Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Funny Side Of Learning A Foreign Language

I was watching a documentary the other evening. When I say watching, I was busy doing something else, but was kind of listening, which for this documentary didn't fare too well.

On the documentary, there was a man, who's first language was not English...in any form... The subtitles told me what he was intending to say in English, although, even with the subtitles, it didn't remotely sound anything like what the subtitles were telling me...until...

He swore. In English. It was pronounced so clearly and carefully, even using the plural, and used in the correct context! The man was explaining how he had been robbed. He told us all, sitting at home with our horlicks, that the 'f*****s' took everything he owned. He also used the swear work in not only the correct context, but also he demonstrated it in the correct tense! He told us all, who by now had choked on our horlicks, that he was now 'f****d*' because he had nothing.

That is pretty impressive...is it not? I'm not sure if his English tutor has been doing a darn good job, but with a bad choice of words, or an appalling job with wonderful vocabulary!

This made me think of my language lessons at school and college. I recall sitting for hours in lessons listening to people, embarrassed in pronouncing a French/Spanish/German word, getting it wrong on purpose. The teacher groaning a sigh of defeat and pronouncing it with exaggerated mouth work out to attempt even one pupil to have the word flow of their lips... It never did.

Even now, as an adult, if  a friend or colleague reads out an except from a magazine, will even the simplest 'bonjour' come out as 'bonshjoor' with the same nasally deep sound it is intended as? No.
It comes out as 'bonnjoower' doesn't it?

Yes. We are no good at this...at all. Our embarrassment overcomes any slight hint that we are pretty darn good at any form of foreign language pronunciation.

HOWEVER....

However, have you ever been to a football match? WOW! Every football fan in the British isles becomes completely fluent in their pronunciation! It's incredible! From the highest of the Scottish highlands to the broadest cockney...they can pronounce an Italian footballers name to a T! The French names roll of the tongue with a flourish and, women beware... Has your man even corrected your pronunciation?! Yes! I believe the answer is YES!


Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Black Sock

It's a funny thing when you do the washing isn't it! (Laundry for my American readers!)

It's the socks.

They cause no end of trouble, regardless as to whether they are in pairs or on their own.

They are worse than kids!

Walking past my washing machine, whilst my whites were in and during the spin cycle.

I saw it...

THE BLACK SOCK.

It stuck to the glass of the washing machine, doing backflips and sticking it's tongue out at me. It knew I could do nothing about it. The damage had been done. My head fell into my hands. How did that happen?!

I had religiously sorted each white item into a pile, and into the washer they went.

Yet there, laughing at me through the window of the machine was the black sock.

Here are five things to remember while washing:

1) The black sock will ALWAYS find a way into your whites.

2) The black sock will always manage to stick itself to the glass so that it's in birds eye view.

3) The sock will always be single.

4) You will vow to ban black socks from your home.

5)  Grey will become a colour of choice in your household...no questions asked.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Dear Drivers'/ Pedestrians'

Dear impatient car driver/ pedestrians

I am smiling because you have no idea of the day I have had, I am smiling because you are simply ignorant and I am smiling because it's what I do best.

After a sleepless night, with all three of my children, you, yes, the male in the blue car, you thought that I should have driven onto the roundabout tailgating the white Range Rover that I was following. This would have caused me to drive into the path of a bus who was driving at speed to make up for lost time. I had two children in my car and their lives mean much, much more to me than you being late for work. And yes, I saw the obscenities that you were spitting all over your windscreen and I saw the obscene gesture you used. I do hope that you cleaned you window, in the name of hygiene. And frankly, driving the way you did, it would amaze me if you arrived at work with your car in one piece. I would strongly recommend anger management class and perhaps a course in time keeping.

After a meeting regarding children with severe medical needs, I joined a traffic jam, and whilst waiting, I turned on my favourite chill out tunes. Sitting back in my seat, I noticed you. Yes, you, the male in the black car. I watched you waving your arms around and smiled to myself. You had a problem that I hadn't pulled up to the car in front of me close enough for your liking. I had left a massive three foot gap. You needed me to be closer. I recounted the meeting that I had been in, the parents who I had chatted to, who's children were dire need of medical intervention. You manoeuvred your car so that you were next to me, using your hands to show me how much room I had left between my car and the car infront. Thanks, although, I really was fully aware. You used obscene gestures, then shouted profanities at me through your open window. My window was closed. I chose to smile with sympathy at you son in the back seat, who looked to be about 6 years old. He was learning a lot from you. You drove on. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. They weren't needed.

