April 2021 recap

Hello my lovelies! Can you believe I’m here for an April recap? What even is time and where is it going? I haven’t been around here much recently – sorry about that (why am I apologising? Nobody cares whether I blog!). You’ll soon see that I don’t really have much of a reason for that. As in I haven’t been too busy to post. Just not in the mood I guess. Anyway, on with the recap.

The month started with Easter. Actually Good Friday was 2nd April but I don’t have anything to say about the 1st. I was pleased to have a long weekend! Not that I did a lot. I went for 2 walks (Jan joined me for one) and I made hot cross buns. They took forever but turned out quite nice for a first attempt – maybe a bit dense.

ITV were showing all the Harry Potter films on Easter weekend and the following weekend and Jan decided her was going to watch then (if you know him in real life you’re probably rubbing your eyes in disbelief right now!). I watched with him and had fun spotting the scenes that were shot at Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral. I don’t normally watch that many films in such a short space of time unless it’s Christmas! We also watched a German film called Im Juli, which was weird, and I discovered Jan had never seen (or even heard of) The Lost Boys so we watched that. This discovery was make thanks to an answer on House of Games, which we’re still keeping up with, and I’ve also been enjoying Great British Menu. So much TV in April! This is very unusual for me!

I mentioned last month that my doctor had given me a referral for physiotherapy. I had my first session on the Wednesday after Easter. I chose a place that’s kind of opposite where I live which is so convenient! It literally takes me about 4 minutes from leaving my flat to being in the room. I’ve nearly finished my sessions now and my back is mostly better, although it still seems to play up at times.

It was not a good month for reading. I listened to an audiobook and it took dayssss. Me and audiobooks just don’t get on. Then on top that I only read 5 other books. I had hoped to finish another one but alas I only managed the first 130ish pages in April. I’m still working on it now almost a week into May!

Jan got his first dose of COVID vaccine. Yay! Our canton finally moved on from over-75s and “highest risk” to all chronic illnesses (Jan has type 1 diabetes. Since it’s well-controlled he isn’t considered high risk). He will get the second jab later this month. Vaccinations are still relatively slow here but starting to pick up now. And on the very last day of April the reported daily positive tests finally fell to below 2000 for the first time in weeks. Restaurants have been allowed to open their terraces since 19 April but I still haven’t been to one. And gyms also reopened on the same day but I haven’t set foot in one of those since I was about 16 😉 We did get take away a couple of times. One that lasted us for three nights in a row and one that we bought for lunch and had enough rice left over to reheat for tea. I made it without some frozen samosas (obviously I heated them) that I bought to try and turned out to be delicious so I will definitely get them again.

The last two months I have completely forgotten to mention that I’ve been trying to learn Ukrainian through Duolingo. I’m not great at it though – I can’t seem to get my head around the Cyrillic alphabet, especially since some of the letters that look similar to ours are pronounced (roughly) the same and some aren’t. So так is “yes” and it’s pronounced pretty much as you would expect (tak) but сестра (sister) is pronounced “sestra” because what my brain insists on viewing as a ‘p’ is pronounced similar to an ‘r’. And then the letter that does look like an r, albeit a backwards one, is pronounced ‘ya’, so моя сестра (my sister) is “moya sestra”. Aaargh!

I cannot think of anything else to tell you! I’ve still been going for my weekly walks, sometimes with Jan but most often alone. Here’s a photo of a squirrel we saw on one walk – it looks like it’s in a cage, but actually it’s some kind of structure that was apparently built to help it climb the tree. The tree was on the grounds of a school so we guessed the structure was probably part of some project there.

I hope you all had a good April. Check back on Tuesday if you want to know about the very few books I read last month.

Fun with DuoLingo 2

You’re probably all pretty sick of hearing about my wisdom teeth operation now – I know I’m sick of posting about it! But when you’re stuck in the house ill, nothing blogworthy tends to happen… so I thought it was time to share some more odd Duolingo sentences with you. To see my first round, click here.

