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Reading another book in french

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 19 Sept 2022, 14:48

I am struggling to read my latest book 'Germinal' by Emile Zola because the language is quite difficult. 

Some words are old fashioned and not in general use anymore. Other words are more to do with mining terms. Although I did like the story very much the language is quite hard going.

 I know I should persist with it but I will just put it aside for now, perhaps when I feel more confident in the language later on, I will pick it up again. Anyway I got about halfway through it but found it frustrating, to have to keep stopping to look up words all the time!

Instead of reading the book I will watch it on  DVD first for the time being, which I also  happen to have in my collection.


The next book I have decided to read from my collection, is not too long or too difficult to read. It is a  paperback called 'L'enchanteur'  by Vladimir Nabokov.

Vladimir Nabokov is a Russian-American¬†novelist, poet, translator, and¬†entomologist. Born in Russia, he wrote his first nine novels in Russian (1926‚Äď1938) while living in Berlin.¬†

This book is the french translation from the Russian.
I am finding the french language a lot easier to understand in this book,  and I don't have to stop so often, to look up words in the dictionary.

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A Green footpath

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 3 July 2022, 01:52

Footpath through the field

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Swirling red Poppies

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Swirling red  poppies

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Purple flower

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Purple flower abstract

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The prospect of the coal mines opening again

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 2 July 2022, 15:43

I am still reading my book 'Germinal' by Emile Zola. I was horrified by the brutal conditions the poor coal miners had to endure, it must have been terrible for them. They used to suffer from the lung diseases a condition called black lung disease or  pneumoconiosis (CWP). Most of the miners died died on average aged 57, those who did live any longer were choking, coughing and finding it difficult to breathe.

It makes you think about today, that they are thinking about wanting to open up some more coal mines again in Wales. This also is at odds with protecting the environment.

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Reading Germinal

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 2 July 2022, 14:55

I am reading 'Germinal' in french by Emile Zola. It is a hard book to read because it is about the crippling poverty and the inhuman working conditions in a coal mine in northern France. The time it takes place in is around 1884-1886 and explains the harsh working conditions and the events surrounding the strikes.
In this country it was a similar story, with the rich mine owners who had a comfortable happy life, whereas the miners had a life of poverty and  misery. It is the working classes who are often exploited by the upper classes, This is a realistic story of a mining community in the 1800s.

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A sleeping Bee?

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 1 July 2022, 13:44

Bee on white flower with petal on

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Bee collecting pollen from lavender

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 30 June 2022, 18:36

Bee climbing on lavender

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Watching a Hovering Bee

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 14 Aug 2023, 20:44

A Bee landing on lavender

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Busy Bee hiding behind leaf

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 10 Jan 2024, 09:25

A bumble bee on flower

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Wildflowers

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 30 June 2022, 14:24

Orange Wildflowers

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Wildflowers in my garden

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 10 Jan 2024, 09:28

Marigolds and other wild flower


Pink wild flowers


Yellow marigolds


Red poppies in garden

I am very interested in the environment and environmental issues. I spent a lot of time in my garden today, it is quite a good size garden. A couple of years ago, we sowed some wild flower seeds,  but didn't see any flowers appearing for a long time, then we stared to notice the odd one or two. However, now we have an abundance of wild flowers growing in the garden. The whole lawn area is just full of them, oxdaisies, clovers, marigolds, marsh marigolds cornflowers, corncockles, cowslips, a few poppies and others. Some flowers may have been there before, but some are new. Each day I don't know what I will see next, It is a real joy to behold!
The housing association is leaving the grass to grow longer for a while, which I think is a good idea,  to allow more insects to thrive and this will then will help to boost the ecological system.

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La vie est dure.

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 27 June 2022, 14:18

Je lis en ce moment 'Germinal' d'Emile Zola. C'est une histoire très sombre sur une communauté minière dans le nord de la France dans les années 1860.

il suit l'histoire d'un migrant qui vient travailler dans une mine de charbon.
Il est acceuilli dans la maison d'un mineur et de sa famille.

La vie est dure à la mine et les gens travaillaient dur pour très peu de salaire. La pauvreté s'est aggravée et les gens souffraient.

Bien qu'il se déroule en France, il pourrait facilement s'agir d'une mine en Angleterre.

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'Germinal' by Emile Zola

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 27 June 2022, 00:45


I  managed to read the first chapter of my current french  book 'Germinal' by Emile Zola.
There were quite a lot of french words that I didn't understand, so I had to look them up in the dictionary. I am slowly making prgress, it is a bit difficult at the moment, but hopefully I will get more involved with the story , as I get further along in the book.

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We Had Our Very Own Glastonbury!(sort of!)

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 24 Sept 2023, 21:55

Today was the village music festival. The road was blocked off and the high street was pedestrianised. There were stalls selling home made produce, there were vintage cars, mopeds, hot dogs and ice creams. Music from the 50s and 60s was the theme. The weather was very sunny and the atmosphere was lively. We, my husband and myself are more from the 60s than 50s but we 6can appreciate both eras!