In post match gridlock, my youngest child was being sick in the back of the car. Having a bad chest infection and generally unwell, my child was very distressed. Thank you to those football supporters who felt that two of three driving lanes cordoned off for those who were walking wasn't enough. To those fans who walked in front of my car, banging on the bonnet and forcing me to stop, my autistic child and my child who was ill really didn't appreciate it and nor did I. To the old lady, who really should have had more sense, I am appalled by your behaviour. It would be safe to assume that you would be the first to complain about 'youths these days', I hope you're ashamed of yourself. Thanks all of you for frightening my children beyond comprehension, and causing me to spend the night reassuring them that you were never coming back.

Thank you to the drivers/pedestrians who caused me to leave the car at home and walk to the shop with my little child in the pushchair and my older child toddling beside me. This caused a different issue.

Thank you to the drivers who park partly on the path. Why do you do it? So that other cars have room to get past? Well, what about those in wheelchairs or parents with pushchairs? I had two options. 1) walk in the road, with my children or 2) walk on people's gardens. On this instance, I walked on the road. Hurrying my child along as we skirted around the freshly washed red shiny car, worrying that those impatient drivers that I had encountered through the day would come barrelling down the road, blasting their horns and using obscene gestures telling me what they thought of me, yelling at me to get on the path, which was taken up with a car.

What on earth has society come to? Do we have no decency at all anymore? The only drivers that I complain about are those who are in too much of a damned hurry to consider any matters of safety. For those who feel the need to have a go? You'll receive a lovely smile and a kiss blown from me.

You all need to give yourself more time and space to live your lives. If you need any pointers, drop me a line.....

Twitter: @katesvie
Facebook: Blue With A Touch Of Pink

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hey 'Drivers'' Chill Your Bones! #1

My oh my! What can I say?! You drivers are so irritating I can actually fill my blog with my irritations....and so I'm starting...

Yesterday I was city driving, locally. I was driving a road that I have driven many, many times.
The road in question has four lanes...you hear that four...4...yep?

So, I was driving in the far right hand lane, due to pull into a car park, situated on the right. Cars were parked in a line directly on my right.

I was indicating and slowing accordingly, following another car who drove straight on. As I slowed to turn into said car park, I slowed to a stop, as a taxi had pulled in there...and stopped. Therefore, I had to wait until the taxi had moved....right?

Right.

Now, the car directly behind me decided that that was the wrong move. She honked her horn loud and long, having to haul her little silver car into the left lane and drive the length of my car around me.
The car behind her decided that that a good idea, and honked his horn, copying the upset female.

I wonder what the hell they wanted me to do...I had three options, obviously, according to them...

1. Drive the car around the one way system for another twenty minutes, simply so as not to put them out of their way of having to swap a lane to drive around me

2. Simply ram the damn taxi (and passengers) completely out of the way of the car parking entrance so that I could drive on in there.

3. Reverse, hitting the car behind me and go find another car park completely out of my way.

I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I will assume that the impatient woman was in labour, and was en route to hospital, and I will assume that the eejit behind her was the father of said baby, desperate not to miss the birth of his first child.

Anything else simply doesn't interest me. Get a grip drivers, it takes energy to raise your finger to press a button that makes your car give a little yelp, and quite frankly, I'll give you a little wave next time, as usually those who beep at me are my pals saying 'hello!'

Follow me on twitter @katesvie
Connect on facebook  Blue With A Touch Of Pink

Friday, 12 September 2014

Coffee, Wine and Chocolate

If you are a parent or carer of a child with special needs, don't forget to have a look at my parent support blog: Coffee, Wine and Chocolate (the first 3 items on my weekly shopping list!!)

My latest post seems to be of particular interest!

