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Some will argue that societies are built upon languages and that language is the cement of a society. It can also be argued that language emerged from the frame of the society. Whether one or the other is correct, nobody knows yet. However for those supposing that language cements societies; they believe that by changing the language they will be able to change the world around them.

Feminists have been fighting long and hard to introduce gender-neutral or feminine words to replace gender-given (often masculine) nouns and adjectives in the hope that by changing vocabulary they will be able to change attitudes.

Today we can scoff at some of those modern feminists’ fights, qualifying their actions of being ‘outdated’ and ‘useless’. But while we feel that the fight has been won, and that equality has already been attained, it’s easy to forget that a hundred years ago women believed that it was worth dying to get the right of vote. We’ve only recently reached that so-called equality and solely thanks to our mothers and grand-mothers’ courage.

And when it’s becoming clearer and clearer that a more insidious sexism is making its way back, vigilance is key. Personally I think that instead of wasting all that energy trying to change the way people use words, the answer lies in the hands of the education system – whomever hands it is: the headteacher’s or the headmistress’…

I have many favourite places. Having moved houses, regions, and schools extensively since I was born means I have left many kind memories of places I loved behind me. But when I close my eyes I only see one.

I remember first a feeling of heat. The hot summer air surrounds me like a burning veil. It carries a delicate smell of dry grass, pungent thyme, aromatic rosemary and sweet lavender, and from far away the acrid smoke of a bush fire. I am lying on a mattress of short-cut grass that slightly scratches my bare legs and arms. I can also smell the olive trees nearby and the tenuous fragrance of the lemon trees farther away.

The air is thrilling with the continuous chirping of the crickets. Wrapped in the noisy silence of Nature, I can also hear the hard-working ants and the beetles crawling between the sharp blades of grass beneath my head. The air is too hot for birds, hidden in their nests, they are waiting for the cool evening air to free them. The chimes of bells from the village church below reaches me, carried away by the wind. I am too far from the house to hear the voices of my family. At that time of the day, grown-ups are digesting their gargantuan lunch in the shadow and coolness of their bedrooms. It is the time when children are left alone, free from the careful watch of the elders.

I open my eyes and the white brightness of the sun is blinding me for a few seconds. The air above me is buzzing with brightly-coloured butterflies. A couple of dragonflies – elegant and ruthless killers – glide in complicated arabesques. A ladybird lands on my right hand. I am looking at her and raising the finger high in the sky I lead her to the sun. Far away above my head, very high in the sky, white fluffy clouds are racing each others. Around me the steep hills look dry and slightly hazy in the heat. I can see the observatory at the top of the highest one. Behind me the vineyard flanked by two peach trees seem immutable. Olive trees with their silver leaves are host of thousands of crawling creatures.

In my favourite place time doesn’t matter and I’m staying there forever, as immutable as the twisted and bent olive trees around me.

Wednesday Simon’s Cat

I‘m afraid this one is the last one I found:

still very, very funny!

see :Simon’s Cat

Today it’s Wednesday and it has been a week since we’ve watched Simon’s Cat. So here we go again:

Simon’s Cat as the greatest hunter of his generation.

Come back next week for more Simon’s Cat – or go to YouTube and watch’em all at once 🙂

More Simon’s Cat

I discovered Simon’s Cat not long ago and I can’t resist: I want more!!

So here is another one, just for a bit of a laugh.

Chouchenn? Did someone say Chouchenn? 🙂

What is more classical than a chocolate mousse for dessert? The following recipe gives an original spin on an old-favourite.

The harmonious mix of salt and dark chocolate is a perfect way to tease guests’ taste buds at the end of a friendly dinner in. And it reminds me of my after-school snacks of thick slices of bread spreaded with salted butter and dark chocolate pieces. Hmmmm…

Drizzling extra virgin olive oil on top of the dessert contributes to give the recipe its unique twist, with the added health and nutrition benefits of olive oil.

The use of a sweet-flavoured olive oil, from the Catalan region for example, will emphasize the gentle contrast between salt and chocolate.

Serves 8 – Preparation time 25min, resting time 12hours.

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ litre milk
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla stick
  • 400g dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Very thin slices of toasted white bread
  • Maldon salt

Sauce:

  • 100g raspberries
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 drop lemon juice

Boil the milk with the vanilla stick. Mix together the yolks and sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan and add the boiled milk little by little. Place over heat. Simmer until obtaining a light custard sauce texture. When the custard is ready, add the pieces of chocolate to the saucepan and simmer to melt the chocolate into the custard sauce.

Leave it to set for 12 hours in the fridge.

 Sauce:

Crush the raspberries with sugar and lemon juice and strain (or not, depending on your taste) the sauce.

Shape the dessert with two dessert spoons into a round ball and place two quenelles on a plate. The term quenelle is used to describe the decorative shape of the portions – a neat, three-sided oval (a bit like a mini rugby ball!) formed by smoothing the mixture between two dessert spoons. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle lightly the top of each quenelle with Maldon salt. Crown the quenelles with a comb of toasted bread and drip raspberry sauce all around.

Feed the cat!

Please, feed the cat 🙂

and another one because it’s just too cute.

There are so many more. Go check out Simon’s cat 🙂