Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Trends and Prehistoric Creatures
The Trends wine shop on Mill Lane, not far from our flat, closed several weeks ago. I always liked this place because of its abundance of signage, but I must admit I never bought wine there. (We patronized another, closer wine shop, and unfortunately it has now closed, too. We hear it will reopen under a new owner.)
Anyway, I will miss Trends Trends Trends.
As some of you know, I've been working on transcribing my old paper journals into blog form, in order to create a digital backup. The other day I transcribed an entry from my days living in Morocco, in the early '90s, in which I mentioned coming across a puddle full of strange creatures -- I described them as resembling small, pink horseshoe crabs. Apparently, they really repulsed me.
I never learned what these things were, but fortunately, I also drew a picture of them. Using that as a guide, I got online and did some research and found that they're called tadpole shrimp. They apparently live in seasonal bodies of water and their eggs encyst and live in the environment for up to 27 years before hatching when the conditions become right. I mean, that is freaking amazing, is it not? Nature is incredible. Anyway, I'm glad I solved this 22-year-old mystery!
Here's more of our modern London nature:
Mr. Fox, captured on our garden cam. Just a few hours earlier:
Olga and these foxes do a sort of continual pas-de-deux, taunting each other with their mere presence.
And speaking of French, I thought yesterday about whether I want to continue my classes and why they've become so hard for me. The classes themselves aren't that difficult, but I'm struggling with motivation. I think I've been somewhat frustrated by my slow progress, but I have no one but myself to blame -- after all I can barely bring myself to do my homework and I'm often distracted by other things. So I've decided to double down and work harder. I spent about an hour last night studying, including making some flash cards so I can finally learn my verb forms and stop sputtering tentative guesses, and I wrote a note to my teacher (in French! Using tenses!) in which I apologized for my absence and told him I would be back after Thanksgiving. (He doesn't care; it was more just an exercise for me.) And I'm going to sign up again in the spring, even if it kills me, and I apologize in advance for all the whining I'm going to do.
Je vais apprendre cette langue!