The Friday Question was, What is the last foreign language you began to learn and why?
My answer is French, because the last time I went into a French Boulangerie, armed with the necessary phrase given to me by my wife to purchase two baguettes and one croissant, I managed the first couple of words in French before seamlessly moving into Italian and then apologising in English when the shop assistant looked at me like I had told her that I wanted to Sunday roast her grandmother. Numerous cycling phrases were not enough, it has proven, for me to make my way about a country I have only begun visiting in recent years, but would now happily live in. My usual ‘learning a new language’ problem is the same as it was with German and Italian, whereby the lack of opportunity to speak it aloud, is quickly leaving me with a reasonable ability to read and hear the language but probably the same Boulangerie incident waiting to happen when I speak it.
The why? It seems terribly ignorant to visit another country and expect the locals to communicate with me in my language. I appreciate their efforts in my direction once I’ve proven my efforts in theirs. I like the places in France I’ve been to and I like the fact that the food is that bit different to ours. I feel as if I’ve eaten healthier. I also love the ritual of walking to the Boulangerie to collect the bread.
The Other Stuff:
I’ve managed to write two posts a day since the Tour de France started – the usual stuff and a Tour focused blog. Hopefully it will provide the initial ingredients for something a bit more substantial.
There has been plenty of sport – New South Wales wrapped up the Origin competition in Australia’s Rugby League. England and Wales cricket demolished the Aussies in the World Cup semi-final. Wimbledon Tennis entered its second week with some people winning and others losing. Wigan lost the Derby match to Saints but are still top 5 in the table.