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Sunday, 28 March 2004
un concert de musique classique


On Saturday afternoon we went to a concert in Reigate (Pinkie performed violin). It was held in a modern church building. We sat right in front, so that I could take photos and video, and a collage of the results is above.

Then from Saturday evening through to this afternoon this website was down due to some technical problems on the side of my hosting company. I will have to keep one beady eye on them in future. They are in the middle of a migration program to new server/s and had migrated the alerting system to the new server. Thus, when there was a problem on the old server/s they didn’t realise there was a problem for an inordinate length of time.

Of course we also “lost” one hour of sleep on Saturday night (when the clocks went forward) and my flight timetables have moved onto summer-time (which means that when I fly to the UK for the weekend, I get back to Strasbourg quite a bit later on a Sunday night).

Posted by bigblue on 28/03/2004 at 11:22 PM
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Saturday, 27 March 2004
au revoir anna

Alliance Francaise, Strasbourg

Yesterday evening after our Alliance Française class we had a small party to say goodbye to the assistant teacher, who is returning to her studies after having been with Alliance Française on a study placement.  She brought several varieties of home-made cake and some coke.  A selection of the class are in the photograph above.

It is also the end of the current course. Next month we obtain some new joiners, and some of the existing class will move on.

Posted by bigblue on 27/03/2004 at 12:26 AM
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Thursday, 25 March 2004
le lapin de Pâques

Easter bunny

Ant spotted the above “roadsign” earlier this week as we were driving to work. I was half-asleep and didn’t notice it at all. He didn’t get a good look and asked something about a warning sign not to drive over the rabbits, and thought it might have something to do with the March Hare. The next day we confirmed that it was an advertisement and that it is outside the Daniel Stoffel chocolate factory-shop, on Route de Bitche.  Posted by bigblue on 25/03/2004 at 11:26 PM
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la dégustation de vins

degustation de vins

Above is a photograph that I took of the presenter’s notes at the wine tasting session this evening. We went into Strasbourg after work and attended this wine-tasting at the European Circles. An “expert” gave us a short overview of Alsatian wine, and introduced us to four different Alsatian wines: a pinot blanc, a riesling, a muscat and a gewurtztraminer.

The pinot blanc had a floral bouquet: he said white peach, but I thought almonds. I caused immense mirth by suggesting there was a caramelised flavour. The lecturer seemed to disagree, but I felt somewhat vindicated when he said he might describe the wine as having a taste of bon bon anglaise.  The riesling was a bit more interesting: he described the aroma as being earthy. As if to have a joke at my expense he enquired if I had found any caramel flavours. So I mentioned the tropical fruitiness: to me mango, granadilla or litchee. It seems that hit the nail on the head, and met with his approval. The third wine, being a muscat, was very grapey in smell and flavour. Perhaps there was a hint of blackberries, or even fruits of the forest. The gewurtztraminer was typical: exciting mix of spicy flavours, perhaps with a touch of raspberries.

I enjoy identifying different flavours and smells in wine, and found his talk quite interesting: identifying the main taste sensations in different areas of the tongue, his overview of the 7 grape varieties cultivated in Alsace, and his discussion about the environmental factors affecting wine farmers in this region.

The usual suspects were there. They are very pleasant people, but we didn’t go out with them afterwards. Ash, Carles and I headed back to Haguenau to meet up with Markus and Ant to watch the footie (Monaco vs Real Madrid).

Posted by bigblue on 25/03/2004 at 12:28 AM
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Tuesday, 23 March 2004
au printemps

White Stork of Alsace

Spring continues. This evening I saw my first mosquitos - about 10 of them got into attack formation and started coming towards me as I got to my car.  There is also this well oversized March hare flopping around at work. A few days ago I saw my first stork of the season flying near Brumath.  (This is not the one in the photo above. I took this photo at the stork sanctuary in Betchdorf).

These are what the Independent last week called Posted by bigblue on 23/03/2004 at 11:45 PM
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Sunday, 21 March 2004
Creatures of the Night

Service Station

Above is a photo of some creatures of the night, taken at a service station on the motorway between Strasbourg and Haguenau on Sunday evening.

What a weekend. I spent Saturday in London, shopping and watching Green Peace abseiling down Big Ben. I took some great pictures, but all as MPEG’s. Then it was on to Mette and a walk on Hampstead Heath with Smut (and Mette), then we met up with Jessica at the temple, and afterwards the three of us had a picnic supper on Waterloo Bridge overlooking the Thames. It was a good day but in the evening I started to feel poorly. Sort of like a migraine coming on (which never did, fortunately but I seem to have spent half of Sunday recovering).

On Sunday evening I flew back to Strasbourg via Air France. It was a full flight, but they seem to have made room for one unusual passenger. I was the second person on the plane, and seated in the third row so I got a good view of all the other passengers coming on. He must have given his suitcase to the steward at the top of the steps leading into the plane. In any case the steward followed him down the aisle and said in a rather brusque tone of voice that he was taking the suitcase down to be put into the hold. I remember finding the tone of voice that the steward used rather rude.  Incidentally the passenger was dressed rather drably with a grey-green parka, and an unhappy but resigned air to him.

Therefore I wasn’t surprised when I climbed off the plane in Strasbourg to be met by an armed posse of Polices aux Frontières on the tarmac. He was then escourted by them, onto the shuttle bus and then into the terminal building. The police were carrying a large brown envelope, marked HM Immigration Service with the passenger’s name written on it. It struck me as an unusual name, possibly Carribean. The policeman next to me asked him if he spoke French, and he replied not. I wonder why he was being extradited to France, and why Strasbourg.

Posted by bigblue on 21/03/2004 at 11:06 PM
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all hail the computer

I thought the following article, about Posted by bigblue on 21/03/2004 at 09:39 PM
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Friday, 19 March 2004
German madonna and child

German madonna and child

The above shrine (I assume it is one) is to be found opposite the Gockelburg restaurant. There is a small red lamp at the base of the statue, which is continuously lit.

Posted by bigblue on 19/03/2004 at 10:57 PM
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