How To Challenge The Disapproving Onlookers

It concentrates on challenging the disapproving onlookers, which, as we all know is a big issue for us parents with children who have special needs.

So, all that said, do have a look if this blog would be of interest to you.

I generally spend more time on twitter where my established account is @katesvie and my new parent support account is @@coffeewinechoc

So come on over!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Soft Play Rules -Kid Style

Having spent what feels like more than half of my life so far in a soft play environment, (with the majority of the summer holidays being located in these areas) I felt compelled to write the rules of soft play, according to kids. I don't know about you, but it seems that whatever you tell kids', warn them or threat never to return, the following rules are what they play by!

THE RULES OF SOFT PLAY- KID STYLE

1. It's important that as soon as you see the entrance to soft play, you run through the door as fast as possible, mimicking the speed and swerve of a Formula 1 car.

2. Forget the 'shoes off first' chat, once the adult has caught you, there's plenty of time for that.

3. Get to the furthest point possible, making sure that there are plenty of really tight gaps that said adult needs to squeeze through to attempt to get to you, this will make you a comic genius with the other kids in soft play.

4. Make sure to sit at the entrance of the slide. This will enable you to be king/queen of the castle, allowing children that you choose to pass you, when you say so. Do make sure that adult is hollering at you to play nicely. This will go down well with the tough kids.

5. When you do decide to go down the slide, make sure you slow down enough before reaching the end, this will allow you to climb up the slide, as adult will, inevitably be waiting for you at the bottom with a frowny face.

6. Be prepared for adult to reach up said slide in an attempt to grab your ankle, potentially attempting to remove your shoes. Make the most of the grip of the sole as you can, to get you up the slide.

7. If you have siblings, make sure that you all run in different directions. One preferably running out of the soft play area, causing adult to chase them, giving you a little rest for a while. 

8. Enjoy the sound of adult shouting for your sibling as they dash around the cafe/ toilets'/ offices'.

9. Make sure that adult is satisfactorily red in the face, angry and stressed before pleasantly ambling out of soft play and offering your shoes in the most angelic way.

10. Play 'nicely' while adult stands on watch, still frowning. A general loop of the soft play: smiling and being pleasant to the other kids in there is recommended at this time.

11. Once adult is comfortable with your behaviour, they will pointedly inform you of the table/chairs where they are situated and they will let you know that they will be watching you. 

12. As soon as adult is in the queue for the coffee that they have been mumbling about for the last half and hour, begin the shouting and screaming. Adult will soon appear at the door, having removed themselves from close to the front of a lengthy queue. They will be frowning. When this happens smile angelically as you build a castle of soft blocks.

13. Once the adult is seated with their goodies, about to engage in conversation with the other adults be sure to pull on the legs of other children attempting to climb up the soft play. They will inevitably become disgruntled and leave the soft play to complain to their adult.

14. After your name has been linked to the leg pulling, smile sweetly as your adult, embarrassed, comes to have a word with you about your actions.

15. Continue in the same way as child after child leaves the soft play, thus whittling down the numbers in the area.

16. Eventually you will find that all children have left the soft play apart from you and your siblings. You adult will also be alone at the table, generally shaking and holding their head in their hands.

17. Enjoy your private play in soft play while you can before adult drags you out and takes you home, muttering that you'll never go back again.

ALWAYS REMEMBER SLIDES ARE FOR CLIMBING UP- NEVER SLIDING DOWN.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

My Ice Bucket Challenge

Yup, you read it right...

I got nominated.

So, instead of dashing off for my chequebook and pen, I decided that as I had just returned from the swimming pool, (with damp swimming pool hair) I would take the bull by the horns (or ice from the freezer) and get down to business.

More and more people were downloading their videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge and I was feeling more and more smug that I was getting away with it, until I happened to look at one of my social media feeds and saw my name, in all it's glory, stating my nomination.

So, #1 rascal was supposed to pour the bowl over my head, but it was too heavy, so I had to pour the icy deluge over myself (as my other half was filming for proof)- it's even worse when you have to do it yourself!...and you're on holiday.

Anyway, if you want a chuckle...here you go...