Monthly Archives: January 2015

44 - Getting High in Reunion - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

 

Since arriving in Réunion, my goal has been to see the Island from above. But I didn't want to see this green gem from a plane, I wanted to see her in free fall and under my own parachute! I have been a licensed skydiver for over three years now and before I left the U.S. I discovered there is a skydiving club called Paraclub de Bourbon at Pierrefond Airport in St. Pierre. So I brought my parachute and other skydiving equipment with me on the long flights from San Francisco to St Denis. 

 

However when I first arrived I was disappointed to learn the club was closed for a few weeks due to aircraft maintenance. Then when I returned when it was opened again, it was too windy or too cloudy. It took over two months before I finally had the chance to skydive in Réunion. By this time I was itching to get in the sky and get my adrenaline fix as skydiving is my addiction of choice.  Finally one beautiful December morning I drove to Pierrefond very early in the morning. The weather was good and the prop of the plane was turning, so I put on my gear and took a seat in the Pilatus Porter.  

 

From the plane I was able to see into Cilaos, past St Pierre to the south and Etang Salé to the north. It was a beautiful view! When we reached 13,000 ft (or about 4,000 m) I jumped out of the plane with my boyfriend.  Finally I got to make a skydive over Réunion!  We held hands and did some flips above the island before it was time to separate and pull our parachutes.  I was able to take in the beauty of the island in free fall and then under my own parachute, which I landed safely onto the small landing area next to the hangar at the airport. 

 

Finally, I got high in Réunion and it was amazing!  

 

Vocabulary

 

free fall - chute libre

however - par contre

due to - à cause de

windy - venteux

itching to - impatient de

hold hands - se tenir les mains

take in - apprecier

00:0000:00

44 - Getting High in Reunion - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

 

Since arriving in Réunion, my goal has been to see the Island from above. But I didn't want to see this green gem from a plane, I wanted to see her in free fall and under my own parachute! I have been a licensed skydiver for over three years now and before I left the U.S. I discovered there is a skydiving club called Paraclub de Bourbon at Pierrefond Airport in St. Pierre. So I brought my parachute and other skydiving equipment with me on the long flights from San Francisco to St Denis. 

 

However when I first arrived I was disappointed to learn the club was closed for a few weeks due to aircraft maintenance. Then when I returned when it was opened again, it was too windy or too cloudy. It took over two months before I finally had the chance to skydive in Réunion. By this time I was itching to get in the sky and get my adrenaline fix as skydiving is my addiction of choice.  Finally one beautiful December morning I drove to Pierrefond very early in the morning. The weather was good and the prop of the plane was turning, so I put on my gear and took a seat in the Pilatus Porter.  

 

From the plane I was able to see into Cilaos, past St Pierre to the south and Etang Salé to the north. It was a beautiful view! When we reached 13,000 ft (or about 4,000 m) I jumped out of the plane with my boyfriend.  Finally I got to make a skydive over Réunion!  We held hands and did some flips above the island before it was time to separate and pull our parachutes.  I was able to take in the beauty of the island in free fall and then under my own parachute, which I landed safely onto the small landing area next to the hangar at the airport. 

 

Finally, I got high in Réunion and it was amazing!  

 

Vocabulary

 

free fall - chute libre

however - par contre

due to - à cause de

windy - venteux

itching to - impatient de

hold hands - se tenir les mains

take in - apprecier

00:0000:00

44 - Getting High in Reunion

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Since arriving in Réunion, my goal has been to see the Island from above. But I didn't want to see this green gem from a plane, I wanted to see her in free fall and under my own parachute! I have been a licensed skydiver for over three years now and before I left the U.S. I discovered there is a skydiving club called Paraclub de Bourbon at Pierrefond Airport in St. Pierre. So I brought my parachute and other skydiving equipment with me on the long flights from San Francisco to St Denis. 

