Life, photos but not the universe

Il Pleut

Il pleut

Il pleut

Goodness, how those two words take me back. To a grim, grubby classroom, with walls painted a strange, yellowish shade of green and wooden desks with names and strange hieroglyphics carved in them and Mrs Woolcott.  Who, in spite of her name, was French.  With an impenetrable accent and masses of French chic of the petite and pretty kind (as opposed to the sultry and glamourous kind).  Think, navy pencil skirt and white blouse with a ruffle down the front and a touch of red somewhere in the outfit. (belt?) And perhaps a matching navy jacket, elegantly tailored.  High stiletto heels and very neat legs.  Also flashing eyes and red lipstick.

It mattered not what the weather was doing outside the windows of the nissan hut in which we were learning French.  Inside, il pleut.  I have a feeling that ‘it rains’ is the same as ‘it rained’??  Oh I’m going to have to look that up now!  Oh no – I’m quite wrong.  Il pleuvait.  In the classroom, whatever the weather in the real world, il pleuvait toujours.

I remember not being quite sure which was more amazing, that the unknown Mr Woolcott should have chosen to marry a woman who could be barely be understood in English or that the impeccably smart, red-haired, little foreigner should have chosen to marry a man who lived in this wet grimy country and should then compound her error (surely an error) by choosing to come to this miserable excuse for a classroom and try to convey the glory of the French language to a group of uncomprehending, sulky, small teens!

A later French teacher was Miss Axe.  Actually not at all fitted by her name.  (though naturally we called her ‘the battleaxe’).  She was a jolly lady with short dark hair and a little bit of a weight problem.  When I took my O level French oral (the trial run – I forget what they were called) I flummoxed Miss Axe by getting a fit of the giggles.  We agreed that our giggles were very french even if they contained no actual french words!  She was rather nice, I realised 🙂

Anyway.  Right now, il pleut.  Quite a lot.  So I won’t be going out with the camera today and as it turns out, Barney won’t be going out either so here we are sorting stamps and blogging while I’m attempting to halve my carbon footprint by drying the washing in the tumble dryer and hoping the heat from it will warm us up.  At least it doesn’t leak though it does cover the windows with condensation.  Not sure how effective the warming will be as a result.

Now I’m going to be even more frugal and warm myself by hoovering.

washing away the last leaves

washing away the last leaves

leaf layers

leaf layers

A blessing

A blessing of light

And blessings on you all.

(It’s stopped raining by the way 🙂


November 11, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Well, the environment thanks you! As does the carpet and the laundry, I’m sure.

    As for me–when il pleut I celebrate with the farmers. Unless the farmers are muttering about too MUCH moisture–which is what they’re doing presently with fields half harvested…….which means I get to mutter. LOL (only cuz I can blame ’em, dontchaknow!)

    But the view here is too lovely for muttering–watching leaves flutter and float is my idea of serenity. And I needed a batch of it — thanks for knowing that!

    ((((( Mig )))))

    You’re a blessing, yaknowthat?
    Kinda been missin’ ya…….

    Our farmers have had more than enough pleur (? Help, ILTV) this year what with floods and wet harvests and all that! You feel free to mutter as much as you like – I love a good mutter 🙂 xxxxx
    Am doing a post on extreme business and distractedness – I still love you. more x’s and hugs dear Mel

    Comment by Mel | November 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. My French teacher was Mr Castagnera who was the most frightening man I’ve ever met, guaranteed to terrify me despite the fact that he had the most ridiculous walk, a la (oh, how French) John Cleese in his Ministry of Silly Walks mode.

    I once met a Mr Castagnera…he wasn’t small and wizened by any chance? (The one I met lived in Devon but he might have moved?)

    Comment by Thursday | November 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. Never took french..
    I had greek, latin, korean, arabic, hebrew and several slavic languages..
    but never french…
    now I am sitting here wondering why not?
    oh and a smattering of German in my 20’s.
    I hope it rains all day here …
    need rain..
    send rain..
    il pleut s’il te plait

    I would be pleased to send some of it to you Sorrow but sadly, the weather doesn’t often do what I want either!
    Wow! You are multilingual! I do envy that and the ability to follow all those beautiful scripts. They tried to teach me Greek at school but it was a bit of a non-starter. I had such good results one year in the academic duds’ stream that they promoted me to the higher achieving stream where you had to do more academic stuff and Latin or Greek were obligatory. But three years into the syllabus! No way!
    (Nonetheless, a passion for Greek mythology made it possible to understand a lot more Greek in Greece than Barney which made me feel quite clever now and then 🙂

    Comment by sorrow | November 12, 2008 | Reply

  4. French! now there’s a subject close to my heart

    my French teacher hated me, as my accent was Versailles and hers was Marseilles. . . didn’t do very well in my mocks when she took the exam, but got on fine in the real thing when I had an outside adjudicator

    what also irritated her was the fact that my brain knew things in French which it understood, but I couldn’t translate into English and she hadn’t taught those things to us anyhow! now I understand that I had a partially bilingual brain as a teen, from so much time spent in France and talking French at home to our exchange pals when they came to stay with us. . .

    rain: la pluie

    it’s raining: il pleut

    it was raining: il pleuvait (as you said!)

    it rained: il a plu

    it had rained: il avait plu

    if it had not rained: si elle n’avait pas plu

    it is pouring: Il est coulée (I think the direct translation breaks down at this point, somewhat, and we’re now talking about jugs not cats and dogs!!)

    Comment by I, Like The View | November 15, 2008 | Reply

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