February 23, 2012

Moving on ...

 I was delighted to be well enough to welcome " Crystal tears " on Friday and to welcome old and new faces to the Cellar. The concert was really appreciated : Kate's  crystal clear voice was a pleasure to hear and was beautifully accompanied by Olivier who gave a surprising lute   rendition of " Yesterday" which the audience joined in with. Indeed the Elizabethan belief that one should " sing tolerably" before being considered a gentleman was  fulfilled. ..

 So what  next ? well, I'm more or less back on form , and the holidays are looming.  I'm going to try out my spanish for a few days, then will be "teaching" teenagers back at the cellar from the 5th to 9th march from 1pm to 4pm all week .  The course is called " Hop over the channel " ( see poster) so if you have dynamic, eager teenagers in your midsts please tell them to contact me. I need 2 more people ! For the adults, classes are maintained that week...

  By popular demand there will be another games night on Thursday 15th march at 7.30pm. So sign up now !
 ( 12 euros) Places are limited. to 16 .. and there  are still tea towels and Dvds of scotland to be won !!! :) and other things of course.

 On a more personal note I am still looking for ideas for a place in Rouen to hold my Birthday party, The cellar walls, though crumbling at times, are not expandable.. so please tell me if you have ideas of a hall or bigger cellar in Rouen... The invitations will go out soon. ! So  it will be another opportunity to speak English and meet new people with similar interests .... or just people who would be happy to see me turn 38 again !:).. keep me posted ! and happy holidays for those who have some ...

February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday..(.s)

 to Charles Dickens ;200 years ago today .! if you've never read anything by him  now is the Time. Great Literature  to be read and at the Abc Bookshop some of his novels are at only 3 euros : HARD TIMES , PICKWICK PAPERS , OLIVER TWIST and others ... even google's logo was a hommage to him today !
Extract from “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens

The room in which the boys were fed was a large stone hall, with a copper at one end; out of which the master, dressed in an apron for the purpose, and assisted by one or two women, ladled the gruel at mealtimes. Of this festive composition the boys had one porringer and no more – except on occasions of public rejoicing when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides. The bowls never wanted washing. The boys polished them with their spoons again till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon. Boys have generally excellent appetites. Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months. At last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy who was tall for his age, hinted darkly to his companions that unless he had another basin of gruel, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy sleeping next to him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age. He had a wild, hungry eye and they implicitly believed him. A council was held; lots were cast for who should walk up to the master after supper that evening and ask for more; and it fell to Oliver Twist.

The evening arrived; the boys took their places. The master, in his cook’s uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves beside him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over short commons. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered to each other and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity,-
“Please, sir, I want some more.”
The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed with stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds; and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralyzed with wonder, the boys with fear.
“What!” said the master at length, in a faint voice.
“Please, sir,” replied Oliver, “I want some more.”
The master aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle, pinioned him in his arms, and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

 on another  more pleasant note...

 Congratulations to Marie Christine who won the scottish tea towel she had been longing for !

 .. and just to let you know you there is preview showing of the THATCHER film the Iron lady at the Docks next Tuesday at 8.15pm  In English of course.  ! Join me  there if you haven't been invited to a Valentine's day dinner .. ( I haven't  either ).; so  I will just nourish my mind   and be with friends instead... what better way is there to spend valentine's day !?!
 ...... and to finish

FEBRUARY 7, 2012

Another Birthday... ?

 Mine  soon.. I'm not 200  yet though ! .. I would love to spend my Birthday with members of the Cellar who could come and speak English with  old friends and new people ; my only fear  ( 'it's a real one ) is that the cellar is TOO small  to welcome you all . SO if you have any brilliant  ideas of a place in the centre of Rouen for  47 people, then please let me know.. ( evening of 17th / 18th March.) I will provide all  the drinks and  all you  quiche and cake bakers can bring samples of your cooking skills for us to taste. Frederic will supply  live music from his  piano ( portable) ! ...
to be followed....