Different types of English people in France!

James Emery takes us hilariously through the different types of English people he's come across in France! I think I've met a few Straw Hat Pats! Who is he missing out?

Well some of the Brits i have met in France have been very nice down to earth people, then there are those that will not talk to anyone who come from north of Watford,those that see their time in France as a badge of rank and despise the new comers, the paupers down to their last few euros and have been for the last 10 years living on the generosity of others and saving their money then disapear on a cruise and return to buy a new car,those that constantly moan about the cost of living in France the heat in summer the cold in winter and how the UK is so much better, those that would not help you to cross the road can speak fluent French but refuse to help in anyway those who are learning but have yet not got full command of the language learning but struggling and the usual coffee get together where they pull to pieces anyone who is missing, with each week its someone different

I know loads of English in our corner of the Charente. I think most try to speak French and learn some more. At 60+ it's hard to retain the stuff as we did at school but keep on trying. I try to adopt the attitude that we must accept the French way as we live here, without continually moaning, but if it gets too much we will go back to England. The climate, the lack of traffic, the beauty of our surroundings and good friends, including most of Jame's stereotypes, keep us here. French bureaucracy is hard to get one's head round when things go wrong - I am really trying to get used to it but I think it is the one thing to send me scuttling back to UK.

I am changing the subject - most of us are just a bit of all those stereotypes - but as I chose my friends in England and the other countries I have lived in with ex- pat communities, I'm not close friends with everyone here.

victimised Victor ate in the hotel a few nights ago, he was sure that he was "being taken for a tourist"...... If he is in the room, please show your face, so that I can giggle at you, for your ignorance.

He claimed the rougets were not cooked enough, and instead of just letting us take them and cook them more (French fish cooking is not the same as the Anglophone style, where we tend to want them more cooked), he made a huge deal about how it was unacceptable to treat people like tourists.


English camping rally - mosquitoes licking lips in response to that ad no doubt.

If ever you get the chance, read a book by a Scot, Freda White 1952 revised 72. Three Rivers of France, Dordogne, Lot and Tarn. That's where I first read about Brantôme. He wasn't all bad: he put Admiral Coligny off firing the town, in revenge for the catholic massacre of prods at Vergt. He knew the admiral from his soldiering days.

When I first saw Nesbitt, I thought it was a documentary! He was talking to the camera as he walked along a pier. It was only when He got home, did the penny drop. I showed Marie-Elisabeth the UK TV version (Gambon) of Maigret. "Why are they playing that strange music?" She asked, when the romantic accordions started up! Then a few weeks ago, a friend lent me the Cloche Merle DVDs: it was so dated. I had mentioned it, as I remember bits of it, and I knew Cusack.

The islanders have such odd impressions of the continent. Most of my french colleagues can't wait for Cameron to pull out of the club, but hope the Scots can stay.

There was an appallingly embarrassing post on an expat board today, advertizing an “english camping rally” at an english run camping site. How are these, Avé Marias, and all of James's caricatures, ever going to integrate if this “ghetto” business continues.

There are more of us like Rab C Nesbitt than else at all in the Dordogne of late. Many Aquitaine castles have had Scots residents over the last thousand or so years, usually in exile or 'contained' unlike Brantôme who died in his own bed.

We Irish don't hold it against the French for General Humbert's mishap, for want of a better expression.

I saw the reference to Bossuet when looking for the quotation, and it reminded me of a "Bossuet catechism" 1710 edition in Latin, I had back in the 70s.

I suppose the standard images of the Scots ingrained in the minds of the average Englishman, are those of dirty oil stained greasmonkeys who emerge every now and then from the bowels of tramp steamers, not forgetting Scottie on the Star ship Enterprize. Then we mustn't forget that cultural icon: Rab C Nesbitt.

Having mentioned Henry VIII, I should point out, he should have been known as Henry IX. The French can be blamed for that. Old Henry wasn't too pleased, but a well written song saved De Born's neck.

