Category Archives: French life

Bowled Over: One of France’s Favourite Sports

Under the plane trees on the outskirts of a southern French village, an ancient tradition is taking place. A knot of men is gathered, fortified by glasses of Pastis. The sun dipping behind the trees makes zebra patterns on the … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, French life | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Missing Cat: Chat Perdu

I wrote this post this morning after our cat had been missing for 15 days. An hour later she miaowed and walked back through the door as if nothing had happened. She was hungry and a bit perturbed, but apparently … Continue reading

Posted in French life | 10 Comments

The French Countryside isn’t Quiet: Spread the Word

Lying in bed early this morning, through the open window I heard cockerels crowing, a tractor doing some heavy-duty work not far away, cow bells jangling, dogs barking, pigeons cooing and the sparrows that nest in our walls chirping and … Continue reading

Posted in French life | 20 Comments

How Does Voting Take Place in France?

For people like me who are not French citizens, voting here is a rare event, confined to the municipal elections (every six years) and the European elections (every five). The last time I voted was in March 2014, for the … Continue reading

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

The Life of an Agricultural Labourer in France in 1900

Originally posted on Vanessa Couchman:
Market place in Villefranche-de-Rouergue, which had several large monthly agricultural fairs at one time. The fountains are a 21st century addition. At the turn of the 20th century, the world of agricultural labour in France…

Posted in French life | Leave a comment

Emma Calvé: Forgotten Singing Star of the Belle Epoque

Originally posted on Vanessa Couchman:
?Emma Calvé, Wikimedia Commons, SIP 89-12, by Reutlinger Have you heard of Emma Calvé? I hadn’t, until I read about her in a French novel. However, she was one of the brightest stars of her…

Posted in French life | Leave a comment

Clock This

I hope you remembered to put your clocks forward last night if you’re in Europe, otherwise you’ll be a bit behind everyone else. We posted reminders throughout the house so that we wouldn’t forget, but there’s always at least one … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

New Technology Lands on La Lune

Life on La Lune passed its 9th  birthday last week on 14th February. A few things have changed since then, not least our ability to access the internet. When I published my first post (the present one is the 628th), we … Continue reading

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

French Christmas Quiz 2018: the Answers

I hope you had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it. How did you get on with the quiz? Now is the time of reckoning. The answers are below. And there were a couple of trick questions, but if you’ve … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Quiz | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

French Christmas Quiz 2018

A very happy Festive Season to all my readers. Thank you for reading the blog this year and for your stimulating comments and emails. Welcome to the 2018 – and 8th – Edition of the Life on La Lune French … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Quiz | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Ma Vie Française #8: Chris Bockman, Sniffing Out News Stories in SW France

There’s been a slight hiatus in posting, as I’ve been dealing with some family health issues. However, this week, I’m delighted to bring you another interview in the Ma Vie Française series. Chris Bockman has been keeping his finger on … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rentrée Time

Here we are in September again. How did that happen? Surely Easter was only last week. Actually, I don’t mind. This is my favourite month of the year, perhaps because I was born in September (cards and presents welcome). We … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, French life | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ma Vie Française #6: Author Jane Dunning

Today, I continue my occasional series of interviews with people who have made their life in France or who have a particular attachment to it. Jane Dunning’s love affair with France began in earnest in the 1990s and she has … Continue reading

Posted in Books/writing, French life, Ma Vie Française Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

British, French or Irish? Or all Three?

I don’t write about politics on this blog. Of course, I have my views, but I generally keep them to myself. So I haven’t mentioned the ‘B’ word (okay, Brexit) in my posts so far. However, I can’t ignore it … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Rants | Tagged , , , , , , | 37 Comments

A Local WWII Resistance Group: Update

  Today, the causse above the riverside village of Cazals is a tranquil place with superb views of the Gorges de l’Aveyron. It’s covered with juniper and scrub oak and the only sounds are birdsong or the occasional whirr of … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Places, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Summer in Southwest France

Summer is here, les grandes vacances have begun and the foreign number plates in the area have multiplied. And to go with them, a little present from the French government: a drop in the speed limit on secondary roads from … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Eight Years On…

  A little celebration is in order. Life on La Lune will be eight years old on Wednesday, which just happens to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Since February 2010, I’ve published some 586 posts, learned an awful lot about France … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Pros and Cons of Brits in France

Peter Mayle, the doyen of writers about the good life in France, died recently at the age of 78. His book, A Year in Provence (1989), describes how he restored an 18th-century farmhouse near Ménerbes in the Luberon with the … Continue reading

Posted in Books/writing, French life, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

S.O.S. French Towns

A few days ago, I had coffee with two friends in the centre of Villefranche-de-Rouergue. This Aveyron town, some 25 km from us, is one of my favourite towns in the region. It’s an attractive place, steeped in history and … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Summer’s Lease Hath All Too Short a Date: La Rentrée

Yesterday, the summer holidays ended in France as children went back to school, people packed away their holiday gear for another year and workers prepared themselves for the routine of métro, boulot, dodo (subway, work, sleep). The eight weeks or … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

20 Years of la Vie Française

Last weekend marked the 20th anniversary of moving into our house in France. We had arrived in France a few days earlier, but we regard the occupation of the house as the true anniversary. This year I had a long … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Bons Voisins – Good Neighbours

I’m constantly amazed at French people’s ability to conjure up a social event from unpromising components, whether it’s an apéritif, an improvised barbecue or a full-blown fête. Last night, some neighbours organised a repas de quartier, a neighbourhood meal, which … Continue reading

Posted in French life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Un café, s’il vous plaît

Coffee fuels the French, who have a penchant for strong black espresso-type coffee. Having to use coffee substitutes during World War II must have been a real hardship in that case. A chance remark to that effect during a recent … Continue reading

Posted in Food/drink/recipes, French life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Water, Water, Everywhere – But Not a Drop to Drink

The joys of living in a rural French commune. We currently have to collect our drinking water daily in bottles from the Syndicat des Eaux (local water board), which for us involves a round trip of about 18 kilometres. The … Continue reading

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

Chèque ou Espèces? Cheque or Cash

It often takes a holiday in another country to throw into relief the quirks of the one you live in. We returned recently from 10 days in Sweden (hence the blogging hiatus), where things are a bit different from France. … Continue reading

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

Getting a (Social) Life in France

Making friends is difficult when moving to a new country. Twenty years ago, our Brummie removal men asked, “Do you know anyone here?” When we said no, they shook their heads in disbelief. If you move to la France profonde, … Continue reading

Posted in Customs, French life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Finding Our House in France

Today is a very special one on La Lune. It’s 20 years ago to the day since we first saw our house. During our five days’ house-hunting in France, among the legion of properties we saw only two fitted the … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Life on La Lune French Christmas Quiz 2016: the Answers

I hope you had a great Christmas. How did you get on with the quiz? I promised you the answers today and here they are – a little late because I got engrossed in writing my next novel. Don’t forget … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Quiz | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Life on La Lune French Christmas Quiz 2016

First, let me wish all my readers Season’s Greetings. Thank you for following my blog this year and for your stimulating comments and emails, which I always enjoy reading. Thank you also for the many Tweets and shares on Facebook. … Continue reading

Posted in French life, Quiz | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Customs, French life | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments