Monday, 16 July 2007

Empty days 1, 2, 3 ...

It's been raining.

A lot.

I have some annoying (and probably lethal) bug. Unfortunately no picture available. Do not talk to strange bugs!

Might issue further reports in near future, possibly from beyond the grave. At the moment my head is just fit for extremely light reading. TV-guide maybe. Comic books. Barbara Cartland if I had any.

Good night.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Precious moments of parenthood - vol. 1 (Downside of Progress or The Tale of a Drawer)

Sir Sprout crammed his fingers into a drawer this morning. One moment he was happily decorating the bedroom floor with a tasteful arrangement of socks and tights; the next bawling angrily, little fingers stuck.

I blame modern furniture design. Them blasted drawers sliding smoothly and quietly. The progress and technological revolution and evils of consumer-oriented capitalism.

This would never have happened back when it never rained, grass was greener and I was still sporting nappies (the environment-friendly cloth kind, not that my mother had any choice in the matter). I still have to put in at least weeks worth of gym sessions to brave the drawers back in my parents house. They're big. Heavy. And in constant state of being stuck.

In short - very baby-friendly. No 10-month old could cultivate adequate muscle to pry them open.

Considerable body mass is required to actually close those. It's almost ritual-like - first you steady yourself making sure all available limbs are firmly pressed either against the floor or the drawer. Then you breathe in, concentrate and charge in. On a good day it results in closed drawer. On a typical day you end up with ridiculously tilted drawer, one corner disappearing into the unit, another one sticking out.

I won't even start with horrors of trying to get the blasted drawer open to close it again.

So you see, it's nothing to do with neglectful parenting or lack of supervision.

Oh, and Sir Sprout is fine. He will not have to go through life with flat fingers.
Quite sure he'll stick us into crappiest nursing home available though.
Oh well.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Language barrier à la Foreigner by Default

I have never had too many illusions about my proficiency in English. Truth is I manage fine and some of my friends have hearts big enough to call me fluent but it is still not my mother tongue and well, things happen.

For years I was living in happy knowledge that "spring water" is something which is only collected seasonally. During precious 3 months a year. Maybe it's something to do with snow melting or dropping cherry blossoms giving it this extra special taste and purity, I don't know. Never really stopped to think about it. Just recently I was reading a book in the bed when a real meaning hit me. Nobody explained anything, it was suddenly just there, so simple and clear and logical I was wondering how come it never occurred to me before.

While one could kind of see where I was coming from with the spring water case the next example doesn't really make any sense at all. Yet it never bothered me, just accepted the fact that language can be pretty quirky.

I often heard The Ultimate Other Half discussing sports with other Male Specimens. That's what the Lad League does when they get together - sit down and talk sports. Or maybe computers if you're lucky. DIY if you're really blessed. Of course if you're not lucky or blessed you can just be smart and not be there at all. But that's besides the point.

The point is I noticed they often referred to "paper view" games. Since I wasn't really terribly interested in the subject to start with I only wondered about it briefly. Are they drawing graphs to catch all the finer details of the beautiful game (read "bunch of sweaty guys rushing around the huge field")? Or have they just missed the game on TV and read about it in the newspaper?

Usually I just shrugged and went back to counting the cracks on the ceiling or (if properly prepared) solving kiddycrosswords, only coming to my senses for long enough to state that yes, I would like another beer.

Once again the moment of enlightenment came utterly out of blue. I was doing something like chopping an aubergine or clipping my toenails when it came to me: of course it's Pay Per View! Duh! Isn't it just so obvious.

Confessed about my misinterpretations to The Ultimate Other Half who thought them a great joke.

Getting more fluent in the language will not prevent mishaps like that. It's more about your brain pulling out the first available drawer, finding something that "will do" in it and then not bothering to look further. Plain old laziness.

Doesn't that just sum me up nicely!

One step at the time

Being a beginner foreigner is quite a challenge even for an accomplished traveler, nevermind the Citizen by Default. The list of Things To Deal With isn't that long really, just a tad overwhelming. Here it comes:

  1. They're doing everything arseways here (meaning not the way you're used to; that being Wrong by Default)
  2. You're not at home
Threeandsomething years, one Ultimate Other Half, three addresses, one dog and one baby later the list has changed somewhat. Now it is good for both New Home Ground AND Old Home Ground and it goes like that:

  1. They're doing everything arseways here/there
  2. You're a bit confused where the home is
Alas, you have become a Foreigner by Default. Congratulations, you may collect your prize at the Passport Control.
Anybody else got an inkling that the problem might be me?

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