Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Les Misérables

We had my family to stay last week, and Bert seemed to find it a bit stressful (it coincided with him being particularly busy). So for a few days he was stomping around being generally grumpy and uncommunicative, which he can do so well.

Anyway, we sat down for dinner one night and chatted about this and that. Suddenly, apropos of nothing in particular, Bert announces that "some people are just so miserable, they might as well be dead."

"Hmm," we said.

Paris revisited

Our friend K reminded me of this funny moment from our Paris trip.

I mentioned previously that Bert doesn't speak French, but I was being a little unfair because he did try once...

Bert: Deux bieres
Waiter: Gruyère??

This was the night of the 900g steak. Luckily the waiter didn't bring a cheese board as we were rather stuffed. As well as the giant steak, we had consumed a huge amount of lovely chips that came with it, and a starter. Anyway, Bert was so impressed with the steak that he made a joke with the waiter about whether it was 'buy one, get one free'. The waiter didn't seem to get the joke and we realised why when he returned with...another plate of 'frites'!

(Which we ate. Just out of politeness, you understand.)

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Very public transport

Bert's mum was up for dinner on Sunday and was telling us about her week. In amongst complaints about the weather and failing to book a holiday was the following gem.

She was on the bus the other day and saw someone she thought she recognised - a woman called Gay(nor) that she had worked with quite a few years ago. When she stood up to get off the bus, she stopped by the woman and asked, "Excuse me, are you Gay?". When the woman blushed profusely and looked extremely shocked, Bert's mum realised how her question might be misconstrued. She ended up missing her stop while digging herself into a hole trying to explain what she'd meant.

Things you should know:
  • Bert's mum has a loud voice
  • We live in the gay capital of Europe
  • The woman wasn't Gay(nor)
  • But we still don't know whether she's gay

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Back to nature

Remember G, Bert's brother? I've been intending to mention that he is now officially an Iron Man, albeit a slow one as Bert constantly reminds me (14+ hours to finish). G is now in post-recovery mode and starting to risk actual physical movement once more.

G's wife was not at all pleased when he decided to gatecrash her Hot Yoga class. I hadn't heard of Hot Yoga before - apparently it takes place in a specially heated room to warm the muscles and ensure that toxins are sweated out.

To begin with, the class had to do some stretches that involved spreading the legs as wide as possible and touching the floor in between. (It's probably this one.) G couldn't do either and appeared to be standing motionless even though he was in fact trying pretty hard to spread and bend. He demonstrated this for us the other night, and adopted a pose similar to someone trying to read a map (with the map being held in their hands, not laid out on the floor).

Worse for G's wife though is the fact that he, like Bert, never (and I do mean never) uses deodorant or anti-perspirant. I've never been quite sure whether it's a macho thing, or whether they're just a pair of skinflints. They're both particular about what they won't 'waste' their money on, like flowers, birthday cards, etc. (probably anything that gives anyone pleasure). Anyway, don't forget this is Hot Yoga...G's wife said everyone kept edging their mats further and further away from him. When she was telling us this the other evening, their daughter looked horrified. "You two are completely disgusting," she exclaimed at G and Bert. "You're just so.....natural!"

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

It's all the Seine to me.

Well, Paris was fab. Bert looked after our wellbeing by making sure we didn't overdo the Metro and got plenty of walking done. There was a lot of sightseeing and general mooching, some nice meals out, and not nearly enough sitting in pavement cafés watching the world go by.

Just in case the sights weren't sufficient in themselves, Bert provided us with some additional entertainment.

If you read my post on Taking the biscuit, you'll remember his little trick of leaving half or quarter of the biscuit behind. I was relating this to our friends on holiday, and K suddenly laughed out loud. "You have to see this!" he exclaimed, and fetched a blister pack of Rennie's indigestion tablets that Bert had borrowed earlier in the day.

How on earth do you break a Rennie into four pieces?

What sort of meal requires such a precise amount of digestive assistance?

Why am I living with someone capable of this?

Anyway, here are some memorable quotes from the man himself:
  • (On arrival) "Well that's it, no Harveys for a week."
  • "The trouble with France is it's so flat."

  • "The French have got so much time on their hands." (The evidence for this is that they paint their pylons.)
  • "The Louvre is rubbish. It's full of old crappy paintings."

  • (When asked what he wanted to do, e.g. Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, Latin Quarter etc.) "Not fussed. Go to the Agra when I get back."
However, I am glad to report that he thoroughly enjoyed the French wine after all, and had to cart his Aussie stuff back home again. He also consumed the biggest steak I have ever seen. Bert selected the restaurant on the basis of this menu item: 'Côte de bœuf grillée (min. 900g)'. It was of course meant for two which at least saved me deliberating what to have, and I had approximately 50g all to myself. (Oh - maybe that's why he was being careful with the Rennie's earlier in the week.)

Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the steak, but just to finish off here's Bert enjoying the Parisian sights.

"Hey Bert, look, we're just passing Notre Dame!". Zzzzzzzz.