What is this blog all about?

The main purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the things I do, in my everyday life, in order to improve my English. Since I am a very lazy person, I mostly read, and watch movies, and do things which make it possible for me to improve my vocabulary, my grammar and my accent without getting bored... So this blog is going to be about the books I read, the movies I watch, and some other things which I find relevant (or not)...

I hope you'll like it! Don't hesitate to leave comments if you have any suggestions concerning what I should write about!!

vendredi 30 avril 2010

Thistle and weed

Reader, I need to tell you something veeeery important. I have found it. All the time, when listening to music earlier, I thought "that's THE band. THE band that was started just for me and I'll love them forever". I never do. But this time? I found it, I did. And you need to listen to it, you do.


I told you about them in an earlier post, presuming I might forget all about them in two days. Instead they grew on me. Then I saw them in concert, thanks to, but sadly without my sister M (thank you, thank you, thank you for telling me about the date, and sorry much that you weren't there). I was there however with my best friend V, who did not know them that well, but was instantly convinced. Amazing is how they were, and nice, and just what I needed.

Here are 5 things I love about Mumford & Sons.

1. I can listen to the whole CD ("Sigh no more", buy it! buy it!) without finding one single track I want to skip. The sad songs are great, the happy songs are great, and when there's one I like a little less, I listen to it again, and I find it awesome.

2. They are a folk-band. I do believe "folk" is what I like. I thought it was country, but I think now that it is rather folk. They play the banjo, and most of all, they all sing together. Oh my. People who sing together, I don't think I could find any example of an occurence that I don't like. Abba: check. The destiny's child: Check. Russian army choirs? Check. Mumford & Sons? You bet.

3. They have great lyrics. Now, maybe just by my own standards, I don't know, but I think they are great. First of all, their song titles are beautiful. "Thistle and weed" being my personal favourite. They also say things like "and pestillence has won when you are lost and I am gone". Pestillence! Pestillence has won! And also "you are lost and I am gone" I don't know, it's nothing special, but it just gives me the shivers. And also, between the great lyrics, they breathe in and just sing one note and you can feel that it comes from the pit of their stomach and they give all the air and the strength they have and you just want to fly and sing too and you love the world and you love them. That's how it makes me feel, and I don't care if it's cheesy.

4. I am not at all ashamed of loving them. Most of what I listen to is... best described by the terms "girly-pop". I know it, and I regret it, but you can't fight your feelings, can you. Even when they are for Brian Adams ("Everything I doooo, I do it for youuuu"). But Mumford & Sons, that's another deal altogether. Hell, I even bought a T-shirt :)

5. They get me in a group-hug mood that I wish I was in more often. They make me want to be nice. I don't know why or anything, it just is so. It was the same with "On the road again", by Canned Heat, I remember, one day, we listened to it in the car with my sisters and my brother going to my grand parents. It was a long time ago, and my sister F had just brought their greatest hits CD, and I remember thinking "how I love them all, and how beautiful is the world we live in" and such. You know what I mean. Well, Mumford & Sons do the same to me. Make me want to spread the love. So here I am. Spreading the love. I hope you'll like them too. First one is sad, I must warn you. Second one is the first one I ever heard, so I'll try it on you too.

mardi 20 avril 2010

But my heart told my head

Pour une fois, un post en Français. Pour ma grand mère Jeannine, à qui j'ai loupé l'occasion de le dire. Je ne sais pas exactement pourquoi je suis en train d'écrire ça, probablement que c'est parce que j'ai trop peur pour le lire à l'église. Mais : C'est important quand même donc : Voilà, une petite liste de ce qu'elle m'aura apporté, personnellement, et aussi peut-être à ses 18 autres petits enfants.

- Un goût pour l'art et les belles choses, et l'expression en général. Un goût tellement prononcé qu'il aura même créé de vraies vocations chez certain(e)s d'entre nous.

-Un goût prononcé pour mettre les mains dans la patasse, dû aux séances de malaxage de glaise quand j'étais petite.

-Un goût prononcé pour les "beaux mecs", et pour les solides, aussi, parce qu'elle n'avait pas choisi n'importe quel grand-père.

-Un amour inconditionnel des "BN tout nus" + beurre et miel

-Des tas de souvenirs de vacances d'été, sous le cerisier, (généralement les mains dans la patasse)

-Une critique positive de Jane Eyre, qui m'a aussi encouragée à le lire.

-Tous ces livres d'art, dans la bibliothèque, et plus particulièrement ceux sur les créatures fantastiques. Qui font peur, mais qui sont tellement romantiques.

-Des Noëls, des rencontres chez elle avec des cousins et des cousines qu'on ne voit pas si souvent finalement, et que du coup, on considère comme une vraie famille. Un sens du QG. Qui restera là longtemps, longtemps après son départ, parce qu'on ne va pas laisser tomber ça comme ça.

