Archive for December, 2012

A certain light

20/12/2012

For the past few days I have been reading Ancient Light by John Banville. I don’t really know how I ended up reading it, Amazon had been recommending it to me quite a bit and they seemed to slip it into an order and then there it was when I openned up a delivery.
I think I would have finished reading it by now if I hadn’t had to stop reading on a regular basis to look up words I had not read before. It got to the level of three words on one page! The words I looked up and noted in my notebook are:
Lubricious, mephitic, aurate, bedizen, peristalsis, umber, neurasthenia, ichor, penumbra, stipple, wrack, turbid, vermiform, susurrate, chrism, concupiscence, homunculus, ague, tumbrel, purlieu, integument, caducous. and sqama.
With another 80 pages to go I’m sure this list will be added to.
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SNCF drop a bollock

16/12/2012

Having booked tickets with the French national rail carrier, SNCF, they have my email address and SNCFsend me occasional emails letting me know about good deals etc. Just as any sensible company does their marketing. However, their recent email (above) was a a bit of a mistake. They tried to entice me onto the train to visit Christmas Markets. Living in Strasbourg, the ‘Capital of Christmas’ why would I want to go anywhere else to a Christmas Market?

OK the city is rammed – it was very difficult walking to the pub to see City defeat Newcastle 3-1 yesterday due to the large number of people, and, I may wish to visit other markets, having got bored of Strasbourg’s? So lets take a look at where they suggest I go, one of the historic ones in Dresden, Bautzen or Vienna? One of the major attractions, say Dortmund, Erfurt, Nuremberg, Dresden, Stuttgart or Augsburg? No, of course not they are all in Germany or Austria and this is the French national rail company. The choice I was offered are:

SNCF II

Metz? Seriously, Metz? When it’s so close to Meh? But more important where do they say Metz is? Alsace. As any fule know Metz is in Lorraine. Oh dear SNCF.

Everything’s gone green & crazy English

05/12/2012

On Friday I went to see some people about work after Christmas and cycled through an area of Strasbourg called Esplanade to get there. I have been along this route several times, particularly when I used to go Fencing but I was either on the tram or did not have my camera. This time I did and I reproduce for you a picture of two tower blocks.

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So what? They’re tower blocks, just the ame as in any other city? The black panels facing us are not just any cladding but are solar panels, facing the south. So, the building will not just consume electricity  but generate it too.  Something I think is good and I’m pleased to see the Council making an effort to reduce the environmental impact. They have a plan for this which can be read here.

On a separate note, whilst making my way home on Friday I passed a shop that had closed down. In its window was the following sign:

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What is a ‘relooking’ apart from another bastardisation of the English language when swallowed into French. Just the same as using parking as a noun for the car park or talking about trainings for training courses. Grrrrr!

The title comes from one of the first singles from New Order, one of the many fabulous tracks from the band, after they stopped being Joy Division, enjoy:


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