Alors on danse

March 1, 2011 / 0 comments

There are some songs that remind you of a time or a place. This is one of them – Stromae is a Rwandan-Belgian dance act who was massive in France whilst I was there. This song was on pretty much every time I queued at the K-fet for my poulet-salade. I’ve never heard it since….

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Leaving the flat

July 12, 2010 / 1 comment

There are a few things on the to-do list still left over from France – I’ve not got the deposit back from the flat, and I’ve not managed to get a refund on the rental insurance (because I need a document from the landlord that says that the contract has been properly terminated and I…

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Stuff I wish I’d known before moving to Grenoble

June 11, 2010 / 4 comments

Now I’m back in the UK, I thought I’d do a quick write up off things I wish I’d known upon arrival in Grenoble, just in case anyone else finds it useful. So here goes: France is rubbish on Sundays. The only places that open properly are bakeries and florists. Supermarkets and shopping centres generally…

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A dog called Interlock

May 30, 2010 / 4 comments

My current parallel text is “L’homme à l’enverse“, a Fred Vargas novel translated into english with the title “Seeking whom he may devour“. I guess the title translation should have tipped me off to the fact that this was likely to be a clunky read. There’s one translation detail that’s really beginning to wind me…

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Inspecteur Rebus

May 21, 2010 / 8 comments

In an effort to improve my French, I’ve been reading a few of my favourite books in translation alongside the original. It saves me from having to pick up a dictionary every time I come across a word I don’t know, and it also encourages me to try and work out what words mean myself…

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Oooh, I wouldn’t call it that…

May 9, 2010 / 1 comment

Number 10 in a series of N…

Another impenetrable form…

May 5, 2010 / 1 comment

Back in June, when I was getting started in France, one of my major headaches was the form-filling. The French excel at bureaucracy – the number of times I’ve had to show my birth certificate/marriage certificate/degrees/passport is just amazing for me as a brit. Why do the bank need to see my wedding cert? Why…

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The best opening question in an interview ever?

April 19, 2010 / 0 comments

There’s an interview with the captain of Grenoble foot 38 in this week’s GRE News, and it’s got a cracking opening question: Rough translation… “Shit season, don’t you think?”

Les 6 Nations

March 13, 2010 / 2 comments

I’ve been getting quite into the rugby lately. It’s the wrong kind of rugby, obviously, and the whole “line up and throw the ball in” thing still confuses me a bit, but it’s good fun to watch down the pub and there’s a good chance that France might win the tournament. I got chatting to…

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OOoh, I wouldn’t call it that…

March 1, 2010 / 2 comments

Number 9 in a series of N… This photo was taken by my mum in Galleries Lafayette in Paris. Apparently “Acne” is upscale designer clothes, and you can find it between Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood. Heh.