Newfoundland memorial - The Somme.
It is a strange feeling - but coming back to Austria now feels like coming home.
I always used to feel like France was a second home to me because I worked for a French bank and used to go there so often – and of course Melissa and Merlin live in Paris – but now it feels comfortable coming back to Austria.
French now seems like a foreign language. Well…..it is a foreign language…but I am having increasing difficulty and simply cannot remember some – OK most - of the grammar.
Not – I hasten to add – that it is because I have mastered German. My German is still at kindergarten stage but I can make myself understood in most situations to most people and can even understand some of the things they say to me – provided they speak to me as though I am a small, dull child.
Indeed last week I explained to a plumber who spoke no English that one of our many toilets had ceased to operate effectively and had started running non stop and that I had turned off the water so as to prevent significant problems in the Donau.
This however was done in a form of ‘bog-German’ which would not have been acceptable outside of plumbing and similar circles. There was no pretense of the use of the correct tenses or vaguely proper grammar. That is for wimps.
Of course the loss of French may just be a function of my advanced age which is no longer creeping up on me but appears to have moved into something of a gallop. The sort of gallop that takes place with the winning post in sight and with a liberal use of the whip by the jockey who thinks his mount can win.
I have now started to develop a couple of sinister traits which I will not canvass in this forum.
At this stage I am being hopeful and am putting them down to side effects of my Migraine medicine so am delaying looking at Swiss Hospices on the Internet until we get back from our diving trip in the Maldives in April.
There is always the chance that a Great White will swallow me whole which I consider to be not a bad way to go – other options considered.
But I have decided that I am weary of not being able to understand what is going on around me. So I am about to make another mighty effort to learn German.
Even Cate has been seized by the challenge and has decided to finally have that elusive second lesson.
Of course she might just be trying to postpone using that Electronic Piano that is sitting glaring at her in the corner of her study.