Monthly Archives: June 2015

63 - Islomania - Vocabulary

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Having grown up on an island, I never thought anything more of it than that. The United Kingdom is an island but compared to Reunion, it doesn’t feel as intimate. When I first arrived in Reunion I had thought I would arrive on a sand runway and be able to walk around the island in a matter of hours. How wrong was I!

The novelty of living on a small island has not worn off, even two years after moving here. I love the fact that I can drive around the island in a few hours, or I go to the cinema in St Paul and have to drive half way around the island to get there. It feels very surreal. To drive around England would take a day or so, so there really is no comparison.

I was on Instagram a few months ago, and I suddenly came across a post about “islomania.” This is a word I had never used before. Islomania is an obsessional enthusiasm for islands. I immediately thought, this is me. I love reading about small islands and wonder what it’s like to live on such a small island. Since living in Reunion, I have been to Rodrigues and the Seychelles, islands, which are even smaller than Reunion. For some people, they hate the fact that the islands are so small and that besides the beach and the landscape there isn’t really much else to do. But for me, this is fascinating. I love the idea of seeing open ocean and nothing else and knowing that for thousands of miles there is nothing. For others this is their worst nightmare.

I now want to explore other smaller islands and atolls around the globe to see what life is like and how different cultures survive on such small areas of land. Although I have been to many islands, they have all been reasonably developed in terms of electricity and running water. I would love to experience islands where this infrastructure isn’t in place and see the challenges you face with this. Maybe in this situation, I would hate living on such a small island…

So I guess Reunion Island has made me “suffer” from islomania, or did I always have this enthusiasm for islands?EndFragment

 

Vocabulary

 

sand - sable

runway - piste

a matter of hours - quelques heures

to wear off - se dissiper

landscape - paysage

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63 - Islomania - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Having grown up on an island, I never thought anything more of it than that. The United Kingdom is an island but compared to Reunion, it doesn’t feel as intimate. When I first arrived in Reunion I had thought I would arrive on a sand runway and be able to walk around the island in a matter of hours. How wrong was I!

The novelty of living on a small island has not worn off, even two years after moving here. I love the fact that I can drive around the island in a few hours, or I go to the cinema in St Paul and have to drive half way around the island to get there. It feels very surreal. To drive around England would take a day or so, so there really is no comparison.

I was on Instagram a few months ago, and I suddenly came across a post about “islomania.” This is a word I had never used before. Islomania is an obsessional enthusiasm for islands. I immediately thought, this is me. I love reading about small islands and wonder what it’s like to live on such a small island. Since living in Reunion, I have been to Rodrigues and the Seychelles, islands, which are even smaller than Reunion. For some people, they hate the fact that the islands are so small and that besides the beach and the landscape there isn’t really much else to do. But for me, this is fascinating. I love the idea of seeing open ocean and nothing else and knowing that for thousands of miles there is nothing. For others this is their worst nightmare.

I now want to explore other smaller islands and atolls around the globe to see what life is like and how different cultures survive on such small areas of land. Although I have been to many islands, they have all been reasonably developed in terms of electricity and running water. I would love to experience islands where this infrastructure isn’t in place and see the challenges you face with this. Maybe in this situation, I would hate living on such a small island…

So I guess Reunion Island has made me “suffer” from islomania, or did I always have this enthusiasm for islands?EndFragment

 

Vocabulary

 

sand - sable

runway - piste

a matter of hours - quelques heures

to wear off - se dissiper

landscape - paysage

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63 - Islomania

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Having grown up on an island, I never thought anything more of it than that. The United Kingdom is an island but compared to Reunion, it doesn’t feel as intimate. When I first arrived in Reunion I had thought I would arrive on a sand runway and be able to walk around the island in a matter of hours. How wrong was I!

