19 mars 2012

Fish and Chips

   We ate out this lunchtime. This is fish and chips. Red tuna - I know, it's a protected species in the Atlantic, but it isn't here - in a spicy vanilla sauce with little bits of vanilla pod. Bon appétit :).         Ingredients (Serving Size : 4) : 4 fillets of seabass (Tuna or Mahi Mahi) 1 shallot 25 cl heavy cream Butter 1 glass of dry white wine 1 tsp beef bouillon 2 tsp of vanilla extract or 2 vanilla pods, slit lengthways Salt, pepper         ... [Lire la suite]
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01 mars 2012

What Emily Did

               Several things have happened at school recently. The second term has just finished, so we’ve been having conseils de classe, end-of-term reunions of all the teachers for each class plus two class-elected students. It’s a time to see how each student’s been doing over the term and either encourage him/her to keep up the good work or warn him/her about what terrible things will happen if he/she carries on misbehaving and not working properly. It’s... [Lire la suite]
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22 février 2012

The Motorbike Saga Continues

                I've had fifteen hours of motorbike lessons so far, and have reached the stage where I'm working hard at it and not feeling I'm actually getting anywhere. There's a circuit you have to do for the test at a very slow speed, as you have to drive through "doors" made of traffic cones and sticks without tipping anything over or putting your feet on the ground. As I can't do that yet, the instructor got me trying to learn to accelerate when the... [Lire la suite]
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15 février 2012

Tying the knot

           Took the car to the garage this morning for an oil change and to get the air-conditioning sorted out, as there seems to be a leak somewhere. The mechanic behind the counter received a phone call while we were there and put the caller - apparently one of his employees - on loudspeaker. "Hello?" "Hello, good morning, I won't be able to come in today." "Why not?" "My tie's not working." "What do you mean, your tie's not working?" "Well, the knot's come undone." "Never... [Lire la suite]
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12 février 2012

Madame, la pluie, elle tombe!

                Talk about keeping things for a rainy day. There are so many rainy days here – and so much rain – that I don’t know what to do with most of them. Some do, though. There’s construction work outside at the moment – just underneath our flat, actually – where two workers in bright blue trousers are crépi-ing the car park boundary walls.         Taking shelter for lunch :) ... [Lire la suite]
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15 décembre 2011

Bouéni Jolie

              You often see girls and women here with m’zindzano on their faces. It’s a beauty mask made from sandalwood ground on a pure coral table, mixed with a little water. The table is made of one piece of coral, and often weighs 3 or 4 kilograms. It is the fine grain of the coral which makes the sandalwood powder fine and fluid, but they also use dried leaves and flowers, especially myongo, a stick which comes out of the central stalk of a palm leaf. It is... [Lire la suite]
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28 novembre 2011

What Not To Wear

               Before coming to Mayotte, I’d looked them up in books and on websites, talked to people about them, looked into what was available locally. I’d looked into the materials that went into making them and how said materials would stand the test of time, humidity, dust and daily use. I’d asked about religious customs, what was acceptable and what wasn’t. I’d bought plenty over the Internet and in shops in Poitiers. I felt ready, or if I wasn’t, it’d... [Lire la suite]
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21 novembre 2011

It's raining, it's pouring...

View from the flat.            The rainy season started in the middle of last week. Tropical rain is quite interesting. It goes by short blasts of heavy rain followed by great lengths of nothing. But in the wet season, it rains at least a little every day. These blasts of rain last for between five and twenty minutes, then it's all over, the sky clears up and that's it for the day (or for the morning, depending). It's unforeseeable, though, the sky can cloud over from one minute to... [Lire la suite]
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19 novembre 2011

The Motorbike Saga Begins

        First motorbike lesson today, called an evaluation lesson. First, the monitor sat two of us down and talked us through why we wanted to drive a motorbike, what were the pros and cons, what protective material we needed and what the exam was like. I now know that I’ll need to buy a motorbike jacket with good shoulder, elbow and back protection, as well as a pair of boots and a pair of gloves. I’ll buy those in France this December, they’re very expensive here. The monitor said that plenty... [Lire la suite]
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16 novembre 2011

The English girl and the Motorbike

I wonder if Papi remembers teaching me to drive...        31.10.2011 The driving-school instructor who taught me how to ride a scooter had asked me for English lessons, so I gave him his first lesson this evening. In return, instead of payment, he is going to teach me to ride a 600cc motorbike so that I can take my motorbike test. I spent all evening wondering what I had just done by agreeing to that, but I’m looking forward to it actually, it should be fun. I started from nothing when learning to... [Lire la suite]
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