Archive for the 'France' Category

The Little Details

Friday, August 26th, 2011

On holiday this summer in the Vendée region (near the Loire valley), I was pleasantly surprised by my till receipt for my holiday shopping. Instead of a list in simple order of items scanned by the cashier, the receipt was both grouped by department, and ordered by highest priced item first. At a glance, you […]

French Country Dancing

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

On the 1st of May (or the Sunday close to it usually) Argenteuil closes a stretch of road near the Seine and they remember the pre-war (pre WWI) era with old style dress, dances and activities. Argenteuil has a fine artistic history. Impressionists like Manet, Monet, Caillebotte, Sisley, Seurat and Braque (born there) all spent […]

3 Parisian Things

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Sacré Coeur The church (Basilique, in fact) of the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. It’s quite a climb through streets aptly named things like Rue du Calvaire, roughly translated as “time of hardship street” in common parlance. You can get a cog-wheeled railway which mounts a steep incline instead, called the funiculaire. Recommended if you want […]

Same Routine, New Year

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

A Christmas break is great, but it’s soon over and after wishing you all a Happy New Year, it’s back to the grind of the routine. The roads were OK for the first Monday of the year, but the queues came back quickly and the routine soon pulled me in, not unlike gravity when you […]

Christmas in France

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Nice quiet day today, getting ready for a meal tonight since the French celebrate much more on the evening of Christmas Eve than on Christmas Day itself. Some older children open their presents just after midnight in some families, while the younger ones still wait for Santa to deliver overnight. Traditional meals often include salmon, […]

Frozen Snowy Swing and Slide

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

There’s been a lot of cold weather and frost so far this December, and a fair bit of snow. I’ve never seen quite so much fall in one morning as I did today though. I reckon we’ve had 10-15cm (4-6″) of snow in a few hours. Last night there was already a bit. It took […]

Another French strike

Monday, September 6th, 2010

The French need some kind of pension reform. The current French state budget is seriously in the red at roughly 7.5% of GDP last year, well outside European norms. France have a policy of statutory retirement from the age of 60, for men and women. This is already more advantageous than the UK where it […]

Tonsilitis at the End of the Hols

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

We had a good break this summer, going all the way to the south of France between Nîmes and Montpellier. The photo is of the view from the back of our residence, looking towards the nearby village Gallargues-le-Montueux. I had a terrible end to our holidays. I got a major case of tonsilitis and nearly […]