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On Gluten
July 23, 2016
03:26 PM

On Gluten

A long long time ago I studied Archaeology in University college Cork. One of the things which has for some reason lodged in my brain was that the advent of Plantago Landceolata (Plantain), or as we call them in Cork "Soldiers", was the indication that man started to farm as well as hunt (they being weeds of cultivation and needing ground cleared for cultivation to flourish).
This happened roughly the late Mesolithic, the end of the Paleolithic, but before the Neolithic sometime between 10,00 and 8,000 BC (as we used to say then)
Anyway as wheat is reckoned to have been the first crop farmed we, that is man, have been eating wheat, bread and its derivitates for certainly the last 10,000 years, and it appears thriving on it.


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Nuits del Catet
03:18 PM

Nuits del Catet

Catet (333x500).jpg


Exciting moment as they put the barriers in place for our own personal festival. I put claim to it because even though the events are spread among 5 local villages it always opens with a little concert on the steps of the Rue Del Catet which runs just by the side of our house and , consequently the name of this ruelle is included in the title of the festival.They put cushions on the steps and offer chairs about the top (It runs so close to our house that we have become a sort of unoffical green room for the artistes appearing as well as providing a branchement for the electrics and frequently a forgotten chair and even once umbrellas for a string quartet to protect their precious instruments during an unexpected shower.)This year, they will be playing for the first time with a background of our new Trompe l'Oeil and the concert is performed by Les Arties Chamber Orchestra performing works by Telemann,Mozart, Schubert and Dohnányi. This is truly one of our highlights, get here if you can, the concert is free ! Tomorrow Morning, tomorrow,Sunday 24th at 11.30.


Nuits-terrasses-2016.jpg


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Lost in Translation One Hundred and Thirteen
July 12, 2016
10:17 AM

Lost in Translation One Hundred and Thirteen

At a French dinner party last week I heard someone use the term "cul de sac" for a street without issue.
I was intrigued because this was one of the terms which was, I always thought, an English mis-translation of a french phrase.
When I asked my French friends they told me that; whereas "Voie Sans Issue", was the formal phrase which was normally stuck up in the signs, the colloquial "cul de sac" was more often used in conversation.

Another myth blown.

Not that the French have not taken some English words out of context and made them their own.
Le Smoking is the term for a dinner jacket via the Edwardian term for a Smoking Jacket which hasn't been used in England for years, like wise Le Dressing is their term for a walk-in wardrobe via (I guess) Dressing Room- a sort of 1920's British ancillary bedroom where the husband was sent in times of strain.

Shampooing is the French for Shampoo, a close one that but I got a laugh from my French friends when I told them about my experience lately in a wine shop. I asked for my wine in a 5 ltr. box, know in France as a BIB short for Bag-in-Box. Being just a little pedantic I pronounced bag-in-box as a french man would. The wine man smiled at me patronisingly and asked did we have the term also in English.


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Which one would you take home?
July 08, 2016
10:09 AM

Which one would you take home?

Siles Snaps 006 (500x375).jpg

I left the Picasso exhibition a little earlier than Síle yesterday
and said I would wait for her outside.


Síle took this shot as she emerged and noticed me next to a
like minded man. Rather callously she wants me to call it:

"Which one would you take home?"


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Lost in Translation One Hundred and Twelve
July 03, 2016
09:01 AM

Lost in Translation One Hundred and Twelve

We have a French family staying with us at the moment and Madame, who made the booking, shocked me somewhat by ordering two single rooms, for her and her brother, and a double "Pour mon pere et ma belle mere" I realise that the French have a reputation for broad minded behaviour but confessed to be shocked by the information that her Father and her Mother-in-law were happy to share a bed.
All however was explained by Síle, in France the term Belle Mere covers both the role of Mother-in law and step-mother.


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