The Vital Card

Today’s instalment of WordPress’ ‘365 Days of Writing Prompts is one of those worthy but dull ones, specifically about healthcare provision: “Right to health. Is access to medical care something that government should provide or is it better left to the private sector? Are there drawbacks to your choice?”∅ Rather than enter into an earnest…

Dude, where’s my poubelle?

Honestly, you wait weeks on end for a new post, and then they all come along together… It has to be said that waste management is pretty well organised here in France. As a matter of course everyone recycles their plastic, glass and paper into the relevant coloured bins at the local déchetterie – and…

All I have to say on the matter…..

This blog likes to keep it light. The strapline does lay claim to ‘miscellaneous musings’, but I prefer to focus on humour, or at least my attempts to be amusing. Sometimes, though, it’s hard. And this is one of those days. Unless you’ve spent the last three months incommunicado down a mineshaft, you will probably…

Full house

In a searing indictment of the awfulness of French TV, close to 300 people packed into the local village hall (salle polyvalente) on a  Saturday night, in order to play bingo or – as they call it here – Loto. We joined them, eschewing the far more uplifting televisual entertainment offered by British programme-makers (Britain’s Got…

Together no more

Some of you may be wondering whatever happened to the public service joint venture – announced with so much fanfare at the beginning of last year – between this blog and the local newspaper, ‘Le Quotidien de Faire-le-Dodo (87)’. Late last year Le Quotidien, like so many other print journals faced with rising print costs…

Yes and no

Many French expressions have found their way into everyday usage in the Anglophone world. Think of fait accompli, for example, or le mot juste. Even that (allegedly) archetypal British character trait, sang-froid. I could throw in déjà vu as well, but you’ve probably already seen it. There’s rather less linguistic traffic in the other direction, which is probably…

The unkindest cut

You may not even have noticed – and I wouldn’t pretend or presume that, in the great scheme of things, it makes any difference whether you have or not – but of late there’s not been too much in the way of output on this plucky little blog. Quite literally, you haven’t missed much. I would not…

What you may have missed

Newer members of the growing expat community here in Faire-Le-Dodo (87) may have been nonplussed by the strange state of suspended animation that our commune appears to have settled into for the past few weeks. Please be reassured, this is perfectly normal. Indeed, the French have a word for it – août. That’s August to…

Don’t mention the Bastille

Tuesday was a public holiday in France. Arguably, it was the public holiday: July 14th, the Fête Nationale. You may even think it was Bastille Day. Wrong. We were surprised to discover that French people don’t refer to it by that name and would quite likely have no idea what you were talking about if you…

It’s All Kicking Off In Faire-Le-Dodo (87)

The traditional tranquilité of our commune was shattered yesterday when two members of the local constabulary were called to an altercation at La Petite Superette et Salon de Thé. This is believed to be the first time that the gendarmes have had to be diverted from their usual job – manning speed traps on the Route Départemental…