Author Archives: nessafrance

About nessafrance

We moved to an 18th-century farmhouse in SW France in 1997. I'm fascinated by French history, rural traditions and customs. I also write historical novels and short stories.

A glut of plums

New subscribers via WordPress: if the link in the notification email doesn’t work, copy and paste the URL at the bottom of the email into your browser. Don’t right click and copy because that will simply copy the broken link. … Continue reading

Posted in Food/drink/recipes, Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Virtual Fête de la Musique

La Fête de la Musique should have taken place this weekend. For obvious reasons, many of the events won’t be happening, except online. Some public concerts are allowed by special permission, provided they respect social distancing regulations. I notice that … Continue reading

Posted in Auvergne, Aveyron, Customs, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Welcome to the New Normal in France

Some things don’t change, whatever else is happening. And so the first two weeks of June have been pourries (rotten). The weather has been chilly, damp and generally miserable. We should be used to this; after all, it happens every … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

La Fête des Mères (Mother’s Day) in France: Traditions and Customs

Yesterday was la Fête des Mères (Mother’s Day) in France. The French are very family minded. In restaurants, you often see whole families from babies to grandparents sitting down to Sunday lunch. The children are usually well behaved since they … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, History | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Virtual Visits: Discovering the Gorges de l’Aveyron

From tomorrow, we are allowed beyond the 100 km limit without authorisation in France. For the time being, this is the last of the virtual visits, since I hope to start attacking my bucket list of places to see in … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Virtual Visits: A French Country Garden

Today I’m taking you on another virtual visit, but this time it’s close to home: my garden! This is not a brag; the garden is not particularly special or exotic. But it serves to show what can be done in … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Virtual Visits: a Hidden Corner of the Lot

The lockdown restrictions are relaxed somewhat in France, but restaurants and many tourist attractions remain closed. Today, we’ll pretend everything is normal and take a trip off the beaten tourist trail. We won’t see spectacular sights or famous historic monuments. … Continue reading

Posted in Lot, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Virtual Visits: the Célé and Lot Valleys

First, thank you and welcome to all the people who’ve signed up to the blog recently. Although France comes out of strict lockdown on Monday 11th May, I am continuing my series of virtual visits around Southwest France. It’s not … Continue reading

Posted in Lot, Places, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Virtual Visits: Western Aveyron

I am extremely attached to the Aveyron département, although we live just over the border in Tarn-et-Garonne. Our part of our département has more in common with Aveyron than it does with the rest. Our neighbours even kiss three times, … Continue reading

Posted in Aveyron, Places, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Virtual Visits: Aveyron 1

First, thank you for your comments on last week’s post and for sharing your own fantastic experiences of the Auvergne. I enjoyed a spot of armchair travel with you. Next up: a much-needed celebration is in order. Today marks 23 … Continue reading

Posted in Aveyron, Châteaux, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Virtual Visit to Cantal

I had a list of places in SW France lined up to visit and write about this year, but they have to wait for better times. Meanwhile, I invite you to accompany me on a series of virtual voyages around … Continue reading

Posted in Auvergne, Places, Virtual Visits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Seeing the Wood for the Trees

I have always loved woodland, and so we are fortunate to be surrounded by it here – not dense forest, but copses and thickets interspersed with fields. In fact, much of this woodland is not more than 100 years old, … Continue reading

Posted in Nature | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Operation Village Market

Last Tuesday was Operation Village Market, which sounds like a World War II Allied offensive. Although well stocked with food, we were running short of fresh fruit and veg. The French government cancelled open-air markets about 10 days ago but … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Places | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Simple Pleasures

The past 12 days have afforded plenty of time for reflection. Too much, no doubt. Nonetheless, beneath the negative emotions that most of us have been feeling, there are flickers of a deeper process at work: one of re-evaluating and … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Virtual Walk Around Puylagarde