Elvis was singing and other famous bands from around  that era, over the loud speakers.  I wore my hair in a pony tail and my spotted dress, white socks with white trainers, so I was actually dressed for the occasion! 

 Everyone was up dancing the rock n roll and the twist, even some quite old folks so I grabbed my husband !  and he reluctantly joined in! We used to like to dance the rock n roll when we were young so we remembered how to do it.

He was a bit shy and afterwards he declined to do it again, saying he didn't want to look too ridiculous, but I thought it was great fun and I could have danced all afternoon!

Instead he took himself off to buy us both an ice cream each and he grumbled that it was a bit expensive!  He came back and we sat on a bench to eat our icecreams, then he told me off for acting like a teenager. I called him a spoil sport! My friend  just sat there and laughed at us saying 'you two are like a couple of silly children!'

It was a jolly time and a much needed lift for the mental health of the community, especially after Covid 19, and all the other troubles the country has experienced lately!

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An Update

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Saturday, 25 June 2022, 18:03

I have now finished reading my book in french by Agatha Christie. 'Meurtre  en Mesopotamie'  I read it quite quickly, because I was eager to find out  'who did it?'

I had to look up a lot of french words throughout the book, but near the end I just read it and tried to get the gist of it, i managed to understand it and as usual it was always surprising at the end.!

Today I will start reading another book from my little collection, which I bought from Oxfam book shop. This next book is called 'Germinal' by Emile Zola.

I hope I will be able to read it,  unfortunately the printing is quite small ! but I will have a go.
I will put on my spectacles and I have a magnifying glass, so I will have a try to read it.

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Prices rising fast!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Wednesday, 22 Feb 2023, 17:49

Been to shop in the supermarket today and I just can't believe the prices!
There are some things going up by as much as a pound at a time, it's bonkers!
My friend has just told me there is a shortage of baby formula.
What is going on?

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Beneath the Trees- One of our favourite spots on a bench!

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 14 Aug 2023, 20:50

Trees in the Cemetery

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Irises and Roses

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Thursday, 23 June 2022, 21:59

Iris and Roses

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Sunshine in the Cemetery

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Tuesday, 11 Apr 2023, 18:54

Sunshine in the Cemetery

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Under the shade of the lime trees.

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Tuesday, 11 Apr 2023, 18:56

Overhanging trees

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Following A Peaceful footpath

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Monday, 19 Sept 2022, 14:50

A quiet footpath with trees

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Une longue journée

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 22 July 2022, 12:07

Je suis une étudiante adulte. Je me suis inscrite à un cursus de langue BA degree
(une licence) J'étudie l'anglais et le français.
Je me suis intéressé à étudier le français après avoir pris mes vacances en France, Il y a quelle ques anées.

J'aime beaucoup la langue et la culture francaise.
J'ai commencé ce voyage il y a plus de six ans en commençant par le cours d'accès.

Ce fut un cours int√©ressant et je me suis fait beaucoup d'amis en cours de route. J'ai relev√© pas mal de d√©fis, dont celui de la technologie du 21e si√®cle,¬†comme je suis d'un certain √Ęge!¬†aussi Covid19 et la mort de ma soeur cette ann√®e. Ce fut difficile.

Cela a été un voyage de découvertes et de test de mes capacités en langues.
Après tout, j'ai quitté l'école avec presque aucune qualifications. Ce sera ma dernière année de licence. J'éspère que je vais obtenir ma licence l'année prochaine.

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Reading quietly in a cool room.

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Sunday, 24 Sept 2023, 21:58

Today it felt like a heat wave had arrived!  The weather seems to be getting hotter!
I have done my daily housework tasks and sorting out things that needed to be done at home, as well as going to the shops.

I have applied for next term for student loan. I am taking L332 BA degree  in french language and culture. I have to wait about 6 weeks to hear from them. I also have my place reserved. So it is just a matter of waiting now.

We stay in the cool lounge this afternoon and he was happy to read to himself quietly. We had a good walk yesterday but had to sit in the shade most of the time.

This afternoon I read my novel in french language. It is a detective story by Agatha Christie translated from english into french. The language is not too difficult and is every day language.

 I am getting the gist of it,  because I vaguely seem to remember reading it a long time ago,  but  in english. As always, I have my  french/english dictionary beside me, to look up any french words I don't know. The storyline was interesting so I read with great enthusiasm. 

I am now halfway through the book!
Hopefully,  I will be able to understand it all and become familiar with all the words in french. I wish ! 

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The rising Cost of Living

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Edited by Gill Burrell, Friday, 24 June 2022, 09:31


It seems to me if the government wants to be serious about the global warming crisis, and wants to encourage more people to use public transport instead of using their cars, then they should support the  Rail workers, to make sure that they have a good living wage and better conditions. The increase in wages should be for all the working class sector, in order to meet the demands of this cost of living crisis. 

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