Chit-chat and trivia from our expat family life in France, with unexceptional events and idle banter.
By Boris on March 2, 2013
Only a few days now until d-day (déménagement day – moving day). when we head for the big city – well Bergerac, which is only a big city if you compare it with the field where we live at the moment, but exciting nonetheless. Selling gites and moving to a normal house certainly focusses the [...]
By Boris on September 18, 2012
You can always tell when summer in southern France is coming to a close – instead of being kept awake late into the night by the distant sound of music at the evening markets and campsites hidden in the woods we get woken at the crack of dawn by hunters shooting at unseen (and usually [...]
By Boris on August 17, 2012
…and why is Scotland the friendliest country in Europe while the rest of us are rude and arrogant! You have probably noticed that when you start typing a search into google it suggests the words that you are about to type. These suggested words (called ‘autocomplete’) are based on many thousands of queries by other [...]
By Boris on February 9, 2012
For anyone who thought the south of France basked in eternal sunshine – you are wrong! This week I think we had more snow than we’ve had at any time during the last 10 years (perhaps 15 centimetres?) and startlingly cold temperatures. Last night it was minus 16 centigrade which is pretty cold for anyone [...]
By Boris on December 15, 2011
We just had one of our (exceptionally rare) trips to England, for a couple of days of self-indulgence, and stayed in a hotel in central London.
By Boris on September 13, 2011
…will often go awry! This week should have been straightforward. Daughter 1 had to show up at her apartment then go to some meetings at the University before term starts, and Mrs B was going to spend a week visiting Annecy and region before coming home. How complicated can that be?
By Boris on August 23, 2011
We have been having a mini-canicule (heatwave) these last few days with temperatures pretty close to 40° c (just over 100 fahrenheit if you prefer) which is great for a while but rapidly becomes a bit too tiring, so we’ve been looking for ways to cope.
By Boris on May 8, 2011
I’ve touched on customer service in France more than once in the past, so to avoid looking like Mr Grumpy I tend not to talk about it much any more. But sometimes I just can’t stop myself… One of the DIY shops near us have never been famed for their friendly welcome, and it seems [...]
By Boris on February 12, 2011
The struggle for democracy in Egypt has prompted me to reflect on my own position, and certain similarities between the two… It was in the 1980′s that I met Mrs B. No one thought it would last more than a few months but against all odds it did, and of course we are still together [...]
By Boris on February 2, 2011
Mrs B has sneaked off to England for a few days and left me holding the fort – or ‘looking after the children’ as it is better known. In principle two teenagers shouldn’t take much looking after, although today didn’t started so well…
By Boris on December 27, 2010
If you enjoy pub quizzes you might be interested to know that the word Blighty comes from a Hindustani word (vilayati, pronounced bilati) meaning foreigner and dates from the days of the Raj. That’s enough education for one day. We just got back from Christmas in Yorkshire – our first Christmas in England for 10 [...]
By Boris on December 1, 2010
I’d love to say that I’ve battled through the snow to post this entry, but in a strange quirk of nature we are completely snow free while all around us, from Scotland to Portugal (including parts of the Dordogne 50 kilometres to the north of where we live) people are battling with freak weather conditions. [...]
By Boris on November 1, 2010
Halloween stopped being an ‘event’ in our family a few years ago, and because we live a mile or so from the local town we aren’t on the ‘visiting list’ for the hordes of children demanding sweets. Even so I think this was the first year in a very long time that we didn’t have [...]
By Boris on September 20, 2010
Back from my travels, I thought I’d give a quick round of applause to the French motorway system. The drive from the Dordogne to the Riviera is about 700 kilometres (7 hours drive, and significantly further than if I drove to Barcelona from here) with motorway more or less all the way, and the high [...]
By Boris on June 21, 2010
At the weekend I watched a film called Invictus, about South Africa hosting the Rugby World Cup in 1995, capturing the hearts of the nation, winning the tournament, and uniting black and white South Africans in victory. The film ends with the words ‘I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of [...]