Our French Life

The Normandy Road Kill

A nonchalant French bird who flies when he wants to irrespective of a fast approaching vehicle!

So I thought I’d do a light-hearted post about death and what not. Now I appreciate that on the face of it, it probably doesn’t seem too light-hearted but believe me, I think you’ll enjoy this one about flattened animals along the empty roads of Normandy. Well let’s hope so.

Before I begin, I must say I don’t particularly enjoy seeing various animal species KO’d on my local roads, however, it does make for some interesting driving and seeing which poor bugger didn’t make it to the other side. Also, I’ve never seen such a variety of animals and birds albeit dead. I’m a city mouse and now I’m a country mouse – the last time I saw a hedgehog in the UK was probably in the 1980s. In fact, I think they are extinct there now. I see them on a weekly basis here, albeit flattened as a pancake. Interesting fact – I do believe they are eaten in the south of France assuming before they are flattened.

Continue reading “The Normandy Road Kill”
Our French Life

Do You Have Pandemic Homesickness?

I mean you don’t really have to be living in France to feel a little homesick at the moment right? Or British. You may be living away from your mothership, where you were born and bred and you may well have been in exile for many years. But for some, even those hard core ex-pats/immigrants, who are a dab hand at the living in a different country or countries, rocking the language, culture – even they might want to ‘nip’ back – where ever back is? To see friends and family. But no one is ‘nipping’ back anywhere, anytime soon.

Continue reading “Do You Have Pandemic Homesickness?”
Our French Life, Our School Life

Lycée – It’s All A Bit Weird!

It really is. In fact everything that surrounds lycée is a bit panto-ish. The school bus, the enabling a lifelong generation of smokers and a kind of bizarre university approach but it’s not university in any way, shape or form. It doesn’t really know what it is and I’ll be darned if I know what it’s all about that’s for sure!

Sorry but for an outsider, from a very different schooling system, I still think lycée is a bit strange. Now, I’ve written about the structure of lycée here so if you don’t know how it’s structured, then please do take a look.

Continue reading “Lycée – It’s All A Bit Weird!”
Our French Life

English Bashing By Brits In France

Whoah there sister! This one’s going to be a bit controversial fun wouldn’t you say?! This is a touchy subject in this ‘ere household. So I thought what better way, than to put out the embers, than to hit ‘publish’. I’m joking of course this is going to set it alight like billyo – best the neighbours close their shutters. Are your strapped in? Yes, so let me begin.

Continue reading “English Bashing By Brits In France”
Our French Life

How To Find A French Friend

Possibly my least favourite Beatles track. Sorry!

Oh do shut up! I hear you say. Are you really doing album fillers now? No. And yes, on the face of it, you would think this was bloody easy to do given that you live in France. How hard is it to find a French friend? Well, strap in and I shall tell you.

You’re in France right? You speak a bit of French or have the illusion you can speak right? Well, it would follow that you will make French ‘friends’ at a drop of a hat. Erm not quite. This is my take on it, as ever, and I’m sure there are lots of twenty-somethings/students in major French cities making French friends left, right and centre. But, alas, unfortunately I am not in that bracket. Mental note to previous self in a different life – move to a foreign country when you’re young, free and single!

Continue reading “How To Find A French Friend”
Our French Life

The Covid Contradictions

wacky races

I have written a few times about living with Covid here in France (you can read about them here and here) but I have tended to avoid it.  This is because it chops and changes every day or if not every day, it certainly feels like it. As I have said to my friends, when we have tried to arrange seeing each other, I have not seen my friends for nearly 2 years and most of my family for over a year, “A lot can change in Covidland!” Continue reading “The Covid Contradictions”

Our French Life

Dear France, Sorry I didn’t Get The Memo!

memo

Nope. Sometimes you think you have it all sussed.  You think you know what a country is all about and feel quite the smug immigrant. Then something happens and it suddenly occurs to you that you didn’t get the memo on that one. Or the one before that, the one after and the one before that. I feel I have missed quite  a few memos since my arrival here in Normandy, France. Continue reading “Dear France, Sorry I didn’t Get The Memo!”

Our French Life

Who Are You Even?

tumbleweed

When you speak French? That is the question. I’ll be darned if I know who the hell I am.  I know for a fact that I left any shred of dignity, self respect and pride somewhere in La Manche, approximately 3 years ago, on the boat over. That fateful 10.30 pm crossing where my ability to communicate like a funny, intelligent adult drifted out to sea – coming back some time never. And there’s no one, anytime soon, throwing me a buoyancy aid. You really do have to sink or swim. Continue reading “Who Are You Even?”

Our French Life

These Are Our Deconfinement Days

 

mask

And not our Salad Days as the song goes. And now, more importantly ‘Deconfinement’ that is unlock the ‘lockdown’ as it is referred to in the UK.

Prior to 2020 taking quite an unsavoury turn, the Brits had been preoccupied with arguing about Brexit for the best part of 3 years. Many a cull was made on facebook. Friends and family members deleted in utter contempt. Not just online. In real life as well. Families fell out in spectacular fashion.  Only at the point of it being a more or less done deal, a stomping Boris majority, some decided to let it be. A resentful let it be, but a let it be nevertheless. This is not to be confused with acceptance. Continue reading “These Are Our Deconfinement Days”

Our French Life

Top Ten Lock Down Tips

 

betty blue

Or confinement as the French call it. How are we all? Are we rocking back and forth yet? In a Jack Nicolson, One Flew over the Cuckoo Nest, type of manner? I love referring to this and the photo to depict my a mental state. That and Betty Blue. The other week I think I came close to acting like a deranged, fatter and older version of Betty Blue. Only one day mind. One day too many some might say.  If you haven’t seen Betty Blue you must. It’s about a couple in love and the is a proper head case as opposed to an ordinary head case.jack nicholson

Well how we all doing?!

So yeah, I was like “we’ve got this” at the beginning of the ‘lock down’. Keep calm carry on. I’m British. My grandad was shipped out to Italy in WWII then just to reward him, upon his return, they shipped him out to Palestine for 2 years. He said it was worse in many ways as you didn’t know who your enemy was.  In any event, I’m fairly tough mentally. Or am I? Who am I even?! I see it as a chance to get DIY jobs finished, get fit and get fluent. The end. Continue reading “Top Ten Lock Down Tips”