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Wednesday, 21 April 2004
23rd Page

Here’s something that lots of bloggers are doing: Posted by bigblue on 21/04/2004 at 10:31 PM
Filed under: France • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

Blackout

walk this dog

So coming back from Bar Saxo I walk back to my car, saying goodbye to the others at various points along the way. It’s past the happy couples and the dog-walkers and the people going home and the people on their way between venues. Once in my car it’s a short drive to the motorway - next stop Vendenheim for petrol, then on to Haguenau.

The trip takes about half an hour, including stops. I resist the temptation to put my foot down and go 140, 160, 180 km per hour. Afterall the speed limit is 130. I am alone in the car so can turn up the volume without disturbing anybody. This provides the rush I need that keeps my mind focused on the road. My thoughts are nostalgic, thinking of the past three years in Strasbourg. The atmosphere is provided by the songs of Posted by bigblue on 21/04/2004 at 02:03 AM
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rue des Frères

rue des freres

This evening I drove into Strasbourg and met up with Neil, Natasa, Bea, and Marcus for drinks. It was good to see them again, and I was very aware that logistically I have a limited number of nights left to spend in Strasbourg.  We were at Bar Saxo on rue des Frères. I have only been there once before: last year with Anna-Sofia and her friends Hendrik and Erieka, and that was almost by accident as we were heading somewhere else but everywhere was closing.

The photo above is of the window of a shop that sells alchoholic beverages, on the same street as Bar Saxo.

Posted by bigblue on 21/04/2004 at 01:48 AM
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Tuesday, 20 April 2004
dog pee is dangerous

place du frere medard

At Carles’ farewell last week, at about 9:30 or 10:00 pm, I remembered I had left my camera in the car. So I walked across Strasbourg to the parking garage to retrieve it.  I was really struck by the number of people walking (and cycling) the streets: people going out, people going home, people walking the dog, lovers, etc. And there was a “friendly” relaxed atmosphere.

On the way back to the pub, I passed Place du Frère Médard, and took the photograph above. I didn’t find the graffiti particularly interesting or inspiring, but it is interesting to compare the above photo with graffiti that used to be on the same wall. You can find a page, which includes such graffiti Posted by bigblue on 20/04/2004 at 01:15 AM
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Saturday, 17 April 2004
au revoir Carles!

l'hippocampe

This past week we had another farewell. This time it was Posted by bigblue on 17/04/2004 at 12:38 AM
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Wednesday, 14 April 2004
il avalerait n’importe quoi

Bush Blair

Today I was thinking about our embarassment of a Prime Minister. This morning I read in Posted by bigblue on 14/04/2004 at 12:32 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

Sunday, 11 April 2004
trouvé

le grand chene

Above is what I found at the end of the trail of the Le Grand Chêne signs.  The sign in front of the development has some rather intriguing information:

Seven beautifully crafted individual homes, ranging from stunning five bedroom properties to unique single story, two bedroom homes.

  1. High specification designer kitchens
  2. Secure gated entrance
  3. Landscaped communal gardens

Prices start from £325,000
MORE LAND REQUIRED

The gated entrance sounds ominous - first of its kind in this area (as far as I know). The More land required while ambiguous,  suggests that the developers haven’t planned properly.

I did the following test. I wasn’t surprised with the results, as I spent the whole afternoon and evening today with Popple.  (Although to be fair, “Father” was the first word that popped up and I hadn’t got into the swing of the test yet).

I have issues with…
father
excess
love
sex
patience
Take Word Association Test

Posted by bigblue on 11/04/2004 at 01:37 AM
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Friday, 09 April 2004
les pleins d’observations satiriques

le grand chene

The photograph above continues my search along the byroads of South East Surrey looking for the meaning of Le Grand Chêne.

Last night I got back to England after another bumpy ride in an Air France jet (especially coming into Gatwick). There were huge queues at passport control. I now remember the good old days when European Union passport holders used to walk past passport control waving their identity document or passport under the nose of the customs official, while smiling somewhat benignly at johnny foreigner in the long queue next door (for Americans, Africans, Asians, etc.).  The situation yesterday was the reverse with an enormous queue, about 6 abreast, at the EU passport control. 

As usual I set a cracking pace from the shuttle bus to the terminal building and over to passport control. I snuck into the queue about half-way along, while pretending to be distracted while talking on my mobile phone. I then pushed and shoved my way past numerous pregnant women, clutching toddlers, and mild-mannered tourists and besuited gentlemen. Unfortunately not all the besuited gentlemen were mild-mannered. One of them tried to push ahead of me, but as I was able to position my hand-luggage in such a way that it obstructed this flagrant and rude attempt on his part.

Thus when I emerged at the other side of passport control it was with a somewhat self-satisfied air of being only a couple of minutes later than usual and knowing that I was way ahead of the rest of the unfortunates who had been on my flight.  I proceeded (via the ‘short-cut’ route) to the baggage carrosel, and was somewhat annoyed to find the school-party of about 20 teenages, whom I had left day-dreaming on the tarmac outside the plane 20 minutes before, were already at the baggage carousel and had indeed collected most of their suitcases already.  I know they were English school kids, with English passports because (like everyone else) I had listened to their loud conversations for almost 2 hours on the plane.  Exactly what unjust mechanism allowed them to leapfrog the rest of us?


So that is how a sense of achievement and pride turns into a feeling of being cheated and of having been frustrated.  I was only able to recover much later that night after a game of Risk (the battle-strategy game) with Alex, David, Gogo & Popple.  At about 1:30am this morning I finally managed to achieve my mission and could advise the others that I had won the game. Part of the achievement of winning was of course persuading them to continue to play so late, because they are not only weak players but also weak willed.

Edit: Geographical correction: South East Surrey, rather than North East Surrey

Posted by bigblue on 09/04/2004 at 07:07 PM
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