Tuesday, 24 July 2007


Andy, Jesse, Neil and I went along to the footy on Sunday to watch the Lions butcher Carlton. The blues were as soft as I reckon I've ever seen a side; just no attack on the ball whatsoever. Brisbane were OK through the middle despite missing Black, and did a really good job of getting the ball to their forwards and finishing. Brown kicked 10, but it was far from the best game I've seen him play; the delivery was good, and the defense woefully poor.

Friday, 20 July 2007

entretien du francais

Veronique, my erstwhile french prof from Rennes, had encouraged me to sit the DELF french proficiency exams while I was over there in May. Unfortunately, a combination of laziness and a general focus of my efforts elsewhere meant that I didn't do so. Upon getting back to Australia, one of the things on my long list of tasks was to sign up for french lessons with a view to sitting a proficiency exam in the near future.

Thus, last week, I signed up for lessons with Alliance Francaise Brisbane. After some cursory evaluation, they decided I'd be best off in the DALF class, which surprised me, since this was above the level Veronique had suggested I might take. The first lesson was last Saturday, and in fact the level seemed fine. I felt like I spoke at least as well as anyone else in the class, and better than some. We tried a sample exercise, which I thought may have been intended to scare us, but I figure I managed a pass mark, even if I didn't exactly ace it. More importantly, the people in the class seem nice, which might give me some future avenues for social circle work. It was notable, though, that I was the only guy there, reminiscent of my high school italian classes.

To back up the class, I wandered along on Wednesday to Mercuriales, AF's weekly conversation group at a South Bank cafe. This week proved exceptional in that Anne, apparently a regular, was having her birthday. As such, we wandered up the hill to a greek restaurant for dinner instead of drinks. Much fun was had by all, mainly in french, although we switched back from time to time particularly to accomodate beginners or non-french-speakers.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Damn you Migaloo, damn you to hell!

The quiz night is, I suspect, a curiously anglo obsession - I never heard tell of it in France. I toddled along to one a bit over a year ago with an enormous crowd including Chris & Anjum, Mick and Paul, and all orchestrated by Dave Coyle. We had a good time and won, that night, at Dooley's.

Last week, Jesse and Ali invited me along to a similar event at O'Malleys. In this case the team, the Secret Squirrels, was small - just the aforementioned, plus a couple of girls from Ali's work, and your humble scribe. The questions were, in my estimation, on the easy side, and we squeaked home by a point and once again walked away with a bar voucher.

Last night I was faced with a choice. The Squirrels were back, and meanwhile word came in of another foray at the International in Spring Hill, led by Dave Coyle and Sandy now-Hookins. Superior numbers of people I hadn't seen for ages won out - the International it was.

We aced the first round, but a tie meant we missed out the $80 prize for that. We aced the very easy second round too, and won a bar voucher after a very close tie-breaker question about the census. We slipped up in the third and got 15/16, which could have been worse if Dave had succeeded in confusing the German and Belgian flags. We were lucky in the fourth, and got 15/16 on a couple of lucky guesses, which gave us (by our reckoning) the lead going into the bonus round. The bonus round, in which each question was worth 5 points, proved our undoing. We were unable to identify the white humpback currently cruising the Qld coast as being named Milooga, and consequently slipped back to 5th on the night, 3 points off the pace. Fortunately, the regular group from whom we were an offshoot due to climbing numbers managed to claim the main prize, which eased the pain a little.