Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Is somebody out to get us?

Did you ever think that somebody was out to get you?

The riots across France last week were right at the time we’d have ordinarily been driving up to the ferry.

The ferry that we’d have been going on was the one that ended up with a lorry hanging out the back of it.

And, last week the whole of southern France was hit with major league storms which have knocked down a couple of our trees!

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Way too much travelling and only catching up now…

For personal reasons I’ve ended up pretty much commuting between the UK and France over the last three weeks or so and it’s left me with a backlog of both e-mail and post like you wouldn’t believe.

What’s slightly depressing about this is the speed with which I’ve been able to make serious inroads with the backlog thanks, of course, to the massive amount of it that is junk mail. It’s going to be a longer slog with the post though as it’s not nearly so easy these days to identify what’s junk and what’s real stuff.

Still, at least I can see the bottom of the junk e-mails for the moment.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Where should we go on holiday?

That’s a question that’s even more difficult to answer this year as there’s not only the problem of the exchange rate making everywhere much more expensive but then there’s the oil price which can mean that your holiday increases in price after you’ve booked it.

Throw in the need for a consensus amongst the family as to where you’re going and what you’re doing when you get there and it’s something of a nightmare this year.

And, of course, those holidays are just around the corner and prices are liable to leap since everyone has been putting off booking anything this year…

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

What’s the easiest language for an English speaker to learn?

In theory the answer is Scots or perhaps Ulster Scots although there’s a lot of debate as to whether either count as a language. However, that’s not the problem with them: in that one key point about learning another language is that you want to communicate with people who you couldn’t communicate with before these don’t count as they’re spoken by people who are 100% English speakers.

So, in reality, the question should be “what’s the easiest useful language for an English speaker to learn?”.

From first principles that would have to be one of the Germanic family of languages of which the closest is probably Dutch. However, unfortunately that too fails the “useful” criteria as both Dutch and Flemish speakers always reply in English unless your Dutch is perfect which, of course, it won’t be for quite a while.

That leaves the second choice of German which has the problem that it’s quite a precise language and takes quite a while to learn. However, at least the Germans will let you perservere with your early attempts at it. Although not in the Germanic family, Spanish is also fairly easy to pick up and if you’re choosing your first second language it’s probably a toss up between Spanish and German if you just want to learn a language although, usually, other factors come into play.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.

Splitting up a blog

For the first time we find ourselves splitting a blog in two.

The reason is simple really: a while back I started An Age of Magic for a bit of fun and some time later Wendy started writing some pieces on it too. Roll the calendar forward a lot of months and her stuff has ended up swamping mine so we thought that we’d be better splitting the blog in two with stuff she’s written staying in Age of Magic whilst my strand of the blog moves to A Time of Magic.

Taking the posts out of the original blog was easy enough as the WordPress export facility lets you select by author and the import was easy enough. However, it’s not quite so easy to get rid of the original version of the posts as they were written under the admin user which can’t be deleted so I ended up having to do that in MySQL which means that the post counts still reflect the number of posts which I wrote even though they’re no longer in the old blog. Still, I imagine that’ll sort itself out at some point.

Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.