A flag is a piece of fabric, often flown from a pole or mast, generally used symbolically for signaling or identification. NOT

Photo credit : Muriel
So on paper the idea seemed like a good one, but now I am drawn between totally loving the finished product and cringing internally so much so that my soul dies a little. BACKTRACK! Once upon a time in a little town in the south of France four language assistants were living in harmony alongside militaries, students, camembert and stripped t-shirt wearing French men. Having been asked to write an article for the newspaper about their experiences and life at the LMA the girls realised an accompanying group photo would add a little punch and personality to what they had written. Under the influence of the Provencal sun and copious amounts of coffee, some bright spark (cough cough don’t mention your name Lorna) suggested a flag theme and innocently they all agreed. Fast forward two weeks and add into the mix 4 flags or varying sizes, a handful of safety pins and a lot of professional lighting you end up with the above. Eat your heart out Geri Halliwell cerca Spiceworld 1997!


J'aime celui qui rêve l'impossible (Goethe)

I only have 6 weeks left of my current work contract and I hadn't thought about it until my dad did that great dad routine of asking me what I was going to do next. So now I'm freaking out and decided that a bit of poetic self reflection should take place ... humm queue massive amounts of procrastination. OH and you know what the most frustrating thing is, I can't even escape to the pub cos I've given up alcohol for Lent. Bah error!


Back to basics

I've just finished my first roll of film since I abandoned what my auntie would call my only real camera over 6 years ago and although at times I got seirously fustrated with it I dont think I've ever been that excited waiting to see how my photos turned out. (WOW that was a long sentence ... English teacher fail!) These are the first three shots of the lycée school ski trip to Puy St Vincent. Seriously great skiski antics.


When can we emigrate?

(Second photo here)

So the February school holidays have finished after a whirlwind of skiing and French tourism and to add a perfect end to a perfect holiday I've spent the day at Fal and Rach's where we made a huge family brunch (picture eggs, sausages, bacon, beans, toast, marmite, jam, juice, coffee etc) so my extended dysfunctional (and obviously much loved) group of friends could all met up after our two weeks apart to share stories, eat, drink and laugh. Hummmm ... despite the fact France is where I want to be right now; I can't help but feel terribly Canadsick deep down. Suppose you never really get over your first love ♥♥♥



The extended Stokes clan are currently hanging with me in the South of France and we're eating a lot ... in fact I think any French man would be proud of the amount of camembert we have consumed in 4 days! Apart from eating (and snoozing between more eating) we climbed la Sainte Victoire, a pretty ugly looking triangular mountain just outside Aix (which Cezanne painted more than 50 times in the last few years of his life). It snowed at the top, so we ate some chocolate Lu biscuits to compensate. Yumyum.


Il vaut mieux être bourré que con, ça dure moins longtemps ...

Military balls and Lorna don't mix; in fact merely posting these photos is bringing back far too many haunting memories. It's astonishing to think that 4 pretty girls in seriously uncomfortable heels could create so much destruction. I woke up at 8am in my bed, still in my dress with makeup smeared all over my face, surrounded by Pringles and snuggled next to my flat mates; none of us remember why or how we got back there but we all unfortunately remember the major embarrassing moments of the evening. Dam I need to start acting my age. On a slightly related tangent, I need to move house or on the less extreme find a new place to take photos of us all, fire extinguishers in the corridor outside my place hardly add to the glam outfit vibe we were trying for, grrrr!


By day

Suppose these are photos of what I see every day ; waking up to sky so blue it looks fake, wandering into Aix to drink coffee with Fal and Rach through its jungle of little streets and bonkers graffiti and then catching the sunset from the bridge I walk across on my way home.

TGIF! Apero time ...

I've just got back from a week of military skiing in the Alps and can no longer feel my extremities. I need beer and a shower and I need them now!


Brekkie with Hakim

So after all this failure (skiing, swimming, French grammar in general, the ability to stay normal and transmit a non mental image to my students etc etc) I thought it would be a good idea to talk about something I do well, EATING! Basically I looked like this ... to eat bread and yummy home made loganberry jam. Yum yum yum



There are many many things I have done in my life and should probably regret but then my life would be so much more boring without having done them ... donning a swimming costume and goggles in front of 800 of my students and 40 military personnel and swimming in my school swimming gala is probably one of these activities. Apparently I swim like a 'fer à repasser' (an iron) which is the French equiv of swimming like a rock, but hey, dignity was created to be lost, non?

I spent an hour pre swim taking photos with the above camera (a Nikon D700 belonging to my very trusting photography teacher) and lets just say I don't think I will ever be able to look at my little Cannon 450D in the same way!

Oh and by the way; that last photo is about as much swimming costume exposure you're going to get, donning a cossie in front of 800 students is one thing, but putting them online, ha, do you think I'm totally stupid?! In fact, don't answer that ...


Fail. Fail again. Fail better!

So I'm not exactly the worlds best skier (see above photo for confirmation of how I spend most of my time on the slopes ... and yes I actually landed like that!) but the sunshine, the snow, the laughter and of course the après ski make it all worth while. I got out skied by my bosses 6 year old daughter on Sunday, indeed she stopped numerous times to help me get up off my ass and proceeded to give me tips to improve my technique. I'm heading off skiing with the military on Saturday for a week so it's going to be a daily case of fail, fail again and fail better! Anyone have any recommendations for a good health insurance program?

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