Category Archives: Customs

10 French Christmas Traditions

Like every country in Christendom, France has a range of Christmas traditions, local and nationwide. I explore a few in this post. Christmas used to be lower key, less commercialised and of shorter duration than in the UK. During our … Continue reading

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French Telephone Etiquette

Even after more than 19 years in France, I lift the receiver with apprehension when the phone rings. This is partly because it’s invariably a cold caller. It’s also because dealing with people on the phone in French is damn … Continue reading

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Halloween Traditions, Ghosts and Witches in France

I don’t need to tell you what today is. Halloween has become more commercialised in recent years in France and traditions such as trick-or-treating have taken root. I hope we live far enough off the beaten track not to encounter … Continue reading

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Cantal le Beau

I’m never quite sure which destination appeals to me more: Cantal or Corsica. They are both mountainous and beautiful in their own way, but very different. Cantal, of course, is easier to get to, being only just over two hours’ … Continue reading

Posted in Auvergne, Customs, Walking in France | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Pastis: A Quercy Speciality

Hands up everyone who thought pastis was an aniseed-flavoured apéritif. It is; but it’s not a local speciality here. The pastis I’m talking about is an apple dessert made with very fine pastry, which is particular to the Lot and … Continue reading

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How to Queue in France

  Forming a neat queue is inscribed in we Brits’ DNA. Not so our French counterparts. Our two countries are separated only by a 30-mile stretch of water, but in some respects it might as well be 30 light years. … Continue reading

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French Solstice Customs

  We’re in winter now, marked by a sharp frost and bright sunshine (hurray!). The winter solstice occurred today in France at 00.03 Central European Time. The December solstice marks the shortest day/longest night of the year. This is when … Continue reading

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Carol Services with the Choeur de Parisot 2014

Christmas carol services are a British import into France. The French have fewer Christmas songs and they don’t have a tradition of special carol services. However, it’s something they have enthusiastically embraced, even if they regard them as concerts rather … Continue reading

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Things I Didn’t Know When I Moved to France: Part 1, the Positives

Now, you’re all thinking I’m going to complain about everything I’ve encountered in France since moving here 17 years ago. Not so. What follows in this post is complimentary; Part 2 (to be posted later) is less so. I’ve restricted … Continue reading

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Unexpected Finds About World War II at a Vide-Greniers

It’s that time of year again. You only have to park the car for five minutes and you find your windscreen bristling with flyers for vide-greniers (jumble sales). Around here, there’s at least one a week for the foreseeable future. … Continue reading

Posted in Books/writing, Customs, History, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

May 1st – la Fête du Travail in France

  May 1st has a special significance in the French calendar, since it’s la Fête du Travail (labour day), when everyone downs tools. Even our local newsagent closes on May 1st, although it is open every other day of the … Continue reading

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French and Corsican Easter Traditions

The celebration of Easter in France doesn’t diverge hugely from its counterpart in the UK, apart from the obvious religious differences. People consume large quantities of chocolate and Paschal lamb, for example. However, there are some traditions and customs that … Continue reading

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More French Superstitions

The post I wrote in November 2010 (is it really that long ago?) on French superstitions is the most popular I have written. So I decided to continue my researches and find some more for your delectation. Some were kindly … Continue reading

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Five Signs of New Year in France

First, a slightly belated Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you have a happy, healthy and peaceful 2014. Serial over-indulgence during the festive season followed by self-enforced repose has kept me away from blogging for a few days. But … Continue reading

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Midnight Mass in France

People celebrate Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve throughout France. We went this year to the service at l’Eglise Saint-Andéol in Parisot. Père Serge, the local priest, had asked for volunteers from le Choeur de Parisot to swell the ranks of … Continue reading

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To Crèche or Not To Crèche

Political correctness sometimes verges on the downright barmy. France is a secular society, which is fair enough. Public employees in France are not permitted to display ostentatious symbols of religious affiliation, such as foulards (headscarves) or large crucifixes. These issues … Continue reading

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A French Country Upbringing

‘Of course, Occitan was my first language,’ our friend Georgette said. I was sitting next to her at an association lunch today. She has never talked much about her childhood but, once I had started questioning her (no one is … Continue reading

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Saint Catherine’s Day Customs

‘A la Sainte-Cathérine, tout bois prend racine.’ On St. Catherine’s Day (25th November) all wood takes root. This oft-quoted saying implies that the climatic conditions are right for planting trees and shrubs on that day. I’ll return to this below. … Continue reading

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Toussaint at Teysseroles

Toussaint (All Saints’ Day) on 1st November is a big religious event in France. French people honour their dead relatives and tidy and deck their tombs. Even if the church at Teysseroles is in poor repair, the cemetery is still … Continue reading

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Frog and Toad

  In culinary matters, the French and the British often compete about who first discovered a particular dish. A notable example is burn’t cream – crème brulée in French. Both countries claim to have invented it . Now, there is … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, Food/drink/recipes, History | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

People-Watching at the Vide-Grenier

As a writer, I find people-watching fascinating. And what better place to do it than at a vide-grenier (car boot sale)? We had a stand at our local village’s effort last Sunday, which gave numerous opportunities to indulge in one … Continue reading

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Beanz Meanz Cassoulet

Remember the old Heinz beans advert? Cassoulet is the signature dish of southwest France. It’s been around for a long time and the correct recipe is the subject of controversy. What is it? A stew of white haricot beans and … Continue reading

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A Grave Issue

Sorry; I couldn’t resist the pun. Our local commune’s Bulletin Municipal (annual report) contains a lot of practical information. This year’s included an article about regulations relating to cemeteries. Now, none of us wants to dwell on our mortality but … Continue reading

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A Relic of French Legal Archaeology is Finally Buried

Vive la France! The French government recently repealed an archaic French law, dating back to 1799. The law in question prohibited women from wearing a certain item of male clothing. Waistcoats? No. Berets? Wrong. Ties? Not even those. The offending … Continue reading

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French Christmas Quiz 2012 – the Answers

Now, this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for throughout the Christmas holidays. Well, I can dream, can’t I? Here are the answers to this year’s Life on La Lune Christmas Quiz. I hope you enjoyed doing it. I … Continue reading

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French Christmas Quiz 2012

A very Merry Christmas to all my readers. Today we sat out to eat lunch under a cloudless blue sky, after several very gloomy, wet days. We hope to do the same tomorrow (Christmas Eve). The past few Christmases have … Continue reading

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Standing Room Only: Carols at Parisot

It’s raining, the world is going to end (again) on Friday and I haven’t done my Christmas cards yet. But a heart-warming event yesterday helped me to forget all that: our carol service at the church in Parisot. Even if … Continue reading

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Christmas Blog Hop: Carols at Cajarc

Today, my blog is taking part in a blog hop, organised by blogging chum Steph over at Blog in France. The idea is that you visit the participating blogs, whose owners will be posting about Christmas, expat-dom, writing or books … Continue reading

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That End of Term Feeling

I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging recently. Things are hotting up as we prepare for our fête at Teysseroles (more of that below) and the Parisot choir rehearses itself intensively for the concert at the end of … Continue reading

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Hunting with Fireworks

Last Sunday morning, we heard a lot of banging and crackling going on. Thinking that it was the children at the farm up the hill having a birthday party, the SF walked up to investigate. However, it wasn’t what we … Continue reading

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