The novelty of living on a small island has not worn off, even two years after moving here. I love the fact that I can drive around the island in a few hours, or I go to the cinema in St Paul and have to drive half way around the island to get there. It feels very surreal. To drive around England would take a day or so, so there really is no comparison.

I was on Instagram a few months ago, and I suddenly came across a post about “islomania.” This is a word I had never used before. Islomania is an obsessional enthusiasm for islands. I immediately thought, this is me. I love reading about small islands and wonder what it’s like to live on such a small island. Since living in Reunion, I have been to Rodrigues and the Seychelles, islands, which are even smaller than Reunion. For some people, they hate the fact that the islands are so small and that besides the beach and the landscape there isn’t really much else to do. But for me, this is fascinating. I love the idea of seeing open ocean and nothing else and knowing that for thousands of miles there is nothing. For others this is their worst nightmare.

I now want to explore other smaller islands and atolls around the globe to see what life is like and how different cultures survive on such small areas of land. Although I have been to many islands, they have all been reasonably developed in terms of electricity and running water. I would love to experience islands where this infrastructure isn’t in place and see the challenges you face with this. Maybe in this situation, I would hate living on such a small island…

So I guess Reunion Island has made me “suffer” from islomania, or did I always have this enthusiasm for islands?EndFragment

Vocabulary

sand - sable

runway - piste

a matter of hours - quelques heures

to wear off - se dissiper

landscape - paysage

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62 - Whale Hunting. The Good Kind - Vocabulary

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Today I want to talk about Whales - no, not the obscure country attached to the side of England, but the gigantic sea creatures which come to Reunion each year on their migration route. We are very lucky here in Reunion with the magnificent landscapes, the immense mountain ranges and the spectacular volcano, but it is not just on land that we are treated to such delights. There is also the deep blue sea, and although we have had some unfortunate headlines with the sharks recently, the whales have started arriving to lighten the mood.

Each year from June to October, in our cooler winter season, around 4,000 whales migrate North from Antarctica, some following the South African coastline towards Mozambique and some preferring to come all the way over here. Once here in Reunion, some breed and some give birth to their young, before preparing to make the journey South, back to their feeding grounds.

We can see them all around the island but they usually spend their time in the West and the North. They are even visible from the coastline - I have seen them as far south as Manapany & Grand Anse and as far north as Cap de la Houssaye, but the best way to see them is on a boat trip out on open waters. We usually take boats out of St Gilles and spend an afternoon searching the horizon for splashes, or carefully looking for a dorsal fin to appear, as a spray of water emerges from the whale when it comes up for air.

The most common species here in Reunion is the humpback whale, recognisable with its lumpy and textured skin. Once you are out on the water and a whale appears next to your boat, it’s at that moment that you really start to understand the size and power of these fantastic mammals. You need to respect the whales and the rules however - don’t chase them or their calves around the water as this can disturb them, but sometimes they will appear close to your boat voluntarily, come up to breathe, and then disappear back under the water, showing us a quick view of their white tails as they wave goodbye.

The real spectacle however, is when you see the whales jump, although this is maybe safer viewed from the shore! I will never forget the day I was enjoying a sunset cocktail at L’Ermitage when a whale decided to put on a show for us in front of the bar, jumping continuously for around 15 minutes as the sun set behind.

Now that the season has begun, I will soon be booking my boat trips from St Gilles, and I often take the longer, more coastal road around the island when driving, in the hope that I catch a glimpse of a whale in the water - whilst keeping an eye on the road of course!

Vocabulary

landscapes - paysages
delights - plaisirs
headlines - la une des journaux
lighten the mood - détendre l’atmosphère
all the way - tout le chemin

breed - se reproduire
feeding grounds - zones d’alimentation
splashes - éclaboussures
dorsal fin - nageoire dorsale
humpback whale - baleine à bosse

lumpy - bosselé
calves - baleineaux
shore - rivage
put on a show - faire une spectacle
catch a glimpse - apercevoir

00:0000:00

62 - Whale Hunting. The Good Kind - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Today I want to talk about Whales - no, not the obscure country attached to the side of England, but the gigantic sea creatures which come to Reunion each year on their migration route. We are very lucky here in Reunion with the magnificent landscapes, the immense mountain ranges and the spectacular volcano, but it is not just on land that we are treated to such delights. There is also the deep blue sea, and although we have had some unfortunate headlines with the sharks recently, the whales have started arriving to lighten the mood.