Come on a virtual promenade with me today. We are no longer allowed to do anything else, except for “short outings” to exercise ourselves within a 1 km radius of the house and then only alone. It’s hard to believe … Continue reading

Posted in Places, Virtual Visits, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

The World Holds its Breath

While a precocious spring flourishes outside my window, I feel a strange mixture of emotions writing this. A few weeks ago, it seemed inconceivable that parts of the world could grind to a halt so quickly. Now, the COVID-19 situation … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

One Should Never Leave Montauban

“On ne devrait jamais quitter Montauban!”, is one of the immortal lines spoken by Lino Ventura in the classic film, Les Tontons Flingeurs (lit. The Gun-Toting Uncles, 1963). Having renounced a life of crime to sell agricultural equipment in Montauban, … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stones, Bones and Giants’ Thrones: on the Limogne Dolmen Trail

Last weekend, we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to try out a new walk around Limogne. This small town in the Lot is host to a busy Sunday market and a Friday truffle market in season. It sits … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

In Search of Black Diamonds in Lalbenque

You can’t buy them fresh in the supermarket and certainly not on Amazon. They are referred to as Quercy’s black diamonds, but these knobbly tubers look nothing like a gemstone. Selling them follows an arcane ritual, and a kilo can … Continue reading

Posted in Food/drink/recipes, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ten Years Today: Life on La Lune Enters Double Figures

Life on La Lune celebrates its 10th birthday today. Unusually, this fact almost passed me by, mainly because I have still been catching up with things after last week’s absence of internet. There’s no significance to having started the blog … Continue reading

Posted in Events, French life | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

The Day We Went to Paris by Way of Saint-Projet

You might – or might not – have been wondering where I’ve been for the past 10 days, owing to the lack of posts. It’s not chagrin about the reality of Brexit occurring on 31st January, although it continues to … Continue reading

Posted in Places, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

No Words Today

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The Richness of French Rural Heritage: Gariottes and Cazelles

The backbone of the earth is never far beneath the surface here, as we have found to our cost every time we plant a tree or a shrub! The farmers carefully make piles of the stones they plough up, but … Continue reading

Posted in History, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Bonne Année 2020. Weather Roundup for 2019

First, belated Meilleurs Voeux. Every time we go into the village, we are greeted with enthusiastic kisses and handshakes from acquaintances and good wishes for 2020, “surtout pour la santé” – above all for good health. This will continue until … Continue reading

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Life on La Lune French Christmas Quiz 2019: the Answers

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed the quiz. Here are the answers to the 9th edition of the Life on La Lune French Christmas quiz. Ready? Award yourself one point for each correct answer. Remember that some … Continue reading

Posted in Quiz | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Life on La Lune French Christmas Quiz 2019

A very happy Festive Season to all my readers. I’d like to thank you for reading the blog, which is approaching its 10th birthday in February 2020, and for your thoughtful and interesting comments. Welcome to the 9th Edition of … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Quiz | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Favourite Blogs about Life in France

On 14th February 2020 this blog will be 10 years old. A lot of words have flowed sous le pont since then in almost 700 posts. And the number of life in France blogs has proliferated since 2010. However, there … Continue reading

Posted in Books/writing, French life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Long Overdue Trip to the Fronton Vineyards

Hands up if you’ve heard of the Fronton vignoble. If you don’t live here, you probably haven’t come across it, like us before we moved to France. It’s a very small wine-growing area, and only a limited proportion of the … Continue reading

Posted in Food/drink/recipes, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Are You une Huile or un Gros Poisson? Find Out Below

No matter how long you live here, or however good you think your French is, you always come across new phrases and expressions, some of them quite bizarre if translated literally. Like our own idiomatic expressions in English, there’s usually … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Cornflowers and Poppies: Symbols of World War I

Today is Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11th November, the day the Armistice came into force in 1918. Tomorrow is a public holiday in France, and remembrance ceremonies will take place at war memorials throughout the country. Wearing a … Continue reading

Posted in History, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments