Tuesday 10 September 2013

Only when I laugh

And still the Russian classes continue.  I am enjoying them (I am!  I AM!  Can you hear my gritted teeth?), although the contrast between my life and those of my fellow students - mostly in their mid-20's, in Russia temporarily on gap years or looking to extend their skills for their cv - tests the limits of my good humour as I rush off at the end of each session to pick the Boys up from school whilst they merrily head off to a cafe to shoot the breeze and (perhaps) practice their Russian and mug up on their vocabulary for the next day.

In spite of that I have somehow made it as far as the middle of week three with only one weekday off for good behaviour. (I desperately needed supplies from a supermarket unreachable through the heavy weekend traffic, and oh yes, there just might have been a birthday lunch for a friend that I couldn't bring myself to say no to.  In my defence, there was champagne, and everything...)

Consequently, it's been a little quiet on the blogging front, and if I'm honest is likely to remain so for the next week or so.

Real Life is getting in the way right now what with being at classes all day, a travelling husband meaning solo parenting is the norm, a house currently being fitted throughout with pipes for a centralised heating system, a dishwasher that has recently become un-usable since it started giving out nasty electric shocks, the replacement of our kitchen floor lino with something that if possible is even uglier than the original (perhaps the shocks are the dishwasher registering it's protest at having to look at the new floor all day?), the start of the school term and the reintroduction of various after-school activities which need to be slotted into the jigsaw of our family life, homework (mine AND the children's), and Boy #1's imminent 10th birthday party (TEN?  When did that happen?).

So my grey matter is feeling a little spongy, to be frank; I'm put in mind of an old dishcloth that needs a good squeeze to get rid of all the dirty water.

But there is still hope.  It appears that my brain is not completely obsolete; today in Russian class I was asked what I do in my spare time, and was still able to come up with the following:

Что это ,свободное время' Вы говорите?

(What is it, this 'spare time' you speak of?)

I think they got the joke...


  1. Joking in the foreign language - HUGE! (says the language teacher.) Очень хорошо!! (dragged that out of the cobwebs in my brain and dusted it off for you - aren't you impressed?)I feel your pain, though! All of my younger/single/childless colleagues finish work and then saunter off to language classes/taekwondo/Korean drum class while I head home to rustle up dinner and/or pick #2 up at school. It seems really unfair, doesn't it?

  2. One might even say otlichno!

    (can still remember some Russian - no idea how to get the keyboard/blogger to write it though).

    And feeling nearly as smug as you for making the joke for understanding it too!

    Go you indeed!

  3. Are you going to be in Russia long enough still to make all that effort? The alien writing alone would discourage me, but then again, my brain is older than yours and not so flexible anymore.

  4. You told a joke in Russian? You've passed the test! Well done young lady!

  5. I'm struggling to learn enough Italian to get by but at least that uses the same alphabet! How you're learning a whole new language with different letters is beyond me - let alone telling a joke!! Kudos!

  6. That's definitely impressive.

    So sounds like you're in Russia for the forseeable future?

  7. Ooh, joking in foreign language is good!

  8. You are a superwoman. They're not even 'real' letters. How on earth are you doing it?? In awe.

  9. Thanks, KM... (But don't be - it's taken me nearly 4 years to get round to it).

    MsC, I am VERY impressed and yes, it is unfair.

    Harriet, ah yes - I remember you were here a while back. (And if you work out how to get the keyboard to be cyrillic without putting it through google translate, can you let me know???)

    Irene, it's always worth the effort. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway!

    Pippa, a pretty simple one. I'm working on 'My dog's got no nose...' now.

    BW, actually the alphabet is not the problem. It's the grammer, the pronounciation, the cases, the spelling - well, everything else really.

    NVG, not necessarily - just got tired of not being able to communicate!

    Iota, makes me look good, yes. Still struggling to ask what time the bus leaves, though!

    Melissa, not real letters? Hush your mouth woman, or you'll get a million irate Russians shouting at you. (But yes, I agree).

  10. I still can't joke in my "foreign" language!

  11. I'm seriously impressed! And doesn't Russian look so beautiful? Child One is desperate to do Russian at university from scratch ....I keep suggesting it's not going to be easy ....

  12. I am learning Serbian (family matter). It is as difficult as Russian but you have the chance to avoid the cirylic alphabet and do it in latin.
    keep it going, new languages open minds!!

  13. Russian is such a beautiful language. Amazing writers had made great literature in Russian.
    Cirylic gives to the beauty of literature the aesthetics of the unknown

  14. EPM - well, you can. It's just that the locals don't get it...

    DD - it does look beautiful. And no, it's not easy. Although if she's at all mathmatical or structured, she may find it easier than I'm doing.

    Anna, ah, the Roman alphabet. I dream of the Roman alphabet!

    Visit - what you said...


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