Et jamais ne revient

Today’s MLM is brought to you by the heady sounds of the Electro-Euro 80s with Voyage Voyage by Desireless.

Let’s face it: the day that surreal europop can’t get you out of bed, you’d better stay in bed. Count yourself lucky. I could have gone with Sandra, especially given she did a (not-so epic) cover of Everlasting Love. This track is right up there with other 80s Euroclassics, like Joe Le Taxi and Ella elle l’a

I’d like to admit now that Vanessa Paradis epitomised everything that was weird and different about French teenagers. A lot of French teenagers have a kind of pseudo-American thing going on. They seem so very clean and wholesome compared to English teenagers. I remember thinking way back in the Joe Le Taxi days that the French students who came to our house in the summer for language visits were always so much cleaner than we all were. They might have only come from 24 miles across the sea, but they were as different from me as if they’d come 2400 miles across the sea. They seemed older. I still think a lot of French children go from being children to being young men and women without that hideous, awful, uncomfortable teenage bit.

Don’t get me wrong: I am quite sure French teenagers can be as foul-mouthed and offensive as their English counterparts. You just don’t see girls with scouse brows and tango orange faces quite so often here. I’m sure French girls don’t wake up with the strange imprint of a neon mask on their pillow. Not only that, it’s much rarer to see a teenage girl flashing her knickers because her skirt is but a memory of a skirt – a wide belt at best. The trend of low-hanging pants hasn’t really made it over here, and if you end up going off the rails a little, you might channel the Ali G look. Still, I see more granddads in matching trackie bottoms and tops than I do teenagers. The only people wearing Adidas round my way are über-thin grey-haired men in pressed tracksuits. It’s loungewear for pensioners. I guess that makes it a little less appealing to the average teenager.

And even out of the classroom in England, a fair share of my students were sullen sufferers, forced to have extra lessons because their parents wanted good grades. Here, I have not had a single French sullen sufferer. They’re all cheery and polite and clean. I have no idea why that is. I guess nobody else does either, otherwise they would attempt to capture it and sell it as some kind of teenager-taming magic formula.

So, what is it that I find Much Love for today?

First, weirdly, an enforced radio silence; they are replacing the pylons round our way and I have no electricity for the day. I’m looking forward to it.

Second, for the approaching autumn. Dare I say I’m a little tired of being hot now? Plus, I’ve got about 2,000 apple and blackberry pies to get made. I might live off fruit crumble for a week.

Third, for MOOC (that’ll be Massive Open Online Courses to you…) as I’m doing a Modern American Poetry course with Penn University and I’m LOVING it. I’ve got my full poetry nerd on. Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman this week. Last night, I found myself searching for references to cedar in the Bible and trying to work out lexical fields and hymnal rhythms. God I love poetry. It makes me feel all ‘ahhhhhh’.

Fourth, for having a clean desk. Finally. I even cleaned out my inbox. I have four emails to deal with and I cleaned out, junked, filed and sorted over 4000 emails over the summer. Imagine living in a house with 4000 bits of paper hanging about. It was starting to look a bit obsessive-hoarder in there. I feel completely liberated.

Fifth, for rain. We finally had some. Thus, I can crack open the ground today and wrestle my beetroot out without too much labour. Roast beetroot for tea. Yum.

Anyway, it is time to get a wiggle on and get to work. I’ve got a lot planned for my day free from electricity! Enjoy your Monday!



2 thoughts on “Et jamais ne revient

  1. I saw Vanessa Paradis in the good old Joe Le Taxi days. I was watching behind the scenes at a satellite TV channel where she was being interviewed. She didn’t sing, they just played the video and as she didn’t speak much English she looked terrified and very young.

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