Sunday, October 21, 2007


I am not sure that it is possible that I am the first to see this, but did you catch the news???

Dumbledore is gay!

Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.

She then explained that Dumbledore was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, whom he defeated long ago in a battle between good and bad wizards. "Falling in love can blind us to an extent," Rowling said of Dumbledore's feelings, adding that Dumbledore was "horribly, terribly let down."

Dumbledore's love, she observed, was his "great tragedy."

This may go some distance to reducing homophobia, eh?

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Today is St Luke's day. Apparently the weather is often mild on this day, as indeed it is in East Anglia today, hence the expression luke warm!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New layout

In order to edit the links section, I had to choose a new layout for the blog. Looks almost the same as the old one to me. We can move things around, and try other colour variants. Any suggestions (constructive only!) then please blog them...........


Monday, October 15, 2007

Fame (nearly) at last

The adult choir I'm in were asked to sing some appropriate music (ie 1520) at the opening of the new church at the open air museum at St fagans yesterday. The museum pick up old buildings and reconstruct them on a large site and get them historically accurate so you can see how people lived and worked iin them. this church has been disused since 1850 and they have spent the last few years dismantling it and rebuilding it as it would have been in 1520. One of our choir works as a part time guide there and suggested us to sing as people were coming in etc. Fine, ok we thought. However it was all rather grander than we realised. We had 3 (yes 3) Archbishops - the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of Wales, and the Archbishop of Cardiff (who is the Catholic one) and tv cameras, etc etc! Luckily we were behind the rood screen and not very visible - if you can pull up the action shot we are just visible behind the guy singing the Salve Regina
I have no idea what we sounded like in the attached marquee where lots of people were sitting, but it went ok I think. None of our groupies ( ie partners of members) said ie was dire. They have done a stunning job on the rebuilding though

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dali museum...

We took the girls off to the Dali museum...which was crappy..over crowded. abysmally curated and poorly maintained...that said, we had some fun.

First we gilded youngest's arm and hand:

Then we let Eldest have a Rocky Horror moment that presages bad things for the next decade or so...

Some of it was fun...though overall, I wouldn't go if I were you.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A few words of advice

For my dear family, a few friendly words of advice. Don't ever purchase Tile Loc laminate flooring from B&Q for your homes. It fools you into thinking it is an attractive, low-cost option with which to cover your kitchen floor, it comes with an instruction dvd that further hoodwinks you into thinking the fitting process will be simple and that the strips will just magically click together and that you'll be finished in time for Strictly Come Dancing on a Saturday evening....don't believe a bloody word of it, it's RUBBISH!!!

However, the tears and tantrums (believe it or not that was Carl not me) are now over and it looks fabulous but I have two words: NEVER. AGAIN.

Love Kate xxxx

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I will proceed no futher with the Browning poem than the title.
Anyway, yesterday we were walking the dog in a stubble field. As we walked up the hill about 20 t0 30 rats ran out of the field in front or us, crossed our path, and ran towards a ditch by the side of the field.
It was so wierd. I have never seen so many at once.
It could be that they were disturbed by the ploughing going on in the adjacent field or maybe there are more of them due to the recent addition to Saffron Walden of a skatepark nearby and all the discarded food that goes with that. Or maybe we are like the anithesis of the pied piper of Hamelin and rats run away from us. Needless to say, Gromit proved again how far evolved he is from the wolf by totally ignoring them.
While I am on the subject I would just like to say that it always pleases me that the Black Rat's Latin name is Ratus Ratus. It's like Lineus got to naming it on a Friday evening when he wanted to go to the pub and just said Oh that'll do!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I didn't used to have this question....

OK British grammar's a pressing ESL question.

One of the grammar texts I am using with quite advanced students states that you can use these phrases, and others like them quite correctly.

I didn't used to like carrots.

Did you used to swim every day?

Now in N.Am, the only folks who use this kind of phrasing live far back in the Ozarks and haven't seen education beyond the third grade for several generations. They haven't been employed as long as anyone can remember and their uncle ain't neither...get my drift?

Well, this book was published in Oxford UK in 2003, making me wonder if these grammatical structures have a totally different implication on this side of the pond.

Please let me know, m'kay?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Erin is quite correct. Mike does look a bit odd in that picture. I think I was focusing on the food!

I should be like Christine and just take a picture of the food and nothing else!

Here is another picture of Mike with Erin and me at Mont St Michel

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Bonjour ma famille

We have returned from Brittany having had a very nice time. Rambling on the coast and eating! We watched some of the Rugby world cup on the tv and were pleased to find that French rugby commentators actually say Oo la la

When we arrived the lady who owned the gite thought that Trev spoke french like a native! French people always think we will be french because our surname is one of the commonest in France. However, usually that impression doesn't last for long. And before you ask she did not seem deaf, drunk or mad!

The gite was very nice although I was glad that I only discovered Aragog living in the downstairs loo on the penultimate day of the holiday. Even Trev didn't have the courage to evict him. Maybe he was there to avenge Laurent the lizard whose tail I managed to chop off when shutting the window. He looked a bit stunned but he did walk off later. The tail twitching in the window was rather unpleasant.

Erin and her boyfriend Mike came over for a few days in the second week thanks to Ryan air and Dinard airport which is little bigger than our local train station!

Here are some pictures.

This is the Pont De Normandie which we crossed on the way. It crosses the Seine between Le Havre and Honfluer. An amazing structure. It's so steep it's a bit like the escalator to Heaven in a "Matter of Life and Death"

Here is the Port de Dinan which was a 10 minute walk from our house. We tried many of the eateries there.

Here are some old men playing petanque. Not so unusual, I hear you say. However if you look closely you will see that they each have a bit of string at the end of which there is a magnet. When it is time to retrieve their balls they just put the magnet on the ball and voila no bending.

Here is a picture of the coast from the coastal Grand Radonee that we did bits of.

This is a view from the very top of Fort du Latte, reached by stone steps up a roof with a rope banister to cling on to, and I mean cling!

Finally here is the plateau de fruit de mer being admired by Erin and her boyfriend Mike. That was for all four of us.