However when I first arrived I was disappointed to learn the club was closed for a few weeks due to aircraft maintenance. Then when I returned when it was opened again, it was too windy or too cloudy. It took over two months before I finally had the chance to skydive in Réunion. By this time I was itching to get in the sky and get my adrenaline fix as skydiving is my addiction of choice.  Finally one beautiful December morning I drove to Pierrefond very early in the morning. The weather was good and the prop of the plane was turning, so I put on my gear and took a seat in the Pilatus Porter.  

From the plane I was able to see into Cilaos, past St Pierre to the south and Etang Salé to the north. It was a beautiful view! When we reached 13,000 ft (or about 4,000 m) I jumped out of the plane with my boyfriend.  Finally I got to make a skydive over Réunion!  We held hands and did some flips above the island before it was time to separate and pull our parachutes.  I was able to take in the beauty of the island in free fall and then under my own parachute, which I landed safely onto the small landing area next to the hangar at the airport. 

Finally, I got high in Réunion and it was amazing!  

Vocabulary

free fall - chute libre

however - par contre

due to - à cause de

windy - venteux

itching to - impatient de

hold hands - se tenir les mains

take in - apprecier

00:0000:00

43 - Where do I Come From? - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

I have a small problem.

I'm a little confused about what I should be answering when people ask me where I'm from.

Well ok. I know that I'm from the US. But after I say that I'm from the US, the next questions is always "Which part of the US?" And that's where I run into some trouble.

So...Where do you come from? What does that question actually mean? Does it mean "Where were you born?" "Where were you living before you came to Reunion?" "Where do you call home?"

 

You see, when I first came to Reunion, I was only supposed to be here for 7 months with a work contract as an English assistant in school. Back then, I was living in Dallas, Texas, and had been living in Texas for 5 years. My life, my college, my friends, my job... were all in Texas, and I planned on returning to live in Texas after my 7 months in Reunion. I LOVED my life in Texas. So naturally, when I first arrived in Reunion, my response to the question "Where do you come from?" was Texas! I had literally just come from there!

 

Except..I never made it back to Texas. Nope, life had a few twists and turns in store...and now, my life and time in Texas seem a little like a distant memory...

 

On the other hand, I was born in Michigan, and I lived in Michigan for the first 18 years of my life, until I joined the Army and started traveling the world. My childhood memories are of snowy Michigan winters, chasing chipmunks and deer in the forest, and raking up colorful leaves every fall. My family still lives there, and when I go back to the US to visit, that's where I go.

 

At some point, it stopped feeling normal to say that I come from Texas...since I won't be going back anymore. And even though I was born in Michigan, it's been so long since I've lived there that I have no idea where anything is, the roads and shops aren't familiar, and my childhood friends are long gone.

 

Half of my heart is still in Texas. My heritage and my family remain in Michigan. And me...I'm on the other side of the world living on a volcano in the middle of an ocean.

So, where do I come from? I don't know. What do you think? 

 

Vocabulary

To run into - rencontrer

Actually - en fait

Back then - à l'époque

College - la fac

Nope - non

On the other hand - d'un autre côté

To travel - Voyager

Childhood - enfance

Winter - hiver

Chipmunk - écureuil 

Deer - cerf

To rake up - ratisser  

Fall - Automne

At some point - à un moment

Since (because) - puisque

Childhood friend - ami d'enfance

Long gone - parti depuis longtemps

To remain - rester

00:0000:00

43 - Where do I Come From? - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

I have a small problem.

I'm a little confused about what I should be answering when people ask me where I'm from.

Well ok. I know that I'm from the US. But after I say that I'm from the US, the next questions is always "Which part of the US?" And that's where I run into some trouble.

So...Where do you come from? What does that question actually mean? Does it mean "Where were you born?" "Where were you living before you came to Reunion?" "Where do you call home?"

 

You see, when I first came to Reunion, I was only supposed to be here for 7 months with a work contract as an English assistant in school. Back then, I was living in Dallas, Texas, and had been living in Texas for 5 years. My life, my college, my friends, my job... were all in Texas, and I planned on returning to live in Texas after my 7 months in Reunion. I LOVED my life in Texas. So naturally, when I first arrived in Reunion, my response to the question "Where do you come from?" was Texas! I had literally just come from there!

