interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you

    know" is an

    unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no


    thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.


    Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of


    reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize.

    You will

    relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen".

    July 4th

    will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

    You will learn to resolve

    personal issues without using guns, lawyers,

    or therapists. The fact that you

    need so many lawyers and therapists

    shows that you're not adult enough to be

    independent. Guns should only

    be handled by adults. If you're not adult

    enough to sort things out

    without suing someone or speaking to a therapist

    then you're not grown

    up enough to handle a gun. Therefore, you will no

    longer be allowed to

    own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable

    peeler. A permit

    will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in


    All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is


    your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand


    we mean.

    All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and

    you will

    start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time,


    will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit


    conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help


    understand the British sense of humour.

    The Former USA will adopt

    UK prices on petrol (which you have been

    calling gasoline) - roughly $6/US

    gallon. Get used to it.

    You will learn to make real chips. Those things

    you call French fries

    are not real chips, and those things you insist on

    calling potato

    chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut,

    fried in

    animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.


    cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually

    beer at all.

    Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred

    to as beer, and

    European brews of known and accepted provenance will

    be referred to as Lager.

    American brands will be referred to as

    Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all

    can be sold without risk of

    further confusion.

    Hollywood will be

    required occasionally to cast English actors as good

    guys. Hollywood will

    also be required to cast English actors to play

    English characters. Watching

    Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue

    in Four Weddings and a Funeral was

    an experience akin to having one's

    ears removed with a cheese


    You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind


    proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will,


    time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to


    football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every

    twenty seconds or

    wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of


    Further, you

    will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host

    an event called the

    World Series for a game which is not played

    outside of America. Since only

    2.1% of you are aware that there is a

    world beyond your borders, your error

    is understandable.

    You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us


    An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her


    Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of


    monies due (backdated to 1776).

    Thank you for your


  23. Thanks for the replies, curiosity satisfied.

    Come to think of it, I hope Mr Blair and friends don't see this or

    they'll be appointing a Price Reduction Control Tsar to regulate the

    January Sales in Britain...

  24. Can anyone please explain how it is that all the sales start on 11 Jan?

    Is there some sort of national edict or trade agreement behind this? It

    puzzles me that individual shops don't simply arrange their own sales

    dates to suit themselves according to their view of commercial

    pressures and maybe to steal a march on their competitors.

  25. When I'm looking at French-related - or other - sites on the internet I find it useful to have an online dictionary open in a separate window. I use www.wordreference.com which offers colloquial and compound forms as well as direct translations. With this I can look up unfamiliar words as I go along  (and God knows, there's a hell of a lot of those).

    Try this Grs for your aches and pains and good luck.

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