Each year from June to October, in our cooler winter season, around 4,000 whales migrate North from Antarctica, some following the South African coastline towards Mozambique and some preferring to come all the way over here. Once here in Reunion, some breed and some give birth to their young, before preparing to make the journey South, back to their feeding grounds.

We can see them all around the island but they usually spend their time in the West and the North. They are even visible from the coastline - I have seen them as far south as Manapany & Grand Anse and as far north as Cap de la Houssaye, but the best way to see them is on a boat trip out on open waters. We usually take boats out of St Gilles and spend an afternoon searching the horizon for splashes, or carefully looking for a dorsal fin to appear, as a spray of water emerges from the whale when it comes up for air.

The most common species here in Reunion is the humpback whale, recognisable with its lumpy and textured skin. Once you are out on the water and a whale appears next to your boat, it’s at that moment that you really start to understand the size and power of these fantastic mammals. You need to respect the whales and the rules however - don’t chase them or their calves around the water as this can disturb them, but sometimes they will appear close to your boat voluntarily, come up to breathe, and then disappear back under the water, showing us a quick view of their white tails as they wave goodbye.

The real spectacle however, is when you see the whales jump, although this is maybe safer viewed from the shore! I will never forget the day I was enjoying a sunset cocktail at L’Ermitage when a whale decided to put on a show for us in front of the bar, jumping continuously for around 15 minutes as the sun set behind.

Now that the season has begun, I will soon be booking my boat trips from St Gilles, and I often take the longer, more coastal road around the island when driving, in the hope that I catch a glimpse of a whale in the water - whilst keeping an eye on the road of course!

Vocabulary

landscapes - paysages
delights - plaisirs
headlines - la une des journaux
lighten the mood - détendre l’atmosphère
all the way - tout le chemin

breed - se reproduire
feeding grounds - zones d’alimentation
splashes - éclaboussures
dorsal fin - nageoire dorsale
humpback whale - baleine à bosse

lumpy - bosselé
calves - baleineaux
shore - rivage
put on a show - faire une spectacle
catch a glimpse - apercevoir

00:0000:00

62 - Whale Hunting. The Good Kind

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Today I want to talk about Whales - no, not the obscure country attached to the side of England, but the gigantic sea creatures which come to Reunion each year on their migration route. We are very lucky here in Reunion with the magnificent landscapes, the immense mountain ranges and the spectacular volcano, but it is not just on land that we are treated to such delights. There is also the deep blue sea, and although we have had some unfortunate headlines with the sharks recently, the whales have started arriving to lighten the mood.

Each year from June to October, in our cooler winter season, around 4,000 whales migrate North from Antarctica, some following the South African coastline towards Mozambique and some preferring to come all the way over here. Once here in Reunion, some breed and some give birth to their young, before preparing to make the journey South, back to their feeding grounds.

We can see them all around the island but they usually spend their time in the West and the North. They are even visible from the coastline - I have seen them as far south as Manapany & Grand Anse and as far north as Cap de la Houssaye, but the best way to see them is on a boat trip out on open waters. We usually take boats out of St Gilles and spend an afternoon searching the horizon for splashes, or carefully looking for a dorsal fin to appear, as a spray of water emerges from the whale when it comes up for air.