 

Except..I never made it back to Texas. Nope, life had a few twists and turns in store...and now, my life and time in Texas seem a little like a distant memory...

 

On the other hand, I was born in Michigan, and I lived in Michigan for the first 18 years of my life, until I joined the Army and started traveling the world. My childhood memories are of snowy Michigan winters, chasing chipmunks and deer in the forest, and raking up colorful leaves every fall. My family still lives there, and when I go back to the US to visit, that's where I go.

 

At some point, it stopped feeling normal to say that I come from Texas...since I won't be going back anymore. And even though I was born in Michigan, it's been so long since I've lived there that I have no idea where anything is, the roads and shops aren't familiar, and my childhood friends are long gone.

 

Half of my heart is still in Texas. My heritage and my family remain in Michigan. And me...I'm on the other side of the world living on a volcano in the middle of an ocean.

So, where do I come from? I don't know. What do you think? 

 

Vocabulary

To run into - rencontrer

Actually - en fait

Back then - à l'époque

College - la fac

Nope - non

On the other hand - d'un autre côté

To travel - Voyager

Childhood - enfance

Winter - hiver

Chipmunk - écureuil 

Deer - cerf

To rake up - ratisser  

Fall - Automne

At some point - à un moment

Since (because) - puisque

Childhood friend - ami d'enfance

Long gone - parti depuis longtemps

To remain - rester

00:0000:00

43 - Where do I Come From?

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

I have a small problem.

I'm a little confused about what I should be answering when people ask me where I'm from.

Well ok. I know that I'm from the US. But after I say that I'm from the US, the next questions is always "Which part of the US?" And that's where I run into some trouble.

So...Where do you come from? What does that question actually mean? Does it mean "Where were you born?" "Where were you living before you came to Reunion?" "Where do you call home?"

You see, when I first came to Reunion, I was only supposed to be here for 7 months with a work contract as an English assistant in school. Back then, I was living in Dallas, Texas, and had been living in Texas for 5 years. My life, my college, my friends, my job... were all in Texas, and I planned on returning to live in Texas after my 7 months in Reunion. I LOVED my life in Texas. So naturally, when I first arrived in Reunion, my response to the question "Where do you come from?" was Texas! I had literally just come from there!

Except..I never made it back to Texas. Nope, life had a few twists and turns in store...and now, my life and time in Texas seem a little like a distant memory...

On the other hand, I was born in Michigan, and I lived in Michigan for the first 18 years of my life, until I joined the Army and started traveling the world. My childhood memories are of snowy Michigan winters, chasing chipmunks and deer in the forest, and raking up colorful leaves every fall. My family still lives there, and when I go back to the US to visit, that's where I go.

At some point, it stopped feeling normal to say that I come from Texas...since I won't be going back anymore. And even though I was born in Michigan, it's been so long since I've lived there that I have no idea where anything is, the roads and shops aren't familiar, and my childhood friends are long gone.

Half of my heart is still in Texas. My heritage and my family remain in Michigan. And me...I'm on the other side of the world living on a volcano in the middle of an ocean.

So, where do I come from? I don't know. What do you think? 

Vocabulary

To run into - rencontrer

Actually - en fait

Back then - à l'époque

College - la fac

Nope - non

On the other hand - d'un autre côté

To travel - Voyager

Childhood - enfance

Winter - hiver

Chipmunk - écureuil 

Deer - cerf

To rake up - ratisser  

Fall - Automne

At some point - à un moment

Since (because) - puisque

Childhood friend - ami d'enfance

Long gone - parti depuis longtemps

To remain - rester

00:0000:00

42 - How to get Hypothermia on a Tropical Island - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Maybe this is not one of your life-long goals, but if you would like to know how to get hypothermia on a tropical island, then I’m your man. I’ve even done it twice. Now, it’s not easy. You have to be dedicated to the task, and not everyone manages it. In fact, this year there were 1600 people who entered this competition in Hellbourg on October 22nd, and only 5 of us managed to be in a state of hypothermia by the time we reached La Pleine des Merles. The other 1595 people had to continue, utterly disappointed by their failure

