Did you miss me?
I’ve been away, stabbing tomatoes in the woods. Or more precisely, that was Daughter. I was standing by. Her friend, Rosetta Girl, had a PhD to defend. It’s what they call it in Switzerland. And Daughter said she’d help with the food for the apero, which is what they call all that drinking of wine afterwards, and I said I’d help her help.
So there we were, in the woods in Switzerland, a stone’s throw from the French border, stabbing tomatoes with toothpicks. I had my passport with me, in case I strayed. I’m so impressed by the language skills of these people. Rosetta Girl is a native Spanish speaker, but did her PhD-ing in English and French. Just imagine being clever in two foreign languages in a subject like astrophysics.
I was allowed into the kitchens, where it appeared Daughter’s French had improved to such an extent that she didn’t understand the instructions on how to use the dishwasher much better than I didn’t understand them. While the defending was going on in the Aula, Daughter and I watched empanadas cook in the oven, eyed the Chilean sweets, and carried lots of food and drink into the Observatory café.
We made it into the Aula for the verdict, which even if it was in French, I understood to be ‘very good.’ Daughter then showered Rosetta Girl with gifts, before the professors and assembled postdocs ran for the wine and nibbles.
(This served as a good dress rehearsal, for when we will have our own apero.)
After the last professor had been forced to finish the last wine by some careful wielding of damp cloths for wiping everything down, and the furniture was rearranged back to normal, and my performance had been so impressive that another friend wanted to book my services for her defense later this year, we did end up almost going to France, if only to avoid too long a wait at the bus stop.
I’m guessing Son’s had it with working in wardrobes.
Personally I liked – or rather, I preferred – to have my [holiday] desk in a wardrobe than not to have one at all. Although I will admit to moving to the dining table more these days, so maybe my wardrobe days are over.
When it came to serious writing some months ago, Son clearly didn’t want to sit tight, so to speak, so he sourced a leftover, cobwebby desk and carried into a ‘free’ space. I suspect he just wanted to sit next to the cardboard fish on the wall. Not everyone has them.
After all, if he was that fond of ex-wardrobes, he could have stayed at home and sat in his own closet office.
And now, he’s finally some place where he can build a proper workspace, even if it doesn’t look so promising yet.
Maybe I should get him a fish.
The very young witch found it terribly amusing that when the French count, they go eight-oink-ten. If you’re OK with a bilingual example not featuring any French at all, that is?
As native English-speaker Keith Moore, married to a Swede, discovered, Old McDonald is not only called Per Olsson, but his pigs go nöff-nöff. Or they do, if you are bringing your baby up to speak Swedish.
It’s tricky, this bilingual business.
I’m not all that sure I know what pigs sound like. They grunt, don’t they? Both nöff and oink are a little wrong. Luckily some animals sound much more like their European neighbours, and as long as we don’t get involved in actual spelling, a mjau is as good as a meow. Same with mu and moo, and [almost] vov and woof.
See, I’m bilingual in animal as well!
That same young witch happily repeated what others at school taught her, with no grammatical feel for what makes English correct, when they said ‘I buy pink sheet.’ This was a way of ‘speaking English’ while also covering three ‘Swedish’ toilet-based words.
But I continue to feel sorry for the French who go oink every so often.