Friday, 29 January 2010

Mr Fix-it strikes again...

We had four packages delivered today, by no less than three postmen (now, there's efficiency for you!). But the end result was David had everything he needed to fix my computer - yay!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Goodbye, old friend!

My lovely old sunflower design iMac died this morning. I was woken by the sound of David's printer restarting after a power outtage, coincidentally seconds before my alarm went off. And my first thought was for my iMac which I had left on, and which had suffered a few power cuts lately due to the stove tripping the power safety switch. I was right, of course. When I gave its mouse its usual morning wakeup shuffle, shortly after feeding the cat, I was greeted by a continually black screen. It was old, I know, but it worked great. We have everything backed up so I'll be able to recover all my stuff when we eventually buy me a new Mac. And, in the meantime, David fortunately upgraded his Powerbook last year, so I have his old one to use. But its not the same. I dont want new and modern, I want my old one back! Was there ever such a beautifully designed desktop computer?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

A few of my favourite vampire things....

I was talking about vampires with some online buddies the other day (as you do!) and it got me thinking about some of my favourite vampire short stories, books and films. Now let's get this right out there at the start - I have not read any of the Twilight books nor seen the films and I wont be (I base this, some might say rash, statement on the author's other book, The Host. There are times as an expat that you are so desperate to read something in english that you can be easily led into what you know is a bad library-borrowing decision, but NEVER again!)

I've always loved a good horror story and still have my first book of Edgar Allen Poe stories, that I nicked from my brother and my book of the Best Ghost Stories - included in which is Le Fanu's Carmilla, a fantastic vampire novella. I loved Bram Stroker's Dracula and recently found an excellent BD adaptation at the library. In the last year or so I read the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, a terrific historic vampire read.

Some of the best vampire movies I've seen are Bram Stoker's Dracula (of course), Nadja (although all that pixelling got in the way of an excellent vampire story) and From Dusk till Dawn (more for the Clooney factor and the excellent first half than the second half where it goes off into vampire territory). Oh and not forgetting the Lost Boys, which appealed to my teenage self and which summed up teenage vampires, well before Buffy (loved it!) and Angel (meh) and those T people came along. Interview with a Vampire was pretty cool too (the book was so much better) but was completely let down by the miscast blonded Tom Cruise.

But what I had forgotten, until this discussion started, was seeing an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1999 at the Princess Theatre by the Fractal Theatre Company. And the internet being what it is, I found their FB page with a whole lot of video and still photos. What I loved about this production (and their production of the Fall of the House of Usher that we saw in 1994) was their amazing use of the theatre space and that the audience followed the players around. I remember the audience followed someone downstairs to the "crypt" and we were all there in the dark watching a scene around a coffin, with Van Helsing, I think, when Dracula came up silently behind me and scared the crap out of me! And he was a pretty impressive Dracula too...

So anyone got any favourite vampire reads or movies to share (and please don't mention the T word!)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Jasper in the snow

We had such a lovely lot of snow on Monday and Tuesday that Jasper has been spending his afternoons in the park in his snow gear. Our usual summer haunt, l'éveché park was a foot deep in pristine snow, before they cleared the paths, and was a beautiful spot to play with the beach toys! If you listen closely in the video you'll hear the progress Jasper has made in his french. In the last month or so, he has started speaking it quite fluently, although still with some errors, of course and with a funny little accent, that will be soon gone.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Et bonne année grand-mère!

After our slightly lacklustre Christmas, we spent New Year's Eve in the company of our good friends Stéphanie and family. Under Stéph's careful tutorage we prepared a traditional réveillon français together - foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon and taramasalata - all washed down with an excellent champagne and some sweet white wine (did I mention I have new champagne flutes - one would almost think I am a grown-up with all this new glassware!)

Happy New Year everyone!