Of course, I’m talking about my attempt to complete this year’s Mascareignes. A little backstory. 2006, my first attempt at the semi-raid: the doctors stopped me in Deux Bras. Hypoglycaemia. 2008’s effort involved a fractured sternum. In 2009 the doctors stopped me with hypothermia in Deux Bras….again! And this year, rebelotte as you say in French, with another hypothermia. It wasn’t very cold, but it was raining quite hard and my poncho was about as effective as a paper bag, and when I reached the first checkpoint I noticed both hands had turned yellow. ‘That can’t be good, I thought.’ And then the full body-shakesarrived, and my temperature plummetedto 34 degrees. The lovely docs strippedme, wrapped me up in gold shiny survival blankets and asked ‘Did you drink enough?’ Yes, I replied. ‘Have you eaten something?’ Yes, I replied. ‘Did you sleep last night?’ Ah. Apparently, lack of sleep can bring on hypothermia. It took 2 hours to get my temperature back up to 36 degrees.

Anyway, the real adventure began there. I was in the middle of a forest at 1900m, about 10km from a main road. How was I supposed to get home to St Paul wearing nothing but a pair of trainers and a shiny gold blanket, worn like some kind of glam-rock Roman toga? Together with another hypothermia champion called Catherine, we trudged upwards to the closest track, which was the Col des Boeufs car park. A cheery smile welcomed us at the little shop there, as the owner shouted ‘Losers aren’t welcome!’ Which was nice. But with the wind and rain I was too tired to get annoyed. But that changed quite quickly. Catherine ordered a coffee and a packet of fags (bizarrely enough) and I just said ‘listen, I just want a cup of hot water please, I’ve got hypothermia.’ The man handed me a cup of water, looked me in the eye and said, ‘that’ll be €1.80 please.’ Excuse me? ‘Well, a tea is €2.00, so without the tea bag that’s €1.80.’ And, as we say in English, unbef*ckinglievable.

La Mascareignes? Never again, I said to myself as we trudged down to Grand Ilet. But the next day, when friends asked me if I would try again, I said ‘Of course! See you next year!’

 

Vocabulary

twice - deux fois 

manage to - réussir à

utterly - totalement

failure - echec

effective - efficace

 

 

body-shakes - vibrations du corps

 

plummeted - chuté

 

stripped - deshabillé

 

to wrap up - emballer

 

blanket - couverture

 

 

to trudge - marcher péniblement

 

annoyed - enervé

 

fags - clopes

 

unbef*ckinglievable - IN-CROY-ABLE!

00:0000:00

42 - How to get Hypothermia on a Tropical Island - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Maybe this is not one of your life-long goals, but if you would like to know how to get hypothermia on a tropical island, then I’m your man. I’ve even done it twice. Now, it’s not easy. You have to be dedicated to the task, and not everyone manages it. In fact, this year there were 1600 people who entered this competition in Hellbourg on October 22nd, and only 5 of us managed to be in a state of hypothermia by the time we reached La Pleine des Merles. The other 1595 people had to continue, utterly disappointed by their failure

Of course, I’m talking about my attempt to complete this year’s Mascareignes. A little backstory. 2006, my first attempt at the semi-raid: the doctors stopped me in Deux Bras. Hypoglycaemia. 2008’s effort involved a fractured sternum. In 2009 the doctors stopped me with hypothermia in Deux Bras….again! And this year, rebelotte as you say in French, with another hypothermia. It wasn’t very cold, but it was raining quite hard and my poncho was about as effective as a paper bag, and when I reached the first checkpoint I noticed both hands had turned yellow. ‘That can’t be good, I thought.’ And then the full body-shakesarrived, and my temperature plummetedto 34 degrees. The lovely docs strippedme, wrapped me up in gold shiny survival blankets and asked ‘Did you drink enough?’ Yes, I replied. ‘Have you eaten something?’ Yes, I replied. ‘Did you sleep last night?’ Ah. Apparently, lack of sleep can bring on hypothermia. It took 2 hours to get my temperature back up to 36 degrees.

