Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Where The Hell Have I Been?



When you stop being employed life catches up with you. I have never been busier. Honestly.  I am doing all the things that I have never had time to do (and I am only starting to appreciate all the things I missed and it is actually quite scary).
For instance, I have attended for the very first time a service at St Paul’s cathedral. It must sound incredible, but I had never ever been there. Well, it was amazing and well worth it despite the very weird modern hymn that we had in the middle of the service. And I loved the way everybody was singing. The lady behind me was probably thinking that she was at the Royal Opera House and gave us an impressive -and slightly misplaced- performance. I like passionate people, so I don’t resent her too much (my ears do).
I have also learned how to say St Paul. I can’t resist sharing it with you. You must absolutely not say St Paul the French way - which is, for your information, something like St Pol, short and crisp-. No, the proper British way is:
St POOOOOOOOAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOL


And nothing less will do.
Your mouth must look like the bottom of a chicken. If it doesn’t, then you are simply not saying it properly. I have finally cracked it! YAY (It took me 7 years though…)
Obviously, I am still learning. Let’s take the word “swap”, for instance. My very British daughter says something like SWOAOP. Oh, and you don’t pronounce the “t”s here. You say “wa’er” for water.
Anyway, I might get there when I am 100.
I also found out that there is a fantastic street market on Tachbrook Street. For a fiver you can eat a huge portion of Japanese, Moroccan or Indian food (I am forgetting half of the options I am sure). You can also buy fresh bread, fruit and vegs and anything you need really (and believe it or not, the can of Diet Coke only cost 40p) It is simply fantastic and I don’t have to fake my posh British accent there. You can grab a seat and feel life slowly coming back to you.
Life is good.
As for the business, I have just signed a new contract (more about that in a next post…)
And it feels good too. Thanks again for encouraging me to finally make a decision!

23 comments:

  1. We speak a different English over here. As Winston said, two nations separated by a common language - or something like that.

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  2. So glad you are settled and finally getting to enjoy the simple thiings in life - though your pronunciation is going to need some more work! ;-)

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  3. Good to see you appreciate your new life and can do things you would have never hoped to do before (cause too busy)
    As for the language I still have a hard time to say I studied Law without people staring at me taking it for Loo (did not know you could study Toilets!) or Low.
    As for Gorgeous, I have it perfect after a good couple of tries - here you put all the accent on the O - It is not poetic but it really looks like you are about to vomit.
    Strange things - Same Language / Different English!

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  4. I like reading this, it's quite entertaining and well told...and hey, thank God you have that new contract, I am stil waiting for a miracle to happen so I start working again, yikes!

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  5. The pronunciation lesson is hilarious. I actually tried it out, LOL! I'm a bit confused though. I've always thought/believed that the Brits say all their T's which I admire considering a lot of Americans do. Well at least my British friends speak that way---woh-Tah (water). Hmmm.....thinking, thinking.....

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  6. Ahh, to finally have the time! I'm glad your are enjoying it. When you were in New York some months ago, you must have heard accents that made your hair stand on end!

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  7. So glad you made the right decision Muriel. Sounds like everything is falling into place beautifully.
    That's beeoooooooooooootifulleeeeeeee!

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  8. And you guys complain about American English!

    This post made me laugh! I can completely relate to being so busy. Now that I've relocated and am in-between jobs, I can't figure out where the time goes. So glad you're enjoying life. Thanks for checking in with your virtual friends. :)

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  9. @ Thom - The Americans seem to be more laid-back about how they speak, which I find less intimidating than here.

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  10. @ Lucylastica2 - I am not there yet. that said, today another french lady didn't notice that I was French. A step forward...

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  11. @MarieHarmony- So funny! And if it is of any help, I haven't mastered gorgeous yet...

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  12. @Marie - I am working hard on not working, Marie. Life is tough.

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  13. @MissLego - I am older than you, you see. I grew tired of waiting for a miracle and set up my own business. It is not perfect, but at least I am my own boss!

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  14. @ Joy - Three words for you: practice, practice, practice...

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  15. @Sweepyjean - believe it or not, I find the Americans much more relaxed about having an accent. Don't repeat it: I was making less efforts there with my English than here.

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  16. @Elizabeth - Well, daaaarling, it is absoooolutely fantastic.

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  17. Sounds like you are enjoying life again and discovering London. I just realized that in all the years when I lived in London, I never attended a service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Actually, I was so busy working that I missed doing/seeing a lot of things. Glad that you are taking advantage of your current situation and glad to hear your business is looking better every day.

    BTW, I speak British English and we always pronounce the "t". I suppose not pronouncing it as in "water" is a new fad among the young.

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  18. St Pooooaaals's is undoubtedly magnificent both in its scale and it's siting on the crest of a hill. However with your insights in engineering & project management you may be excited to know that the architect had no idea when it started of how to finish it! Christopher Wren was a mathematician and astronomer and, as was common then, an amateur architect and had not worked out how to "do" the some which had to rival St. Peters in Rome. The building went hugely over budget and time and there were riots in the streets (nothing new!) to stop it. Eventually he abandoned the dome and built a brick cone with the base tensioned by a giant sea chain to stop its tendency to expand outwards. So both the outer and inner "domes" are false constructed in timber off the cone and not strictly domes as they are not self supporting. Nonetheless he was a great architect who is buried in St. Paul's and is deserving of the epitaph penned by his son (also Christopher Wren) "Lector si monumentum requiris, circumspice" - "Reader, if you seek his monument look around." He built 48 churches (and probably one synagogue, Bevis Marks) all except St. Mary le Strand, within the City of London. My favourite is St Stephen, Walbrook,his only symmetrical church.

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  19. I know what you mean... I don't know if it is being a woman or a mom or just a human, but it is waaaaay busier being at home than at a paying job!

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  20. OMG YAY!! I'm so glad to hear that you're keeping yourself busy and finding life so fulfilling! =) This post is encouragement to me to get out there and try new things all over again! =)

    I also thoroughly laughed out loud about the British accent you're picking up! =) Thanks for sharing those tips! =)

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  21. Muriel, so funny, I tried to fold my mouth to ressemble the bottom of a chicken, lucky nobody took any pictures!
    St. Paul's will always remind me of Mary Hoppins and the old lady selling pigeon food for 2 pence a bag (except it was pronounced "toppens" in the song).
    Thanks for sharing, greetings from Switzerland, Barbara

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  22. Hey Muriel,

    This has been interesting! I just left a job and before I take up something new...I am taking some time off and believe me, I have never been busier!

    So, really we get tied up... but the best part is that we learn to dust off and move on!

    Yayyy for you... !!!

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