Monday, 7 January 2013

Internal memos and breakfast meetings

I got an internal memo today in the internal post. Some of my readers, including the four Russians (Zdravstvujtye, by the way, and welcome) probably get internal mail all the time. Their desks are veritable mountains of internal memos and notes. But my desk isn't. I've never had an internal memo because I've never worked anywhere big enough for there to be a need for internal post. If something needed to be widely circulated, all twenty of us would be told on-shift. Easy.

But I got an internal memo, and the subject thereof was the many holidays that are coming up. My favourite has to be Ascension, the day commemorating Jeshua-Bar-Joseph's return to Heaven. If you believe that to be true, then you may well spend the day in church, but since the French believe in committing to holidays, I am looking at a five-day weekend in May. I'm seriously excited by this prospect and so I would be indebted to you if you could recommend places in Europe to spend my days. I may even try to find somewhere with a church, because although I am not a believer, the love and care that has been put into - and continues to be lavished upon - cathedrals and their like is worth seeing.

It occurred to me suddenly that I had left a riddle without an answer over the weekend, and I can only apologise. The riddle was Black pool, and it turns out that Blackpool, England is etymologically twinned with the town of Dubhlinn or in English: Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland.

Today's question (these seem to be turning into QI questions) is as follows: Santa has 9 reindeer. But why has nobody ever seen Donner?

In brief, today I finished stamping envelopes and typing up handwritten evaluation notes. I am always surprised when anyone hopes to get useful data from named evaluations, especially when the writers are less powerful than those who will receive them. There is always a worry that the writer will be pulled over hot coals or invited for an interview without coffee, which might be worse.

My English-teaching colleague is back today, and my French-teaching colleague on Wednesday, so with any luck I might be teaching and learning again before long. A brilliant reason to teach came from my Monday student today who, incredibly sweetly, has bought me a French film as a Christmas present. It's called Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis and is, by all accounts, the funniest French film in the history of the world. I absolutely cannot wait to watch it, but I have to get an early night, as I have a morning meeting tomorrow.

Again, I know there will be rolling of eyes as veterans of the morning meeting read this but again, I say, this is new to me. I have worked in bars for most of my career; the earliest meeting we ever had was 3pm. The prospect of coffee and croissants while discussing a project in French with a co-worker is really very exciting, and no amount of eyeball-rolling will make me think otherwise.

So: a morning meeting, an early start (which means an early finish), an opportunity to put on a recipe for pork and sweet potato stew that I got from my Aunt and a fantastic French film to watch as it cooks.

Tomorrow looks absolutely marvelous from here.