I wrote “helas” on yesterday’s page. That’s French for “alas”. My English has indeed become contaminated and a lot of vocabulary has transmogrified into French. Which is fine when talking with Anglophone friends living over here also suffering from the same disorder, but not when chatting to my sisters who scrunch up their noses in a questioning fashion with a “WHAT did you just say?” making me feel slightly stupid and rather embarrassed. However, since Tommy was born my English has improved remarkably seeing as I talk in English with him all day every day. Did I say with him? I meant to him. No, I take that back, I did mean with him as he does answer back nowadays in his own jargon which sounds far more English than French – to me anyway. And he understands English better than French. If I say “where are the birds?” he points to the sky and starts whistling. If his dadadada says “où sont les oiseaux?” he looks at dadada blankly. But let’s face it, “bird” is a lot easier to get your ears around than “oiseaux”. Most Brits probably can’t even imagine how to pronounce “oiseaux”. Tommy however will be blissfully bilingual. That is, unless my English becomes so rotten and shot-holed with French that it no longer sounds very English and he ends up saying, “Mamama, look at the wazzoh”. Must keep reading the Guardian. Must keep writing these Tales.


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