“I wish life was not so short, he thought. Languages take such a time, and so do all the thing one wants to know about.”
– R. J. J. Tolkein
Oh the joys of trying to speak French in France. Whenever we are in France, Mr. H. wants me to speak in French. The request is entirely sensible. I’ve got to the point that I understand 95% of everything, though I sometimes assume I don’t understand what is being said. Sometimes I’m right, I don’t understand.
Learning a language can be funny, especially when the same words have different meanings.
We are going for a walk, for a ballade. Someone is walking funny. Qu’est que c’est que tu à avec ton pied? I ask, what is wrong with your foot?
With the answer given to me, I assume he has a small stone in his shoe. Well take out the stone then, I say. But no stone removing action happens. Plus everyone looks at me with some confusion. I repeat to take out the stone.
Mr. H. tells me that there is no stone, there is a bombilla, which is a lightbulb in Spanish. This is strange. I imagine a lightbulb but it is impossible, your foot wouldn’t fit in your shoe if you had a lightbulb there. Besides, why would you want to put a lightbulb in your shoe. A lightbulb? I ask. Yes, a lightbulb.
With bit of clarification, I learn that in French the word for blister is ampoule, which means both blister and lightbulb. That was my word for the day. Ampoule.
After that I walked around too much with some nearly but not so new high heel shoes. Now I’m the one who has lightbulbs on my feet.
Yellow Plum and Banana Jam Recipe
My first intention was to make some jam using some yellow plums. As I usually make fun flavour combinations, I was sort of excited to make a mono-fruit jam at last.
However, after adding the sugar, I made a quick quality control tasting test, and found that it was still rather sour. I didn’t want to add anymore sugar, so I looked around the kitchen to see what was on hand and added a couple of bananas to smooth out the sourness. It did the trick.
1kg yellow plums, 2 bananas, 500g sugar
Wash the plums. Cut them in halves and remove the seeds. Put them in a large pot. I put them through the blender first so that the cooking time would be quicker. Bring to boil and let it boil for about 5 minutes while stirring. Bring down to low heat and cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes while stirring.