Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Parlez-vous français?

You know the song ‘New York, New York, so good they named it twice’? WELL……

I noticed that I have been nominated in the ‘Top 100 Female Bloggers’ list over at Enkay Blog. The list is calculated using a combination of PR, Technorati authority and Alexa ranking which all sounds very complicated – so complicated in fact that I make the list at number 50 AND number 51. This blog is so good they named it twice :-)

Every once in a while, I get an email from someone asking me how I make my books. I usually send them links to various wonderful web sites with tutorials and videos of the process. I made this book yesterday. It took me ages as I documented every step of the process and I have decided to share this with you all. I know that this is risky, as I plan to start selling my books (yes, yes, I know, I keep saying that, but believe me it WILL happen. Promise!) and by showing how it is done to the world and his wife, I am ostensibly reducing my market. I am banking on the probability that a lot of you are far too busy (or idle) to make books but for the interested few, there is now a tutorial. If you check out the tabs at the top of the page there is now one called ‘HOW’. (It had to be a short page name as it wouldn’t have fit in if I had called it ‘TUTORIAL’. I have also had to change the title of the CONTACT page to E-ME. Got to keep things tidy…..

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who tries it out so that I can explain anything tricky more clearly or if anything doesn’t make sense.

Now then moving on from a country which shall not be named for a while, to another of our European neighbours, France. When I was at school (Withington Girls’ School for the record) I was given a French vocabulary book. Our French teacher, Mrs Petit-Jean, was having a clear out and she gave us all a copy of this little book as she was otherwise going to throw them away as they were a bit(!) outdated.

Over the years since, this little book (published in 1949) has made us laugh at the quaintness of the vocabulary which now seems so antiquated.

Photo: click to enlarge

There are several entries which really make me wonder quite who the book was aimed at….check out the last entries on page 29…

Photo: click to enlarge

And after all the useful and innocent animal sounds…..

Photo: click to enlarge

Presumably after having his throat cut!

I hope I never have to use the phrase at the bottom of page 93…

Photo: click to enlarge

Schooldays. It all seems so long ago. It was so long ago. It’s quite frightening when I think back just how long ago it was. I remember it all so well though – it’s yesterday I have a problem with…

I do remember that I went to see the film WALL.E last week. It’s so good. The animation is astonishing and it’s a very sweet story with a topical, environmental message. And as a Mac fan(atic) I found this which I stumbled upon very amusing…those of you who have seen WALL.E will ‘get’ it.

There were lots of very cute little short videos on the WALL.E website – here are a couple. I think they are hilarious.

My next expedition is to London on Thursday. I am going to the Royal Opera House to see the Guangdong Acrobatic Troupe of China perform Swan Lake. You may remember the amazing video I posted last week – should be wonderful, I’ll let you know…

22 responses to “Parlez-vous français?

  1. strugglingwriter August 5, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I’m wondering if I could take my daughter to Wall-E for her first movie at the theater.

    That page 29 devolved quickly. :)

    Great book and thanks for the how-to. Very well done. I think I’m too “idle” to attempt that. :)

  2. CharmaineZoe August 5, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Diane,

    Finally got the Needs Meme up – not as easy as it looked! But the results are amusing ;-) Have been reading some more of your blog and really enjoying it. I love the fact you have a river going through your garden, and your views are just gorgeous. I was surprised to see a fox coming down my garden path the other day at about 9 in the morning! I often hear them barking at night, but never seen one. I was amazed to see it so close – very exciting! Looking forward to your next post, P.S. I love Italy too :-)


  3. The Rev. August 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Congrats Diane!

    I mean, one award is fantastic, but TWO spots? Yikes~ That’s dangerously fantastic!

    I love the Wall-E short clips, as well – perhaps I’ll have to take my little sis to go see it (I can’t be spotted going alone, clearly!)

  4. Jenny August 5, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Pirates! The phrases on page 29 were for pirates! Arrrrgh! Johnny ….

  5. Daddy Papersurfer August 5, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I’m in London on Thursday as well!! If you want to avoid me don’t be at Victoria Station at midday ………

    BTW do you have to phone your mobile to find it occasionally? – we have several times ……….

  6. Teresa August 5, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Woohoo…2 spots on the list! I knew you were special; now I have proof! ;)

    Count me as one of those too busy/lazy to make her own books. Believe me, I have enough hobbies to last me into the next life time. I don’t need another one. I can’t wait for your Etsy store (my semi-regular reminder here…are you sick of me yet?)

    We need to see Wall-E! When to find the time….

  7. Teresa August 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Oh and I meant to add that we won’t be using that old textbook to learn French! What’s with the throat cutting and airplanes colliding?? And we thought it used to be a gentler world. ;}

  8. Diane August 5, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    SW – WALL.E is very cute but I think it actually has quite grown up jokes too. Not sure if it’s ‘babyish’ enough for a 2 year old though…you’ll have to find a 5 year old to take :-)
    Glad you like the book – took me ages to write (and re-write) the tutorial, don’t know how you writer types do it :-D

    Charmaine – I shall pop over and read yours next! I am lucky to live in a nice part of the country – foxes are everywhere though aren’t they? Even in the cities. Will post about your lovely award soon – thanks again :-)

    Rev – I’m sure they will notice eventually but in the mean time, I shall revel in my glory ;-)
    My son took me to see it. He had been banging on about it for weeks and weeks so we went the week it opened. He is 22 :-)

    Jenny – maybe that’s it! Johnny lives in France doesn’t he? Isn’t he the cutest pirate you’ve ever seen?
    Not that I’ve seen many of course….

