Tuesday, 12 February 2013

In which our hero feels trapped. Inside a whale.

Ah, last minute projects. I love the way they turn everything into an irritating distraction. The bird that tweets gently outside the window becomes a whirring dentist's drill. The click of a stapler across the room is as loud as gunshot and the kettle boiling behind one could not be more distracting unless it was poured down one's back.

The first last minute project came in the form of an urgent translation. My colleague had fed it through Google translate, which had spat out strings of nonsense - more of a reflection on the original author than on Google. He has the most gorgeous style in French, but translating that to English just makes for rambling paragraphs with no clear point. We tend to prefer slightly shorter sentences; at least in press releases. In our private writing we can ramble for ever; clauses tumbling over sub-clauses, meaning lost somewhere in the flotsam and jetsam of what resembles, but may in fact never be - for, in truth, what can ever be said to be - the ending or conclusion of that which we, having started, must now find within our means to end.

Awful. My very fingers cringed as I wrote that.

I am yet to find a satisfactory translation for responsable; it's the person responsible for something else and therefore changes according to context. Despite that minor headache I completed the project on time and made my way to my now very empty looking office. All that we're keeping and moving to the new language center has been boxed and put into storage and we've invited the staff to take anything they wish; video cassettes and coffee-table books full of pictures of rich people's gardens seem particularly popular. They have descended and picked the shelves clean. The room appears eery now. Empty shelves and huge spaces where tables and chairs once were. It's like being inside a whale skeleton. Disconcerting. Still, with the plan I've made to guide them, the room will soon be full of students again.

Lunch was fantastic; there's a chef on the staff who seems to absolutely love his job. He's got such enthusiasm, and loves talking about the food he's serving. On his recommendation I had a beef dish; swimming with sauce and apricots. It was fantastic and enormously stodgy, and I suspect it tasted better because I'd not had anything in my stomach for about twenty hours before that moment. A recent acquaintance told me that we measure love in loss, and I think she was right. My delicious lunch proved her poetry.

The afternoon saw me finishing off my technical drawing, and here it is in all its technicolour glory:

Some people think colours should be understated. None of those people are me.
This one was more of a push, but with half an hour to spare it was complete and three dimensional. With the spare half-hour I brushed up on last week's grammar points before my French lesson. The lesson was okay; we didn't learn anything new at all and one student tried to pick holes in the language. I don't understand why anyone does that; there are exceptions and things one simply has to learn in any language - aside perhaps from Esperanto - and complaining and nit picking does nothing but slow the class down. Be a clever-clogs after class.

Homeward after, homework done, but no pancakes consumed. I suspect that may well be tomorrow's enjoyable task. I've mentioned it before, but my mother bought me a crêpe pan and I've got it well seasoned now. It is a thing of beauty, and I cannot wait to get it home and onto a hob that doesn't slant.

In other blog news, my friend Alexandra went to Amsterdam, Kate imagined herself West Winging, and in unrelated news the zombie apocalypse is starting over in Montana.

Oh, and I literally just picked up another two hour teaching gig. Happy days.