Buses over London are showing my name.
I’ve actually just had a Coke too! But where is Laura?
She is on lots of other buses.
The French can get very touchy, when English encroaches on territory, they think is reserved for French.
But this row, reported here on the BBC is totally of their own making, Here’s the introduction.
The French parliament is debating a new road map for French universities, which includes the proposal of allowing courses to be taught in English. For some, this amounts to a betrayal of the national language and, more specifically, of a particular way at looking at the world – for others it’s just accepting the inevitable.
The English-speaking world has nothing to do with it.
My French is such, that I can get by as a tourist. I also successfully used the language, when I was at ICI, as it was quicker to read scientific reports from the Belgian company, Solvay, in French, rather than wait for a translation.
On the other hand, when I was in Montreal, a few years ago, I was totally baffled, as Canadian French, is more different to French, than American is to English.
When we developed Artemis, we sold in quite a few European countries, but didn’t bother with French, as we thought they would be touchy, wanting everything in their own language.
In the late 1970s, Metier had installed an Artemis system, at Chrysler in Coventry. For various reasons, it hadn’t been upgraded, as much as it should. Soon after Peugeot-Citroen took over Chrysler in 1979, someone in Peugeot-Citroen decided to do a company wide survey of the various project management systems in use in the group. on one visit they went to Coventry and because they were impressed with what they saw, they came straight down the M1 to see us in our offices in Hayes.
Peugeot-Citroen then decided to buy a system for Paris. We told them it was only in English, but they said not to matter, as all their engineers knew the language. They did ask us to get some proper sales flyers in French.
The rest as they say is history, in that Peugeot-Citroen introduced Artemis to a lot of their friends.
Another story I remember, which illustrates the French and their language, happened a few years later. In the 1980s, I owned a company that made hand-tools. One tool, was exported to France and the United States. Our American agent asked if we could produce an English/French version for Canada. But a straight combination of what we already had was unacceptable and we had to get a special French Canadian translation at great expense. Eventually, the Canadians excepted it.
A couple of years afterwards, we had an urgent order from France, but unfortunately we were out of French leaflets. So we faxed over the French Canadian one to ask if that would be acceptable. The response was, that it will do, but that the French would have a bit of a laugh about the language.
Make of that, what you will!
I should say, that I once travelled to the States with a secretary from the New Zealand embassy in Ottawa. She told me, that some Canadians got very upset, if she sent them a letter with some American English spelling.
This was reported in The Sunday Times.
Builders have long used Polycell to cover up unsightly cracks, so it was only a matter of time before the company launched its own underwear range. PolyPants have a high waistband to avoid revealing “builder’s bottom”.
A cartoonist friend, will have to redraw one of his best cartoons.
Prufrock in the Sunday Times reported that Irving Sellar, who developed the Shard, has his own table in the restaurant on floor 32.
He must only be following the reasoning of Guy de Maupassant, who often ate lunch in the Eiffel Tower. Wikipedia says this.
Maupassant was but one of a fair number of 19th-century Parisians who did not care for the Eiffel Tower; indeed, he often ate lunch in the restaurant at its base, not out of any preference for the food, but because it was only there that he could avoid seeing its otherwise unavoidable profile.
So does Irvine Sellar feel like that about the monstrous Shard?
There have been plans released today about building another crossing of the Thames close to or downstream of the current Dartford Crossing. It’s all here on the BBC.
It will be of no use to me, as I think, I’ve only been over the current crossing, once since I moved here and that was because I was getting a lift home from Ipswich by a friend who lives in Kent.
Even my friend going home to the Netherlands on Friday, crossed under the Thames in the Blackwall Tunnel.
It could be one of those questions, where now, we might actually need the new crossing, but in say a couple of years, we might not.
London Gateway will be operational by then and will this cut down the number of truck movements around the M25?
Hopefully, there will be more trains from St. Pancras into Europe to new destinations like Amsterdam, Cologne and Geneva.
Will too, passengers for Gatwick be less likely to use a car to get there, when Thameslink is fully operational?
And who’s going to predict the effect of Crossrail?
It is a very complex problem and perhaps spending £5billion on a new bridge, might have better effect, if it was spent elsewhere?
For two people you need the following.
2 fillets of haddock
1 pack of asparagus
2 cups of frozen peas.
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 tomatoes (chopped into quarters)
Salt, freshly-ground black pepper.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegetable stock powder.
As it was 2 small fillets, just for me, I used a pack of English asparagus tips. None of your air-freighted stuff for me!
I started by heating the oil in a saucepan and then adding the onion.
I cooked it, until the onion was reasonably cooked. I then added the tomatoes, seasoned it all with black pepper and let it cook on a gentle heat for a minute or so.
I then added a cup of water, the vegetable stock powder and the frozen peas (from frozen).
I left the peas to cook for five minutes before adding the haddock fillets to the sauce.
After another five minutes the haddock was cooked.
As the haddock c0oked, a cooked the asparagus in the way that Heston Blumenthal used in this recipe.
I just fried them in a little olive oil with some seasoning.
It was then just a matter of arranging the asparagus on a plate, putting the haddock on top and then adding the sauce and some of the peas.
I also added some potatoes.
I think others might modify this to their taste, perhaps by adding lemon juice. But I liked it the way it came.
This week is Clerkenwell Design Week.
There’s still two more days if you want to have a look.
When I went away to Geneva, I left some goat’s milk in the fridge, so I could have a drink of tea on return.
As you can see it was five days past its sell-by date. And perfect!
Goats obviously know how to keep their milk fresh.
There are more CERN photos uploaded here to Flickr by other visitors from our Liverpool University Alumni Relations group.
This piece of EU legislation reported on the BBC must be the silliest. Here’s the first paragraph.
The European Commission is to ban the use of refillable bottles and dipping bowls of olive oil at restaurant tables from next year.
From 1 January 2014, restaurants may only serve olive oil in tamper-proof packaging, labelled to EU standards.
The Commission, the EU’s executive branch, says the move will protect consumers and improve hygiene.
It won’t improve my hygiene, as I’ve never anything in dipped olive oil and as very few places serve gluten-free bread, it will affect me about as much as the EU saying restaurants couldn’t use light blue tablecloths.
It’s ideas like this that mean UKIP and the other silly parties all over Europe prosper.
Let’s have some serious legislation that says that all restaurants must have a gluten free policy, shown on the menu.