Anyway, the real adventure began there. I was in the middle of a forest at 1900m, about 10km from a main road. How was I supposed to get home to St Paul wearing nothing but a pair of trainers and a shiny gold blanket, worn like some kind of glam-rock Roman toga? Together with another hypothermia champion called Catherine, we trudged upwards to the closest track, which was the Col des Boeufs car park. A cheery smile welcomed us at the little shop there, as the owner shouted ‘Losers aren’t welcome!’ Which was nice. But with the wind and rain I was too tired to get annoyed. But that changed quite quickly. Catherine ordered a coffee and a packet of fags (bizarrely enough) and I just said ‘listen, I just want a cup of hot water please, I’ve got hypothermia.’ The man handed me a cup of water, looked me in the eye and said, ‘that’ll be €1.80 please.’ Excuse me? ‘Well, a tea is €2.00, so without the tea bag that’s €1.80.’ And, as we say in English, unbef*ckinglievable.

La Mascareignes? Never again, I said to myself as we trudged down to Grand Ilet. But the next day, when friends asked me if I would try again, I said ‘Of course! See you next year!’

 

Vocabulary

twice - deux fois 

manage to - réussir à

utterly - totalement

failure - echec

effective - efficace

 

 

body-shakes - vibrations du corps

 

plummeted - chuté

 

stripped - deshabillé

 

to wrap up - emballer

 

blanket - couverture

 

 

to trudge - marcher péniblement

 

annoyed - enervé

 

fags - clopes

 

unbef*ckinglievable - IN-CROY-ABLE!

00:0000:00

42 - How to get Hypothermia on a Tropical Island

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Maybe this is not one of your life-long goals, but if you would like to know how to get hypothermia on a tropical island, then I’m your man. I’ve even done it twice. Now, it’s not easy. You have to be dedicated to the task, and not everyone manages it. In fact, this year there were 1600 people who entered this competition in Hellbourg on October 22nd, and only 5 of us managed to be in a state of hypothermia by the time we reached La Pleine des Merles. The other 1595 people had to continue, utterly disappointed by their failure.

Of course, I’m talking about my attempt to complete this year’s Mascareignes. A little backstory. 2006, my first attempt at the semi-raid: the doctors stopped me in Deux Bras. Hypoglycaemia. 2008’s effort involved a fractured sternum. In 2009 the doctors stopped me with hypothermia in Deux Bras….again! And this year, rebelotte as you say in French, with another hypothermia. It wasn’t very cold, but it was raining quite hard and my poncho was about as effective as a paper bag, and when I reached the first checkpoint I noticed both hands had turned yellow. ‘That can’t be good, I thought.’ And then the full body-shakesarrived, and my temperature plummetedto 34 degrees. The lovely docs strippedme, wrapped me up in gold shiny survival blankets and asked ‘Did you drink enough?’ Yes, I replied. ‘Have you eaten something?’ Yes, I replied. ‘Did you sleep last night?’ Ah. Apparently, lack of sleep can bring on hypothermia. It took 2 hours to get my temperature back up to 36 degrees.

Anyway, the real adventure began there. I was in the middle of a forest at 1900m, about 10km from a main road. How was I supposed to get home to St Paul wearing nothing but a pair of trainers and a shiny gold blanket, worn like some kind of glam-rock Roman toga? Together with another hypothermia champion called Catherine, we trudged upwards to the closest track, which was the Col des Boeufs car park. A cheery smile welcomed us at the little shop there, as the owner shouted ‘Losers aren’t welcome!’ Which was nice. But with the wind and rain I was too tired to get annoyed. But that changed quite quickly. Catherine ordered a coffee and a packet of fags (bizarrely enough) and I just said ‘listen, I just want a cup of hot water please, I’ve got hypothermia.’ The man handed me a cup of water, looked me in the eye and said, ‘that’ll be €1.80 please.’ Excuse me? ‘Well, a tea is €2.00, so without the tea bag that’s €1.80.’ And, as we say in English, unbef*ckinglievable.

