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Thursday, 06 November 2003
le brouillard

Hay Bluff neon glow

It was foggy here last night and this morning.  Someone in front of me drove into the back of a car at the railway stopping this morning on the way to work. There was no excuse - the fog wasn’t so bad - they must have been daydreaming.

I got an email from davidm over the weekend saying that he has booked for us to see His Dark Materials Part I on 13 March 2004 and His Dark Materials Part II on 20 March 2004, at the Olivier Theatre.  Yay!  I am a big fan of Phillip Pullman. There is a very interesting Bridge to the Stars site, which I discovered thanks to mewn.

Talking of which mewn has some interesting photos of the brouillard (fog) in Strasbourg last night: here and here. mewn has some very interesting nightshots of Strasbourg. The guy seems to be an insomniac .... like yours truly .... and he seems to suggest that he is a bit obsessive-compulsive…..  (h�, aren’t we all?) .... and he seems to be a bit of a pervert.  Well, I’m not! (cough, cough).  But I had a good look at his postings on the derri�res des femmes, purely for academic purposes of course! (cough, cough).

And today there was a lovely long email from peter. Excellent! I am still reading and re-reading his sage comments on life.

Later: a small correction: I didn’t get the Bridge to the Stars site from mewn, but from Loriel’s Vanadium.

Posted by bigblue on 06/11/2003 at 05:05 PM
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Wednesday, 05 November 2003
Ecosse fait froid


Another lovely sunny (but short) day today, although there was remnants of overnight frost this morning.  You can compare the picture above (taken this morning) with this one (taken in the summer). 

Dylan is up in Edinburgh with some friends, staying with a friend of theirs, until Friday. He’s been a bit quiet, so after his previous bad experience I contacted him to check how things were going. He texted me back

Everything’s really brilliant…does get quite cold, but we’ve survived fine. Haven’t stayed at hotel which has also been nice. Otherwise, all good thanks

Posted by bigblue on 05/11/2003 at 07:02 PM
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La Musica


It’s been a pretty boring week so far. I have been working late because we are busy at work. I got home to chez Wolff this evening, and found Alain and Anna-Sofia in the kitchen: playing guitar and singing songs.  Anna-Sofia and I had a little argument with Alain: he insisted that the tune for House of the Rising Sun was composed by Jonny Halliday. Please. Luckily we found the credits for the tune in Anna-Sofia’s songbook.

According to Oxfam’s Cool Planet this museum piece,

the Belgian Jonny Halliday, who was a famous rock star in the sixties, is still well-loved in France.

The rest of the week is starting to look up. Tomorrow night I am playing badminton, then probably going on to Charlies (a pub anglais in Haguenau, named after Chaplin). On Thursday night we are having a farewell do for Khalid, on a boat which is berthed on the River Ille in Strasbourg.

Posted by bigblue on 05/11/2003 at 12:14 AM
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Monday, 03 November 2003
La Honte des Moutons


I took this picture last year, when bluemeanie and pinkie visited Haguenau. Some of these birds don’t migrate to North Africa any more, because although it gets cold in winter they are very well looked after at the breeding sanctuaries.

Ash tells me that they have finally solved the problem of the ship of sheep.  They are sending the ship to New Zealand and renaming it The Love Boat.

Today the weather cleared up a bit and it is looking pretty mild for the rest of the week.  It’s a pity that it gets dark so early now.

Posted by bigblue on 03/11/2003 at 11:18 PM
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Sunday, 02 November 2003
Bienvenue Scarlett!

Jazz Jam

I got back to Haguenau this evening and found that bluemeanie had already started posting to her new weblog. By the way, if you are a member here, then you are also a member of her weblog, so please mosey over there, see what she has to say, and post some comments!

