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Posts posted by 5-element

  1. [quote user="woolybanana"]

    As to grandfatherhood, that happened to me on 5th November. Not sure I like the idea yet.


    Ouh, congratulations! You will go gaga over the little one, that seems to be the fate of grandparents. Everyone knows that every grandchild is a perfect being.[:D]

    As for the royal couple, I don't really understand how it could have been announced days ago in the French press (on the news?) and I am SURE I was not dreaming when I heard she was expecting twins, except that I haven't heard it again... so perhaps it was a throwaway comment said in jest.

  2. Thank you for posting this Norman. I was pondering on that very topic (violence in our departement) after glancing through Midi-Libre too. (I notice you didn't mention the lesser story of an 8-month pregnant woman who, on being asked to park her car elsewhere, ran the policeman over. In spite of being hit, he was not  badly injured, and tried to pull her out of the car,  then she lashed out and clawed him.)

    As for the man who shot his neighbours, I found that I could put myself in his place: It's 1h30 in the morning, you are supposed to get up at 4 to go to work, and you can't sleep because of the neighbours' ramdam. You get up and ask them to tone it down, and they don't. What would I do? Well, I wouldn't go and shoot them (although I might feel like it, especially if they have an attitude) because I am not a firearms instructor at the local club. But truly, what could I do? Mind you, he didn't have to shoot to kill, he could just have kneecapped them, since he was a seasoned shooter.

    Now, all these lives, wasted. I don't know if it is a true increase in violence, or if we are better informed, or if we are paying more attention...

  3. I wouldn't say more philosophical GG. I try to make it a bit tough so that people have to show commitment... I hope there might be a meal for the last pre-Xmas session, but in any case I plan to make them sing "La Marseillaise" again - only 10 people,  it's an advanced conversation group.

    We did try before singing "La Marseillaise" and I just dissolved into hysterical laughter as they were all singing a different tune, some were several words behind or ahead. So you could say I am doing this for my own entertainment. [:D] Nothing philosophical at all. [:P]

  4. Great idea GG - and being Madame (although not your Madame) I will bring this to my French class this morning. That, plus "Le français est-il un langage animal?" (expressions which involve an animal of some kind). The two will go very nicely together.[;-)] So today's theme will be "le zoo". Sorted.
  5. [quote user="NormanH"]
    YOu can get a flavour of what is required ( a very theoretical analysis) from last year's exam and 'corrigé'


    I thought I'd have a look Norman, but must confess that by page 7, I was losing the will to live... if you don't get a response to that link, that might be the reason... it is all so dense, so wordy, so intricate. You would have to be on the inside for reading it through, no?

  6. Very timely: I just heard Jean-Francois Copé on the news (those who are vaguely following the latest UMP psychodrama will know who he is) - he was of course, referring to his arch-rival Francois Fillon, who had done something or other, and he said about this very thing that Fillon had just done: "Les bras m'en sont un peu tombés"

    So there you go. Politicians do use that expression.[6]

  7. AFAIK, the really correct expression would be "J'ai eu les bras qui M'en sont tombés"  - I believe that the "m'en" refers to the cause, the initial reason  why my arms fell off. Something like "in this particular event,  my arms fell off".

    I am not the best kind of French teacher there is, as my knowledge and interest in obscure grammatical rules have always quickly reached their limit. Maybe someone who is a bit more "à cheval sur les principes" of ultra-correct grammar can expand further.[:D]

  8. Does anyone else remember the nutritionist Adelle Davis, who advocated a diet with a lot of raw liver? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adelle_Davis    She was  keen on high-protein diets long before Dr. Atkins & Co.

    I had never noticed that liver was more available in the UK than in France. Here, I often see it at my butcher's, and when I was a child we used to have some once a week. Usually "foie de veau" or the cheaper "foie de génisse". Not much lamb's liver though.


    (very sorry but suddenly I don't seem to be able to post a live link and can't remember how to enliven it...)

  9. The house we bought when we came to France was being sold by a family where the father had killed himself (shot himself in the garden shed). This was allegedly over bad treatment (lack of recognition etc.) he had received in his job as a patissier in a local patisserie (which closed down shortly after). But I have always wondered whether it might not be, somehow, more acceptable (more legitimate even) to commit suicide for work-related reasons, rather than admit there were other problems of a more personal nature.

    However bad are working conditions, I still have a feeling that it takes a certain kind of person or personality to go as far as taking your own life - is it part of the French psyche to let "work" affect the deepest parts of your being so that losing your job, or being treated shabbily at work, robs you  totally of your identity? Does the meaning of life depend so entirely on "work" for some people?

  10. [quote user="tea4two"] I have a friend back in Blighty who's incapacited has been out of work for years, has no house or savings. sounds terrible BUT. he's got the latest gadgets, eats out, gets dental, has a warden controlled flat, pays no council tax,has a car supplied and has the equivalent of nearly £400 a week in rent, benefits etc...[/quote]

    Would you gladly give up your 2 houses, your savings, your car, your health? Would you prefer to  live in a small flat, (no trips to France), be chronically in pain or somehow disabled and medically dependent, unable to do much at all, would that really make you feel better??? Would you swap lives with your friend??

    I can't think that it's a great life, needing to live in a warden controlled flat, not have a house, no car, no savings, and be totally dependent on the state - I really can't see what there is to envy but maybe that's just me...

  11. Thank you so much for your reassuring words, Judith, and good luck with the check-up tomorrow. I hope you will continue to progress by leaps and bounds!

    Someone else I know who had that procedure done, told me that the worst part was.... the noise. That noise was from the surgeon tearing open the packaging of the instruments etc., that he was using![:D]

    Yes, I will do it. And you are right, there comes a time when there is no choice, and I can only be grateful that I was born in a part of the world where that procedure is available and fairly ordinary!

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