Sunday, November 6, 2011

Une sortie alsacienne

I realise that posts to this blog have tapered off alarmingly in the last couple of weeks. This is largely due to the huge number of private classes I have scheduled recently -- these days I often don't get home from class until 20:30. It's exhausting, but lots of fun, and I delude myself that I am actually making progress, particularly with my written French, which has always been my Achilles heel.

This week was a good one, though there were a couple of "Imodium days" in the middle ('nuff said!). Fortunately, I had recovered enough to make a little one-day excursion to Strasbourg yesterday, where I met up with Michael Ostland and his family. Michael is a former colleague from Genentech, who is halfway through a 4-year posting to the Roche mothership in Basel.

Here we are in front of the cathedral:

And here are the incredibly photogenic Ostlands:

(Jill, Sofia, Michael, and Matteo)

It was a terrific day - we had a very nice lunch, did some toy-shopping, some window-shopping, wandered around the city center, and ended up the afternoon at a cafe where we sampled the local baked goods. They are clearly enjoying the hell out of their Swiss adventure, and it was great to see them again and catch up.

But now I have to go prepare my homework for Matthias tomorrow. M is an excellent teacher, but as I get ready for my phonetics exercise, which involves reciting the tongue-twister

"Ces six saucissons-ci sont si secs qu'on ne sait si c'en sont"
(These six sausages are so dry that one hardly knows if they are actually sausages)

with a wine-bottle cork clenched between my teeth, the thought crosses my mind that perhaps he has a slight sadistic streak.

Not that one can't imagine a situation where this particular phrase might come in handy.

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