The most common species here in Reunion is the humpback whale, recognisable with its lumpy and textured skin. Once you are out on the water and a whale appears next to your boat, it’s at that moment that you really start to understand the size and power of these fantastic mammals. You need to respect the whales and the rules however - don’t chase them or their calves around the water as this can disturb them, but sometimes they will appear close to your boat voluntarily, come up to breathe, and then disappear back under the water, showing us a quick view of their white tails as they wave goodbye.

The real spectacle however, is when you see the whales jump, although this is maybe safer viewed from the shore! I will never forget the day I was enjoying a sunset cocktail at L’Ermitage when a whale decided to put on a show for us in front of the bar, jumping continuously for around 15 minutes as the sun set behind.

Now that the season has begun, I will soon be booking my boat trips from St Gilles, and I often take the longer, more coastal road around the island when driving, in the hope that I catch a glimpse of a whale in the water - whilst keeping an eye on the road of course!

Vocabulary

landscapes - paysages
delights - plaisirs
headlines - la une des journaux
lighten the mood - détendre l’atmosphère
all the way - tout le chemin

breed - se reproduire
feeding grounds - zones d’alimentation
splashes - éclaboussures
dorsal fin - nageoire dorsale
humpback whale - baleine à bosse

lumpy - bosselé
calves - baleineaux
shore - rivage
put on a show - faire une spectacle
catch a glimpse - apercevoir

00:0000:00

61 - Football Reunionese Style - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

It’s a well known fact, to those who know me, that I’m a football fan.  For as long as I can rememberI have followed, and mostly suffered, the fortunes of my favourite football team, Tottenham Hotspur, and my country, England.  When I lived in England I often went to matches to cheer the Spurs on.

Here in Réunion, to assauge my footy fix I regularly go to matches here.  The teams that play in the D1P, Réunion’s highest level league, attract about 500 fans.  It’s not many in comparison with crowds at the top games in England, but there are compensations.

A nice balmy evening in a small but well appointed stadium with coconut trees swaying and the Indian Ocean in the background is a complete change from the White Hart Lane stadium at the end of bustling Tottenham High Road.

Then there are the fans themselves.  A cross section of not just men but often entire families with mothers fathers and children watching their local teams.  The public courtesy, one of Réunion’s great strengths, is also evident.  I am often invited to shake hands with a fellow supporter, someone I’ve never met, but who wanting to reach his seat doesn’t push or shove, but with a kind « good evening » passes me before sitting down.

The price of a game is very affordable.  The entry ticket is 7€, a Dodo 2€ and a chicken and mustard baguette sandwich 3€.  All in 12€.  Prices for football today in England make me shudder with no change from 100€ for a seat, programme, and a soggy hot dog.

The football itself is amateur.  Honest competitive and direct.  Last week’s match between the Marsouins of St Leu and current league leaders Excelsior of St Joseph was no exception.  It soon became evident just why Marsouins are near the foot of the table and Excelsior are at the top.  After 20 minutes of competitive play Marsouins were undone by two goals scored in quick succession just before half time.  Much of the second half saw the Marsouins’ centre forward show his love of astronomy by repeatedly trying to place a football on the moon!  That said, i’ve known a few Tottenham Hotspur centre forwards with the same passion for outer space!

Saving face Marsouins did score a consolation goal just before the end with the aforementioned centre forward remembering Newton’s Law of Gravity and actually succeeding in keeping the ball down whilst scoring.

So, another pleasant evening with no one minding too much about the result, everyone making their way back to their cars and on home, and not one police officer in sight.

Vocabulary

To follow - suivre

To suffer - subir

The Spurs - Les Eperons (diminuitive d’Hotspur – L’Eperon chaud)

To push and shove - se bousculer, raler, pousser

Bustling - animé

 

Affordable - abordable

All in - tout compris

Soggy - mou, trempé

Undone - dé fait

Making their way back - reprendre le chemin de retour

00:0000:00

61 - Football Reunionese Style - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

It’s a well known fact, to those who know me, that I’m a football fan.  For as long as I can rememberI have followed, and mostly suffered, the fortunes of my favourite football team, Tottenham Hotspur, and my country, England.  When I lived in England I often went to matches to cheer the Spurs on.