DuoLingo is a free language learning website. The basic idea is that you sign up and the site has you translate sentences to practice various areas of grammar and vocabulary, starting with basics and moving on through things like food, animals and adjectives. I’ve been collecting the ones that I found particularly strange or amusing, and now I have enough for a whole blog post again. Here they are… enjoy!

  1. Papa Smurf
    Papa Smurf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Der Hund isst den Vogel – The dog eats the bird (Because it wants to be a cat?)

  2. Sie kennt die komplette Feuerwehr – She knows the entire fire brigade (Is she an arsonist… or does she just have a thing for firemen?)
  3. Das sind keine normalen Äpfel! – Those are not normal apples! (I bet Snow White wishes someone had said that to her…)
  4. Eure Kuh ist schön – Your cow is nice (Just making small talk…)
  5. Der Bär trägt Ihre Kleider – The bear is wearing your clothes* (… and now they will never fit you again!)
  6. Ein roter Hund trägt weiße Kleider – A red dog is wearing white clothes (A red dog, you say?)
  7. Ich bin der Bär – I am the bear (And you can talk…)
  8. Der gesamte Kopf ist blau – The entire head is blue (It’s a Smurf!)
  9. Die öffentlichen Toiletten sind normal – The public toilets are normal (Well, that’s a relief…)
  10. Ich danke einer Katze – I thank a cat (It’s only polite, after all…)

That’s all for today. I hope you got some amusement out of them…

*Assuming the bear is female this could also translate as “The bear is wearing her clothes”, but the translation here is the first one that came to my mind and was accepted as correct. *edited to add* As someone pointed out in the comments, it only means “your” if Ihre is capitalised, but when it’s being read out there’s no way to tell whether they mean “ihre” or “Ihre”.

Fun with DuoLingo

www.duolingo.com (appen) är min nya lilla hobby.
The Duolingo owl (Photo credit: Emanuel Hallklint)

A while ago, I read another blogger’s review of a free-language learning website called Duolingo (I believe that blogger was Sherbet and Sparkles). I was on the look out for a new resource for learning Spanish, so I decided to check it out. I signed myself up for Spanish and, after a bit of thought, decided to use it for German as well – my German is good, but by no means perfect and I thought a few grammar lessons would do me some good.

In Spanish, I’m still at a fairly low level, so the software still has me working on basic sentences like “Él escribe libros” (He writes books). But as I progressed through the levels in German, I started to notice some fantastic, amusing, or just plain weird sentences cropping up. Naturally, my immediate reaction was to start collecting them, and now I have enough for a whole blog post. So here – in no particular order (because arranging them would involve effort) – are my top ten favourite sentences that Duolingo has made me translate.

  1. Sie schläft in seinem Bett – She sleeps in his bed. (Ooooh, the intrigue.)
  2. Sie ersetzt das Baby durch einen schwarzen Hund – She replaces the baby with a black dog. (She… what?!)
  3. Natürlich bin ich besser als du – Of course I am better than you. (And soooo modest as well!)
  4. Meine Frau ist nicht schön, aber sie ist reich – My wife is not pretty, but she is rich. (Oh well, that’s ok then…)
  5. Der Grossvater isst den Vogel – The grandfather eats the bird (I am picturing him biting the head off a live bird! :-/)
  6. Wir schwimmen, falls es Regen gibt – We will swim if it rains (How much rain are you expecting?)
  7. Er isst Menschen – He eats people. (Wow… thanks for the warning Duolingo!)
  8. Weiß man je, wohin man geht? – Does one ever know where one is going? (Oooh, very philosophical!)
  9. Ich will nicht gegen dich aussagen – I don’t want to testify against you. (Well, I’m glad to hear that!)
  10. Wo sind die Hosen des Jungen? – Where are the boy’s trousers? (That’s a very good question…)

One thing’s for sure, sentences like these will stick in your mind forever! Although I sincerely hope I never need to use the phrase “I don’t want to testify against you” in German…

The incorrect multiple choice answers can be pretty amusing too...
The incorrect multiple choice answers can be pretty amusing too…