Down here, we have a town known as Brantôme, which has a link with the Scots. Pierre de Boudeilles who adopted the name of Brantôme as his pen name, was one of Mary's escort back (unknowingly) to her betrayal and death. His book Les Dames Galantes makes interesting reading: she is one those he is nice about!

As to the standard image of expat Paddies, is a NYC cop, or a man up to his waist in a trench, but down here, especially in the Bordeaux AOC district, there is an amazing number of vineyards with irish names, resulting from the "wild geese" and "the flight of the Earls", terms referring to the exodus of the traditional gaelic rulers of Ireland, after battles with the invader. They are often referred to as the "Wine Geese".

talking of De Gaulle: his adversary General Weygand ended his days in Humewood castle in County Carlow, as staying in France after the war, wasn't an option. This expat thing plays both ways, and you'd be surprized who you'd bump into in the Wicklow mountains: Otto of Hess, Otto Skorzany, amongst others, not forgetting Arthur Miller, Suzanna York, Robert Mitchum, etc etc.

Why aren't there people like that here? If they are here, they certainly keep away from the happy hours and fish and chip evenings. I mean interesting people, not that dreadful bunch of ageing snobs who live in the Dordogne and Provence.

Mind you Amanda, they turn out in numbers very quickly if I mention a wee dram of Laphroaig or the like at ours!

The French have always had warm feelings towards Scotland, even if French kings were consistently rubbish at sending armies when on time or at all. But it’s the thought that counts.

Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet or Augustin, Marquis of Ximenez - both Frenchmen of course - said 'perfide Angleterre' or 'Albion'. Another, de Gaulle no less, described the alliance between Scotland and France as "the oldest alliance in the world". He also claimed that "In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous than yours with its friendship."

Now I shall wait for my flack!

UK, that's a bit of a joke. le Pays de Galles was just simply subdued and subsequently pillaged of any natural resources they had. The Scots had the legitimate queen murdered by Henry's red headed brat, then the aristos sold out to pass the so-called act of union. The Irish in the Ancient kingdom of Ulster, still have brit soldiers pointing guns at them. When I mean english I mean those that have become English and the English themselves, and see themselves as being "british". Many people are waiting for the great moment when the Scots cut the cord, and leave the likes of "Long Shanks" well in the past. Trouble is, we Celts have problems forgetting injustice and betrayal. The Welsh haven't got a hell's chance, as long as those from the North can't stand the Southerners: they even have different versions of the strings of consonants they call a language. Whoever matched the roman alphabet to the language, was either drunk or up to no good!

You will rarely meet real Celts from the celtic fringe who are ill-mannered and arrogant. I'm not saying there aren't charming people amongst the English, but unfortunately not many of them have come here.

What did someone once say: perfidious Albion.

Aye, that wis Bagpipe Brian spierin' - easily kent by his kilt & blue & white saltire body-paint ;-)

Aye Ross, it widnae be ony ithers...

English! i assume you mean people from England and not the UK!!!!!


I thought they were trying to cut down on football ground hooliganism and violence!

oops pressed add comment too soon. We speak whichever language depending on nothing in particular, it makes no difference to us and we don't always notice which it is.

Jane - here we are French. In Britain we are Scottish and in Germany we are German - this is due to my family being a bit complicated. I love your rats' names - my first rat was called Terpsichore and my children had a variety of rats with the sort of names you can imagine small girls thinking up. Ludwig & Helga were the patriarch and matriarch....

The sister of a friend of mine came to France many years ago to learn French, and stayed with an aristo family, only to discover to her horror, that they only spoke English in the château and French elsewhere. She spent most of her few weeks hidden in the orchard with the batty old Countess, who was armed with a war time revolver, waiting for people the Countess was convinced were stealing her apples.

I was about to say that the islands "remnants of aould decency" wouldn't be as crazy, then remembered an acquaintance of mine who regularly spent a few hours letting off his shot gun up the castle chimnies, in County Carlow, to clear out the rooks.

There are always some things in France that surprise me. Wearing jeans to a funeral is one of them!