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24 February 2012

This damn French 'R'


Why the French language needs to complicate things by including a 'R' sound that is near impossible to pronounce, I'll never know. Words that begin with the letter 'R' are not too bad, I can roll off 'ravi' and 'remplir'. But words that fit in an R throughout the word like 'prendre' I struggle with. And don't even get me started on words like the one for locksmith 'serrurier' - it's just not going to happen. God forbid I ever lock myself out in a French speaking country.

The linguistic guru Steve Kauffman assures us that this, like any new sound will eventually come naturally. So I imagine that one day I'll be wandering around the house chatting on the phone to all my French speaking friends and 'Voila!', out of my mouth will emerge the perfect rolling, phlegm-rattling 'R' sound. Doves will fly from the trees, unicorns will prance in elation, and all the French speaking people of the world will dab tears from their overcome eyes, at its perfection.

In an effort to bring this about avec la vitesse, and claim my fluency tiara, I have arranged to have a lesson via Skype with Erika from France in return for 30 minutes of English conversation practice. I'm sure her language skills will be far superior to mine, but I have decided to not worry about the grammar, or the tenses. Instead, I will just try to communicate, enjoy the experience of chatting with a native speaker and hopefully make a new friend.

Souhaite-moi bonne chance!

14 February 2012

The Ever Salubrious Pilbara

Tomorrow I turn 33: a highly suitable age, I think. I absolutely refuse to work on my birthday - it just seems wrong. So back in December, I creatively wrangled the roster and scored both Rob and me a few days off together to celebrate. We've decided to drive to Point Samson tomorrow, a little seaside village here in the Pilbara, and plan to stay overnight in a little family run B&B overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean assuming we can get a room. Word is that there is also good fish and chips there - something that is lacking in Port Hedland! Now that's worth driving 218 kilometres for!

I plan on taking my sketchbook and my watercolours, and spending the day sipping on G&T's and painting. See you on the other side lovelies xxx