    DP – yep! Phone my mobile to find it, lose my glasses and then can’t see to find them because I need my glasses. Despite having several pairs scattered all over the house. They always seem to end up together in the same place. Just wish I knew where the place was.
    You would be hard to miss – you will be the only person at Victoria with a cardboard box on his head….

    Teresa – I am getting closer and closer to the Etsy shop – I’ve been doing all the prep work – it’s just that all the measuring and uploading takes forever…honest!
    You must see WALL.E, it is really good – the boys would love it.
    I’m not sure if that book had those things in it because it was published not that long after the end of the war, even so I can’t believe it was intended for school children – even though they can be blood thirsty little tikes :-)

  9. Teresa August 5, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Yeah, I imagine setting up shop takes a long time, especially with all the inventory that you have. I read someone else’s advice that the more items you put in your shop, the sooner/more sales you will have. It’ll be worth the work! Do keep me posted; I’m giving you a huge plug in my blog (tis a small blog, but I like to think every bit helps) and on Facebook. :)

  10. creechman August 6, 2008 at 12:30 am

    That’s what I like about English women. Lot’s of Zeros with no X-es.


    “There’s no way you can win that game.”

    “Oh really, She loves me. She will make a mistake.”

  11. writinggb August 6, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Congrats on the award(s). Perty scientific, huh?!

    The kid and hubster saw that movie and loved it. I was home writing…. Woe is me. :-)

    Got the meme response up finally….

  12. laketrees August 6, 2008 at 2:17 am

    grats on the list Diane…
    obviously the person who nominated my blog….wasn’t being very honest !!
    love the black and white…very smart…
    your new tutorial is fab…no chance of me making any books..ever!!!

    I’m jealous…you’re off to see swan lake…. *green smilie*
    I’m expecting a full review ;)

    haha all the French phrases…hilarious…. how times have changed :) I remember when I took my French phrase book to Paris and ended up communicating via French ballet terms…
    plié anyone….

  13. burntmaze August 6, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    well done on the ranking, you deserve it.

    i’m learning polish as my girlfriend is polish but to be honest i’d much rather learn french. it just sounds so much better! oh well.


  14. Diane August 6, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Teresa – I want to have lot of stuff on there because let’s face it, I have a lot to sell :-)
    Thank you for your support – you are a star!

    Creechman – took me a while to see what you were on about but got there in the end… :-)

    writinggb – you should have gone to see WALL.E – it’s fun! Maybe you can see it on DVD or something…
    …glad you did the meme – you got great answers – love the soprano!

    Kim – the book is actually silver and black – I’m rubbish at photographing true colors, I fiddle about with Photoshop and just make it worse! I got told off today for potentially ruining my market – I’m glad I will still have some customers when I launch :-)
    I’ll tell you all about Swan Lake – I’m dying to see how she dances on his head – and if he has a flat head…. :-)
    Au revoir!

    Tom -thank you! You are very kind!
    I’m not sure what Polish sounds like although all the shop assistants in the Bournemouth department stores seem to be Polish girls who speak immaculate English. I want to learn Italian as I speak enough French to get by and Italian is SO dreamy.
    Oops, mentioned it again….

  15. Dunn August 7, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Congratulations for being nominated!

  16. Diane August 7, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Thank you, Dunn, I just thought it was silly I was in there twice – I guess I should tell him….

  17. 70steen August 7, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    wow well done /congrats on your nomination how cool :-)

    Just laughing at your French phrase book. I will be in Paris on Saturday I may print off the animal noises one and see if anyone understands me hee hee

  18. Margaret August 8, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Good Lord! Mrs Petit-Jean must have gotten those books from the Bastille during the French revolution!

  19. Diane August 8, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    70s – have a wonderful holiday – Paris and Madrid, fantastic! Not sure I could cope with 40 degrees though but it has to be be better than relentless gloom…I need some sun!!!

    Margaret – she was rather an old lady….
    maybe there was a missing page
    ‘La Guillotine’
    ‘We shall chop off their heads’,
    ‘Into the tumbrel with you’
    ‘Oops! I’ve dropped a stitch…’ etc. :-)

  20. dianeca August 8, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Your days nominations are not over. You have been given an award from me. Drop by and see and play along if you wish!

  21. RennyBA August 8, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    First off all: congrats with your nomination – you really, really deserves that!

    Then I liked Your book of today and was amazed about the effect in the circles when I was scrolling up and down:-)

    Thanks also for sharing these treasurable books – very interesting read – even if I did not had French in school.

    Wishing you a great end to your week :-)

  22. Belinda Del Pesco August 17, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Beautiful book – I love the black and white. Thanks for the details.

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