Tag Archives: French class

My big fat Janathon effort

25 Jan

It was blowing a hoolie out this morning, so I wimped out took the  decision to reorganise my run until later in the day.

Which then meant there was the small question of work and my French class to take  care of before trainer time.

Ray, our long suffering French teacher, today exacted his revenge by  springing a surprise test on us. He’ll regret that when he marks my  paper.

So with thoughts of French vocab, a pleasing smugness that Sky Sports has acted upon its HR policy and the incentive of another compulsive episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding if I ran fast enough, I set off.

Tonight I opted for three miles along a straight out and back route – not the most inspiring choice, but I wanted to run further than 1.3 miles, and in the dark I prefer to stick to main roads.

I’d be lying if I said it was a really enjoyable run, but it was OK, especially once I got past the escape route diversion and was thus committed to the whole lot.

A runaway puppy provided a bit of drama – I helped to herd “Scamp” back towards its owner who was chasing it across the road in her dressing gown, so that’s my good deed for the day.

Turning back towards home, running against the clock to see what kind of criminal frocks the show would serve up this week was very motivating and I made it back with 12 minutes to spare – just enough time to stretch, shower and assume position on the sofa for the jaw-dropping BFGW experience.

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 0:32:00
Pace: respectable


Va va voom!

18 Jan

I dragged myself kicking and screaming out the door tonight at 9.30pm after another disrupted Janathon day yesterday.

This morning I left early to cover an out of town inquest and then went straight from work to French class – so no running window until I got back late tonight.

After yesterday’s no show I knew I had to get out tonight, so I mustered every last bit of will power I possess and avoided the kettle and a nice cuppa, instead putting my trainers on leaving the house straight away for a short run.

I seem to have been writing a never-ending stream of horrible crime stories at work recently and I didn’t fancy a run in the dark with thoughts of murderous Merseysiders past and present for company.

So as it was French class tonight I thought I’d try again with the listening practice. Loyal readers will remember that although a pioneering attempt to unite the appreciation of Gallic culture and the pursuit of Janathon was made last week, sadly I did not fare well on the cross trainer while plugged into Complete French.

Tonight I tried again with much better results and was able to whiz around my 1.5 mile circuit while contemplating alcohol consumption in France.

Now I just need to find a time manufacturing machine to fit in an extra Janathon and I’ll be back on the wagon.

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: Forgot to time
Pace: Not quite va va voom – but better than bof.

Oo la larghhh!

11 Jan

Once a week I pay a man to sit and listen while I murder the beautiful French language. Today is this day.

Ray’s a patient chap but it wouldn’t surprise me if after I and the rest of fourth set French group have filed out of his classroom he shed a quiet tear for his beloved mother tongue, mauled once again. Whether it’s a tear of pain or a tear of laughter I couldn’t guess.

We are not a gifted group. Between us we bring the subtleties of the Welsh accent, the charm of Scouse, the mind-bending prospect of Scouse-Italian intonation (whatever you’re imagining it sounds worse) and Indian to the pursuit of the mastering la langue française.

Just as I warm up for a run I like to warm up for the class – I’d hate to disappoint Ray with a below par performance in our weekly debate (today: The Environment).

Usually I do a bit of reading or listening practice on a Monday night to immerse myself, but Janathon has played havoc with this and at 3pm this afternoon I realised I hadn’t heard a word of French since December 14.

What to do? There was nothing else for it but to multi-task.

I finished work at 4pm and headed straight to the gym to complete my daily Janathon. I’d already fixed on the gym because I wanted to use the cross trainer to give my bones a bit of a break as I had a clunky knee on and off last night.

Once there I plugged myself into Complete French on the ipod and hopped on the machine. Parfait!

It wasn’t actually. In fact it turns out that when you attempt to learn French on the cross trainer all that happens is you get very cross, but not very far – literally in distance covered or metaphorically in the pursuit of knowledge.

Discussing cinema plans becomes very complicated in a foreign language when aboard a piece of moving gym equipment. First there’s the fact that you’re not quite sure whether Marie is saying she already saw Pirates des Caraïbes or has plans to go and see it and then there’s the perilous possibility of falling off as you ponder this.

At one point I decided I needed to stop the passage so that I could replay it – only in my sweaty confusion managed to stop the cross trainer instead – thus resetting it.

Then I realised that a woman had got on the machine next to me, only to move away again because I had subconsciously started to mumble along to the tape in French.

The lesson is the two disciplines are surprising different and are best practised separately.

Tonight they were not, but nevertheless I arrived at French class on time having completed Janathon and with a notion of the future tense.

C’est super, non?

Distance: 1.5 km
Time: 0:25:00
Calories: 205 (quickly offset by eating Wispa chocolate bar – 210 calories – on way to French)

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