Solstice and Shenanigans

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Seasons greetings, whatever theological or tribal stripe you may be, on this, the Solstice, the nadir of the year. It will reach it’s very zenith at 17.11 GMT. Unfortunately, that does not mean that sunny days are ahead. They are, but they’ll be a long time coming. We will have to content ourselves with incremental increases in daylight hours.

Here is a beautifully crafted art work of festive cheer from Poppet’s oeuvre.

And here is a weird Victorian Christmas card.

In time travel news, here’s a picture from July 2012, but it is just as apt this very day, since WE’RE OFF TO BRIGHTON, YO!

However, just because we’ll be away from home, it doesn’t mean I won’t be cracking on with my new hobby, LEARNING ALL THE LANGUAGES.  I can’t remember who put me onto it (WHAAAT? it was all the way back a few DAYS I can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING) but I am now big into duolingo.com which is a free software for learning languages. Not ALL the languages, but SOME languages. I am currently virtually fluent in Spanish as long as I only want to talk about apples, bread, water, milk, eating, drinking, a man, a woman, a girl and a boy. Still, I reckon I could get by on that. But there’s more! So much more. And it’s a bit like playing a game. I’m very excited.

Ten has just taken Poppet out for the shortest walk in the history of going outside, and I can hear him telling her she will have SOOOO MUCH FUN today, but I’m not sure she’s interested in tenses.

Gotta get ready to travel – in the meantime here’s a little tumblr I made the other day elaine4queen.tumblr.com/day/2013/12/14

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6 thoughts on “Solstice and Shenanigans

  1. Anna

    I’ve been thinking about duolingo too but didn’t want to break my brain messing around with something that didn’t stick. Might give it a better try in the new year then! Have a good time at the seaside.

    • Thank you! It’s nice being away, although kind of challenging as well, even though it’s not very far away.

      I was going to push harder at the French because I know some already and I wanted to carry on with something I could already make sentences in. But then I thought at least starting Spanish would be more useful, and straight away I was totally overcome by not being able to remember words. I seem to have resorted to the magician’s ‘palace of memory’ technique. I am remembering mujer (woman) by picturing a woman with cow print hair – MOO HAIR! Stupid, but it worked. Lets hope I have something equally stoopid and memorable for ALL THE WORDS.

      • Anna

        I think where I am most likely to fall down is all that weird gendering European languages do that we just don’t have in English. I can kind of muddle through the general gist when I’m reading e.g Spanish or Italian sometimes but *speaking* it and understanding native speakers is… problematic.

        Mnemonics are funny aren’t they? Now I want to see a book of women with moo hair and things like that. :)

  2. I attempted to learn some Swedish with an app, which I THINK was Duolingo, and I’ve already forgotten all the things I learned except “hi.” I need to pick that back up. I am hellbent on being able to converse, at least a little, with Andreas’ children!

    HAPPY SOLSTICE! And happy travels! And Poppet’s festive torn-up reindeer made me giggle. That should be your Christmas card next year!

    • I WAS going to do an xmas card with it this year – with a story. I had it all planned. Then time passed and shit happened and I had to give up on the idea… for the time being.

      I’ll bet Andreas’s kids will know some English – song lines – and probably won’t let you even start to talk Swedish. Also, you can say some words and they will enjoy mocking your weird accent. The only word I remember from the HOURS of Swedish telly I’ve been watching is ‘precis’ which is ‘exactly’. My guess is you could say that to everything that anyone says to you, and it would do you. As long as you don’t mind what the outcome is. I mean, you’re agreeing, so what can go wrong?

      I’ve had a lot of mileage out of ‘hola nino’ with a very small child who is biingual in Spanish. We used it for a kind of game of ‘boo!’ – but that’s a very age specific game!

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