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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Anyone who thinks that Amelie spends all her time on the iPad would be wrong. She also uses the laptop a lot...

Ammy the Explorer
It's better because it balances on your knees, leaving you one hand free to suck your thumb.

Obviously she uses it mainly for Facebook, Twitter and Skyping her friends in other countries, but today she's been engrossed in a game called 'Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom'. For about six hours straight. Frankly I could have saved the place quicker myself. As it happens, we met Dora back in September when we visited Nickelodeon Land, but Amelie got confused and thought it was just "a person dressed up as something", so she's none the wiser. The game could be about Dora Bryan for all she knows.

Anyway, the good thing about this game is that in addition to teaching Amelie important life-lessons about singing butterflies and talking monkeys, it also uses Dora the Explorer's status as the world's most famous Latina (after Gloria Estefan) to inject a bit of Spanish into her life. At various points in the game, Dora repeats key phrases in her native tongue, allowing Amelie to pick up the lingo and learn a second language.

She's played it so much today that she really should be fluent by now, but unfortunately I don't think I'll be booking a holiday in Barcelona just yet. A major part of the game involves clicking on bunnies as they pop out of rabbit holes, whilst avoiding clicking on the squirrels and armadillos. Amelie's already questioned the realism of it all, by asking why on earth the other animals are in the rabbit's burrow, but in addition to that, she's wrestling with a far more confusing concept.

When you've captured your full quota of rabbits, Dora shouts "Cinco conejitos!", which is Spanish for 'five bunnies'. Unfortunately, Amelie, who assumes she's speaking English, hears it as "Click on the hippos!". She's spent the afternoon frantically moving the mouse, searching in vain, and asking me where all the hippos have gone.

But the good news is that Amelie's newfound linguistic skills could come in very handy in the future. Twenty years ago, Lisa worked in an office with a chap called Chris, who has recently left Brighton behind him to become an estate agent in Arizona. He's started a blog to publicise his business, and yesterday he published this photo...

From the Ashes
That's a house in Phoenix with 2,400 square feet of space, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms (I presume the half is a sink), a garage and a private swimming pool. And it's on the market for about £60,000. The moment Amelie learns Spanish, we'll be hiring a Mexican pool guy and moving.


Phil's Mum said...

Its not fair!  Why can't Brighton fit in with Arizona prices?

'old' friend said...

0.5 of a bathroom is what we call a cloakroom. (They have the same in the States). Still doesn't make much sense though!