Cold but sunny

Over the weekend I managed to: lose my keys, make that risotto (and have a nice visit) with Aylwin, lose my spare house key, go skating for the first time this season, drink the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had, have a pleasant dinner with an uncle & aunt who were passing through town, get locked out once more, and then remember where I had left my keys at the start of it all. Not bad.

My remedial French course started again on Monday. I have three classes a week, the second of which is this afternoon. My teacher this time is a young Quebecois fellow named Charles who endeared himself to me when he brought out a guitar on Monday and sang us the present indicative conjugations of être, avoir, and aller to a tune he had made up. Ashod, the teacher I had last time, often explained new terms in English, but Charles works hard to avoid using English at all. This makes the lessons more work for me, which I’m happy for. And last night Charlotte, Shannon’s francophone roommate, loaned me a few of her favourite French children’s storybooks, for practice. They’re all dogeared from years of enjoyment in her childhood, except a recent one about racism awareness, entitled “Max et Koffi sont copains”.

Ashod, currently travelling in southern India, was on a beach in Chennai the morning of the tsunami, by the way. He left town just an hour before the wave arrived. I don’t even know how to respond to that, other than be glad the fates decided to spare him that day. Hundreds of thousands of people I never knew have disappeared beneath the waters but the life of this one person I just met a few months ago somehow grabs me in a different way. My brother-in-law, Jindi, visited much of that coastline by motorcycle last spring and now spends much of his time glued to his television set, hoping to see a glimpse of some of the people he met. He’s also organizing a volunteer group who will travel there to do relief work in May, which is the sort of thing he and my sister have a lot of experience with.

Alright, time to get back to work. If I get enough done I get to spend half an hour skating before class at two.

Your thought for the day: “Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it’s the only one you have.” (Emile Chartier, 1868-1951)