Here in Réunion, to assauge my footy fix I regularly go to matches here.  The teams that play in the D1P, Réunion’s highest level league, attract about 500 fans.  It’s not many in comparison with crowds at the top games in England, but there are compensations.

A nice balmy evening in a small but well appointed stadium with coconut trees swaying and the Indian Ocean in the background is a complete change from the White Hart Lane stadium at the end of bustling Tottenham High Road.

Then there are the fans themselves.  A cross section of not just men but often entire families with mothers fathers and children watching their local teams.  The public courtesy, one of Réunion’s great strengths, is also evident.  I am often invited to shake hands with a fellow supporter, someone I’ve never met, but who wanting to reach his seat doesn’t push or shove, but with a kind « good evening » passes me before sitting down.

The price of a game is very affordable.  The entry ticket is 7€, a Dodo 2€ and a chicken and mustard baguette sandwich 3€.  All in 12€.  Prices for football today in England make me shudder with no change from 100€ for a seat, programme, and a soggy hot dog.

The football itself is amateur.  Honest competitive and direct.  Last week’s match between the Marsouins of St Leu and current league leaders Excelsior of St Joseph was no exception.  It soon became evident just why Marsouins are near the foot of the table and Excelsior are at the top.  After 20 minutes of competitive play Marsouins were undone by two goals scored in quick succession just before half time.  Much of the second half saw the Marsouins’ centre forward show his love of astronomy by repeatedly trying to place a football on the moon!  That said, i’ve known a few Tottenham Hotspur centre forwards with the same passion for outer space!

Saving face Marsouins did score a consolation goal just before the end with the aforementioned centre forward remembering Newton’s Law of Gravity and actually succeeding in keeping the ball down whilst scoring.

So, another pleasant evening with no one minding too much about the result, everyone making their way back to their cars and on home, and not one police officer in sight.

Vocabulary

To follow - suivre

To suffer - subir

The Spurs - Les Eperons (diminuitive d’Hotspur – L’Eperon chaud)

To push and shove - se bousculer, raler, pousser

Bustling - animé

 

Affordable - abordable

All in - tout compris

Soggy - mou, trempé

Undone - dé fait

Making their way back - reprendre le chemin de retour

00:0000:00

61 - Football. Reunionese Style

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

It’s a well known fact, to those who know me, that I’m a football fan.  For as long as I can rememberI have followed, and mostly suffered, the fortunes of my favourite football team, Tottenham Hotspur, and my country, England.  When I lived in England I often went to matches to cheer the Spurs on.

Here in Réunion, to assauge my footy fix I regularly go to matches here.  The teams that play in the D1P, Réunion’s highest level league, attract about 500 fans.  It’s not many in comparison with crowds at the top games in England, but there are compensations.

A nice balmy evening in a small but well appointed stadium with coconut trees swaying and the Indian Ocean in the background is a complete change from the White Hart Lane stadium at the end of bustling Tottenham High Road.

Then there are the fans themselves.  A cross section of not just men but often entire families with mothers fathers and children watching their local teams.  The public courtesy, one of Réunion’s great strengths, is also evident.  I am often invited to shake hands with a fellow supporter, someone I’ve never met, but who wanting to reach his seat doesn’t push or shove, but with a kind « good evening » passes me before sitting down.

The price of a game is very affordable.  The entry ticket is 7€, a Dodo 2€ and a chicken and mustard baguette sandwich 3€.  All in 12€.  Prices for football today in England make me shudder with no change from 100€ for a seat, programme, and a soggy hot dog.

