From fashion to food, the French always seem to do it right, and with a little bit more class. There’s a certain effortless elegance when it comes to the things they create, which is also quite evident in their countryside gardens. And if you’d like to try your hand at creating one in your own home, here are some delightful design ideas to expand your garden the French way: Continue reading “Garden Expansion Ideas for the French Countryside”
Firstly you’re welcome! When I first arrived on Normandy soil I found that some English speakers could be a little, how shall we say, secretive about various aspects of living in France. I suppose people would think that if they had to experience hardship, then others should suffer the same fate. We never expected anyone to do anything for us and we did work out stuff for ourselves. My French is okay – this is because I was launched into phoning various organisations rather than ask someone else to do it. Clearly if it was very technical or out of my depth I would pay someone. You always need to weigh up time, effort and money. I also had friends who helped me out in some sticky situations. Continue reading “How To Avail Of Intensive French Lessons”
So Master Normandy has started his Lycée journey. Ekk! The rentrée is well and truly underway. We are now into our 4th week (yes really!) of the kids being back at school. It was all change in the family dynamics front as Master Normandy had graduated to Lycée.
For those that don’t know how the school system works here in France – I wrote this blog post a while back. In a nutshell, our adolescents or (ados) as the French say move up to lycée at age 15 (or 17 if you have redoubled twice like Master Normandy’s friend!) for three years.
Guess what? Did you know that France is the only country in the world where you can retire at the ripe old age of mid forties? And if you’re a bit unfortunate it’s late fifties?! I’m just kidding with you. Of course France isn’t the only country in the world where you can retire to at this age! What were/are are you even thinking about?! Have you actually lost your mind?! Continue reading “How To Get A Job In Normandy, France”
In keeping with my What’s The Deal With Lycee and using 1980s American Teen speak, I thought this might be a handy heads up (stop with the 80s Teen talk!) for any of those trying to make sense of the French schooling system. Continue reading “What’s The Deal With The Brevet?”
Yeah this one is full on generalisation and quite frankly I don’t care. It’s not politically correct at all. Which, lets face it, the world’s politicians aren’t actually a shining example of how one should conduct themselves. My little evaluation is hardly going to scratch the surface of inappropriateness. This is just for fun. So please, if you are a Frenchie or Brit reading this it does not,obviously, apply to all. It’s just my little observations. It’s tongue in cheek and comes with a tickle your fancy disclaimer. Strap in. Continue reading “Top 5: French Men V British Men”
Okay, the other day I posted a picture of the empty road as we made our way up to the coast. It was a Bank Holiday here in France – the first of many in May and the kids were off. We took two with us and left one at home. We had a nice wander at a Vide Grenier/ Brocante in Beauchamp before heading on up the coast to Saint-Pair-Sur-Mer.
Another facebook friend of mine had taken a picture of her location (much further south in France) and remarked at the lack of traffic. Being highly original and thinking “oh yeah!” no traffic on a Bank Holiday I did the same. Another facebook friend jokingly remarked “how on earth will you manage?!”. I replied that I did still miss Chinese/Indian take-aways and this got me thinking about my smug post on very little traffic. Continue reading “Top 5 Things I Miss From The UK”
I often beat myself up for not being fluent after being here for nearly 2 years. Only the other week I left my French lesson feeling totally demoralised. I frequently come away internally wailing to myself “how am I ever going to be fluent?” It’s not like I don’t try really hard. I do lots to improve my French and you can read all about it here. After I confided to a fellow lesson goer that I’m not really enjoying the lessons, he replied very matter of fact “You’re not meant to enjoy them! No one enjoys them!” Continue reading “Top 5: Why You Should Speak Bad French”
Whilst I do live in Normandy, home of old stone buildings but where ever you live in France, if it’s feeling a bit parky then I’m sure you can apply the same advice to your home also. I should point out that we don’t live in a stone farmhouse/longere. Ours, by all intents and purposes, is a new build but isn’t. Say what? The original stone part was old but the add-on was probably 1960s/70s. It was a box really – not your typical renovation project. Continue reading “How To Heat Your French Home”
Did I have you at arse or neck? I’ve gone right off the rails with the language haven’t I. Actually, I think I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t explain the difference between these two words in French. You’re welcome. They sound no different in my Brit opinion but then my accent, at times, can be atrocious. I particularly struggle with a word which has an unacceptable amount of vowels in it – that includes the letter ‘y’ as guess what? The French consider this to be a vowel. I can often see the word in my head, I want to put my hand up like I’m in some imaginary game show and say “oh I know it, I know it!” !”it’s X or sounds like…..” Cue the crumpled up face of the recipient. Continue reading “Do You Know Your Arse From Your Neck?”