My love of France sneaked up on me. Unlike my husband who I think came out of the womb loving France. His dream, which predates our meeting ten years ago, was to live in France. It wasn’t a dream I shared. But here we are in the process of buying our very own house in […]
Buying a house in France is the dream of many but what if you live on the other side of the globe and have never even set foot in France? This describes Annette Charlton who made her dream come true and now lives between her homes in Newcastle, Australia and Brittany, France. So, is the […]
A French shop assistant in Antibes’ old town asked me for the translation of a French word the other afternoon. We’d become bosom buddies in her quiet swimsuit store, but I was glad for the conversational distraction. I hated swimsuit shopping. It brought out all my insecurities. As my new friend rang up my purchase, she complimented […]
The first time I took my long-haired mini-dachshund, Ellie, to France, we spent two months traveling from Paris to Brittany and Normandy. Our last stop was the seaside resort of Agon-Coutainville, on the Cotentin peninsula which juts into the English Channel. There Ellie feasted on raw milk Camembert and prė-salė lamb. When we returned to […]
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A French town without a baker – it’s unthinkable – everyone would move away! A butcher is almost as important to French village life as a baker. The butcher sells the usual roasts and chops and chickens, as well as a variety of prepared foods. My wife Val and I live part of the year […]
Life isn’t all sitting around eating cheese and quaffing wine for expats in France. There’s the tricky issue of everyday life and administration to deal with too! Never annoy a Fonctionaire… I read somewhere that 20% of the French population work for the government. If you buy a home in France, you will eventually come […]
Wikipedia defines ‘Francophile’ “as a person who has a strong affinity towards the French language, French history, French culture or French people.” When I read that, I thought, “Wow, that is totally me.” I grew up in Southern California, just an hour from the Mexican border. The most logical language to learn was Spanish. But from the first moment I heard […]
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Have you ever seen a ghost in Paris? Many say they have… Paris has ghosts in abundance. We can search for them and find them, then shudder as we feel their closeness to us. The spirits of historical events litter the timeless landmarks of the great capital. Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera, the parks and […]
Night Nurse Needed – Should be young and pretty. This was the ad Henri Matisse placed with the nursing school in Nice, France in 1942. He was seventy-two years-old and still working while recovering from a serious surgery. He required constant care and needed someone to fill in while his regular night nurse was away. […]
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France, especially in the north, has long had aeroplanes and aviation entrenched in its genes. There have been many great French air pioneers both male and female. Louis Bleriot was born in Cambrai and he was perhaps one of the greatest exponents. Louis Bleriot, Aviator Bleriot, from his earliest adult days, had an instinct for […]
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