La Mascareignes? Never again, I said to myself as we trudged down to Grand Ilet. But the next day, when friends asked me if I would try again, I said ‘Of course! See you next year!’

Vocabulary

twice - deux fois

manage to - réussir à

utterly - totalement

failure - echec

effective - efficace

 

body-shakes - vibrations du corps

plummeted - chuté

stripped - deshabillé

to wrap up - emballer

blanket - couverture

 

to trudge - marcher péniblement

annoyed - enervé

fags - clopes

unbef*ckinglievable - IN-CROY-ABLE!

00:0000:00

41 - Christmas. What’s not to Love? - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Usually, in English when we say “What’s not to love?” about something, or someone, we mean that they cause us only positive feelings.  The implied answer is “nothing”.  For example, you could say of George Clooney, “He’s glamorous, handsome, supports good causes and he’s stinking rich, what’s not to love?”  However, in this advent season, if I seriously pose the question about Christmas, I come up with rather a long list of things not to love.

 

First of all, there’s the creeping sense of stress.  This begins in early November when you spot the first chocolate Santa in the supermarket, and builds gradually as you hear people on the tube boasting that they did all their Christmas  shopping on-line in April and now “only need to get a few bits”.   It mounts to a level of utter panic by 22nd December when all you’ve managed to buy is one incense candle and a box of liqueur chocolates,  which you’ll probably eat yourself.

 

Then there are the crowds.  As I work in Regent Street, which is just off Oxford Street, London’s busiest shopping venue, by the second week in December it is no longer possible to reach the tube station without queuing to walk.  There are even pedestrian marshals with loud speakers yelling commands at the shoppers in order to keep them from falling under a bus.   This is not festive.  This is a dystopian nightmare.

 

It becomes completely impossible to go and meet a friend for a quiet drink in a local bar or cafe because they are all packed with gangs of people on their “work do” – which is the obligatory office Christmas event.  They wear plastic antlers on their heads and they are all drunk by 6.30 in the evening.  Then, you have to go to your own “work do” when the challenge is to try and avoid all the colleagues you don’t like in case you end up telling them so.  And of course, the same thing applies to the ones you do like, so it’s best not to talk to anyone.

 

In pre-Christmas UK, if you want to do anything practical at all, such as find a new apartment, or sell a car, or get the hall painted, or speak to someone in any company or government office, you can forget it.  “Oh sorry, love, not before Christmas” they’ll say.   All business is officially suspended from early December until the New Year.

 

But let’s try and be positive.  There must be something to love about a London Christmas?  Well, there’s the outdoor skating rinks that appear in squares and courtyards of historic buildings.  They are really atmospheric, and you can whizz round on your skates in a magical setting, then fall over and go for a cup of mulled wine.  and then there’s the  perfume ads on the television.  All the women in them – supermodels or film actresses - behave as if they are totally insane, flinging open doors to scream at their lovers, throwing cascades of diamonds off balconies, or twirling around on snowy mountaintops in a ball gown, laughing hysterically.  Christmas has obviously driven them crazy, and I’m really not surprised.

 

Vocabulary

 

 

Handsome - beau

Stinking rich - plein aux as

Advent  - l’avènement

Come up with - fabriquer

Creeping sense - sentiment croissant

The tube  - le metro å Londres

To boast - vanter

Few bits - deux ou trois trucs

Crowd - foule

Just off - juste à côté de

Marshals -  les comissaires

Festive – de fete

Work do - soirée d'entreprise

Antlers  - les ramures

Skating rink  - une patinoire

 

Whizz - aller à toute vitesse

Mulled wine - vin chaud

Ad - pub

To fling - jeter

Ball gown - robe de bal

00:0000:00