Petites Surprises de Retour

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          Freshly-rested and a little over-stuffed after Christmas, we’re all back in Aix to knuckle down and try to pass an exam or two. I’m sure I’ll get round to writing about them soon, when I’m not actually doing them, and when my hesitant daily excursions into the outside world stop providing me with such interesting things to see.

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     One of I’m sure many unannounced public art installations because of Marseille-Provence’s status as European Captial of Culture 2013, Joséph Donten’s simply-named ‘Arbres Cours Mirabeau’ certainly brightens up the street now the twinkly lights of Noël are gone. It’s as if the trees have become incredibly tall, incredibly chic French fashionistas declaring that Polkadot is, very much, in. Though with my anglo-eyes I can’t help being reminded of Pudsey Bear.

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     With January comes sales, and if you add to that a love of Franglais and sensationalism in shop-fronts, you get something like this. A phenomenon I’d only ever seen in a post on LanguageLog before, this certainly drew my eye to Japan Rags’ January sale. The theory is that this very common word is used so much as an intensifier, generally in place of a word like ‘very’ or ‘terribly’, that its transferral into other languages uses this function and not a single trace of its original meaning. A source on the LanguageLog blog insists “This only happens in Japan”, but it seems to be spreading…

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     From the ridiculous to the sublime, I’ve found my homesickness-beating gastronomical treat in the form of this Covent Garden Onion, Cheddar and Cider soup. Not the most indulgent of offerings in Monoprix, but at 3€ a pop and so packed full of things I’ll soon start missing again, the thought of this is pulling me through all this revision.

          So about that revision. Sigh.

 

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