8 – Faces of Despair

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning and I’m walking to the park for a run. A bank of stony faces greet me as I walk up the road. The miserable faces of The French on a Sunday morning. Grey slate faces plodding along the road to get their sodding baguettes. Nothing can cheer them up. I smile at a few as I pass but nothing can stir them from their misery. Not even wine, sex and feasting, which they apparently do so well. I pass one – mid thirties, well dressed – who looks so utterly sad, it’s hard to imagine that a smile has ever crossed his face. It’s true, he could have suffered from some bad news, but I’ve seen him before and he always looks this: The face of despair. Continue reading “8 – Faces of Despair”

7 – The French

1. There’s a Travalator that links one floor of the Carrefour where I get my lunch, to the next floor. So why is it that everyday as I’m madly dashing to grab something to eat before my next lesson, everybody’s  standing still on it like dummies on a production line being conveyor-belted up to the second floor. Why can’t they walk: it’s an aid, not a fairground ride you hop on and off. Continue reading “7 – The French”

6 – Champagne Scaffolding

Champagne Scaffolding call 04567 865712. That’s the sign I can see from my window. They’re rebuilding some flats opposite and that’s the company they’re using. It’s Sunday afternoon; the day I least like out of the seven offered to us each week. But the name has cheered me up. Champagne scaffolding. What would it be back home: Mike’s Scaffolding. Guaranteed erections in any weather! Continue reading “6 – Champagne Scaffolding”

5 – Salad Pot

I was eating a ham salad in the staff room yesterday for lunch. Or so I thought. I buy these salad pots for lunch from Carrefour where they have, not just the three or four you can buy in Tesco or Sainsbury, but forty, maybe more. I’ve had prawn pasta salad, Surimi salad,  cous cous salad, beef salad, olive salad, turkey salad, coleslaw salad, and egg salad. Continue reading “5 – Salad Pot”

4 – TEFL again

When I start teaching a new set of students I write a few individual words on the board relating to my life; the idea being that they have to guess the question to the answer. It’s a nice GET TO KNOW YOU GAME (GTKG) to break the ice. In teaching books it’s called The Ice Breaker! I scrawl on the board in my spidery handwriting words like Bristol (Where are you from?); 23 (How old are you?); Leeds Utd (What’s your favourite football team).  Admittedly, we’re talking trivial stuff, but one of my answers is OGLEY and it’s always the one nobody gets. I’m either a town, an English dish, the name of my son, or a drink. When I tell them it’s my name we all have a laugh. For about a second. Continue reading “4 – TEFL again”

3 – Cordon Bleu De Dinde

I have developed a serious addiction to Cordon Bleu De Dinde. A highly processed turkey escalope filled with reformed ham and undisclosed generic cheese. It’s basically a French Chicken Kiev – but flatter. I’m not a fan of this kind of food, but for some strange reason, served with a can of lentils or green beans, they taste great and I’m struggling to give them up. Each day I wander out to buy food and each day I arrive back with a packet of the damn things. Although, I did try something different the other day that was like a pork pie but without the pie. I can’t remember what it was called but for some reason it didn’t agree with me, which is unusual as I eat virtually anything. I hope it wasn’t dog food. Continue reading “3 – Cordon Bleu De Dinde”