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Susan M Phillips

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Member Since: Dec, 2001

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Susan M Phillips

Green Living, Sacred Life

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Spirit of the Runes

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The Book of Dowsing and Divining

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Real Wicca for Teens

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Terror Tales 1 Ed. John B. Ford & Paul Kane

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The Waldorf Street Paradox

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Blogs by Susan M Phillips

French sojurn
9/21/2009 4:18:29 AM
In Normandy for a week and chatting like a native

Have you ever been to France? If you have you'll know it's quite a big country with great regional contrasts. You may not know that the French language is relatively young. Up until a couple of hundred years ago, every region had it's own dialect and very few people had even heard French, let alone understood it. That probably explains why the lexicon is very much more limited than that of other languages. Nevertheless it is melodic and beautiful to listen to and speak. I learned the language as a child and haven't had much chance to use it, but it was very satisfying to understand and be understood most of the time. I got a lesson in modern French from an artist named Van Luc, who explained the inspiration behind his paintings and I bought a couple of prints. When I have money I intend to go back for some originals.

We spent our week in Normandy, literally the land of the Northmen, once home to Viking settlers (William the Conqueror was a Viking to his boots). The people speak more slowly than in other regions and this makes it easier for non natives to comprehend - by the end of the week our entire party were picking up snatches of useful conversation, like "Un cafe au lait, s'il vous plait" and "S'est delicious!". Everything was delicious - the hot chocolate especially. I'm also hooked on the crepes and galettes ( sweet and savoury pancakes). Linguists will please excuse the missing accents etc - the AD editor doesn't seem to have any.

On our final evening we booked a table at Le Pressoir in Douvres, close to our gite (rented house). For the first time the menu stumped me. Paves sounded promising and I guessed they were a form of steak, but which cut? One has to be sure of these things in France as they like things we don't - like calves foot in aspc and mussels. I know I'm a bit squeamish, but that's me. I did all my food experiments in childhood when my dad would get me eating squid, sweetbreads and other delicacies with the irrefutably logical advice: "Just try it. If you don't like it, leave it."

Nowadays I prefer to go straight to the "leave it".

Of course we didn't spend the entire time eating, although we did make time for tarte Normande, an experience to savour. Normandy villages and beaches are compellingly beautiful and I may well have worn out my camera taking around 1,000 shots of scenes I wanted to capture. We also visited my husband's uncle's grave. He died during the Normandy landings, along with so many thousands of fellow servicemen. He lies in a small, peaceful English war grave and we paid our respects, not just to him, but to the others who lie with him. Later in the week we visited other places linked to the wars and also an American cemetary at Arromanches. All are cared for by the people of France and all are beautifully tended. This may seem a maudlin way to spend time away, but trust me, the experience is moving and it feels like the right thing to do.


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More Blogs by Susan M Phillips
• Interrogating Ali - an interview with percussionist Ali McMillan - Wednesday, September 21, 2011
• Change of continent? - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• Book Launched - Saturday, July 02, 2011
• Green Living, Sacred Life launch Sat. 2nd July Nuneaton, UK - Monday, June 27, 2011
• Correction to last blog - Monday, March 21, 2011
• Nearly there - Saturday, March 12, 2011
• Happy New Year - Wednesday, December 29, 2010
• Lost a castle, found a forest - Friday, April 09, 2010
• I found my category! - Thursday, April 08, 2010
• New category needed - Wednesday, April 07, 2010
• Raising money to help the homeless and vulnerably housed - Saturday, January 30, 2010
• Happy New Year - Thursday, December 31, 2009
• Making History - Wednesday, December 23, 2009
• Change of direction - Thursday, December 17, 2009
•  French sojurn - Monday, September 21, 2009  
• My poem is going into print - Wednesday, September 02, 2009
• new profile, new photo - Thursday, August 27, 2009
• From sprinting to spinning - Thursday, August 20, 2009
• Sprinting to stand still - Friday, August 14, 2009
• The tortuous route from idea to bookshelf - Wednesday, July 29, 2009
• Terror Scibes Rise Again - Saturday, March 07, 2009
• Happy new year - Thursday, January 01, 2009
• Chritsmas Blog - where's the dictionary? - Monday, December 22, 2008
• Off to Oxford Dance Camp - Thursday, July 31, 2008
• Friends and Gravy - Saturday, July 19, 2008
• Phew - Thursday, May 08, 2008
• missing but still alive - Thursday, April 17, 2008
• Poetry to Form - Sunday, April 13, 2008
• So much to tell, so little time - Sunday, March 30, 2008
• Why the Shrew Had to be Tamed - Monday, March 24, 2008
• Happy Easter William Shakespeare - Saturday, March 22, 2008
• Rock 'n Roll and Education - Wednesday, March 19, 2008
• About that titling experiment...and the other surprise - Saturday, March 15, 2008
• Surprises just seem to happen - Friday, March 14, 2008
• A day in the life of a domestic goddess - Sunday, March 09, 2008
• Blogless - Saturday, March 08, 2008
• Rose Tinted Billows - Tuesday, March 04, 2008
• Aaaaaaaah! - Monday, March 03, 2008
• And today is....... - Thursday, February 28, 2008
• Chocolate Liquor - Thursday, February 21, 2008
• Dogs more interesting than cats? - Wednesday, February 13, 2008
• Titling Experiment - Monday, February 11, 2008
• phhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhew - Sunday, February 10, 2008
• head shock - Sunday, February 10, 2008
• Prosody and page stats - Tuesday, February 05, 2008
• Warrior Camp Episode 2 - Tuesday, August 07, 2007
• Frogs, Fireside Shrews and Earth Toilets at Warior Camp - Sunday, June 10, 2007
• New Computer, clean slate - Saturday, December 30, 2006
• Forgot to mention - Tuesday, November 28, 2006
• I'm Back - Monday, November 27, 2006
• Seasons Greetings - Saturday, December 24, 2005
• Fame is as fame does... - Tuesday, August 02, 2005
• Fame ? - Friday, January 14, 2005
• Sue Phillips Invites..... - Sunday, August 15, 2004
• Brainless but well booted - Friday, January 23, 2004
• Highs and Lows - Tuesday, January 06, 2004
• The Christmas Question Many Parents Dread - Monday, December 22, 2003
• Building blogs - Coventry revisited - Wednesday, December 17, 2003
• Blogged Down - Saturday, December 13, 2003
• Smoke Blog - Sunday, December 07, 2003
• Blogging on - Tuesday, November 25, 2003
• Tangled Webs - Sunday, November 16, 2003
• Dream Scenes revisited - Sunday, November 09, 2003
• Fire works - Saturday, November 01, 2003

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