The football itself is amateur.  Honest competitive and direct.  Last week’s match between the Marsouins of St Leu and current league leaders Excelsior of St Joseph was no exception.  It soon became evident just why Marsouins are near the foot of the table and Excelsior are at the top.  After 20 minutes of competitive play Marsouins were undone by two goals scored in quick succession just before half time.  Much of the second half saw the Marsouins’ centre forward show his love of astronomy by repeatedly trying to place a football on the moon!  That said, i’ve known a few Tottenham Hotspur centre forwards with the same passion for outer space!

Saving face Marsouins did score a consolation goal just before the end with the aforementioned centre forward remembering Newton’s Law of Gravity and actually succeeding in keeping the ball down whilst scoring.

So, another pleasant evening with no one minding too much about the result, everyone making their way back to their cars and on home, and not one police officer in sight.

Vocabulary

To follow - suivre

To suffer - subir

The Spurs - Les Eperons (diminuitive d’Hotspur – L’Eperon chaud)

To push and shove - se bousculer, raler, pousser

Bustling - animé

Affordable - abordable

All in - tout compris

Soggy - mou, trempé

Undone - dé fait

Making their way back - reprendre le chemin de retour

00:0000:00

60 - No Age Limit - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !
 
After shivering through the British winter I’m now experiencing the delights of Southern Spain.  There are orange trees, butterflies, white buildings with terracotta roofs and a mountain view right outside my window.   I learned to love walking in the mountains during my time in Reunion, so I did some research and joined a group of walkers in the village. 
 
We met at the gas station early last Tuesday and set off for the Buitrera, which means Vulture Gorge.  There were about 10 of us and I was the baby of the group: to put it politely, in England they would have all qualified for a bus pass.  I soon realised though, that age is no indicator of fitness.  These senior citizens trekked up sheer rocky paths, across treacherous loose-scree slopes, through hillsides of vicious thorn-bushes, just as if it was a stroll down the High Street.
 
I made damn sure I kept up.  I was terrified at the idea of getting left behind, all alone in the mountains.  We walked for 5 hours and didn’t meet another soul.  Vultures circled in a rather menacing manner overhead, and we saw many close-to, hunched up on rock ledges like cross old men at a bus stop.  One of the group told me about how last year he got separated from the rest when his dog wandered off and he’d spent the night on the mountain.  “Weren’t you scared?” I asked in awe, and he said no, he’d had the dog with him.  I walked even quicker after that.
 
We went over a narrow concrete bridge built as a water conduit which I crossed without looking to the left or right, as the drop on either side into the gorge with the river winding far, far below made my knees wobble.  Meanwhile my more mature co-walkers were leaning precariously over the low parapet, jauntily pointing out landmarks to each other in a way that made me feel quite ill.
 
We stopped for lunch near a beautiful ruined house, perched on the edge of a mountain with panoramic views in all directions, and I marvelled at the self-sufficiency of the people who once lived there, with no neighbours, no roads and a three-hour trek to the nearest village.   Then on, down through more evil thorn bushes, while Patrick, our leader, yelled, “I’m sure the path’s here somewhere” and I let out a very loud and inappropriate swear word as my arms and legs were lacerated.  No-one seemed offended.  Finally we got back down to the valley bottom, half an hour from our walk’s end, with just the minor matter of a river to forge.  No problem for these sixty- and seventy-year -olds.  “It’s only up to the knees”, Patrick shouted, as I struggled, midstream, to maintain my balance in the current while the water rose to the top of my thighs.
 
Nothing tasted better than the beer in the cafe when we reached the village again.   I silently gave thanks that my trekking in Reunion’s Cirques had prepared me for extreme hikes.  And before I knew it, I’d agreed to go on next week’s walk.  “Just another gentle one,” they said.  Yeah, right, I thought.  I’m going into training.
 
 
Vocabulary
 
bus pass  -  une carte de bus
senior citizens – gens du troisieme age
scree – l‘eboulis
vulture -  un vautour
conduit - conduit
 
thorn-bush -  un buisson d’epines
wobble - trembler
parapet – un parapet
midstream – au milieu du courant
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