Thursday, 11 April 2013

Moving about again

I am in my new (new) and (I pray and I beg) permanent office!

The workmen finished off today, and I now have a gloriously open space, with a table for meetings and lessons as well as shelves for books and DVDs. I also have a blank wall, on which I could put posters or project English-language video clips. There will be Blackadder, Ab Fab, Fawlty Towers and the Office before my time here is out.

I arrived this morning feeling utterly washed out; I've not been sleeping particularly well recently and apparently staying up until you almost fall asleep is not the cure I thought it was. However, calls in rapid succession from my supervisor and my co-worker had my brain turning over like the finely-tuned engine it is. My supervisor needed a very boring task done in Excel, so I made a macro and watched with glee as my boring task got a lot easier. Macros are exceedingly cool little things, and if you use Excel a lot I recommend you learn how to use them.

I also had a small translation to do and a copy-edit to do on someone else's translation. A small nightmare, because the translator had translated the present tense in French to the present tense in English. This doesn't sound even vaguely nightmare-like, but in French you can describe events that happened in the past with the present tense - the same way you do when you tell a story in the pub:

"So I'm in the club and this guy comes up to me, he starts talking to me and flirting with me and I'm like..."
Unfortunately, it's not suitable for written text. Thus for half an hour I went through an otherwise perfect translation making "is" into "was" and "have" into "had" and "explodes" into "exploded". I actually really enjoyed the text, which is lucky, because there are another 12 chapters to come.

That brought me to 5 o'clock (which I almost wrote as 1700h, my French ambushes me in unlikely places) and my French lesson with Raphaël, who's my favourite French teacher. He loves tangents as much as I do and we have a good rapport, which is really cheering. We were doing the passive tense, which is old hat for me, but since there were only three of us we worked together, and I tried to tease the right answers out of my friends - which to their credit they hardly needed, leaping to the correct response like gazelle.

After that, I went back to see my supervisor, where we worked out a few kinks in the copy-edit, talked about some more work she had for me, and how I can improve my written style and grammar. Before I knew it was 8pm, and she kindly offered me an hour off tomorrow. I've taken it in the morning, which means I will be staying in bed until the glorious hour of 9am.

I'm telling you. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.

For dinner I have accidentally bought a baguette that could be considered a loaf. Take a butcher's at this bad boy: