Well here we are three hundred plus days since the first big restrictions and twenty four into our latest lockdown.

Days are falling into a pattern again , walk, lunch chores, read/craft/admin, supper, tv.

Mondays are for quizzing, Tuesday is movie night, last week The Godfather which MrS had never seen, this week Mank, Mondays and Wednesdays yoga on Zoom.

Routine expands into the vacuum, and if left to its own devices become restrictive. Simple tasks can take a whole day.

I needed a new challenge.

Remember these chocs?

Well they aren’t going to last me until Shrove Tuesday, I didn’t break my weekends only vow but did binge on rather more than one per night last weekend. So a challenge sort of gone but also stiffened.

What else? I did wonder, for about five seconds, about improving my French. MrS and I could have an hour a day when we spoke only French, it could even expand into a day a week a la Chalet School? Hmmm, would we develop the gritty ways of Les Flics in Spiral or the middle class, fashionable colloquialisms of Camille, HervĂ©, Andrea, Gabriel et al from ASK? From these shows I’ve learned the most popular swear word, ubiquitous across classes. But I won’t add it to my reportoire when we get back to France. My past affectation, using the colloquial “Weh” rather than “Wee”* has at best led to me stammering apologies in franglais, after failing miserably with the ensuing conversation. But I like talking far too much to restrict myself to anodyne conversations about the weather, where I was born or what I’d like for supper** And lovely as she is, DogStarke has limited conversational prowess.***

“Pfffft! I can talk dog in four languages”

So no French.

Then I discovered Marian Keyes brilliant masterclasses. Her wonderful, chatty self deprecating style doesn’t mask the good advice. It’s work, it’s hard work, and you just have to get on and do it. I’ve loved listening to them and the exercises had given me a push to get back to some creative writing.

So that’s my challenge, I’m trying to write for at least an hour every day****, those exercises or something of my own. I wondered about putting some of them on here, adding the to my neglected Stories page, but for now they are for my (and occasionally MrS’s) eyes only.

Until next time,

Marina xx

*When answering “Oui” – yes.

**I had a charismatic but ineffective teacher when I was fourteen. Classes were entertaining and informative, but rarely on French irregular verbs. I took one important thing away from those classes, a working knowledge of French dining habits, and the ability to navigate a menu. And he was an excellent Fagin in our production of “Oliver!”.

***My abilities with dog are roughly similar to those with French, I can understand more than I speak. I don’t know whether this is true for DogS.

****this doesn’t count.

One thought on “New year, new challenge

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