Monday, 21 January 2008

Parlez Vous Francais?

Here it is, nothing spectacular, just a humble pencil case for myself, with a message for the sproglets - ever since they learned that a pen or pencil is an object you can pick up and scrawl on things (walls/clothes/bodies - rarely paper) with, I have been fighting a never ending battle to preserve my pens. Sounds dramatic, I know, but if you were me, you would understand.

You see, when I need one, there are never any to be found. As an example, I bought a pack of 6 new pens last week, just boring old blue ink pens, today, there is not a single pen anywhere, where do they go? Perhaps they join those odd socks in the bottomless abyss of nowhere, who knows? One thing I do know, is that they do not stay where I left them, so, being as I had to make a pencil case for one of the sproglets friends, who's birthday it is this Wednesday, I figured I would have a little practice attaching a zip, and made one for myself first, now perhaps my pens and pencils will be safe.... we shall see. The girls think it is very amusing and keep making a point of touching it, just to bug me, le sigh.

The zip doesn't look so hot, but I know what I did wrong, and so Ingrid, the birthday girl, will hopefully get a more perfect specimen of pencil case.
Do you like the little mushroom bead I added to the zip?

This is actually the FIRST thing I have ever made for myself, and what a nice feeling that is! I made everyones Christmas presents last year, most everyone received a framed embroidery by me, I wish I had taken pictures before they were all ferried off to their destined new homes, alas, I only have a photo of the one I did for Simon.

The basket is full of eyes, not eggs! I wish I had paid more attention to the detail on these, since everyone missed the eyes in the basket thing and thought they were eggs. I had only just started embroidery when I made this, I hope I am a little better now!

SooOo, today I went for my French lesson, it is held locally by a very kind English chap who offers these group lessons for free in his home.
I haven't been for a while, and now I remember why, it is so boring! I didn't actually learn any French, since most of the ancient members of the class (I think I am the only person under the age of 70, aside from my friend Janice) insist on chattering all the way through about how much they love parsnips, how their dog/cat/wife has the runs/piles/gall stones, or how many cans of butter beans one can fit in a standard size eco friendly shopping bag, all riveting subjects I'm sure, just not when I am supposed to be learning French.

Anyhooo, I have discovered that all the lessons in the world cannot match the learning power of actually spending time with French people. In little more than 6 months I can now hold a conversation with my friends in French, it is of course, completely cobbled together and my grammar is shall we say, um, rather basic, but I am UNDERSTOOD, and this, I believe, is what matters.
I have a really funny new book too, called "Merde - The REAL French you were never taught at school", which offers very helpful phrases in French which I am surely to use anytime soon, such as "Espece de salaud, je vais te casser le gueule!" which translates as something along the lines of "You bastard, I will smash your face in!" Most useful, don't you think? I must remember that next time the baker brings me a Baguette instead of a sliced Loaf :)


  1. Heee. Riveting indeed. Here is another funny phrase book, for those moments when you're feeling a little homesick:
    Wicked French. It will crack you up!

  2. I love your blog! That pencil case is adorable, esp the tiny toadstool. I live with pencil thieves too, but they cannot read. They draw everywhere, including my socks! They get raving mad if I touch their possessions, but take it for granted that they can steal everything that's mine.

  3. OoOOh I will have to get that book, thanks for the recommendation, looks verrry funny, love things like that, thanks Nicola!

    Matroskin what a lovely blog you have too! If the pencil thieves can't read, maybe make one that just says NO lol Send me your address, I will make one for you, and maybe a little one for them, so they know these are mummy's pencils, these are pencil thieves pencils... <3

  4. so nice to meet you I am sweet Jennifer Kate I run Sis Boom so nice to meet you you commented on my photos on flckr I love your blog it is lovely to meet you..I am actually planning to visit Paris end of July
    my very first time..so excited..Jennifer

  5. What a hilarous post. I love your take on folks.

  6. Thanks so much for your lovely comments, it really makes me smile to know you are all reading and enjoying my blog :)

  7. je parle le francais un peu ......
    but not enough to say more than that .... i found you through flickr ..... happy crafting .....

  8. Tallulah, you crack me up.

    I used to love parnips until one day I wanted to try a Parnips Pattie recipe in which the main and dominant ingredient was parnips. I had such high hopes for this recipe but I learned that too many parnips end up tasting like, what I would imagine floor wax tastes like. I haven't had a parsnip since.

    Seriously, I think you are very good at embroidery and I love the picture you made for Simon.

  9. Bonjour, I'm so happy you visited me at flickr because otherwise I might never have found your blog that I enjoy so very much!
    I also live with pencil thieves, old enought to read but I'm afraid they don't... But I'll sure try this , thanks for the idea!
    A revoir!

  10. It is time to fight back against the pencil thieves me thinks, maybe I should print some "Little fingers must not touch" stickers, then you can stick them wherever the need is greatest, windows comes to mind, and mum's perfume, there is something not right when 7 year olds reek of Chanel....

  11. bon jour.
    that's all the french yer gonna get from me.!!!!
    I agree with you 100% ..it's being understood that is the most important thing rather than grammatically correct all the time.
    The Italians can't understand this and just roll there eyes upwards when they hear me speak.... or should I say not speak..... Italian.
    I'm not inclined to learning foreign languages , have never been , am not and will never be.

    so glad to have found your blog and swap
    ciao crafty joan in italy