Sunday, 25 September 2011

Are we nearly there yet?

I hate this part. My clothes are in the suitcase - probably creased by now. Only the hand baggage to sort out - I have my plastic bag ready for lipstick and mascara, which are within the fluids allowance. Our weight limit is only 20 kg, less than I have ever had before so I have a minimum of light clothes, which I will need to rinse out. Also a few woollies, in case it gets cold. And Factor 40. No computer. My hair is too short.

And some phonetics notes on my Kindle.

The glittery nail polish looks great - just silver glitter on my hands and plain silver with a top coat of glitter on my feet.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Manicure and pedicure

Pre-holiday manicure and pedicure booked. Will stick with pink glitter for toes but can't decide about fingers. I am not doing anything for the rest of the day as my finger nails always chip and I need this to last for a two-week holiday. TSH will organise rest of dinner for us and his daughter and partner - I have prepared beef in Kentish Ale and mustard and put it in the oven on timer. There will also be salmon cooked in Ale.

The more I read, the more I have no idea of the difference between phonetics and phonology - the minute I think I have it straight I read something else which contradicts what I thought. Why aren't there proper definitions? Linguistics is supposed to be a science.

Yesterday I managed to transcribe a (very short) extract from 'Alice in Wonderland' using the International Phonetics Alphabet. Small victory!

Will silver glitter look tacky?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I got away with it

Went back to Old Faithful to get my hair cut. He didn't say anything about someone else having cut my hair but I'm sure he knew. I asked him to cut it much shorter than usual so that I don't need to take my straighteners to Spain next week.

I have started to study phonics properly and I am beginning to get the idea. I wish I had done more reading for the session last Saturday - I might have got a bit more out of it. The tasks and the reading for the course have not been posted yet so I can't start - a pity, because I have a bit of time this week and then I'm going away without a computer for two weeks.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

I had no idea it would be so difficult

Yesterday was a 'face-to-face' day for my MA. TSH drove me there as I no longer do motorways (I can drive but I can't cope with other drivers driving too close at speed). I wore my long blue and green tunic over black trousers with a casual black jacket. Accessorised with a geen scarf and a long string of beads. I thought it looked OK but I wish I'd had my hair cut.

Everyone - staff and students - seemed friendly and I chatted to more people than I normally do in a whole week. The students are mostly female and there are a few who look as if they are in my age group, so I am not the oldest.

We went through a lot of admin and were shown how to use the course computer systems - no problem with any of that, as I worked in IT for all of my working life.

Then we started the phonics and phonetics for the 'Spoken English' module. It was so difficult, as I am only vaguely familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet and I think he was assuming much more detailed familiarity. We were supposed to know the difference between the 'p' in 'pit' and the 'p' in 'spit'. I really struggled and the only consolation is that I don't think I was the only one. I really wondered if I had made a dreadful mistake and it is all totally beyond me.

I need to understand the difference between phonics and phonetics.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

10th Anniversary

Its our 10th Wedding Anniversary today, so we are eating out tonight.

One of our memories of the wedding is being clamped - we parked outside the registry office, parking with gay abandon in the middle of an empty office car park on a Saturday. When we came out - married - we and some of our guests had been clamped. I am sure they were waiting there on purpose. I feel very strongly that clamping should be banned - I think that is already the case in Scotland.

This will never be a political rant but clamping (and maybe bankers) is different.

None of it was formal - we took a Beatles CD with us. There were no plans about when it would be played and they left it on at low volume the whole time. We made our vows to the strains of 'I'm a Loser'!

I bought a new handbag today - large and black. I need a large bag to go to University on Saturday to keep my notebook etc in. And my lovely huge bright pink one doesn't go with the outfit I have planned. I so have to create the right impression - they will only see me 3 times a year.

I haven't started reading 'Phonetics and Phonology' in earnest yet - I'll catch up next week.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

School's out for Summer!

I've finished my Pankhurst/Mandela comparison and sent it in to the OU. Now its fingers crossed til December.
So I'm free of deadlines.
I start my MA course with a face-to-face day on Saturday. And I should do some preliminary reading.
So I can still keep my mind active.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Why am I writing this?

Because I enjoy writing (always have - wanted to be a writer when a child - first detective novel - unpublished - written at 10).
Because I want a record of an exciting time in my life.

So that someone aged 60 might read it and say 'That's just like me'.
So that someone else aged 60 might read it and say 'That's not at all like me'.
So that someone aged 20 might read it and say 'That's not at all like me'.
So that someone else aged 20 might read it and say 'That's just like me'.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Back home

Can't decide if Eurostar is really easier than flying. No hassle with worrying abour luggage arriving - but you have to carry/pull it yourself. Very difficult to get it on and off train and no staff to help. Steps are higher than on a usual train in UK. I couldn't have managed to get my own bag on without TSH. I think if you live in SE England its probably better but I'm not sure for us Northerners.
I felt ignorant in Paris - I have only been there two or three times before (yes, I know, its so close!) and I don't know where anything is or much of the history. But we started with a boat tour and ended at the top of the Pompidou Centre looking at it all spread out in front of us. Two good ways to orientate! Bits of the language came back to me but my vocabulary is very limited.

We have some metro tickets left, so we're saving them for next  time.  We have agreed that in the absence of a better idea, we will go back for our 20th wedding anniversary in 10 years time.

Got the mark for my project proposal - another good mark, thank goodness.

Now back to the washing mountain.