25 July 2008

Let the disqussion begin

I have just attempted loading up disqus to handle all the millions of comments I get on this blog. Here's hoping it worked...

PS If anyone can tell me how to get rid of the annoying and pointless ads underneath the top post on the blog, I would be most grateful...

PPS Hurrah, I have fixed it - turns out Feedburner was to blame... Given the low number of visitors I have (yes, I was joking about the millions of comments) and that none of them click on the ads, I do not see the point in having them. I am not exactly going to get rich from blogging....

21 July 2008

The joy of recruitment

We are currently looking for an au pair to replace the wonderful Aussie nanny who has been looking after our girls for the past 10 months or so. The process of finding a new au pair has not been without its frustrations given that all we want is a Mary Poppins on the minimum wage...

One of the more important criteria is reasonably good English skills - important for both the twins' language development and ability to communicate clearly in case of an emergency - as well as just not being plain annoying. One hapless candidate on a job website decided (it would seem) to use an automatic translation service to provide the English version of her French description of herself. The French reads, perfectly fluently:

"Je m'appelle [nom] , j'ai 20 ans. J'ai passé mon bac en juin. Ensuite j'aimerais faire infirmière. J'ai 2 grands frères qui ont à eux 2 , 5 enfants agés de 2 à 9 ans. J'aime m'occuper d'eux. Je fais également beaucoup de baby-sitting. je pense passer mon permis cet été. je suis responsable, sérieuse, bavarde, patiente, attentive, sympathique... j'aime lire, faire du shopping, écouter de la musique, voyager, sortir avec mes amis, découvrir beaucoup de choses... je suis non fumeuse !"

However, the English turned out to be not quite so comprehensible:

"My name is [name], I am 20 years old. I crossed my receptacle in June. Then I would like to make nurse. I have 2 elder brothers them with 2, 5 agés children from 2 to 9 years old. I like to be in charge them. I make also a lot of babysitting. I think cross my licence this summer. I am responsible, serious, patient, attentive, nice talkative I like to read, to make of the shopping, to listen to music, to travel, to go out with my friends, to discover many things I am not smoky!"

If I thought her spoken English was that good, she could have had the job, just for the constant comedy value...

16 July 2008

Top telly

I have a new favourite TV programme - Jimmy Doherty's Farming Heroes is what the BBC is all about. It provides a fascinating - dare I say "educational" insight into modern farming and is beautifully filmed. My guess is that it shares much with the equally brilliant Coast series in that the mixture of entertainment and fact is similar. For those of us who enjoyed prep school geography lessons, both series are a delight.

11 July 2008

Wat da hell?

There is something irresistable about Europeans who do not take themselves too seriously. The success of both 'Allo 'Allo and Fawlty Towers tapped into the British love of foreigners acting strangely and comedy accents. Very much in this genre appears Wat Zat Song.com - a French start-up which allows you to upload music - either a recording or yourself singing the clip. and then invites other users to tell you "Wat Zat" song is... I met them last night at the TechcrunchUK Pitch event in Soho, of which they were the popular winners and promised to sing something down the phone for them as soon as they have the UK telephone number set up...

In terms of time, they are many years behind that granddaddy of mobile apps- Shazam. Having previously only used Shazam via my phone I thought I would check out its website today. Once registered, I was astonished to see that they still kept the records of my queries made in 2003!