As she says, today Pinkie went to a Jazz Jam workshop organised by the Surrey County Arts.  At the end of the session this afternoon they put on a concent (see picture above). They had split up into three groups during the day. At the concert, each group performed a piece or two, and then they had a final� at the end where all the groups came together. The emphasis on these sessions is improvisation and each child gets a turn to improvise a solo.  Earlier this year bluemeanie participated in a Jazz Jam workshops and Granny Ruth and I attended the final concert.

I enjoyed the Wales/All Blacks match this morning.  Talking of rugby, are you a kicking king?

Posted by bigblue on 02/11/2003 at 11:47 PM
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Saturday, 01 November 2003

Tourist souvenir

In Alsace they are so geared up for tourists, that they even sell little figurines of tourists in the shop for the tourists to take home with them. This is weird. I can imagine what they tell their friends and family when they get home:

We saw castles and quaint houses and farms, and tourists walking about with cameras like this.

Yesterday evening, at the airport in Strasbourg, I turned on my mobile phone and found a message from flank:

Nous et en route a Wollongong. Vive les Bleus!

I immediately replied, but forgot that it would be the middle of the night over there.  Oops, sorry.

This morning I am leaving (right now) to get my hair cut by Ali of The Business 2.  Then, depending on how the
weather pans out, I may do some gardening. I have planted all my spring bulbs, but have a bit of pruning to do. I am a bit clueless in this department: does anyone have any tips? Tonight I am having supper with Ruth and some special people.

Posted by bigblue on 01/11/2003 at 09:42 AM
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Friday, 31 October 2003


Caption competition: There’s a prize for the person who comes up with a suitable caption for the above picture!  Post your entries under comments below, or mail them to me.

Spoke to Petite Maman last night and wished her happy birthday. She was in lively spirits and told me about the loads of presents, and visitors, that she received yesterday. She says that most of the family don’t remember her birthday is on 30th and call her on 31st.  I can’t imagine why people would get confused between her birthday and Halloween.

It feels like this week has been a short one.  This week has been Passion Week at work. In the corridor outside there are all kinds of games: hop-scotch, noughts-and-crosses, puzzles, etc. fixed onto the carpet. We have red heart balloons on the ceiling, and a vie-ma-vie programme where you are supposed to go and find out about somebody else’s job in the company.  They had a programme in the factory yesterday where you could go and see how they make M&M’s and mix your own colours.  A bunch of people came up from the factory at lunchtime with pink and other strange coloured (and shaped) ones. This morning one of our IT colleagues is going to be showing a group of people from the business what she does on a normal day.

Our colleagues in the US came to work yesterday dressed as Halloween characters.  My team-mate who is there mentioned the names some of these characters to me, but I had no idea what or who they are.

Posted by bigblue on 31/10/2003 at 08:05 AM
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Thursday, 30 October 2003
On a trouvé les marrons


I recommend leaving Marmoutier via the old Saverne road. After 1,5 km you can turn left into a minor, poorly surfaced, road and follow this up a hill through the village of Sindelsberg. At the end of this road you enter the church yard, where there is a fantastic birds-eye view back down over Marmoutier.  If, like us, you go at this time of the year there are numerous chestnut trees in the churchyard, providing a delicious snack.

We got some looks from locals who were walking through the churchyard, but they seemed to have a laissez-faire approach to our helping ourselves to their chestnuts. 

Mme Wolff apparently has ownership of a chestnut tree on some common land somewhere in or near Hagenau.  In previous years she has given us, her locataires, a basket of chestnuts to share.

Mme Wolff has been away on holiday this whole week, as have the students Aline and Alain. (The names are just a co-incidence!) Khalid has been working from the UK, so the house has been quiet: only Anna-Sofia and myself have been about. Our other house mate, Elodie fait un stage d’infirmi�re (she is doing a work placement as a nurse).  Basically we hardly see her either.


This picture, also from the churchyard of Sindelsberg, is taken in the opposite direction - facing away from Marmoutier - and gives a good view of the low-lying chestnut trees.

Posted by bigblue on 30/10/2003 at 04:52 PM
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