-Des éclats de rires qu'on pouvait entendre depuis le premier étage. Et probablement depuis la maison d'en face.

-Un certain amour des animaux et des gens. Et la conclusion que "plus on les observe, et plus on les observe de près, moins on en a peur". Dans sa bouche, ça parlait d'une araignée dans sa cave, mais je pense que ça s'applique assez bien à l'alsacien d'à côté, en fait.

-Du coup, des voisins qui l'aiment, et ça, on ne peut pas en dire autant de tout le monde. Cheannine, elle a su s'intégrer.

-Ma maman, et des oncles et tantes, qui seraient autrement si elle avait été autrement, mais autrement, ça ne seraient pas eux, et eux, c'est mieux.

Il en manque, il en manque des tonnes, mais il va falloir faire avec. Les gens qui partent, ça donne toujours l'impression qu'on n'en a pas fait assez. Mille mercis, donc, et désolée.

mercredi 7 avril 2010

I'm feeling glad

Reader, I have annoucements and news. Today : Five good news.

1. Spring's come. Definitely. All the signs are here: radish, tulips, cherry blossoms, runny nose, itchy eyes, sunshine, sunshine all around, and I'm feeling happy. I was really, really fed up with the winter and the cold and the crap weather. I had lunch with my friend V today, sitting outside in Kaysersberg, eating a salad in the sun, and I just felt happy that winter's over. (Also we went and partied all night on saturday, and went to a concert, and I had not done any of this in a long time, and that evening was just perfect. I think I really needed to go out and dance all night. I should do this more often. Anyone care to join me? Murder on the dancefloor? Dancing Queen? No? Ok then. I'll just go brush my teeth and listen to Rihanna.)

2. I've watched Dr Who, yesterday. The brand new Dr Who. The one without David Tennant. The one with Matt Smith. And it was absolutely great. Now, I'd hate to rush things, it might still go wrong, but he passed, Matt Smith did. And so did his brilliant Scottish friend Amelia Pond. Way! To! Go! I really missed the one-shot episodes (as I am not a great fan of large-scale plots. It's the same with every series. X-Files more than the others perhaps, because I really, really hate Mulder's little sister, and I wish he'd just give up on her already. Melissa! Melissa! Melissa was eaten by aliens, Fox, get over it, and back to Eugene Tooms. He scares me. He scares me everytime I go to the bathroom, and here's the catch: I've never even seen the bloody episode!)

Anyway, one-shot episodes seem to be back, and it was a really good one at that. I do hope it will go on like this, and stay that cool. He said "Carrots? Are you insane?" about three minutes in, and I was lost. Maybe the BBC can do it again! They made me love David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston, I am willing to love Matt Smith too. And all the new characters that have been added seem really cool too. C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!

3. This is my 200th post. I wrote 200 of these (good news to me, not so sure about you :D). I do hope I'll reach 400 and maybe even 1000, as long as you are willing to put up with my grammar mistakes, my constant whining, and stay interested in my slug-filled adventures and detailed classification of post-2000 Hindi musicals, characters with hats, and English actors' backsides. I love blogging, I love the format and the medium, and I love comments, and I'm very, very happy I've got you, reader.

4. I'm going away again. I was born under a wandering star. Maybe. Which is going to take me as far as Stuttgart. I've been spending too much time on my parent's couch doing nothing at all. So I'll be off next week, in one last and desperate attempt to improve my German enough to claim I actually speak it.
I've found a room, a cool flat-mate, and though he also owns a pack of live scorpions, I'm pretty sure I'll feel at home real soon (provided he doesn't choose to lock me up in his basement and feed me beetles, I've only met him twice, you can never be sure). In any case, I'll be going to Stuttgart, and having brand new adventures on German-speaking land. Wish me luck. I will tell you all about it. What I won't do is crawl under my bed and indulge in my most sociophobic behaviors. No watching series all night, sleeping till noon, and hiding away as soon as someone makes a noise in the hallway! No nervous giggling and sudden, shameful silence in the middle of a sentence I am sorry I ever started. Open, sunny, easy-going Claire I'll be, and my brain will have no choice but to remember that it exists and knows better. Mark my words.

5. My brother and his fiancée S are getting married. Two months from now. 5th of June. I'm very, very happy, and I can't wait. Two months! Not even two months! Here are the details. And in my blog-roll. Weeeeeeehehehee! A wedding! Drinks all around! And then guess what? They might even stay in France! No more expat interviews! He he... Happy news \o/

There you go, reader. I have a feeling maybe part of the crap actually is melting away under my very eyes. And it makes me oh-so-happy. I hope you're happy too.